events

National Jazz Museum in Harlem Events

Two brilliant pianists sparkle across the Jazz Museum’s transom this week. Toshiko Akiyoshi joins us for an extended interview at Harlem Speaks about her fabled career as an influential bandleader/composer. And Onaje Alan Gumbsjoins us for Harlem in the Himalayas in a sublime concert setting along with bassist Avery Sharpe.  
 
Add to that our weekly Jazz for Curious Listeners, which focuses on jazz on film in the 1930’s (Ellington, Billie Holiday, Goodman, Lunceford for starters) and you’ve got a typically exciting menu of jazz to contemplate.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Jazz for Curious Listeners

Jazz on Film: The '3Os
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | 
register online

Known as the “Swing Era” by historians of jazz, the 1930s heralded the primacy of the big band in American popular culture. Orchestras led by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, the Dorsey Brothers and Cab Calloway, among others, gave millions a soundtrack for the period, as radio shows spread the joy of jazz across the nation. But jazz was also caught on film, as this evening’s discussion and videos will make abundantly clear. 
 
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Harlem Speaks

Toshiko Akiyoshi, pianist
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more info: 212-348-8300

Toshiko Akiyoshi's unique contributions to the jazz world have evolved like falling dominoes through a series of events that started with a piano-loving little Japanese girl in Manchuria and brought her to prominence as an unparalleled pianist, composer and leader of the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra. 
Akiyoshi's interest in the piano started at age six, and by the time her family had moved back to Japan at the end of World War II.  She had developed a real love for music, and soon began playing piano professionally, which eventually led to her being discovered by pianist Oscar Peterson in 1952 during a Norman Granz Jazz at the Philharmonic tour of Japan. On Peterson’s recommendation, Toshiko recorded for Granz, and not long after, she went to the U.S. to study at the Berklee School of Music in Boston.

Her years in Boston, and later on in New York, developed her into a first class pianist. Her interest in composing and arranging came to fruition when she moved to Los Angeles in 1972 with her husband, saxophonist/flutist Lew Tabackin. The following year they formed the world-renowned big band that became known as the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra featuring Lew Tabackin. The band, which began as a vehicle for Toshiko's own compositions, grew in stature during its 10 years on the west coast and gained a reputation as one of the most excellent and innovative big bands in jazz. In 1976 the band placed first in the Down Beat Critics' Poll and her album, Long Yellow Road, was named best jazz album of the year by Stereo Review. 

In 1982 the couple returned to New York, where Toshiko reformed her band with New York musicians, In 1983 the new Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra featuring Lew Tabackin had a critically successful debut at Carnegie Hall as part of the Kool Jazz Festival. That same year a documentary film by Renee Cho depicting the Akiyoshi/Tabackin move from L.A. to New York was released, entitled "Jazz is My Native Language" (Rhapsody Video).

Toshiko recorded 18 albums with the Jazz Orchestra, garnering 14 Grammy Award nominations since 1976. The band was also voted #1 in Down Beat magazine's Best Big Band category, and Toshiko has placed first in the Best Arranger and Composer category in the Down Beat Readers' Poll, making her the first woman in the history of jazz to have been so honored.

Toshiko realized a long time dream in 1996 when she completed her autobiography. "Life With Jazz." The book is now in its third printing in Japanese and will soon be translated into Korean. 

The Orchestra followed the great Duke Ellington tradition of using each musician's individual sound and style as an integral part of the ensemble's musical identity. To this Akiyoshi adds her own complex, boppish lines and contemporary colors and textures, mingled with elements of her Asian roots to produce a sound that has no equal in jazz.

Summing up her own career, Toshiko, with characteristic modesty commented in an interview with the San Bernardino Sun, "I would hope that my work might have more substance and more quality rather than quantity of notes. And I hope the notes I produce today are more selective than 20 years ago."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Harlem in the Himalayas
Onaje Allan Gumbs with Avery Sharpe
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door | 
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

Onaje Allan Gumbs, a guest of Harlem Speaks in July 2007, is one of the industry’s most respected and talented musical collaborators. He has worked for more than 30 years with an illustrious list of jazz, R&B and pop artists. In 1974, he created a special arrangement of “Stella By Starlight” for the New York Jazz Repertory Company as part of a concert honoring Miles Davis at Carnegie Hall. He followed that with live and recorded performances with such artists as Lenny White, Buster Williams, Cecil McBee and Betty Carter. In 1975, Onaje joined forces with trumpeter, Nat Adderley as part of his quintet contributing to the group’s releases on Atlantic and Steeplechase Records. Producer Nils Winter of Steeplechase upon hearing Onaje’s improvisations, invited the young pianist to record a solo piano project entitled Onaje.

In 1976, he provided the arrangement for the song that was to become the signature piece for the late great vocalist Phyllis Hyman, “Betcha By Golly Wow.” In 1978, the Woody Shaw Group, for which Onaje was pianist, won the Down Beat Reader’s Poll for Best Jazz Group and for Best Jazz Album (Rosewood).The album was later nominated for a Grammy. In 1985, Onaje lent his keyboard and arrangement skills to “Lady In My Life” on guitarist Stanley Jordan’s widely acclaimed debut album, Magic Touch on Blue Note Records.This was the first jazz album in history to maintain the #1 spot atop Billboard Magazine’s jazz charts for more than 50 weeks.

In 1986, Onaje received the “Min-on Art Award”...”in recognition of his great contribution to the promotion and development of a new musical movement for people with the aim of the creation of Peace...” Previous recipients of this prestigious honor include Tina Turner, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and Buster Williams. Motivated by the goal for World Peace, Onaje uses the practice of Nicherin Daishonin’s Buddhism as a philosophical, spiritual and technical approach to his life and his music. 

Onaje Allan Gumbs, whose most recent recording is titled “Sack Full of Dreams,” continues to contribute his talents as a keyboardist, composer, arranger and producer. As he states: “Music has a healing force that is immeasurable and I am committed to being a part of it.” 

Bassist Avery Sharpe was born in Valdosta, Georgia on August 23, 1954. His first instrument was the piano. “I started playing when I was eight years old,” he recalls. “My mother was a piano player in the Church of God in Christ, and she gave lessons to everybody in the family — I'm the sixth of eight children — but it didn't stick until it got to me.” He moved on to accordion and then switched to electric bass in high school. 

In 1972, Sharpe enrolled at the University of Massachusetts, where he majored in Economics and minored in music, and continued to play electric bass in gospel, funk, and rock groups. While at UMass, he met the jazz bassist Reggie Workman, who encouraged him to learn the acoustic bass. Sharpe adapted quickly to the big instrument, and within a few years he was performing with such notables as Archie Shepp and Art Blakey. Shepp and Max Roach, his professors at the time, had a major influence on him. Sharpe also performed in orchestra and chamber groups at UMass, and completed one year of graduate school in Music Performance. In 1980, he auditioned with McCoy Tyner and won a spot in the pianist's group. He has worked with Tyner almost continuously since then, playing hundreds of live gigs and appearing on more than 20 records with him. 

Sharpe's credits also include sideman stints with many other jazz greats, from Dizzy Gillespie to Pat Metheny, as well as leading his own groups. His first recording as a leader was the 1988 album Unspoken Words on Sunnyside Records, which was praised by critic Jim Roberts as “a diverse, challenging record that rewards repeated listening.” In 1994, he recorded Extended Family, the first CD of a trilogy released on Sharpe's own label, JKNM Records. 

In 1989, he wrote and conducted the soundtrack for the movie An Unremarkable Life; a decade later, his six-movement piece America's Promise debuted in a concert-hall performance that featured Sharpe's quintet and a gospel choir backed by the Springfield (Mass.) Symphony Orchestra. In the 1990's Sharpe was commissioned by the Classical group Fideleo to write 3 extended works for them. 

Regardless of the setting, Avery Sharpe always brings both exceptional musical skill and unswerving honesty to the endeavor. His duo performance with Onaje Allan Gumbs promises to render the immeasurable healing and empowering wonder of jazz.

                   ______________________________________________

Visitors Center
104 East 126th Street, Suite 2C
Monday through Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m
close to 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 trains to 125th Street

We’re waiting for you! Yes, that’s right. Our new Visitors Center is now open Monday through Friday (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.) and chock full of books, CDs and DVDs for your perusal. There is also a first-class exhibit of photos on the walls, so we hope you will come up and see us and also spread the word to any other curious folk who want to spend some time getting jazzed in Harlem.
Also, to find audio and video clips, event summaries, program updates and photographs galore from our previous events, venture here:

http:///www.jazzmuseuminharlem.org

The National Jazz Museum Events | February 16 - 21

Forrest

As a young man in Los Angeles, Drummer Forrest "Chico" Hamilton was entranced by Count Basie's band, especially his drummer Jo Jones, and the band's featured soloists, tenormen Lester Young and Herschel Evans. Join us for this week's  Jazz for Curious Listeners dedicated to Evans, the soulful titan of the Texas tenor. Chico Hamilton, still going strong as he approaches 90, is leading his famous band at Friday's Harlem in the HImilayas. We conclude the week on Sunday when the JAZZ MUSEUM IN HARLEM ALL-STAR BIG BAND joins the celebration of African-American Heritage Day at the Museum of Natural History.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Herschel Evans
with Loren Schoenberg

7:00 – 8:30pm         
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300 or register online

Join us for an evening celebrating one of the lesser known giants of jazz, the earliest "Texas tenors," Herschel Evans, whose soulful sound was a perfect contrast to that of the cool-toned Lester Young in the Count Basie Orchestra. Evans started out playing in territory bands, including Troy Floyd (1929-1931) with whom he made his recording debut, and Benny Moten (1933-1935). In 1936, Evans had stints with Lionel Hampton and in Los Angeles and then joined Count Basie just in time to enjoy the band's success and participate on many recordings; his most famous solo was on a ballad feature "Blue and Sentimental" from 1938. Sadly, Herschel Evans died of a heart ailment before his 30th birthday.

He may be gone, but certainly not forgotten, as you'll discover!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Harlem in the Himalayas
Chico Hamilton
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

Chico Hamilton, drums
Cary DeNigris, guitar
Paul Ramsey, bass
Evan Schwam, flute, tenor & soprano saxophones
Eddie Barbash, flute, soprano & alto saxophones
Jeremy Carlstedt, percussion 

Legendary jazz drummer and bandleader Chico Hamilton, born September 21, 1921 in Los Angeles, had a fast track musical education in a band with his schoolmates Charles Mingus, Illinois Jacquet, Ernie Royal, Dexter Gordon, Buddy Collette and Jack Kelso. Engagements with Lionel Hampton, Slim & Slam, T-Bone Walker, Lester Young, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Charlie Barnett, Billy Eckstine, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Billie Holiday, Gerry Mulligan and six years with Lena Horne established this young West Coast prodigy as a jazz drummer on the rise, before he struck out on his own as a bandleader in 1955.

Chico's impact upon jazz includes the introduction of two unique and distinct sounds: first in 1955 with his Original Quintet which combined the sounds of his drums, the bass of Carson Smith, the guitar of Jim Hall, the cello of Fred Katz, and the flute of Buddy Collette; and the second in 1962 with his own drums, the bass of Albert Stinson, the guitar of Gabor Szabo, the tenor sax of Charles Lloyd, and the trombone of George Bohanon.

In 1997, Chico received the New School University Jazz & Contemporary Music Programs Beacons in Jazz Award in recognition for his "significant contribution to the evolution of Jazz". In 2002, Chico was awarded the WLIU-FM Radio Lifetime Achievement Award. At the IAJE in NYC January 2004, Hamilton was awarded a NEA Jazz Master Fellowship, presented to him by Roy Haynes. In December 2006, Congress confirmed the President's nomination of Chico to the Presidents Council on the Arts. And in 2007, Chico received a Living Legacy Jazz Award as part of The Kennedy Centers Jazz in Our Time Festival, as well as receiving a Doctor of Fine Arts from The New School.

Still swingin' at the age of 86, Chico Hamilton has a resume that includes scores for film, original compositions, commercial jingles, 50 + albums as a leader, and countless international tours. Come witness a living legend in collaboration with his young ensemble members, heard on Hamilton's most recent recordings, "Chico Hamilton Trio!," "The Alternative Dimensions of El Chico," and "It's About Time!"
Friday, February 21, 2009

Special Event
African-American Heritage Day
1:00 – 5:00pm
Location: American Museum of Natural History
(Central Park West @ 79th Street | get directions
Free with Museum admission

The National Jazz Museum All Star Big Band will be performing as part of

HARLEM SERENADE: A MOMENT IN TIME

This event is co-produced by Community Works and the New Heritage Theatre Group.
           
"A" Train to the Harlem Renaissance
 
Performance • 1:00-2:45 pm, Kaufmann Theater, first floor
 
Artistic Director and host James Stovall narrates an afternoon of musical performances by the All-Star Orchestra of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.
 
The Jazz Orchestra will be joined by members of the Silver Belles – 2nd Generation, a group of exceptional senior female dancers inspired by the original Silver Belles, who appeared in the choruses of the prestigious Cotton Club and Apollo Theater during Harlem's heyday. Also joining them will be the Jitterbug Kids, a group of young dancers who recapture Harlem's Swing era. The performances will be woven together with classic film clips from Harlem's Golden Era.

Jazz Museum Events: Nov. 17-21, 2008

James McBride- for the Grateful Web

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem begins an exciting full week of public programming with a conversation between executive director Loren Schoenberg and best-selling author, saxophonist and composer James McBride for Jazz for Curious Readers, whose first novel was recently turned into a film by acclaimed director Spike Lee.
 
Thelonious Monk's musical style was singular, yet his ensembles embraced the voices of other titans in jazz music. Don't miss Jazz for Curious Listeners this week: the tenures of John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins, the standard-bearers of jazz tenor saxophone innovation post-1950s, with Thelonious Monk is the intriguing topic that Schoenberg will pursue.
 
Join us mid-week for an exploration of jazz legends at Jackie Robinson Park for Jazz in the Parks. We'll screen a series of short films in which you can see the legends for yourself. Details below.
 
Top jazz educator and percussionist Justin DiCioccio is the guest at Harlem Speaks this week. Guest interviewer Greg Thomas will investigate the state of jazz education through the vision and experience of DiCioccio, chair of the jazz department of the Manhattan School of music.
 
Expect an eclectic mix of sonic pleasure at Harlem in the Himalayas at the Rubin Museum of Art, as we close out the week with guitarist Bern Nix and bassist Francois Grillot.

Monday, November 17, 2008
Jazz for Curious Readers
James McBride
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE  

James McBride is an award-winning writer and composer. His critically acclaimed memoir, The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother, explores the author's struggle to understand his biracial identity and the experience of his white, Jewish mother, who moved to Harlem, married a black man, and raised 12 children. The Color of Water won the 1997 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Literary Excellence, was an ALA Notable Book of the Year, and spent more than two years on the bestseller list. Chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the 25 books of 1996 to remember, The Color of Water has sold more than 1.3 million copies in the United States alone and is now required reading at numerous colleges and high schools across the country. It has also been published in 16 languages and in more than 20 countries.

After the success of The Color of Water, McBride turned to fiction, albeit inspired by his family's history. "My initial aim was to write a novel about a group of black soldiers who liberate a concentration camp in Eastern Europe," McBride explains on his web site. "I read lots of books and spent a lot of time researching the subject but soon came to the realization that I'm not qualified to write about the holocaust. It's too much."  So, instead, he recalled the war stories of his uncle and cousin, who served in the all-black 92nd Infantry Division, and began researching World War II in Italy - particularly the clashes between Italian Partisans and the German army. Miracle at St Anna was published in 2002, and was recently turned into a major motion picture by acclaimed director Spike Lee, for which McBride also wrote the screenplay. His second novel, Song Yet Sung, was published in 2008.

McBride is a former staff writer for The Washington Post, People Magazine and The Boston Globe. His work has also appeared in Essence, Rolling Stone and The New York Times. Aside from his literary honors, McBride is the recipient of several awards for his work as a composer in musical theater, including the 1996 American Arts and Letters Richard Rodgers Award, the 1996 ASCAP Richard Rodgers Horizons Award, and the American Music Festival's 1993 Stephen Sondheim Award. He has written the score for several musicals, including the highly acclaimed, award-winning show "Bobos."

McBride, an accomplished saxophonist who has toured with renowned jazz singers and musicians, has written songs (music and lyrics) for Anita Baker, Grover Washington, Jr., Gary Burton, Silver Burdett Textbooks, and for the PBS television character "Barney." He is a graduate of New York City's public schools, studied composition at The Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio, and received a Masters in journalism from Columbia University in New York at age 22. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters from Whitman College. He lives in Pennsylvania and is currently a Distinguished Writer-In-Residence at New York University.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
The World of Thelonious Monk: With Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300 or register online

The pianist Eric Reed once said that "When you playing Monk's compositions, you're kind of playing Monk. His compositions and improvisations are completely integrated." Such is the nature of his compositions, so intertwined with his quirky, singular and ingenious style of playing and composing jazz.

The two foremost giants of jazz tenor saxophone in the 1950s, Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane, were a part of Monk's band at signal moments in the development of their styles and careers.  

This promises to be a night of swingin' revelation, so don't miss it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Jazz in the Parks
Jazz legend shorts
7:00 - 9:00pm
Location: Jackie Robinson Recreation Center
(85 Bradhurst Avenue @ West 146th Street)
FREE | RSVP, please call (212) 408-0296 or email for more info: NYC Department of Parks

A selection of short films about Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Charlie Parker. Parker discovered Davis, and it was Davis who made John Coltrane into a musical icon. It's one thing to listen to their music, and another to see them play, live, in action. This is an unforgettable evening of rare film of three of America's greatest artists

Thursday, November 20, 2008
Harlem Speaks
Justin DiCioccio, Drummer/educator
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

Justin DiCioccio is internationally recognized as one of the foremost jazz educators of our time. In January 2001, he was inducted into the Jazz Education Hall of Fame, which took place at the 28th Annual International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) conference in New York City. His keen insight into the teaching of conceptual and inventive ideas has earned him the title of "the musician's teacher." His performances, guest conducting appearances, adjudications, jazz and percussion clinics and workshops are numerous and widely recognized in the professional and educational fields.

Mr. DiCioccio was named assistant dean of Manhattan School of Music in June 2002, where he chairs the School's jazz department, a position that he has held since 1999. In addition, he has been a member of the School's jazz faculty since 1984, teaching percussion and coaching ensembles. Under his leadership, a complete restructuring of the jazz curriculum has taken place, which includes the creation of a new Jazz DMA program. His goal is to initiate and put into action the concept of the complete artist musician – performer, composer, and pedagogue – as well as the creation of working partnerships with public schools, community organizations, institutions and the music industry. He also directs international summer jazz programs in partnership with Manhattan School of Music that take place in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and at the Brevard Music Festival in North Carolina.

Mr. DiCioccio works actively in Manhattan School of Music's educational outreach program bringing jazz education to hundreds of New York City public school children. In addition, Mr. DiCioccio has initiated the creation of a jazz component to the School's already existing Preparatory Division, open to students ages 10 to 18, making Manhattan School of Music on of the few institutions in the country to offer jazz programs at the elementary, secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels.

Mr. DiCioccio serves as program director for Carnegie Hall Jazz Education and under his direction in January 2001, the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra performed at Carnegie Hall as part of its Family Concert Series. He also acts as a consultant to Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center, with whom he also performs and gives clinics, as well as conductor of the Henry Mancini Summer Institute in Los Angeles, CA. He designed, developed and directed the internationally known and award-winning LaGuardia High School of the Arts jazz program, the first fully accredited secondary jazz program in the United States.

Mr. DiCioccio is the recipient of a citation for the major of New York for "Distinguished and Exceptional Service to Young Instrumentalists" and is currently active with the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, the Music for Youth Foundation and the National Foundation for Jazz Education. He is a three-time recipient of the Presidential Scholars teaching recognition award in the jazz field by the U.S. Department of Education. In May 1998, The Commission Project, in partnership with the New York City Board of Education, created the JD Award for Outstanding Service to Music in New York City Schools. The award, presented annually, recognizes and celebrates individuals who have made significant contributions to the world of music education and honored Mr. DiCioccio as its first honoree. In June 2003, Mr. DiCioccio received an Achievement Award from Downbeat magazine.

Friday, November 21, 2008
Harlem in the Himalayas
Bern Nix and Francois Grillot
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

Bern Nix has played the guitar since the age of 11. Bern studied music and graduated with a degree in music education from the Berklee College of Music. Since 1985, he has led The Bern Nix Trio. Before leading his Trio, Bern performed and recorded with Ornette Coleman from 1975 to 1987 as an original member of the Prime Time Band. The Prime Time Band recorded six albums including Dancing in Your Head, Of Human Feelings and Body Meta and performed hundreds of concerts around the world. The Bern Nix Trios first recording, Alarms and Excursions (New World Records) was released in 1993, making many top ten critics lists. Bern has performed with artists such as, Ornette Coleman, John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Elliott Sharp, Jemeel Moondoc, Ronald Shannon Jackson, James Chance, Jayne Cortez and Kip Hanrahan. Hailed as one of the greatest jazz guitarists of our time, Bern was voted among the top ten jazz guitarists poll by Down Beat magazine. Most recently, Bern composed and recorded the score for the feature length documentary, A James Lord Portrait. Bern has a solo album coming out this fall on Tompkins Square Records.

Francois Grillot, born in Burgundy France, began studying trumpet, then guitar and electric bass. He recorded with Edition Speciale, on RCA, touring throughout France. Other credits include recordings with Mama Bea Teckelsk (RCA) and Serge Bringolf (Strave on Musea Records). Upon moving to New York he has been playing along side a number of notable musicians including Bill Bickford, Ken Hatfield, Adam Naussbaum, Harold Danko, and Mike Clarke. In 2001 his music took a turn with collaborators Matt Lavelle, Steve Swell, Daniel Carter, Matt Maneri, Roy Campbell, Mark Edwards, Jackson Krall, Lou Grassi, Jason Kwang, Robert Dick, Daniel Levin, William Hooker, Charles Burnham, Louie Belogenis, Bern Nix, Michael Marcus, Ken Filiano and a many others.

Ben Harper to headline Colorado early vote events

photos by Phil Emma- for the Grateful Web

Ben Harper will join with Obama for America and the Colorado Campaign for Change to host early vote events in Boulder and Denver this Saturday.  He'll play a few songs in Denver at Civic Center Park at 12pm and again at UC Boulder's Mary Rippon Theatre at 2pm.  Both events are free and open to the public.

Rex Foundation: New Grants, Upcoming Events & More

support the Rex Foundation- for the Grateful Web

The Rex Foundation recently distributed $72,500 in grants, including the 2008 Jerry Garcia, Bill Graham and Ralph J. Gleason Awards.  With these, we have now donated over $1 million since December 1, 2001, the launch of the Rex Foundation's renewal in the absence of direct Grateful Dead concert funding.  In this 25th Anniversary year, let's celebrate the $8.4 million grants to over 1,000 grassroots programs, reflecting our collective power to keep furthering what the Grateful Dead started!

With all the current financial tumult, now is the time for Rex's philanthropic community to show its strength.  Please join Rex at their upcoming benefit concerts to connect with kindred spirits and enjoy great music.  Help Rex continue supporting grassroots programs that are doing the vital work toward a healthy environment with thriving communities:

Saturday, November 29th, a Black Tie-Dye Ball with Dark Star Orchestra at the Nokia in New York City.  Enjoy a pre-concert party, mingling with the musicians, great concert seating and premium balcony access.  Click here for details.  Help us celebrate the month-long DSO Rex Caravan Tour on the East Coast, where $1 of every ticket sold is contributed to the Rex Foundation.

Saturday, December 13th, our 25th Anniversary Black Tie-Dye Ball at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco.  Save the date for this very special evening of music.  Details will follow soon.

Read their just-published newsletter Perspectives on The World As It Could Be to gain new insights and inspiration about how we can, individually and collectively, visualize and move toward a global community that promotes hope and justice for all, while being economically and environmentally sustainable for generations to come.  With the imminent November 4th election, we hope the writings encourage voting and support for continuing civic engagement.

Check out the video of this year's original performance called The World As It Could Be - Where There's A Will There's A Way, created by the youth of the Destiny Arts Center Performance Troupe.  Because of the success of this performance and overall creative project, Rex is now working with Balboa High School in San Francisco to create pilot curriculum on using the creative arts to deepen the teaching of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as part of the overall The World As It Could Be Human Rights Education Project.  This is all possible because of the support of project sponsors and your generous contributions.

All that Rex is doing is captured by the Rex Community Caravan, their virtual vehicle for traveling together to connect the arts, community and grassroots philanthropy.  Your contributions and participation in their events make all the difference!  Help them celebrate.  Let's show how contributions of $5 or more add up quickly and how we can, together, further what the Grateful Dead started for another 25 years

Jazz Museum Events: Oct. 14-17, 2008

Jonathan Batiste- for the Grateful Web

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem begins the week on Tuesday with an analysis and listening session on Jazz in Europe and Australia, and ends with a live performance by the exciting young jazz pianist and recent Juilliard Jazz program graduate Jonathan Batiste on Friday. Between those two events, join us on Thursday night, which brings WBGO and Sirius Satellite Radio jazz host Rhonda Hamilton to the Harlem School of the Arts (new series location) for a Harlem Speaks talk. For those in the tri-state New York area, come meet the person behind the voice you've heard all these years.
 
We invite you to attend as many of our events this week as you can, to enhance your grasp of the international influence of this music, join in conversation with a noted jazz host on the current scene, and experience a live trio of young musicians pointing the way toward its future.
                    
Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jazz Around the World: Europe and Australia
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online
Instructor: Loren Schoenberg
 
Jazz has been accorded a level of respect and admiration in Europe since the 1930s rivaling the reception to jazz found anywhere, including the U.S. That's why some black American jazz musicians became expatriates to Europe: they so appreciated the social acceptance of the music there as well as being treated with a human dignity all-too-rare because of racism at home. Saxophonists Don Byas, Dexter Gordon and Johnny Griffin are just three examples of musicians who found life in the Old World more amenable than in the New World.
 
What is it about the European understanding of the role of art in culture and society that led to an even higher appreciation of jazz there than in the native land of the music's origins? What European and Australian musicians have made a mark on jazz in the past? Of course, the beloved British jazz pianist George Shearing readily comes to mind, but who are the others? Even now there are musicians making a mark, such as Perth, Australian saxophonist Troy Roberts, a semi-finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition.
 
Then there are those attempts to combine elements from the European concert tradition and American jazz, some more successful than others. These and related topics are fodder for exploration, especially if you bring some thoughts, questions and insights of your own.
 
This is Jazz for Curious Listeners, so we welcome your input. See you there.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

HARLEM SPEAKS
6:30pm
Rhonda Hamilton, jazz broadcaster, WBGO
Location:
Harlem School of the Arts
(645 St. Nicholas Avenue, off 141st street)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300
 
Please note our new location this month.

Rhonda Hamilton, a native New Yorker, is the host and producer of a popular jazz program which airs weekdays, 10AM - 2PM, on WBGO/Jazz 88FM in Newark, NJ.
 
In 1976, Ms. Hamilton graduated from Boston University's School of Public Communication, receiving a B.S. in Broadcasting and Film. She also studied acting at the Actor's Studio in Boston. She began her career in radio in 1975 as a jazz announcer/producer at WBUR-FM in Boston. She later became the music director for WBUR. At WBZ-TV in Boston, she worked as a music reviewer and commentator on the public affairs program, "Mzizi Roots."

Returning to the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area in March 1979, Ms. Hamilton came to WBGO at the station's inception and has played a key role in making Jazz 88 one of the finest and most listened to jazz stations in the world. In 1979 and 1980, she won the New York Jazz Award for Best Jazz DJ "in appreciation of a major contribution to the cultural life of our region."
 
In 1995 she was recognized "for her achievements in the world of jazz" as the recipient of The Ladies in Jazz Award from Mayor Giuliani of New York and the Harlem Chamber of Commerce.

Ms. Hamiton's work has taken her to three continents. In 1984 she was invited to attend the first Senegalese Festival of Jazz and African Music. While in Dakar, Senegal, Ms. Hamilton was interviewed as a featured guest on a national TV news program. In 1985 she was invited to Europe by the Danish Tourist Board to document the Scandinavian jazz scene. After traveling to Brazil, Ms. Hamilton exposed the American public to various aspects of Brazilian culture - music, dance, film, food, religion, etc. - when she hosted a series of 36 programs called "Brazil/New York" which aired on WNYC-TV in 1985 and 1986.

In addition to her work at WBGO, Ms. Hamilton also does commercial and industrial voice-overs and is often called upon to host/narrate film, video and radio productions for such organizations as WNET-TV PBS/Channel 13 in New York, National Public Radio, Columbia Records and Japan Television NHK. She was the host of the nationally syndicated radio series "Big Apple Jazz", "American Women in Jazz" and "The Voices of Jazz," which she also co-produced.

Ms. Hamilton frequently hosts special music and cultural events in such historic places as the Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Beacon Theater and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. In 1993 she produced and moderated a Symposium on Women in Jazz for the Newark Jazz Festival and in 1996 she was a guest speaker on "Jazz and The Media" at the first annual Mary Lou Williams Women's Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Friday, October 17, 2008

HARLEM IN THE HIMALAYAS
7:00pm
Jonathan Batiste Trio
Location:
Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344
 
Jonathan Batiste, piano
Phil Kuehn, bass
Louis Hayes, drums

Jonathan Batiste was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1986. He was first introduced to music through his family's band, the Batiste Brothers Band, in which he played percussion at the age of 8, switching to the piano at age 11.  

By the age of 16 years old, Jonathan could be seen performing with some of New Orleans' most outstanding and respected musicians, including the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis, Irvin Mayfield, Nicholas Payton, Alvin Batiste, Cyril Neville, Donald Harrison, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews at venues such as New Orleans' Snug Harbor, Tipitinas, Funky Butt as well as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival where he debuted his band in 2005. By the age of 17, he released his first CD as a leader entitled "Times in New Orleans." Also that year, Jonathan was selected through a nationwide search to be a member of the 2004 Gibson/Baldwin Grammy High School Jazz Ensembles in which he performed, in trio format, at the Grammy week of events as well as the Grammy pre-telecast and post celebration in Los Angeles.

In 2004, Jonathan graduated from St. Augustine High School and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) under the tutelage of Alvin Batiste, Michael Pellera, and others. NOCCA is a high-level fine arts conservatory that has produced alumni such as Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Harry Connick Jr., Terrence Blanchard and many more. Jonathan auditioned at The Juilliard School for the 2004-2005 school year and was accepted. He graduated from Juilliard in 2008. Since his arrival to New York he has been performing regularly around the city with his trio. His most recent release entitled "Live In New York: At The Rubin Museum Of Art" features the talents of his trio (Phillip Kuehn and Joe Saylor), as well as his skills as a pianist and composer in a live acoustic setting.

He recently was awarded the "Movado Future Legend" award in jazz and has been playing around the world with his trio from Portugal to New York. He joined his fellow Juilliard piano colleague Aaron Diehl and one of his key influences, Marcus Roberts, on stage at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Allen Room for a solo piano recital titled, "Ragtime, Stride and Stomp."

Join us as Jonathan returns to the Rubin for what promises to be another evening of memorable music.

Jazz Museum Events: Sept. 23-26, 2008

Chico Hamilton- for the Grateful Web

The season change, summer becoming fall, doesn't apply to the programming of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem since you can depend on something hot and fresh each week.
 
Take our Tuesday Jazz for Curious Listeners class for instance. Wynton Marsalis's Blue Interlude recording was the first long composition by the most influential jazz musician of his generation. Come discover what makes Marsalis a special composer of the jazz idiom and how this recording foreshadowed his future works.
 
Two elder statesman of the music will parlay a discussion on Thursday for Harlem Speaks: Dr. Billy Taylor, of whom the museum just spent a month of classes, will come back to the Visitor's Center to interview Chico Hamilton, still going strong after 60 years at the trap drums.
 
Then for a unique twist on jazz music, see David Ornette Cherry's Ensemble for Improvisers at the Rubin Museum of Art on Friday for Harlem in the Himalayas. Come be a part of history in the making.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Jazz for Curious Listeners
What Makes it Tick? Five Classic Albums
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300 or register online

Wynton Marsalis: Blue Interlude
"Blue Interlude" is an ambitious work centered on two mythic lovers, and it beautifully executes Wynton Marsalis' stated fundamentals of jazz: a communal conception of improvising, vocal effects on instruments, swinging rhythms, blues, and a sense of mystery and even melancholy. There are echoes of Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus, yet on this, his first extended composition on record, he establishes his own compositional stamp.

If you've listened to this recording before, or even if you haven't at all, rest assured that you'll hear Marsalis' "mastery of making four horns sound as full and as varied in timbre as a big band," says Loren Schoenberg in The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Jazz.

Thursday, September 25, 2008
Harlem Speaks
Chico Hamilton, Drummer; Interviewer: Dr. Billy Taylor
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300

Legendary jazz drummer and bandleader Chico Hamilton, born September 21st, 1921 in Los Angeles, had a fast track musical education in a band with his schoolmates Charles Mingus, Illinois Jacquet, Ernie Royal, Dexter Gordon, Buddy Collette and Jack Kelso. Engagements with Lionel Hampton, Slim & Slam, T-Bone Walker, Lester Young, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Charlie Barnett, Billy Eckstine, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Billie Holiday, Gerry Mulligan and six years with Lena Horne established this young West Coast prodigy as a jazz drummer on the rise, before striking out on his own as a bandleader in 1955.

Chico's impact upon jazz includes the introduction of two unique and distinct sounds: first in 1955 with his Original Quintet which combined the sounds of his drums, the bass of Carson Smith, the guitar of Jim Hall, the cello of Fred Katz, and the flute of Buddy Collette; and the second in 1962 with his own drums, the bass of Albert Stinson, the guitar of Gabor Szabo, the tenor sax of Charles Lloyd, and the trombone of George Bohanon.

In 1997, Chico received the New School University Jazz & Contemporary Music Programs Beacons in Jazz Award in recognition for his "significant contribution to the evolution of Jazz". In 2002, Chico was awarded the WLIU-FM Radio Lifetime Achievement Award. At the IAJE in NYC January 2004, Hamilton was awarded a NEA Jazz Master Fellowship, presented to him by Roy Haynes. In December 2006, Congress confirmed the President's nomination of Chico to the Presidents Council on the Arts. And in 2007, Chico received a Living Legacy Jazz Award as part of The Kennedy Centers Jazz in Our Time Festival, as well as receiving a Doctor of Fine Arts from The New School.

Dynamic as ever at the age of 86, Chico Hamilton has a resume that includes scores for film, original compositions, commercial jingles, 50 + albums as a leader, and countless international tours.

Friday, September 26, 2008
Harlem in the Himalayas
David Ornette Cherry with The Ensemble for Improvisors
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

David Ornette Cherry grew up in Watts, California. This Watts young man, son of Don Cherry, later won the 2003 ASCAP- Chamber Music America Award for adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music. He is inspired by themes of silence and nature versus technology.

The pulses and melodies that arise from his jazz, classical, African, world music background, and from playing with some of the great jazz artists of our times, speak about our human experiences through the language of sound. He listens with an open heart and fresh mind to his collaborators and the world around him in a way that makes his compositions not only music, but a way of life a positive form of energy, and a way to connect. His current group is titled Ensemble for Improvisors, the latest iteration of which you can hear tonight.

David Ornette Cherry studied music composition at Bishop College in Dallas and began concentrating on "world music" at California Institute of the Arts. He spent challenging summers attending the Creative Music Studio at Woodstock, New York. These summer experiences gave him the space to compose and create music with Trilok Gurtu, Olatunji, Jai Deva, and Foday Musa Suso and to explore the relationship of jazz and music from other cultures. While jazz remains both the root and sustenance of his sound, he often incorporates the sounds of the world in what he calls "multi-kulti" music. Acoustic piano, electronic keyboards, melodica, wood flute and douss'n gouni are his instruments.

He sees himself crossing borders drawing from the past - building a passageway to jazz of the future. David states, "The music never stopped. Jazz is dynamic. It is a continuum that expands and takes from the players and composers so they can add their little something to the art. It's not about JUST referencing the past. It's about keeping the momentum going like a ball that keeps rolling along."

David Ornette Cherry's future plans include: "Creating a musical intensity which invigorates and sets trends in jazz of the future, passing the torch to take the music beyond...to become another color in the ever-expanding sound spectrum."

Jazz Museum Events: Sept. 15-19, 2008

Benny Goodman- for the Grateful Web

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem takes pride in presenting free discussions and educational classes, plus live performances, all which so clearly demonstrate the vibrant legacy of jazz not just in America's past, but in contemporary society. And we're proud to honor Harlem's own on Monday: Jazz for Curious Readers features a talk with local jazz journalist Ron Scott, who pens a weekly jazz column in the Amsterdam News.

On Tuesday, the museum's executive director Loren Schoenberg will elucidate the lasting value of Benny Goodman's 1938 concert at Carnegie Hall for Jazz for Curious Listeners. And not only does Schoenberg know this recording through deep study and countless listening sessions; as a young man, Schoenberg worked with Goodman directly, so expect insights that only he can bring.

And for those to whom talk is not quite enough to satisfy artistic hunger, come feast at Harlem in the Himalayas hosted at the Rubin Museum of Art and, as the drummer Cindy Blackman fronts a fiery quartet on Friday.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Jazz for Curious Readers

Ron Scott, Jazz Journalist

6:30 – 8:00pm

Location: NJMIH Visitors Center

(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)

Reservations: 212-348-8300 or register online

Ron Scott currently writes a weekly column "Jazz Notes" for the Amsterdam News, and is a regular contributor of reviews and features for the monthly publications Jazz Improv and Network Journal.  He also wrote monthly reviews for the Jazz Heritage Society Catalogues, and contributes pieces to the online publication jazzhouse.org

He is the senior editor for the book Forever Harlem, (Starlight Press L.L.C., 2006), a pictorial history of Harlem from 1896-2006. Most recently he was writer and editor for the Community Works exhibit "Harlem is… Music," exhibited at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts and the Museum of the City of New York  

As a freelance writer Scott's byline has appeared in a variety of publications including the New York Times, Vogue, the NY Daily News, Time Out New York, Johnson Publications and ABC Radio. Scott also spent time as a theater and restaurant critic.

He is a member of the Jazz Journalists Association, New York Association of Black Journalists (NYABJ), and National Writers Union Local 1981. He is a graduate of Florida A&M University, and New York University's Graduate School of Social Work.

He's served as a publicity consultant on feature films and television specials working with such celebrities as Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor Harry Belafonte and two-time Grammy winner and jazz legend Roy Haynes. On the hip-hop tip Ron has worked on projects with Ice T., Chuck D. and Ice Cube. He's coordinated press conferences for Reverend Jesse Jackson, and R&B Grammy winner Al Green and Patti LaBelle.

Scott has received numerous awards including the D. Parke Gibson Award for distinguished achievement in Public Relations. He has lectured at the City University of New York, Howard University and shared his expertise on music and journalism panels throughout the United States.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Jazz for Curious Listeners

What Makes it Tick? Five Classic Albums

7:00 – 8:30pm

Location: NJMIH Visitors Center

(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)

FREE | Reservations: 212-348-8300 or register online

Benny Goodman: 1938 Carnegie Hall Concert

Amongst celebrated dates that exist in popular or fine art music, January 16, 1938 denotes the day the Benny Goodman Orchestra played the rarified environs of New York's Carnegie Hall - previously designated as the dignified home of classical music. Initially conceived as a publicity stunt to enhance Goodman's increasing popularity, this was the very first time a jazz ensemble had ever played this venue and despite initial coolness towards the event, the sell-out performance left no doubt that swing dance bands provided the latest craze which could no longer be ignored.

"As an ensemble, the players brought a new kind of perfection and swing to their interpretations of the classic arrangements by Fletcher Henderson, Edgar Sampson, and Jimmy Mundy," wrote tonight's instructor and National Jazz Museum in Harlem Executive Director Loren Schoenberg in his book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Jazz.

You'll hear the truth of these words by way of a crystal-clear recording of this date so crucial not only to jazz, but to American social history too.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Harlem in the Himalayas

Cindy Blackman, Drummer

7:00pm

Location: Rubin Museum of Art

(150 West 17th Street)

$18 in advance | $20 at door |

Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

JD Allen, tenor sax

Carlton Holmes, piano

George Mitchell, bass

Cindy Blackman, drums

Born in Ohio and raised in Connecticut, Cindy began her musical career as a New York street performer. She spent three semesters at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and also studied with legendary teacher Alan Dawson.

Cindy moved to New York City in the 80's and since that time, she has been seen and heard by millions of people all over the world performing with her own group and during her 11 year stint with retro funk rocker Lenny Kravitz, since 1993.

In 1998, Cindy released her first drumming instructional video entitled, Multiplicity. Cindy was touted as "one of the hottest drummers in the business, by the Star-Gazette and is regarded as one of the top drummers in the world. She is a solid, dependable drummer who can easily move from straight-ahead jazz to rock to funk and back again.

She's upheld the backbeat and created texture for artists as varied as: Jackie McLean, Joe Henderson, Don Pullen, Hugh Masekela, Pharaoh Sanders, Sam Rivers, Cassandra Wilson, Angela Bofill, Bill Laswell, Buckethead. In early 2000, Cindy released her acclaimed solo album Works on Canvas, and yet another solo album, Someday, in 2004.

Jazz Museum Events: August 26-29, 2008

Dr. Billy Taylor- for the Grateful Web

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

JAZZ FOR CURIOUS LISTENERS
7:00pm
A Celebration of Dr. Billy Taylor

Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | register online

Instructors: Loren Schoenberg & Christian McBride

This week come greet and meet Dr. Billy Taylor in person.

Last week instructor Greg Thomas continued the month-long tribute to Dr. Taylor with a focus on trio configurations throughout his career, from the 50s 'til this century. Tempos ballad to brisk, and styles from straight-ahead swing to spiritual solemnity to dance-groove funk to a classically-tinged composition featuring his trio with a symphony orchestra, were appreciated by the attendees at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem's Visitors Center.

Dr. Taylor is one of the few musicians extant tutored by Art Tatum, and who, as house pianist at Birdland, can recount his days playing and recording with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins and other standard bearers of jazz innovation. So expect the living jazz master to share wisdom in his inimitably warm style of conversation...with Loren Schoenberg and Christian McBride.

 

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Harlem Speaks
6:30 – 8:30pm                                            Eddie Bert Trombonist

Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE

Trombonist Eddie Bert's career spans nearly seven decades of jazz, from big bands to bebop and beyond. In addition to being a jazz musician who's played with one and all, he's been a regular in Broadway show bands, and a first call studio player. Yet no matter what the musical setting, Eddie has always played his uniquely personal, warm and melodic style of jazz.

When renowned jazz leaders needed a dependable, original trombonist for a significant recording or event in the second half of the twentieth century, they turned to Eddie Bert. In fact, his resume reads like a Who's Who of modern Jazz, including musical relationships with Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Coleman Hawkins, Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Machito, Tito Puente, Benny Goodman, Thad Jones and Mel Lewis.

There's a reason Eddie Bert has played with the jazz masters - he's a truly gifted musician, a trombonist who has easily traversed eras and genres, from bop to swing, Mingus to Hampton, and Kenton to Herman. Eddie straddled the racial divide as well. He played in one of the first integrated big bands, Charlie Barnet's 1943 aggregation, which included Howard McGhee, Buddy DeFranco and Oscar Pettiford.

In addition to being one of the most dependable players in jazz history, always in demand because of his sight-reading skills and his ability to lend a passionate and individual approach to all music, Eddie is a soloist and arranger with a distinctive musical voice. In 1955, when he stopped playing only to sleep, he won Metronome's Musician of the Year award. He followed that with a top rated album of the same name for Savoy. He has led a number of other recordings during his distinguished career, featuring such sidemen as Duke Jordan, Joe Morello, Hank Jones and Kenny Clarke.

Yet during Eddie's teenage years, 52nd Street was a hotbed of musical activity. At fifteen, he began frequenting "The Street," where musicians of all generations played and gathered nightly. Being too young to get into the clubs at night, Eddie hung around during the afternoon when he knew the bands would be rehearsing.

Fast-forwarding several decades, in the 1990s Eddie started working with drummer T.S. Monk's group. "We did a European tour in 1997 and an album that featured a lot of Thelonious' new material that T. S. had found around the house. He hired me because I had played with his father-if you hang around long enough, you find that you have played with everyone's father!"

Now in his eighth decade, Eddie Bert is still playing the trombone, still traveling, and still married to Mollie, his wife of 60+ years. With three daughters and four grandchildren, he enjoys spending time with his family and, when not playing, also likes photography.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Harlem in the Himalayas
7:00pm                                   Theo Croker Quartet featuring Marcus Belgrave

Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344
 
Marcus Belgrave, trumpet
Theo Croker, trumpet
Joe Sanders, bass
Sullivan Fortner, piano
Kassa Overall, drums
 
Trumpeter Theo Croker, Doc Cheatham's grandson, has been featured all summer at Harlem in the Himalayas. This last performance promises to be hot, with Croker locking horns in antagonistic cooperation with elder trumpet legend Marcus Belgrave.
 
Trumpeter, composer, arranger, educator, recording artist, and producer Marcus Belgrave was born in Chester, Pennsylvania June 12 1936.
 
He began playing the trumpet at age six and professionally at age twelve.  Mr. Belgrave describes himself as "born into bebop."  An early inspiration and mentor was Clifford Brown.  At age eighteen, Marcus earned his initial reputation joining the Ray Charles Orchestra.  His solo on Alexander's Ragtime Band from the album The Genius of Ray Charles put him on the map. He toured for five years and is heard on such Charles hits as  Night Time is the Right Time, What'd I Say, You are My Sunshine, Margie, Ruby and Stella by Starlight.
 
In the early 60's he worked and recorded in the bands of leading innovators of post-bop modern jazz: Max Roach, Charles Mingus and Eric Dolphy. In 1963 Marcus settled in Detroit, becoming one of the prominent studio musicians with Motown Records.  He is heard on many Motown hit recordings including Dancing in the Street, The Way You Do the Things You Do, and My Girl. His distinguished career as a player includes performances with legendary stars from both the pop music and jazz world: Ella Fitzgerald, Bud Powell, Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Sammy Davis Jr., Wynton Marsalis, Lena Horn, Liza Minnelli, Doc Cheatham, Sarah Vaughn, Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Eckstein, Gene Krupa (with whom he recorded) and many others.
 
As an original member, starting in 1988, he toured with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, appearing on national television and recording for CBS/Sony. Marcus Belgrave's own recordings began in 1974 with the release of his self-produced album Gemini II, showcasing a collective of Detroit jazz artists, which he led. This record was the first to garner the attention of the international jazz press, about new "cutting edge" jazz activity emanating from that famous music city. Belgrave's recordings from the 1980's and '90's include the critically acclaimed Detroit Piano Legacy with Tommy Flanagan and Geri Allen and Working Together, Marcus' collaboration with composer/drummer Lawrence Williams. Recording more traditional jazz material in this period, Marcus co-led on albums with several of the last surviving "pioneers" of the pre-bebop era including saxophonist Franz Jackson (Live at Windsor Jazz Festival III) and pianist Art Hodes (Hot 'n Cool Blues). Critical accolades for these releases are cited in The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz, The Rolling Stone Guide to Jazz and Blues on CD, other jazz reference books, and major news publications.
 
Since 2001 Marcus Belgrave has led his Tribute to Louis Armstrong octet, appearing in thirty states, Canada and Puerto Rico and playing Armstrong's music in pops programs with the Detroit Symphony and other US orchestras.

As a soloist, Marcus continues to travel the US for appearances at jazz festivals, night clubs and concert hall performances. In January 2006 he was featured on three concerts at Jazz at Lincoln Center's presentation Detroit: Motor City Jazz, later broadcast on National Public Radio.

Mr. Belgrave is internationally known for his dedication to educational endeavors. He is founder of Detroit's Jazz Development Workshop and co-founder of the Jazz Studies Program at the Detroit Metro Arts Complex (recognized with grants from federal and state levels). He was also an original faculty member with the Oakland University Jazz Studies Program and in 2003 became the first Chair of Jazz Education and Programming for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Beneficiaries of his musical tutelage include leading names of today's jazz scene: pianist Geri Allen, bassist Robert Hurst, saxophonist Kenny Garrett, violinist Regina Carter and bassist Rodney Whitaker. The past five years Marcus has served as Professor of Jazz Trumpet at Oberlin University in Ohio.
 
In recognition of his outstanding artistry, vision, and life-long achievement in jazz education, Marcus Belgrave is the recipient of numerous honors including the Arts Midwest Jazz Master Award, the Michigan Governor's Arts Award, and the Louis Armstrong Award.

Rex Musical Caravan Comes Alive w/ Events Coast to Coast

Copyright© photo by Mike Moran - for the Grateful Web

Take out your calendars and get on board the Rex Musical Caravan to enjoy great music and connections on the East and West coasts, all in support of the Rex Foundation.  The following events bring to life another whole dimension of the Rex Community Caravan, demonstrating how the musical community of performers and fans are helping further what the Grateful Dead started 24 years ago:

Friday, September 14th, Rex Foundation Black Tie-Dye Ball with the New Riders of the Purple Sage and special guests Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay and Mookie Siegel, and opening with Boris Garcia, at The State Theatre in Falls Church, VA.  Join us for the pre-concert reception with great food, including delicacies from the award winning DC restaurant Equinox, mingling with the artists and special guest Dennis McNally.  Click here for details.

Thursday, October 4th, Rex Foundation Black Tie-Dye Ball with Dark Star Orchestra at The Fillmore in San Francisco, celebrating the special Dark Star Orchestra Rex Caravan Tour, where all shows between September 26 and October 20 include $1 per ticket sold for the Rex Foundation.  Join us for a pre-concert reception with the artists, great food and connection.   Click here for details.

Thursday, October 4th , Assembly of Dust with JJ Grey & Mofro, The Roxy, Boston, MA, designating $1 per ticket sold for the Rex Foundation.  Click here for details.

rexOctober 4th through November 3rd, The Ryan Montbleau Band's Patience on Friday CD Release Tour includes many shows with ticket sale contributions to the Rex Foundation.  Click here for details.

Saturday, November 17th, Donna the Buffalo, Ollabelle and special guest David Gans at the Highline Ballroom in New York City, where $5 per ticket sold will be contributed to the Rex Foundation.  Join us for a special pre-concert reception with the performers and great concert seats.  Click here for details.

In the Works: Saturday, December 1st,  Rex Foundation Benefit, San Francisco

We look forward to celebrating with you to enjoy the music and spirit of the Rex Community Caravan. 

Thank you for all of your support!