Fifteen years ago, Flushing Town Hall started the wonderful tradition of welcoming to its stage renowned NEA Jazz Masters, a title bestowed on the world’s greatest jazz musicians. On November 12, 2021 at 8 PM, in-person and virtual audiences are invited to celebrate the 15th anniversary of this tradition with NEA Jazz Masters: The Music of Thelonious Monk and Horace Silver, two of the greatest pianists and composers in jazz history.
Five distinguished NEA Jazz Masters—Jimmy Owens, Kenny Barron, Sheila Jordan, Billy Hart, and Donald Harrison—will be joined by American bassist Kenny Davis and a special, surprise guest artist to perform live, all together on one stage for the first time.
“We are elated to present this historic concert with such an incredible lineup of America’s most honored jazz musicians. It is sure to be a one-of-a-kind night to remember,” says Ellen Kodadek, Executive and Artistic Director at Flushing Town Hall.
The very first NEA Jazz Masters concert at Flushing Town Hall took place on November 17, 2006 and featured three NEA Jazz Masters, Jimmy Heath (saxophone), Clark Terry (trumpet), and Dr. Billy Taylor (piano)—as well as the talented jazz veterans Earl May, Benny Powell, and Albert “Tootie” Heath, who was later awarded the NEA Jazz Masters title in 2021. Sadly, all but one—Albert “Tootie” Heath—have since passed on.
Flushing Town Hall’s most recent gathering of NEA Jazz Masters took place on November 8, 2019 for a sold-out house, before the pandemic arrived, shuttering performing arts venues for over a year, and included Candido Camero (congas), Paquito D’Rivera (saxophone, clarinet), Barry Harris (piano), Jimmy Owens (trumpet), Jimmy Cobb (drums), and Reggie Workman (bass).
This year’s concert on November 12 features five NEA Jazz Masters, the nation’s highest honor in Jazz, including Jimmy Owens (2012 NEA Jazz Master) on trumpet, Kenny Barron (2010 NEA Jazz Master) on piano, Sheila Jordan (2012 NEA Jazz Master) on vocals, Billy Hart (2022 NEA Jazz Master) on drums, and Donald Harrison (2022 NEA Jazz Master) on saxophone, joined by Kenny Davis on bass. A special surprise guest artist will be announced! For full bios of all performers, visit https://www.arts.gov/honors/jazz/list.
Clyde Bullard, Flushing Town Hall’s Jazz Producer in Residence says: “The late NEA Jazz Master Phil Schaap often talked about “spreading the gospel of jazz”—and that’s exactly what Jimmy Owens and Flushing Town Hall are doing with this upcoming concert! We are keeping the gospel of jazz alive.”
Legendary Jazz Master Jimmy Owens has curated the program and outstanding lineup for this memorable evening together with Flushing Town Hall’s Jazz Producer in Residence, Clyde Bullard. Master Owens (trumpet, flugelhorn) has over forty-five years of experience as a jazz trumpeter, composer, arranger, lecturer, and music education consultant. His experience covers a wide range of international musical achievement, which includes extensive work as a studio musician, soloist, bandleader, and composer of orchestral compositions, movie scores, and ballets. Owens is one of the few trumpeters of his generation who played as a sideman with such extraordinary jazz leaders as Lionel Hampton, Hank Crawford, Charles Mingus, Max Roach, Duke Ellington, Billy Taylor, and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Band, among others.
“I feel honored to be working with these incredibly talented and passionate NEA Jazz Masters to create unforgettable musical moments in honor of Thelonious Monk and Horace Silver,” says NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Owens, who developed the theme and lineup for this concert. “I am delighted to finally return to Flushing Town Hall’s welcoming stage and to deliver that feel-good jazz that will make audiences want to dance in their seats.”
The concert will feature iconic jazz tunes such as “Round Midnight,” “Straight No Chaser,” “In Walked Bud,” “Blue Monk” from the Monk catalogue and “Song For My Father,” “Soulville,” and “The Preacher” from the Horace Silver Catalog and much more.
In-person tickets are $45/$35 Members/$20 Students. Those unable to attend in person can still join the livestream and tune in virtually. Virtual tickets are $15/$10 Members. For tickets and more information, visit www.FlushingTownHall.org or call (718) 463-7700 x222.
In adherence with Mayor De Blasio’s Covid policy for performance venues, Flushing Town Hall will require all visitors, performers, and staff to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 with matching identification. Additionally, masks will be required at all times. For more details on Flushing Town Hall’s Covid-safety measures and vaccine requirements, please visit: https://www.flushingtownhall.org/covid-safety.
Flushing Town Hall is accessible by car, bus, train and foot—located a short distance from the 7 train—at 137-35 Northern Blvd. in Flushing, Queens. Access for wheelchair users and individuals with limited mobility is available.
Flushing Town Hall’s annual NEA Jazz Masters concert returns live in person to play the music from two of the greatest pianists in the history of Jazz: Thelonious Monk and Horace Silver. This concert features five NEA Jazz Masters, the nation’s highest honor in Jazz, including Jimmy Owens on trumpet, Kenny Barron on piano, Sheila Jordan on vocals, Billy Heart on drums, and Donald Harrison on saxophone, joined by Kenny Davis on bass. A special surprise guest artist will be announced!
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