Jazz at the Sandbar
“Jazz @ the Sandbar” is presented by the UNO Jazz Studies Program with support from the UNO Student Government Association, Offbeat Media, WWNO FM and the New Orleans Jazz Celebration.
All admission proceeds go to the George Brumat Memorial Scholarship Fund. For more information, call the UNO Music Department at (504) 280-6039 or New Orleans Jazz Celebration 504-309-JAZZ or on the web at www.nojc.org/sandbar.
Jazz @ the Sandbar Fall 2013 Lineup:
October 2 Pianist Ellis Marsalis
It is becoming a tradition that UNO Professor Emeritus and jazz education icon Ellis Marsalis kicks off the new season of Jazz at the Sandbar and this year is no exception. The acclaimed pianist and patriarch of the New Orleans modern jazz community will be a special guest at the opening celebration of the performance series Downbeat Magazine calls “One of the best things going in America.” Mr. Marsalis will be joining Jazz Studies students Amber Matthews, Jeronne Ansari, Albert Allenback, Glenn Hall, Jordan Baker, Tanarat Chaichana and Peter Varnado under the direction of Victor Atkins.
October 9 Trumpeter Ashlin Parker
Grammy-winner Ashlin Parker began studying trumpet at age 10 and earned his high school diploma from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studied classical trumpet. Parker was accepted into the University of New Orleans, completing a Masters of Music in 2009. Ashlin then began touring and recording with Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO), winning the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. Now back in New Orleans, Parker regularly performs with the who’s who of jazz musicians including the Uptown Jazz Orchestra, Ellis Marsalis and Herlin Riley.
October 16 Saxophonist Dmitry Mospan
Dmitry Mospan is one of the brightest and most popular tenor sax players of Moscow. He has been playing in Oleg Lundstrem’s Orchestra since the age of 14 and currently he is the soloist of Igor Butman’s Orchestra. He has performed with Wynton Marsalis and the Igor Butman Big Band at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York He has also played Richie Cole’s Alto Madness Orchestra and with singer Dee Dee Bridgewater to name a few.
October 23 Drummer Johnny Vidacovich
Contemporary jazz drummer extraordinaire Johnny Vidacovich is one of the most respected players in New Orleans and around the Jazz world. His long resume includes playing with New Orleans legends Professor Longhair and James Booker in the 1970s and 80s. His unique style has influenced generations of drummers including Brian Blade, currently in Wayne Shorter’s band, and Stanton Moore with the funk band Galactic. His most recent gigs include touring with Joe Sample from the Crusaders and Brian Hass from Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey. Johnny may be best known as one of the founding members of the jazz quartet Astral Project, the band that debuted with singer Bobby McFerrin as a member in 1978 and after 35 years, is still going strong. Jazz combos with instructor Steve Masakowski featuring students John Perkins,Greg Agid,Phil Sylve,Miles Fortenberry,J.P. Smith,Trey Boudreaux, and Walter Lundy.
October 30 NOJI Masters Series Combined Performance: Atkins, Masakowski & Petersen
Three favorites of the New Orleans jazz scene and all professors from the UNO Jazz Studies Program, will be performing Jazz Tributes to the Poetry of three acclaimed poets: National Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, State Poet Laureate Ava Leavell Haymon and The Poetry Foundation's Children's Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt.
Pianist Victor Atkins’ distinct style has been is heralded as “infectious, unconventional, tasteful, and powerful" all at once. Master saxophonist Ed Petersen has that big tenor sound that he honed as a star player for years on the Chicago jazz scene. Steve Masakowski is recognized as one of the finest jazz guitarist of New Orleans by Offbeat magazine and is a long-time member of the highly praised Astral Project.
November 6 Guitarist/Banjoist Don Vappie
A New Orleans native creole, “Papa” Don Vappie can draw audiences in with his versatile background in many styles of New Orleans music, but his true love is classic Jazz and creole music. Vappie is the founder of the Creole Jazz Serenaders that performs unique arraignments of traditional New Orleans jazz from the 1920’s through the 1940’s. Vappie is known for his original banjo style, showcased at banjo summits around the world, but also plays mandolin, guitar, string bass and is a fine vocalist as well. Don’s music incorporates the musical legacy of the New Orleans and Caribbean Creole culture. On November 6th, he will be a guest with both the UNO Classic Jazz Combo under Instructor Matt Perrine with students Claudia Baumgarten, Ying-Chen Lin, Matthew Folse, Asher Ross, Chris Gontar, Tom Witek and Ciaran Brennan, and Hank Mackie's Guitar Ensemble featuring students Mike Roussell, Adam Guthrie, Jared Buck, Soren Andrade, Dudley Gattis, Brandon Guimbellot and Juri Schewe.
November 13 Pianist Jeff Gardner
Pianist Jeff Gardner is originally from New York but has now lived in Brazil for over two decades. He will be bringing his varied repertoire of contemporary jazz, bossa nova and classical styles to the stage. Gardner has performed with such musicians as Kenny Wheeler, Gary Peacock, Eddie Harris and Steve Lacy. Gardner is active as a jazz educator, having conducted workshops around the world and is the author of several jazz study materials. Jeff Gardner’s unique mixture of Brazilian sounds and jazz caught the attention of legendary Brazilian artist Hermeto Pascoal, who said “His music is tasty and beautiful, wait and see, Jeff is a great musician -I am speaking from the heart." He did a wonderful clinic at UNO last year. On November 13, he will guest with Ricky Sebastian’s World Beat Combo featuring students Greg Morrow,Byron Asher, Adam Guthrie,Chris Gontar,Noah Young, Alexey Marti, Anthony Cuccia, Luke Hester, Jua Ferdinand and Instructor Edward Petersen with students Devin Belton,Drew Fink, Jared Buck,Andrew Coker and Matt Keegan.
November 20 Trumpeter Randy Brecker
Randy Brecker has been shaping the sound of Jazz, R&B and Rock for more than four decades. The versatile artist commands the trumpet and flugelhorn like no other musician. Though Randy is known as an expert of the hard bop style, he was also a founding member of the seminal Jazz Fusion group the Brecker Brothers band along with brother Michael Brecker. He was also a founding member of the jazz rock group Blood, Sweat and Tears and has performed with some of the greatest band of all time including with the Horace Silver Quintet, Art Blakely’s Jazz Messengers and Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention. He has also recorded on hundreds of albums by a wide range of artists from James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and Parliament-Funkadelic to Frank Sinatra, Steely Dan, David Sanborn and Jaco Pastorius.
R.I.P. MULGREW MILLER
1955 - 2013
Mulgrew Miller at Sandbar April 3rd with Victor Atkins Combo: Jeronne Ansari, Mulgrew, Emily Fredrickson, Georgi Petrov, Jordan Baker below, Tanarat Chaichana, Peter Varnado and Brian Murray with trumpet.
The Jazz world lost the gentleman giant of piano Mulgrew Miller on May 29. His death was caused by a fatal stroke. Mulgrew had just done a short residency in New Orleans, appearing at the UNO Jazz @ the Sandbar on April 3rd followed by a master class the next day and a performance at the Snug Harbor on April 4. UNO Professor and pianist Victor Atkins had studied with Mulgrew at Memphis State and was an advocate for bringing Mulgrew to New Orleans this spring. He saw how important it was for his students to learn from the master. "The thing about Mulgrew is you could hear so much jazz history in his playing. He could play in an older style of jazz and make it sound new and fresh. My students were able to experience that level of history from someone that had played with and absorbed from so many giants of the music. You can't hear that from the younger players on the scene today."
Post show hang with Jason Patterson, Jordan Baker, Mulgrew and Victor Atkins from the Sandbar Spring 2013 Series. Photos courtesy of Missy Bowen.
More about Mulgrew follows written by Geraldine Wychoff
to be published in Louisiana Weekly next issue:
Pianist Mulgrew Miller Passes
Mulgrew Miller, a renowned jazz pianist of great physical and musical stature, died on Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at the age of 57.
Miller, who played with a who's who of jazz artists, was born in Greenwood, Mississippi and was residing in Pennsylvania and teaching jazz studies at New Jersey's William Paterson University. Nonetheless, with all of his New Orleans connections, Miller was considered one of our city's own. Just last April, the pianist performed with students at the University of New Orleans' Sandbar series and in a quartet at Snug Harbor with natives drummer Herlin Riley, saxophonist Derek Douget and bassist Jason Stewart.
“It was a wonderful visit,” says Jason Patterson who books the UNO series and Snug Harbor. “He had a great rapport with the kids at the Sandbar and then he did a Masters Class. New Orleans is a piano players' town, so there was always a great turnout,” adds Patterson, who believes Miller's initial appearance at Snug was many years ago with trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.
Miller made his first of many trips to New Orleans at age 20 playing with the Duke Ellington Orchestra led by Mercer Ellington. When he was a member of drummer Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, the frontline boasted saxophonist Donald Harrison and trumpeter Terence Blanchard. His New Orleans ties also include playing on saxophonist Branford Marsalis' first album, 1984's Scenes in the City, and trumpeter Nicholas Payton's 1995 release From This Moment. Miller made his final of numerous performances at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 2011 as a member of the Golden Striker Trio.
In a 2005 interview Miller offered that he always looked forward to his trips to New Orleans. “I like coming South – I'm from the South. That's my roots. My upbringing is basically who I am.”
Offbeat's Look-Ka Py Py Podcast catches up with event producer Jason Patterson on the Jazz at the Sandbar Series below:
Wonderful evening at Jazz at the Sandbar on May 1st with Dr. Lonnie Smith and Ricky Sebastian's World Beat Combo!
Ellis Marsalis Opens Jazz @ the Sandbar Concert Series: Wednesday, October 3, 7:00 P.M.
CELEBRATING TWENTY TWO YEARS OF LIVE JAZZ AT THE LAKEFRONT
UNO STUDENTS PLAY AT YOSHI'S IN SAN FRANCISCO
UNO students Barry Stevenson and Jamison Ross (bass & drums) are caught backstage at San Francisco's premiere jazz club Yoshi's with New Orleans piano professor Henry Butler. Henry selected them to do his July 27th gig there and was very impressed with them. Jamison stayed in the Bay Area to play that Sunday with Carmen Lundy at Bach's Dancing & Dynamite Society Lodge in Half Moon Bay.
“…is one of the best things going in America.” –Downbeat Magazine
Archival video of Jazz @ the Sandbar from 1992 (at the original Sandbar in the Cove)
Images from the 20th Anniversary Fall 2010 series of Jazz @ the Sandbar
Images courtesy of Brian Epstein
October 27, 2010 Drummer and Balafon player Seguenon Kone with Brian Seeger's combo
October 6, 2010 Saxophonist Brice Winston with UNOJO
October 13, 2010 Trumpeter Jeremy Davenport with UNOJO and UNO Jazz Voices
‘Jazz at the Sandbar’ was established in 1990 by Ellis Marsalis, the
first Chairman of the Jazz Studies Program at the University of New
Orleans. The Jazz at the Sandbar
performances are designed to provide UNO Jazz Studies students an opportunity
to get real life experience performing with professional musicians in front of
a live audience. The series is presented
on Wednesday nights during the Fall and Spring semesters and features a
different respected jazz artist each week. It also provides a medium in which
students exercise their improvisational skills and gives them the rare
opportunity to work with jazz masters which have included Marcus Roberts, Ravi
Coltrane and Nicholas Payton. Downbeat Magazine has declared “Jazz at the
Sandbar Series is one of the best things going in America.”