mark your calendars!
Jazz at the Sandbar Returns Wednesday, October 2nd for the Fall series!
with special guest Ellis Marsalis
Drummer Stanton Moore
Born and raised in New Orleans, Stanton Moore is a dedicated drummer and performer especially connected to the city, its culture and collaborative spirit. In the early ‘90s, Moore helped found the New Orleans-based essential funk band Galactic. Their first album, 1996’s widely acclaimed Coolin’ Off, led to an intense tour schedule of nearly 200 gigs a year for the next ten years. Showing his outstanding versatility, Moore has appeared on Heavy Metal Grammy nominees Corrosion of Conformity, Irma Thomas, Robert Walter, Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) and Boots Riley, Will Birch, & Alec Ounsworth. He continues to play dates globally with an ever-evolving cast of musicians including John Scofield; Karl Denson; George Porter, Jr., and Leo Nocentelli (of the Meters); Charlie Hunter; Warren Haynes; John Medeski and Chris Wood (of Medeski, Martin and Wood); Donald Harrison Jr.; Dr. Lonnie Smith, Tab Benoit, Robert Walter; the New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to name a few. When not performing with his band Galactic, he plays straight ahead jazz with his trio, featuring David Torkanowsky on piano and James Singleton on bass.
With a bachelor’s degree in music and business from Loyola University, Moore stays involved in education by constantly giving clinics and teaching master classes and private lessons all over the world. He has been a contributing writer for Drum!, Modern Drummer, and DownBeat magazines here he was featured on the covers of more than six drum publications. In 2009, Moore developed his own drum company to introduce his signature titanium snare drum that he designed in conjunction with Ronn Dunnett. Additionally he serves on the board of directors for the Roots of Music, a free music education and academic mentoring program founded by Derrick Tabb, drummer for Rebirth Brass Band and recent nominee for CNN’s Heroes awards.
Guitarist Dave Stryker
The Village Voice calls Dave Stryker “one of the most distinctive guitarists to come along in recent years.” He was awarded Best Guitarist Fans Decision for 2017 with Hot House magazine, plus he was recently voted once again as one of the top Jazz Guitarists in the 2018 Downbeat Critics and Readers Polls for the 10th time. Dave Stryker grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and moved to New York City in 1980. After establishing himself in the local music scene, he joined organist Jack McDuff’s group for two years. When McDuff wasn’t on the road they worked a steady four-night a week gig at Dude’s Lounge in Harlem. It was there that Stryker met tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, who would occasionally sit in. After leaving McDuff, Turrentine asked Stryker to join his quintet. From 1986-1995 he played with the legendary saxophonist at all the major festivals, concert halls, and clubs throughout the world. With Turrentine, Stryker was able to play with such jazz greats as Dizzy Gillespie and Freddie Hubbard. Early on Stryker realized that as much as he loved playing standards and the jazz repertoire he had to have something of his own to give to the music. He has recorded and published over 150 of his own compositions and has released “The Dave Stryker Songbook” with most of his original music. Dave continues to perform with The Dave Stryker Organ Trio, his Blue to the Bone Band, and The Stryker/Slagle Band. Sideman work has included vocalist Kevin Mahogany’s group. He also has worked with Blue Note saxophonist Javon Jackson and pianist Eliane Elias. He has appeared on over 50 CD’s as a sideman. As a producer, Stryker compiled the CD “The Guitar Artistry of Billy Rogers” which is the only existing record of the brilliant jazz playing of the late underground legend who was his friend, former teacher and member of the Crusaders. Dave is the Adjunct Professor of Jazz guitar at Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, and at the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. He is passing along his experience by teaching privately and at The Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshop, and The Litchfield Jazz Camp.
PIANIST ROBERTO CARCASSES FROM CUBA
As the son of Afrojazz pioneer Bobby Carcassés, he might have made a decent living by keeping his head down and following in those famous footsteps. But Roberto pursued a musical path all his own and now he's on his way to becoming a legend in his own right - a standard-bearer for a young generation taking Cuban music to new heights. Roberto Julio Carcassés Colón was born in 1972 in Havana's Playa district and today he lives in Marianao, not far from the Tropicana where his father used to perform five decades ago. Roberto studied percussion at the Escuela Nacional de Arte and wound up "in love with the piano. . ." Among his influences Roberto cites the revered Cuban piano player Emiliano Salvador. He also name-checks other Cuban piano greats - Chucho Valdés, Ernán López Nussa, Frank Emilio Flynn - along with North Americans such as McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans. After he graduated from music school in 1991 Roberto toured Latin America and Europe with Santiago Feliú. Then he embarked on an extended tour of the United States with the Afro-Cuban jazz ensemble Columna B, recording an album with them called Twisted Noon. As the 1990s ended Roberto was back in Cuba working with some of Havana's best musicians, among them trumpet player "El Indio" and sax players César López and Alfred Thompson from “Irakere”. They backed him up on his Invitation album, released in 2000. The same year Roberto revealed his talents as a producer and arranger on albums such as Air of Havanaby Selma Reis and with Gema Y Pavel'sTrampas Del Tiempo. Then, in 2001, Roberto Carcassés embarked on a project that would have - and is still having - enormous repercussions for the future of Cuban music. He gathered the best and brightest talents from Havana's eclectic music scene - beginning with Telmary Díaz, Francis del Rio, Yusa and William Vivanco - and organised them into a sprawling, ever-shifting orchestra he called Interactivo. Interactivo's first recording, Goza Pepillo, won the Best Album prize at the 2006 Cubadisco awards and the band has been touring and thriving ever since. Given his success as a music impresario - writing scores for film and theatre, producing, arranging - it’s easy to forget how truly talented Roberto Carcassés can play.
SINGER KARRIN ALLYSON
Karrin Allyson, 5-time Grammy nominated jazz vocalist, pianist, and songwriter is widely recognized as one of the most gifted voices of her generation. She has built a mastery of The Great American Songbook, blues, pop, be-bop, Brazilian, and French chansons, to name a few. Allyson rose to prominence in the ‘90s, releasing a string of albums including her debut I Didn’t Know about You in 1992 and picking up Best Jazz Vocal Album Grammy nominations for 2001's Ballads: Remembering John Coltrane, 2006’s Footprints, 2007’s Imagina: Songs of Brasil, 2011's 'Round Midnight, and 2015’s Many a New Day: Karrin Allyson Sings Rodgers and Hammerstein. Born in Great Bend, Kansas, Allyson now lives in New York City, after growing up in Omaha, Nebraska and earning her bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She spent time in both Kansas City and Minneapolis before making the move in 2000. Also an accomplished vocal instructor, Allyson travels the world teaching, touring, and playing the major jazz festivals, concert venues, and clubs of the U.S. and overseas. Allyson’s impressive discography culminated last year with the release of Some of that Sunshine, her first collection of all-original songs. The record unleashes her dexterity as a songwriter and includes tracks that touch on social change and romantic disillusion while maintaining a joyous, bittersweet optimism. With fifteen albums released so far, and always more exciting projects in the works, Allyson’s range and creativity seems to have no bounds. What unites this wide world of music is Allyson’s warmth and depth. She’s not just singing a lyric, she’s telling you her story. And then that becomes your story. You hear the music from the inside out.
Singer Cyrille Aimee
Improvisation is not just a technique for vocalist Cyrille Aimée. It’s a way of life, one that has not only allowed her to share her engaging voice and sparkling creativity with the world, but has led her on an unexpected journey. Aimée has ventured from singing on street corners in Europe to dazzling audiences at some of the world’s most prestigious jazz festivals; from sneaking out to sing in gypsy encampments in her native France to acting on Broadway; from braving the notoriously tough audiences at New York’s Apollo Theatre to being hailed by The Wall Street Journal as "one of the most promising jazz singers of her generation" and called a “rising star in the galaxy of jazz singers” by the New York Times. The adventure began in the small town of Samois-sur-Seine in France, where the young Cyrille Aimée was introduced to a wealth of diverse music by her French father and Dominican mother. It was the idea and unlimited potential of improvisation that set Aimée on her course and the desire to pursue that in-the-moment creation inevitably led her to jazz. She spent her teen years performing in the cafés and clubs of Paris, and then attended the American School of Modern Music there. She later attended SUNY Purchase on scholarship. Later, at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival in 2007, Aimée entered and won the vocal competition, recording her debut album with the prize money. It was the first of many such accolades to come, including winning the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition and becoming a finalist in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Vocal Competition as well as the TV5MONDE series Talent Acoustic. She would later perform with her own band, the Surreal Band, plus other established artists like Diego Figueiredo, Roy Hargrove, the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Michael Valeanu, and Adrien Moignard. Eventually Stephen Sondheim recognized that Aimée’s captivating gift for storytelling through song would translate to the theatrical stage. She’s also taken to telling her own story to audiences and students alike. Beside her TEDx talk, Aimée has twice been invited to address the Conference on World Affairs at the University of Colorado Boulder. She also teaches master classes for aspiring musicians, emphasizing an aware and spontaneous life – including a call to look up from smartphones and other addicting devices of modern existence - over technique and rote repetition.
Organist Jean-Yves Jung
Jean-Yves Jung is easily one of France’s most well-renowned organists. When Jung is not touring with the Organic Trio, he holds down the Hammond chair with guitar phenom Bireli Lagreneʼs Quartet. Jung’s organ skills and compositions are extensively featured on Lagreneʼs latest Verve release, Mouvements. Jung’s organ playing can be nimble and acrobatic, funky and futuristic, soulful and searching. He emanates a tremendous joy from the stage whenever he plays, and the challenges of his compositions are juxtaposed by his playful sense of melody and rhythm. Along with the Organic Trio and Bireli Lagrene, Jean-Yves has had the opportunity to record and tour with many musical greats, including Billy Cobham, Philip Catherine, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Andre Ceccarelli, The Paris Jazz Big Band, Jimmy Woode and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg. Jean-Yves Jung, born in 1969 in France, is a self-educated jazz organist, pianist and composer. He played concerts in the evenings while studying physics at the university during the day, until he took the step to becoming a full-time musician after completing his studies. He moved to Paris to study composition and take piano lessons with Bojan Zul fi karpaçik. Jean, Brian Seeger and Paul Wiltgen have been the Organic Trio for over 4 years and their most recent album, Saturn’s Spell, has made it to #2 in the JazzWeek Charts in the USA and has been in the top 10 for two months.
TROMBONIST JON RAMM
Hailing from the beautiful and lush landscape of the Pacific Northwest, Jon Ramm brings his swampy trombone stylings over the mountains to the great city of New Orleans where it has quickly found a home. Born in Lansing, MI in 1986, Jon felt an affinity for the lower register from a young age while playing in school concert and jazz bands in Tacoma, WA. After studying music performance with Stan Bock at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR, he started playing and teaching around Oregon. His next mentor was the great drummer Alan Jones who taught him the concept of becoming a "complete" musician. After 8 wonderful years in the Northwest it was time for a move and a change of pace. New Orleans has provided him an unmatched opportunity to explore the genres of traditional jazz and brass band music that are difficult to find elsewhere and have helped to shape his sound and musical perspective. Since moving to New Orleans, Jon has played, recorded, or worked with Sturgill Simpson, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Valerie June, the Dap King horns, Ana Popovic, Jake Shears, New Orleans Suspects, Naughty Professor, Tank and the Bangas, David Ferguson, Nicole Johänntgen, Travers Geoffray, and appeared on The Late Show with Steven Colbert, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Conan O'Brien, Saturday Night Live, KCRW Morning Set, Artist's Den, and the Grammy’s. He is currently on the road with Ana Popovic.
SPRING 2019 SEASON
This Seasons’ Performers:
Drummer Shannon Powell
Vibraphonist Chuck Redd
Shannon Powell is a highly sought-after drummer and percussionist who has achieved international acclaim for his commanding technique and style, rooted in the characteristic funky drum beats of New Orleans. As a youth growing up in New Orleans' storied Faubourg Tremé, home to many of the city's jazz performers, Powell was surrounded by music. From 1987 to 1992, Powell toured extensively with Harry Connick, Jr. and released two platinum albums with Connick. During subsequent years, Powell has toured with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center, Marcus Roberts, Diana Krall, Dr. John, Earl King, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and John Scofield. Powell has also recorded with a long list of noteworthy artists, including Ellis Marsalis, Jason Marsalis, Nicholas Payton, Donald Harrison, Irvin Mayfield, Leroy Jones, Blind Boys of Alabama, Topsy Chapman, John Boutte, Kermit Ruffins, Tommy Ridgely, Charmaine Neville, Jeremy Davenport, Chuck Carbo, Johnny Adams, Lars Edegran, Russell Malone, Juanita Brooks, Henry Butler, Mighty Sam McClain, Barbara Shorts, George Porter, Jr., Snooks Eaglin and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Considered a living legend in New Orleans music, Shannon Powell is heralded as "The King of Treme," the neighborhood where he grew up in New Orleans, which has given birth to countless musical inspirations and innovations.
Percussionist Alexey Marti
Havana-born percussionist Alexey Marti made New Orleans his home-base back in 2008 and has been tearing up stages all over town ever since. Alexey began performing in Afro-Cuban religious ceremonies in Cuba at the age of 7. At the age of 16 he joined the world renowned Afro-Cuban jazz ensemble “Diákara”, under the leadership of the legendary singer and drummer Oscar Valdés. Since moving here, Alexey has been studying in the UNO Jazz Studies program and has performed with many New Orleans greats including Los Hombres Calientes, Davell Crawford, Shannon Powell, David Torkanowsky and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Currently, he is at the forefront of the Latin music scene in New Orleans, tirelessly exploring new musical terrain and incorporating it back into his own rich musical roots. There is no doubt in his skills, as he finished first place in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Institute Competition for his Afro-Latin Hand Drumming. Alexey incorporates elements of modern New Orleans percussion into his flavorful Cuban conga and rumba music and the result is a dance-worthy, entertaining and high-energy show.
Singer Sasha Masakowski
Sasha Masakowski was born into a family of musicians in New Orleans, Louisiana and has been a leading voice on the New Orleans music scene since 2009, when she was awarded “Best Emerging Artist” by the Big Easy Association. She has since performed major clubs and festivals across the United States and abroad, and leads three bands of her own that range from traditional New Orleans jazz (Sidewalk Strutters) to contemporary jazz and world music (Musical Playground) to experimental electronic art-rock (Hildegard, Tra$h Magnolia). Vanity Fair Magazine just listed Sasha as one of the top jazz musicians in the world and December 2015 issue of Downbeat Magazine named Sasha among the most innovative musicians coming out of New Orleans to date. She has performed 5 years consecutively at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and has toured across the U.S., Asia, Europe and Central America. Sasha'a approach to music is as playful, charismatic and spontaneous as her personality. Her influences draw from jazz to electronic music to rock and she performs often in fully improvised settings to help cultivate her exotic style. Sasha has earned a reputation internationally as a daring, fearless improviser and charming interpreter, working often alongside other progressive, genre-defying musicians such as Zach Danziger, Cliff Hines, Aurora Nealand, Paul Thibodeaux, Irvin Mayfield, and Jason Lindner to name a few.
Organist Dr. Lonnie Smith
Dr. Lonnie Smith is an unparalleled musician, composer, performer and recording artist. An authentic master and guru of the Hammond B-3 organ for over five decades, he has been featured on over 70 albums, and has recorded and performed with a virtual “Who’s Who” of the greatest jazz, blues and R&B giants in the industry. Consequently, he has often been hailed as a “Legend,” a “Living Musical Icon,” and as the most creative jazz organist by a slew of music publications. The Doctor’s first gigs were at Buffalo’s hottest jazz club, the Pine Grill, where he rapidly garnered the attention of folks like Jack McDuff, Lou Donaldson, George Benson and the booking agent Jimmy Boyd. George Benson was looking for an organist for his quartet and enlisted Lonnie. The group soon relocated to New York City, where they quickly established a reputation as innovators in Harlem clubs and throughout the area. His unpredictable, insatiable musical taste illustrates that no genre is safe, as Lonnie has recorded everything from covers of the Beatles, the Stylistics and the Eurythmics, to tribute albums of Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane and Beck–all by employing ensembles ranging from a trio to a fifteen-piece big band. Moreover, many of Doc’s recent compositions reflect dramatic ethereal qualities and orchestration that elicit movie scores or soundtracks. Many awards have followed since 1969, when Downbeat magazine named Dr. Lonnie Smith “Top Organist” of the year. 2003-2014 he was awarded “Organist/Keyboardist of the Year” by the Jazz Journalist Association. The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame and Jazz Organ Fellowship have also inducted Dr. Lonnie, and in 2015 he received the Village Music Legends Award. He is scheduled to receive the NEA Jazz Masters Award, the highest honor in jazz, on April 3, 2017.
Chuck Redd is well known internationally as a performer on drums and vibraphone. He began recording and touring the globe when he joined the Charlie Byrd Trio at the age of 21 and has since done 25 European tours, six tours of Japan and is featured on over 80 recordings. For two consecutive years, Chuck was awarded “Best Vibist” in New York City’s Hot House Jazz Magazine 2015 and 2016 Fans Decision award. Chuck’s career highlights include a concert with the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet in Africa for the Namibian Independence Celebration, a recital at the White House with the Barney Kessel Trio, four concerts at Carnegie Hall with the Mel Torme Quintet and The Great Guitars appearance on The Tonight Show. In 2008, he was a featured soloist on the finale concert at The Lionel Hampton International Jazz festival with The Lionel Hampton Big Band and the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. Chuck was the 2014 honoree at The Roswell Jazz Festival and the 2013 Los Angeles Jazz Society’s Vibes Summit honoree. Chuck is also on the faculty at The University of Maryland School of Music and presents master classes, workshops and lectures around the country.
Singer Kurt Elling
Renowned for his singular combination of robust swing and poetic insight, Grammy winner Kurt Elling has secured his place among the world's foremost jazz vocalists. Declared "the standout male vocalist of our time" by The New York Times, Elling has garnered unprecedented accolades, including a fourteen-year run atop the DownBeat Critics Poll, a dozen Grammy nominations, and eight Jazz Journalists Association awards for "Male Singer of the Year." Elling's voice is instantly recognizable, embracing listeners with his warm, rich baritone and navigating the full span of his four-octave range as a virtuoso instrumentalist and a compelling storyteller. Whether transforming timeless standards or crafting his own enthralling originals, Elling balances elegant lyricism and technical mastery with wry humor, emotional depth, and keen observations into the human condition. Elling had previously joined Marsalis and his long-running Quartet for 2016’s Grammy-nominated Upward Spiral, which All About Jazz hailed as “suffused with graciousness, beauty, and, on occasion, heartbreak.” The fruitful collaboration has continued (alongside a heated, if tongue-in-cheek, Twitter rivalry), with Marsalis praising Elling for “the ability to create color with his voice that is really unique. Much like Billie Holiday, he can change the sound of his voice to match the emotion that's required for the song." Elling has also played with Associate Chair of the Department of Music and Coordinator of Jazz Studies at the University of New Orleans, Ed Petersen.
Trumpeter Kevin Louis
Kevin Louis, a native New Orleanian, is known for his beautiful tone, swinging feel, and soulful improvisations. He has toured at least thirty countries as a performer, clinician and private instructor. This includes five tours through regions such as Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America as a U.S. Department of State/ John F. Kennedy Center Jazz Ambassador. Like any humble artist, he is quick to note those educators who’ve guided him to this point, and the list is impressive, including such jazz education luminaries as Clyde Kerr Jr., Kenneth Davis, Donald Walden, Stacy Cole, Wendell Logan, Gregory Bandy, Neal Creque, Sir Roland Hanna and Michael Phillip Mossman. Mr. Louis has also has been schooled in classical trumpet technique under the instruction of William Lucas, Byron Pearson, Ronald Benko and Charles Couch. Kevin is a 1995 graduate of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. He earned a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance at Oberlin Conservatory of Music (’99), and he holds a Masters of Arts from the Aaron Copeland’s School of Music at Queens College(’01). “Rarely does talent come along and ring as true as in the case of Kevin Louis. He is truly a great trumpet player and complete musician. I have become a big fan of this very intelligent and soulful musician.” – Paul Mercer Ellington.
Guitarist Peter Bernstein
Jazz guitarist Peter Bernstein has been a part of the jazz scene in New York and abroad since 1989. During that time he has participated in over 200 recordings and numerous festival, concert and club performances with musicians from all generations. As a leader, Peter has released 12 albums and a DVD, Live at Smoke. He got his first break while attending the New School when he met the legendary guitarist Jim Hall. Hall asked Peter to participate in his Invitational Concert as part of the 1990 JVC Jazz Festival. Hall noted that Peter “…has paid attention to the past as well as the future. He is the most impressive guitarist I’ve heard. He plays the best of them all for swing, logic, feel and taste.” Also in 1990, Peter Bernstein was discovered by alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson and took part in the first of four recordings with him. He was a regular member of his group throughout the 1990s. “Peter has also enjoyed long musical associations with legendary drummer Jimmy Cobb (Cobb’s Mob), as well as organist Larry Goldings and drummer Bill Stewart as a member of their highly acclaimed trio. The New York Times called them “the best organ trio of the last decade”. Together they recorded a dozen of records, all of which display their distinctive sound, whether exploring the depths of jazz standards or playing their original compositions. From 1995 through 1997, Peter was a member of Joshua Redman’s band and played on Redman’s Freedom in the Groove CD. He played with Diana Krall’s quartet from 1999 through 2001 and with Dr. Lonnie Smith, the legendary organist who made his debut on the George Benson Cookbook albums. He has also recorded five CDs with organist Melvin Rhyne, known for his association with Wes Montgomery. In addition, Peter has appeared in groups led by Sonny Rollins, Bobby Hutcherson, George Coleman, David Fathead Newman, Etta Jones and Nicholas Payton.
Jazz at the Sandbar, held at UNO's the Cove, is designed to provide UNO Jazz Studies students an opportunity to get real life experience performing with respected 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. “Jazz at the Sandbar” was established in 1990 by Ellis Marsalis, the first Chairman of the Jazz Studies Program at UNO. Downbeat Magazine calls "One of the best things going in America."
“Jazz @ the Sandbar” is presented by the UNO Jazz Studies Program with support from the UNO Student Government Assn, the New Orleans Jazz Celebration & the Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro, Nate & Priscilla Gordon, WWNO FM, and OffBeat Magazine.
FALL Season 2018
Here are some photos from this Fall 2018 Season:
Photos courtesy of Phil Devries and other jazz fans like you! Thank you!
Completed Fall 2018 Sandbar Artists:
Pianist Ellis Marsalis
Education icon Ellis Marsalis kicks off the new season of Jazz at the Sandbar. Marsalis is the premier modern jazz pianist of New Orleans and the father of a generation of contemporary jazz musicians who are considered the international leaders of the current scene. Ellis Marsalis returns to the University of New Orleans where he headed Jazz Studies as the first endowed chair of the department in the 1990s.
Saxophonist Mark Turner & Pianist Ethan Iverson
In a career that spans two decades and encompasses a broad array of musical ventures, saxophonist Mark Turner has emerged as a towering presence in the jazz community. With a distinctive, personal tone, singular improvisational skills and an innovative, challenging compositional approach, he has earned a far-reaching reputation as one of jazz's most original and influential musical forces.After graduating from Bostons prestigious Berklee College of Music in 1990, Turner moved to New York, where his rapidly developing talents were quickly recognized. Between 1995 and 2001, he recorded five albums of his own while keeping busy as a sought-after collaborator and sideman. With an impressive musical history already under his belt and more on the way, Mark Turner is clearly on the verge of a creative renaissance. As The New York Times noted, His best work is clearly still ahead of him.
Pianist, composer, and writer Ethan Iverson was a founding member of The Bad Plus, a game-changing collective with Reid Anderson and David King. The New York Times called TBP “…Better than anyone at melding the sensibilities of post-60’s jazz and indie rock.” Iverson also has been in the critically-acclaimed Billy Hart quartet for well over a decade and occasionally performs with an elder statesman like Albert “Tootie” Heath or Ron Carter. For over 15 years Iverson’s website Do the Math has been a repository of musician-to-musician interviews and analysis, surely one reason Time Out New York selected Iverson as one of 25 essential New York jazz icons: “Perhaps NYC’s most thoughtful and passionate student of jazz tradition—the most admirable sort of artist-scholar.”
Trumpeter Ashlin Parker
A sought-after and versatile jazz trumpeter in New Orleans, UNO Alumni, Ashlin Parker plays with large and small ensembles nationally and internationally. His solos have been described at various times as being lyrical or fiery, with throaty growls or "brilliant vibrato," and with lightning staccato runs or "superb legato" phrasing. Ashlin shared in the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble for the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra’s album, Book One. Ashlin leads the Trumpet Mafia that made their festival debut in 2015 at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. He plays with numerous ensembles, such as the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Bill Summers and Jazalsa, The Next Generation Big Band, Vivaz! and the Moscow-New Orleans Project, as well as groups led by Roland Guerin, Adonis Rose, Derek Douget, and Leroy Jones. He has played with musicians such as Jason Marsalis, Herlin Riley, Vincent Gardner, Brice Winston, Kermit Ruffins, Nicholas Payton, Igor Butman, Aretha Franklin, Anthony Hamilton, and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Ashlin has been teaching various aspects of jazz, including improvisation, theory, repertoire, arranging, and performance preparation in private lessons, courses, summer institutes, jazz camps, and master classes for more than ten years. He has been leading the jazz trumpet studio in the Music Department at the University of New Orleans since January 2011.
Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt
Jeremy Pelt has become one of the preeminent young trumpeters within the world of jazz. Forging a bond with the Mingus Big Band very early on, as his career progressed, Pelt built upon these relationships and many others which eventually lead to collaborations with some of the genre's greatest masters. Pelt's recordings and performances have earned him critical acclaim, both nationally and internationally. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal by legendary jazz writer and producer, Nat Hentoff, and was voted Rising Star on the trumpet, five years in a row by Downbeat Magazine and the Jazz Journalist Association.
Clarinetist Don Byron
American composer and multi-instrumentalist, Don Byron, primarily plays clarinet, but has also been known to use the bass clarinet and saxophones. Though rooted in jazz, Byron's music is stylistically eclectic. He has worked in many different musical genres, ranging from klezmer music and German lieder, to Raymond Scott's "cartoon-jazz," hard rock/metal, and rap. Most of Byron's albums have been conceptual, devoted to works of a particular musician and/or style of music. Don Byron has been consistently voted best clarinetist by critics and readers alike in leading international music journals since being named “Jazz Artist of the Year” by DownBeat in 1992. Continually striving for what he calls "a sound above genre," Byron has created a unique musical aesthetic in a wide range of contexts over the years.
An integral member of New York's cultural community for decades, Byron has taken part in an extraordinarily wide range of projects. For four seasons, Byron served as artistic director of jazz at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Other projects include arrangements of Stephen Sondheim's Broadway musicals; There Goes the Neighborhood; original scores for the silent film Scar of Shame and a 1961 comedic television episode by Ernie Kovacs. A residency at the Library of Congress featured his Fine Line band; the premiere of Slip, his composition for violin and piano commissioned by the McKim Foundation; and a lecture about music in films. As artist-in-residence at Symphony Space in New York City, Byron created Contrasting Brilliance: The Music of Henry Mancini and Sly Stone in 2000.
Pianist Danilo Perez
Pianist, composer, educator and social activist, Danilo Pérez is among the most influential and dynamic musicians of our time. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in electronics in Panama, he studied jazz composition at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. While still a student, he performed with Jon Hendricks, Terence Blanchard, Slide Hampton, Claudio Roditi and Paquito D’Rivera. Quickly established as a young master, he soon toured and/or recorded with artists such as Dizzy Gillespie United Nations Orchestra from 1989-1992, plus many more. In 1993, Pérez turned his focus to his own ensembles and recording projects, releasing eight albums as a leader, earning Grammy® and Latin Grammy® nominations for Central Avenue (1989), Motherland (2000), Across The Crystal Sea (2008). Pérez, who served as Goodwill Ambassador to UNICEF, has received a variety of awards for his musical achievements, activism and social work efforts. He currently serves as UNESCO Artist for Peace, Cultural Ambassador to the Republic of Panama, Founder and Artistic Director of the Panama Jazz Festival, and Artistic Director of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute in Boston’s Berklee College of Music.
Guitarist Phil Degruy
Critically acclaimed guitarist Phil deGruy's delightful fusing of creative energy, radical genius and impeccable craft has yielded much acclaim from contemporaries. Upon hearing Phil, Danny Gatton opined, "I have never been more impressed with anybody's playing, ever!" And Jazz star Larry Coryell has described him as the "most original solo guitarist of the 90s." After falling under the spell of Chet Atkins, New Orleans native deGruy began plucking an electric guitar behind its bridge and was compelled to incorporate these sounds into his music. Hank Mackie, Phil's extraordinary teacher, suggested fashioning the harp strings to sit on the guitarp's body where the pick guard would be located, thereby extending chord voicings in one motion and evoking the illusion of a "limitless" guitar, turning a sad chord into a tragedy, a happy chord into bliss and thereby enabling the juxtaposed variations of both.
PAST PERFORMERS FROM Spring 2018 SEASON:
DRUMMER JAMISON ROSS
Jamison Ross is a vocalist and drummer that delivers messages of humanity through the medium of jazz. A native of Jacksonville, FL, Jamison’s passion for music was realized while growing up in his grandfather’s church, where he learned how to present music with honest intent. Jamison began his study of jazz as a high school student and gained worldwide acclaim as a featured musician in the Tribeca Film Festival winning documentary CHOPS; a film that followed the school’s jazz ensemble as they prepare and perform in the renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington Festival competition. In 2012, Ross’ career began to take shape after winning the Thelonious Monk Jr. International Jazz Competition for his drumming. This achievement afforded him a recording contract with Concord Jazz. Jamison recounts, “at the time, people knew me as a drummer; they didn’t know I could sing. I wanted to merge my gifts.” His 2015 debut release, Jamison, introduced the world to his concept of rhythm and melody and also garnered a GRAMMY® nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album.
Photos courtesy of Don Keller
SAXOPHONIST JANE BUNNETT & MAQUEQUE
Multiple Juno Award winner, Jane Bunnett has turned her bands and recordings into showcases for the finest musical talent from Canada, the U.S and Cuba. She has been nominated for Grammy Awards, numerous Juno Awards, received a Order of Canada, The Queens Diamond Jubilee medal, and most recently Ontario’s Premiers Award for Excellence. An internationally acclaimed musician, Jane Bunnett is known for her creative integrity, improvisational daring and courageous artistry. Her exploration of Afro-Cuban melodies expresses the universality of music and her ability to embrace and showcase the rhythms and culture of Cuba has been groundbreaking. She has toured the world bringing her own special sound to numerous JAZZ festivals, displaying her versatility as a tourist, saxophone player and pianist. As an educator, spokesperson and social activist, she remains unafraid to explore uncharted territory in her quest for excellence! Jane’s debut recording hit the JAZZ world in 1987 with the Stunning Juno nominated “In Dew Time” featuring American JAZZ legends Dewey Redman, Don Pullen and Canadian icon Claude Ranger. Two documentaries have been made about Bunnett’s work. “Spirits of Havana “(2000) National Film Board (NFB) was presented at numerous film festivals internationally, television (CBC, PBS) as well as in Europe. As an educator, spokesperson and social activist, she remains unafraid to explore uncharted territory in her quest for excellence.
WEdnesday, APRIL 11TH
Pianist Matt Lemmler
Matt Lemmler is considered to be one of the most original musicians (piano, vocal, arranger, composer, educator, producer) to recently emerge from the birthplace of jazz. Raised just blocks away from the home of legendary New Orleans pianist/vocalist Fats Domino, Matt remembers a childhood in the Lower 9th Ward where music constantly filled the house. Matt, his brothers Richard, Jr. and Michael (also a great New Orleans pianist-bandleader), and his father, Richard, Sr., (a retired professional musician); played jazz and classical piano around the clock. After earning a Bachelor of Music from Loyola University and a Master degree from Manhattan School of Music in NYC, Matt toured four years with Andrew Lloyd Weber’s The Phantom of the Opera. After touring, he came back to the Big Easy and sharpened his skills with some of New Orleans finest bandleaders including: Bob French and the Original Tuxedo Jazz Band (over 100 years old); Herb Tassin and the Blue Room Orchestra, and master clarinetist Pete Fountain. "Matt Lemmler is a pianist of rare originality and a point of view about standard songs that's always surprising and often quirky." -Dave Frishberg
Saxophonist David Murray
Few musicians in jazz history have proven more vigorously productive and resourceful than David Murray. During the past 35 years, from the moment he first visited New York as a 20 year-old student, playing in a walkup loft, in 1975, David has careened forward in a cool, collected, rocket-fueled streak. He has released over 150 albums under his own name. Yet more impressive than the numbers is the constancy of two abiding achievements: as a tenor saxophonist, he has perfected an instantly recognizable approach to improvisation that even in its freest flights acknowledges the gravity of a tradition he honors more than most; and he has altered the context for his improvisations as an infinite mosaic of musical challenges and explorations. David Murray goes down as a worthy successor for some of the biggest names in jazz, and he is now contributing to the rise of young talents such as Lafayette Gilchrist, a young pianist who has already been widely acclaimed by the critics. At 56 years of age, David Murray has a rosy future ahead of him, and a successful past behind him. 2012 is also the year of David Murray’s Honorary Doctorate Of Music Degree from Pomona College, Claremont, California.
CLARINETIST EVAN CHRISTOPHER
Evan Christopher combines virtuosity, immaculate taste, and enthusiasm with a commitment to exploring the full range of possibilities in the New Orleans clarinet tradition. His highly personal brand of “contemporary, early jazz” strives to extend the legacies of early Creole clarinetists such as Sidney Bechet, Barney Bigard and Omer Simeon. Critics remarking on Christopher’s dynamic expressiveness have coined his style “close-encounter music” (NEW YORK TIMES) and have called his respect for the music traditions of New Orleans, “a triumph, joining the present seamlessly to a glorious past.” (THE OBSERVER, UK). Evan Christopher began his musical training on clarinet at age 11. In high school, he received the Louis Armstrong National Jazz Award and was one of the first graduates of the prestigious Idyllwild Arts Academy. He continued studies at the University of Southern California and graduated with honors from California State University, Long Beach. A brief teaching stint at the University of New Orleans saw the creation of a New Orleans music ensemble that performed with guest mentors such as Lucien Barbarin and Marcus Roberts.Since 2008, having returned again to New Orleans, Christopher actively advocates for the cultural workforce and music education. He frequently tours with and records as a guest with forward-looking artists, while performances under his own name are often complemented by workshops and educational and community outreach.
GUITARIST PASQUALE GRASSO
One of the most strikingly unique artists of his generation, Pasquale Grasso has undoubtedly changed the way the world views jazz guitar. Born in Ariano Irpino, Pasquale began playing guitar at a very young age. By the summer of 1997, his parents, who recognized the depth of their young son’s talent, sought out the instruction of jazz innovator, Agostino Di Giorgio. A former pupil of Chuck Wayne, Di Giorgio immediately took interest in Pasquale, whose prodigious aptitude for the instrument flourished as the young guitarist quickly became his closest pupil. From that point, it wouldn’t be long before news of this talent spread. In 2008, Pasquale pursued classical guitar studies in the Music Conservatory of Bologna under Professor Walter Zanetti. During his time at the conservatory, Grasso developed a new approach to the guitar, combining classical tradition with Chuck Wayne's modern technique.In 2012, he moved to New York City and quickly made a name for himself in the city's vibrant jazz scene. Grasso became part of the Ari Roland Quartet and the Chris Byars Quartet, performing in clubs, music festivals, and recording in the studio regularly. Later that year, Pasquale was named a Jazz Ambassador with the US Embassy, going on to tour extensively across Europe, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Lithuania, and Ukraine, among others.
Photos courtesy of Don Keller
Trumpeter Terence Blanchard
Since top-tier jazz and multiple Grammy-winning trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard embarked on his solo recording career with his eponymous Columbia Records album in 1991, the New Orleans-born and -based artist has traveled many paths musically, including delivering adventurous and provocative acoustic jazz outings of original material, composing over 50 soundtracks and even, in 2013, debuting Champion: An Opera in Jazz. He has also, in the spirit of his onetime membership in the jazz school of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, mentored several musicians in his bands who have gone on to have significant recording careers of their own (including Lionel Loueke, Aaron Parks, Kendrick Scott and one of his current band members Fabian Almazan).As a leader and co-leader (significantly four albums early in his career with fellow Crescent City artist, saxophonist Donald Harrison), Blanchard has recorded more than 30 albums that often defied genres, yet were still critically acclaimed. But for his latest Blue Note Records album, Breathless, Blanchard powerfully and playfully journeys into another jazz realm with his new quintet, The E-Collective—an exciting zone of grooved fusion teeming with funk, R&B and blues colors.
Photos courtesy of Don Keller
DRUMMER HERLIN RILEY
Since coming of age in the nurturing environment of a very musical family and a distinguished bloodline of drummers, New Orleans native Herlin Riley emerged from that most creative era of all things rhythmic in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, to enliven the ensembles of such influential and demanding improvisers as pianist Ahmad Jamal and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis through his commanding yet elegant rhythmic presence. His authoritative style of melodic percussion is deeply imbued in the fertile creative soil of the Crescent City, encompassing as it does the entire length and breadth of America’s ongoing musical journey. New Orleans is a drummer’s town. But in this town full of first class drummers, Herlin Riley is “the” drummer. The Baron of the Boom Boom. The Pulse that keeps the life flowing through any body of work. Born into a musical family steeped in gospel, blues and jazz, Wynton Marsalis asked him to join him in New York in 1988 where he stayed for almost two decades while still maintaining a home in New Orleans. He still is a regularly featured musician with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra but now is back in his home town when he’s not on tour with Ahmad Jamal, Dr. John, or Harry Connick, Jr. He lights up a stage with just his presence and always fires up the first class jazz artists who love to play with him.
Here are some photos from this past season's Jazz @ the Sandbar:
Pianist Ellis Marsalis Kicks Off Jazz At The Sandbar
Education icon Ellis Marsalis kicks off the new season of Jazz at the Sandbar. Marsalis is the premier modern jazz pianist of New Orleans and the father of a generation of contemporary jazz musicians who are considered the international leaders of the current scene. Ellis Marsalis returns to the University of New Orleans where he headed Jazz Studies as the first endowed chair of the department in the 1990s.
Germaine Bazzle At The Sandbar
Germaine Bazzle is often referred to as one of New Orleans' important jazz vocalists. After graduation from Xavier University of Louisiana, Germaine began a teaching career and entertaining in the same year, teaching during the day and playing bass in a local traditional jazz band at night. After 12 years as a teacher, she left the classroom and began singing with various bands in New Orleans. Three years later, she returned to the classroom, but continued to perform with such jazz greats as Alvin "Red" Tyler, Peter "Chuck" Badie, Victor Goines, bassist/vocalist, George French, pianist Ellis Marsalis, Emile Vinnette, Larry Siebert, David Torkanowsky and many more.
Germaine can be heard on her CD entitled "Standing Ovation." In his liner notes producer Kalama ya Salaam writes that while some might compare Bazzle to other great jazz vocalists she is "dazzling in her own right . . . Especially in her ability to mimic the sound of the trombone, but also her musicianship. She knows the music, the changes, and above all the rhythms. And the listener can hear her expertise in the way this lady improvises ... Moreover there is a bubbling exuberance in Germaine's style. She smiles. She laughs, sometimes even giggles. Hers is a joyful sound. She is an awesome jazz artist and also a very warm and sensitive human being whose artistry makes one feel glad to be alive."—JazzCorner
John Wooton @ Sandbar
Dr. John Wooton is the director of percussion studies at The University of Southern Mississippi. John specializes in various drums, marimba, vibraphone and steel pans. Along with playing vibes for the USM Jazz Quintet, John leads his own band which showcases the steel pans with the danceable sounds of the islands.
Andrew Baham @ Sandbar
Andrew Baham, a native to New Orleans, began playing the trumpet at age 11 and has performed with artists Mystikal, Mannie Fresh, Grammy Nominee Los Hombres Calientes, Adonis Rose, and The Ellis Marsalis Quinet. He has produced albums for The Stooges Brass Band (It's About Time, Thursday Night House Party ), Big Sam's Funky Nation' (King Of The Party, Evolution), and others. He has recorded with alto saxophonist Darryl Reeves, The Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, the Soul Rebels Brass Band, The Lil' Stooges Brass Band, and Big Sam's Funky Nation.
Mike Moreno @ Sandbar
While still in school, Mike began garnering the recognition necessary to be called to perform and tour with some of the most venerable names in the Jazz world as well as rising stars of the scene. Over the years, those names have included The Joshua Redman Elastic Band, Lizz Wright Band, Me'Shell N'Degeocello, Jason Moran, Terence Blanchard, Ambrose Akinmusire, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Jeremy Pelt, and many more. Additionally, Mike has recorded with numerous major artists, both inside and outside of the Jazz genre. 3 of these recordings were nominated for a Grammy. Recognized as one of the leading voices in the Jazz guitar world, Mike has toured extensively and recorded as a leader of his own band, playing his original music to high critical acclaim. His albums have been deemed in The New York Times as one of the authors top 10 Jazz albums and made the 25 "Best of 2012" Jazz Releases on iTunes. "Lotus", Mike's new Quartet album is now available! The album features Aaron Parks, Doug Weiss and Eric Harland. Mike can also be heard on Kendrick Scott Oracle's Blue Note Records debut "We Are The Drum." The band also features John Ellis, Taylor Eigsti, Joe Sanders. Mike performed with Stefon Harris Group - Sonic Creed. Hear Mike during the final credits of Don Cheadle's Miles Davis movie. He plays on a track written by Robert Glasper featuring rapper Pharoahe Monch.
James Evans @ Sandbar
James Evans, clarinet, sax, vocals, and composer. Immediately after graduating from Leeds Music College, James started touring Europe with Phil Mason's New Orleans All Stars. After years in the UK, James moved to New Orleans to pursue his lifelong love of the city and its music. Since his arrival he has played with many local luminaries such as Leroy Jones, Steve Pistorius, Seva Venet, Lucien Barbarin, Tim Laughlin, Gerald French, Duke Heitger, Lars Edegran, The Shotgun Jazz Band, Smoking Time Jazz Club, Tuba Skinny, and many more. He has appeared in venues such as Preservation Hall, The Palm Court Jazz Café, and many of the music clubs around the town, as well as the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Rufus Reid @ Sandbar
Rufus Reid, one of today’s premiere bassists on the international jazz scene, with his reputation firmly established in the education arena, now adds composition to his vitae. Rufus Reid is equally known as an exceptional educator. Dr. Martin Krivin and Reid created the Jazz Studies & Performance Program at William Paterson University. Reid retired after 20 years, but continues to teach, conducting Master Classes, workshops, and residencies around the world. Rufus’ book, The Evolving Bassist, published since 1974, continues to be recognized as the industry standard as the definitive bass method.
He has toured and recorded with Eddie Harris, Nancy Wilson, Harold Land & Bobby Hutcherson, Lee Konitz, The Thad Jones & Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, Dexter Gordon, J.J. Johnson, Art Farmer, Stan Getz, Kenny Burrell, Kenny Barron and countless others. He continues to enjoy associations with Tim Hagans, Bob Mintzer, Frank Wess, Marvin Stamm, Benny Golson. Reid continues to lead his Out Front Trio with pianist, Steve Allee and drummer Duduka Da Fonseca.