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Jazz veterans & rising stars pay tribute to innovator and Bebop master, Charlie “Bird” Parker
Lee Konitz Quartet
The Lee Konitz Quartet is comprised of four of the most skillful jazz veterans working today. Under the leadership of Lee Konitz, the group has been thrilling audiences for quite a long time. Konitz, a premiere alto saxophonist, started out in Chicago, where he put a lot of hours into learning his craft. His early work saw him playing with Claude Thornhill Orchestra (arranged by Gil Evans), Stan Kenton’s Orchestra, pianist Lennie Tristano, and the Miles Davis Capitol Orchestra. He would then break out on his own, amassing a staggering list of essential jazz credentials. Adding a touch of international flare to the group is Dan Tepfer, their Paris-born pianist/composer. An improviser at heart, this talented musician has tickled the ivories alongside jazz behemoths of all natures, and has released several hit solo albums. With a keen interest in astrophysics, Tepfer has utilized his computer-science knowledge in conjunction with improvisational techniques to formulate a revolutionary jazz-centric algorithm. The Lee Konitz Quartet’s bassist is Jeremy Stratton, a local jazz hero from New York, who has played over the decades with a multitude of famed ensembles. Rounding out this colossal crew is George Schuller on drums. Schuller is well known in the jazz milieu, with numerous side bands under his belt, including the hit big band from the ‘80s, Orange Than Blue.
For Terri Lyne Carrington, it’s not just about sounding sweet. Along with her band Social Science, the princess of percussion has been melding her uncannily sophisticated drumming and composing abilities with impactful, relevant statements on the pressing social issues of today. With a lush composition of jazz, indie rock, contemporary classical and R&B, all reconfigured under the sweeping swath of freeform improvisation, Carrington is not afraid to mix things up. A revered mainstay in the business, she has a four-decade long career and three Grammy wins to her credit, but is not even remotely content to just coast on by. An activist, educator and warrior for freedom and racial & sex equality, Carrington is nothing shy of remarkable. She began in music as an undeniable drumming prodigy, receiving accolades from People magazine, EBONY and Modern Drummer, at just ten years of age. With oodles of television performances and alliances with humongous names in music, she has wowed audiences all over the world. With eight full length albums out, Carrington perennially brings her passion to the studio as well. Her latest release is a can’t-miss collaboration with a star-studded cadre of top female artists, The Mosaic Project: LOVE and SOUL.
Born in Motown, Louis Sedell Hayes came up virtually ensconced in authentic Detroit music stylings. At a young age he discovered the piano, but when his father presented him with a set of drums, his true passion was ignited. Coming up in 1950’s Detroit, surrounded by jazz giants Yusef Lateef, Kenny Burrell and Doug Watkins (to name a few), Hayes was mentored by the legendary Papa Joe Jones. At only eighteen years old, he moved to NYC and joined the Horace Silver Quintet, skyrocketing him into the critical public eye, with his full drumming talents on display. In the 60’s Hayes became a part of the Cannonball Adderley Quintet, further cementing his name into the catalogue of storied jazz percussionists. He would later be asked to play alongside star piano man Oscar Peterson, in a group where Hayes and bassist Sam Jones would become known as the “dynamic duo” of rhythm. As Hayes’ career progressed, he would lead several incarnations of bands under his own name, playing with jazz greats Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Barron, Junior Cooke, Woody Shaw, Dexter Gordon and eventually McCoy Tyner. His shows still explode with energy, as Hayes bangs away with perfect precision.
The wonderfully outspoken Charenee Wade is a brave new voice on the modern jazz frontier, intent on using her art form to exact social change. This exquisite improvisational jazz vocalist, composer and arranger is just getting started, too. Her numerous accolades include being named the First Runner-Up in the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Vocal Competition and being invited to perform her original songs with Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead Program at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Her debut album Offering: The Music of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson is a stirring tribute to socially-conscious musician/poet Scott-Heron, which also forecasts Wade’s own desire to rise up against the many forms of injustice still plaguing the world of today. Notable tracks include “Song of the Wind,” a heartfelt appreciation of the peace-seeking efforts of her mentors, “A Toast to the People,” a nuanced example of Wade’s deftness at storytelling through vocal dexterity, and “Home Is Where the Hatred Is,” a rousingly powerful jazz number where her dynamic talents are on full display. In addition to providing the gift of her voice to the world, Charenee passes along her love of music as a professor at the Aaron Copland School of Music, City College.