2015–16 Jazz Series
Friday, November 6, 2015 • 7:30 p.m.
Cyrille Aimée is heralded as one of the most promising jazz singers of her generation. She has consistently proven herself to be an unstoppable, undeniable talent in the modern age of jazz. Internationally renowned and praised for her unparalleled abilities, Cyrille’s vocal stylings are synonymous with musical genius. Her culturally rich background has supplied her with the driving force of Dominican rhythm and the incredible swing of the French Gypsies. Taking these natural abilities with her across the world, she has done nothing short of receiving rave reviews and a loyal following in each country she graces with her voice. Raised in the French village of Samois sur Seine, she cut her teeth on the musical legacy of Django Reinhardt. Every June, gypsy caravans set up encampments in nearby meadows for the annual Django Reinhardt Festival, and young Cyrille fell in love with their way of life, their language and, most of all, their music.
“It’s impossible to not be charmed by French moppet Cyrille Aimée and her infectious joie de vivre.”
Rufus Reid’s Quartet with Lawrence Jazz Ensemble
Featuring Tia Fuller on tenor saxophone, Steve Allee on piano and Duduka Da Fonseca on drums
Saturday, November 7, 2015 • 7:30 p.m.
A Grammy®-nominated 50-year veteran, a visionary educator and a composer of note, bassist Rufus Reid possesses one of the richest and most generous tones in jazz today. As a bassist, Rufus Reid’s signature sound has graced the music of countless jazz giants including Eddie Harris, Thad Jones and Mel Lewis, Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon, Benny Golson, J.J. Johnson, Jack DeJohnette and Nancy Wilson. As an educator, he is sought after internationally and is the author of the acclaimed instructional book and DVD, The Evolving Bassist—the definitive bible for every jazz bassist and the industry standard since 1974. His latest album, Quiet Pride: The Elizabeth Catlett Project, was inspired by the legendary sculptor and civil rights activist. A four-movement version of the big-band piece with voice won the Sackler Award in 2006 and was finally recorded as an expanded, five-movement piece at the end of 2012 and released as a terrific album in 2013. The brassy celebrations of triumph are a counterpoint to the bass anchored undertow of struggle.
“A monumental and inspiring work from an improvisational giant…Stunning!”
Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet
Friday, February 19, 2016 • 8 p.m.
Composer and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire cut his jazz teeth playing professionally while still in high school. Inspired by legendary saxophonists Joe Henderson and Steve Coleman, he won the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition and released his first album in 2007. Akinmusire has moved to the front ranks of progressive jazzmen, leading his quintet and contributing his burnished tone to projects with the OSSO String Quartet and vocalists Becca Stevens and Theo Bleckmann. A Blue Note recording artist and Downbeat’s 2012 Trumpet Player of the Year, this young trumpeter is one of the most buzzed-about jazz artists of his generation. Unbeholden to any category, this thoughtful composer and bandleader has a broad palette, big vision and defiant curiosity for the future of jazz.
“A thrilling young trumpeter and astute bandleader [with a] unique spark in his playing”
—The New Yorker
Kurt Rosenwinkel New Quartet
Friday, May 13, 2016 • 8 p.m.
There are artists who uphold what’s already been defined in music and then there are artists who do the defining. Guitarist, composer and educator Kurt Rosenwinkel undisputedly sits among the trailblazers in the latter group. He favors floating lyricism, a luminous tone and an ultramodern harmonic language, all reasons for his stature as one of the young gurus on his instrument. His New Quartet is first and foremost a showcase for his bond with pianist Aaron Parks, who appears here along with bassist Eric Revis and drummer Allan Mednard. Rosenwinkel’s career spans almost twenty-five years, and features collaborations with dynamic peers like Brad Mehldau, Brian Blade, Mark Turner, Joshua Redman, Chris Potter; and esteemed jazz elders like Joe Henderson, Paul Motian and Gary Burton.
“An attractive, largely nostalgic approach to jazz standards that surely merits hearing.”
2014–15 Jazz Series
Terri Lyne Carrington's Mosaic Project
Featuring vocalist Lizz Wright, saxophonist Tia Fuller, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, pianist Rachel Z, guitarist Matt Stevens & bassist Josh Hari.
Jazz Celebration Weekend
Friday, November 7, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
Grammy® Award-winning drummer, composer and bandleader, Terri Lyne Carrington, released The Mosaic Project in July 2011, her fifth recording overall and first on Concord Jazz. The record won a GRAMMY® Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album, gathered a myriad of voices and crystallized them into a multi-faceted whole that far outweighed the sum of its parts. She produced the 14-song set which featured some of the most prominent female jazz artists of the last few decades: Esperanza Spalding, Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Sheila E., Nona Hendryx, Cassandra Wilson, Geri Allen and several others.
Carrington plays drums like she’s forcing all the world’s chaos into cool syncopation.
With the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble
Saturday, November 8, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
Jazz Celebration Weekend
Grammy Award–winning drummer Peter Erskine has been at the forefront of world-class jazz ensembles for 40 years. His first major professional work was in the 1970s with the bands of Stan Kenton, Maynard Ferguson and Weather Report. He went on to perform and record with the Brecker Brothers, the Yellowjackets, Steely Dan, Chick Corea and a host of others. In addition to multiple solo albums, he has been the co-leader with trumpeter Tim Hagans on two recent CDs with the Norbotten Big Band (Sweden) entitled Worth the Wait and The Avatar Sessions.
Erskine plays resonant and sultry marimba … a stunning showcase for a prodigious technique.
Robert Glasper Trio
New Date: Friday, May 1, 2015, 8 p.m.
Date Change due to a scheduling conflict
Tickets previously purchased for the Robert Glasper Experiment performance will be honored for the concert on Friday, May 1, 2015. If ticket holders have any questions or concerns, or would like to exchange their tickets for another event or receive a refund, please contact the Lawrence University Box Office at 920-832-6749.
Pianist and composer Robert Glasper is on a mission to reconcile modern jazz with hip-hop and R&B. His last Blue Note recording, Black Radio, was a wildly successful step in that direction, winning Glasper and his Experiment band a Grammy® Award for Best R&B Album. The record is an incisive commentary on urban music, weaving together the disparate strands of a career that took off shortly after he migrated from Houston to New York City in the mid-90s. Glasper became a go-to keyboardist for some of the era’s defining hip-hop and R&B stars, touring as music director for Mos Def and appearing with Kanye West, Erykah Badu, Meshell Ndegeocello, Jay-Z and Maxwell. At the same time, Glasper made a name for himself as an insightful post-bop pianist through stints with jazz masters such as Russell Malone, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove and Terence Blanchard. He’s released a series of accomplished sessions, including 2009’s Double Booked, which contrasted his acoustic straight-ahead trio tracks with the slinky, plugged-in funk of the Experiment—a telepathic ensemble featuring saxophonist and vocalist Casey Benjamin, bassist Derrick Hodge and young drumming phenomenon Mark Colenburg.
Like many of today’s young jazz pianists, Robert Glasper speaks hip-hop, bebop, classical and pop … accessible melodies, tumultuous beats and bright lyricism tend to recall modern jazz icons like Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea.
Jon Cowherd and Mercy Project
Friday, April 17, 2015, 8 p.m.
Pianist/keyboard player Jon Cowherd is best known for his association with drummer Brian Blade's Fellowship—a group he co-founded in 1998—but as a producer and arranger too, there are clearly other strings to his bow.
Cowherd's keyboard collaborations with jazz, country and rock artists including singers Cassandra Wilson, Rosanne Cash and Iggy Pop point to his versatility, so it's maybe something of a surprise that his debut as leader, firmly rooted in the jazz idiom, is so stylistically homogenous.
Cowherd's fine debut is clearly built on the foundations of many years honing his craft. Hopefully it's just the first of many more to come.
—All about Jazz