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.”