October 2, 2009 – Volume 45, Issue 3

Jazz concert to host greats, school groups

M. Michael Rose
The Advocate

MHCC will host a concert at 7:30 p.m. Monday featuring five world-renowned jazz musicians and performances by three jazz bands from local high schools in the Visual Arts Theater, according music instructor and Jazz Band director Susie Jones.

Students from Cleveland High School and Heritage High School, as well as Thara Memory’s student band from Pacific Crest Community School will participate in several hours of jazz clinics hosted by artists from the Statesmen of Jazz. This will be followed by a concert involving performances by both the student bands and the quintet of jazz all-stars.

First, the school groups will receive private instruction from one of the members of the Statesmen of Jazz. Cleveland High School will receive instruction from Chuck Redd, Terell Stafford will host a clinic for Thara Memory Band, and Nicki Parrot will be teaching Heritage High School.

After the individual clinics, the school groups, as well as students from MHCC’s music program will attend a clinic hosted by the full quintet from the Statesmen of Jazz.

After an afternoon of jazz clinics, the concert will start with performances by the local school groups and will feature the artist who hosted their clinic. Following the school groups, the quintet will perform an hour of their music.

The Statesmen of Jazz is a non-profit organization created in 1994 by Mat Domber, of Arbor Records and the American Federation of Jazz Societies, which is a non-profit organization. The performers are from an ensemble pool of musicians and will be represented at MHCC by a quintet consisting of Redd, Stafford and Parrott, as well as Mickey Roker and Mike Wofford.

The event is open to the public, with a charge of $2 for students and $5 for non-students at the door.

Redd, who plays drums and vibraphone, began his jazz career in 1980 when he joined the Charlie Byrd Trio. Since then he has build an extensive musical resume that includes performances with Dizzy Gillespie and Mel Torme. In addition to performances with other groups, and his own, Redd was a member of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra for 15 years.

Trumpet player Stafford began playing music at the age of 13. He has performed with a number of jazz groups and is presently a member of the Grammy award-winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra.

Parrott, a vocalist and bassist, has enjoyed a high profile career. She has shared the stage with talents such as guitar legend Les Paul, bassist Rufus Reid and many others. Her long list of performances includes both jazz acts and several Broadway shows such as “Avenue Q,” “Jekyll and Hyde” and “Imaginary Friends.”

Roker, acclaimed jazz drummer, has had a long and highly distinguished career. Roker has recorded music with performers such as Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Sonny Rollins, Duke Pearsons, Herbie Hancock and Zoot Sims.

Jazz pianist Wofford’s career includes more than 200 recordings and work with many of jazz’s most talented artists. He has performed with the Lighthouse All-Stars and the bands of Chet Baker and Teddy Edwards. He was pianist and music director for Ella Fitzgerald from 1989 until her retirement in 1992.

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