The next few weeks for me are going to filled with some really interesting music and most of it is happening locally. I would be remiss if I didn't let you know what I am up to.
Tomorrow night, at 8 pm I am playing a set of music with Isabella Mendes' new Bossa Nova Project at Best Video. Isabella has assembled some terrific players to accompany her in a tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim, who if her were still alive, would be celebrating his 90th birthday today. Joe Carter is on guitar, Tim Moran is covering the woodwinds, and Joe Murfin really lays it down with percussion and drum set. Best Video, for those of you who haven't yet enjoyed this space, is located at 1842 Whitney Ave in Hamden.
On Sunday, January 29 at 4:00 p.m. the Afro-Semitic Experience will be participating in an interfaith worship service to Lift Ev'ry Voice in Song, a service to honor and celebrate the 50th anniversary of Christian Community Action. The service will be held at Star of Jacob Christian Church at 506 Howard Avenue in New Haven.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with them, Christian Community Action is an organization that is the real deal. Every day they are in the community looking out for those who truly need help and support. Their mission is to provide help, housing, and hope to those who are poor in New Haven. And every single day, for the past 50 years, with no days off ever, that is what they have been doing. I'm honored that the Afro-Semitic Experience was invited to celebrate this organization and I hope you can take some time this coming Sunday to be a part of it.
Featured performers include The Heritage Chorale of New Haven, Inc., Afro-Semitic Experience, Morning Glory Dancers, Unity Boys Choir, Trinity Girls Choir, Salt and Pepper Gospel Choir, and Star of Jacob Christian Church Choir. All faiths and all people are welcome.
Parking provisions are at the Church and at Roberto Clemente Leadership Academy/School at 360 Howard Avenue. It is it about a block away. It's a service so there is no admission charge, it is free, but of course your support of this organization that is really making a difference in the community would be appreciated.
At an event like this I think you should expect to hear a joyous noise.
Those of you in the Hartford area will be happy to know that the Afro-Semitic Experience is finally coming back to share our music in the community.
On Sunday, February 5, the Afro-Semitic Experience will be giving a concert at the Hartford Public Library as a part of their Baby Grand Jazz Series. The concert begins at 3:00 p.m. and is free to the public!
Expect a joyous noise!!!
On Sunday, February 12, at 2:00 p.m. I will play a duo jazz concert at the Pequot Library in Southport with Rex Cadwallader. The Pequot library is located at 720 Pequot Ave. in Southport.
Again, I know what happens when I play with Rex so I think you can expect a joyous noise.
Finally, the centenary of what is often acknowledged as the first jazz recording* is coming up in just about a months time, on February 26, the same day as the Oscars. Wouldn't it be cool if the people from La, La Land, the new jazz-inspired move and the rest of the Academy in some way honored this extraordinary landmark date. I am dubious as to whether they will, but you can rest assured knowing know that whenever there is an opportunity and cause to celebrate with a joyful noise, I will be doing just that.
The coincidence of Fat Tuesday and the Centennial of Jazz is going to make for a special evening that I hope you attend.
On Tuesday, February 28, I will be directing a Mardi Gras concert at Southern Connecticut State University. I'm already working with my students to learn the two very first songs ever released as jazz numbers. And the rest of the music we're planning will really raise the Mardi Gras spirit to a proper level of celebration (songs by Louis Armstrong, Dr. John, Huey "Piano" Smith, the Dixiecups, Allen Toussaint and other legendary New Orleans artists). The concert is at 7:30 p.m. in the Charles Garner Recital Hall (located in rm C-112 in Engleman Hall). Admission to the general public is $5 a person. For more information please call the SCSU Music Department, 203-392-6625.
Busy month but in that good way. Hope you can join me for some or all!!
*"Livery Stable Blues" and "The Dixieland One Step", recorded on February 26, 1917 by the Original Dixieland Jass Band. Yes, this recording's place as the first jazz recording has been contested, but like Louis Armstrong's believed versus real birthday, sometimes the myth has value in being knowingly perpetuated.