Wednesday, May 16, 2012

World-Class Jazz/Latin Concert in Columbus, Final Spring Lunch-Music Week, More

When I was in school in New Orleans (1988-1992), that town's native Terence Blanchard was finishing up his string of projects with saxophonist Donald Harrison and was beginning to make his rise onto the national scene. You can see them back in the day on this YouTube video (not the one embedded at right) performing "Softly as in a Morning Sunrise," a ubiquitous standard in Nola back then.

Since then, he and I have had a whole lifetime go by, not even once intersecting until now, when we will be hanging out with a few friends at Columbus's RiverCenter on May 26. When I say hanging out, I mean that I will be sitting with my $40 general-admission ticket somewhere in the 2,000-seat Bill Heard Theatre, and Mr. Blanchard will be on stage with one of the world's greatest bandleaders and percussionists of all time, Poncho Sanchez, and his Latin Band.

These are two of the biggest names on the jazz scene today, and it is rare that we get top-notch, high-art shows like this in our community. I say that, but just the other night, the Brooklyn-Denton project band, Snarky Puppy, set up a last-minute gig at 1048 Jazz and Blues in Montgomery--not the cultural giant Sanchez, but nonetheless a fantastic opportunity for us to expand our artistic palette.

Blanchard with Sanchez and his band are closing out the International Trumpet Guild 2012 conference next week at Columbus State University's Schwob School of Music. I mentioned the conference's rich schedule and attendance fees in a previous post. They are touring a recent CD, Chano y Dizzy!, where they pay tribute to two legendary greats, bebop trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and composer and percussionist Chano Pozo. There's more about the project on the website, Best of Atlanta Concerts, promoting an April 28 event up there (link). The video I embedded above is a promo from the album's label, Concord Music Group.

Two Free Lunchtime Concerts This Week at the Museum

Bringing it back home, on Thursday (5/17) at noon, the museum will present its second-to-last lunchtime concert for the spring season. Sarah Schrader is a violinist and AU education graduate who teaches music at George Washington Carver Elementary in Tuskegee. She will both perform for the free concert and also lead two audition-only music groups of third graders from the school, The Advanced Violin Class and the Third-Grade Chorus. It should be fun. Sarah will play with pianist Julia Tucker. More on all these performers is on the Lunch Music Schedule page on this website.

Then on Friday (5/18), I will be playing jazz with bassist Sidney Simmons from noon-1 at the museum for the recently-added final free concert of the series. It was added along with other events there to celebrate International Museum Day. There's more information about what's going on Friday at our museum on its website (event page). You may have seen in the paper or elsewhere that The Woodfield Trio will be performing Friday, but it will be the jazz duo instead.

A Few More Local Things

My favorite local teen band with what I think is tremendous potential, Shutup 'n' Clap!, will be at Fishizzles Fish and Skrimps on 830 Opelika Rd. in Auburn tonight (Wednesday, 5/16) starting at 6:00.

The big band The Auburn Knights Orchestra will play for Auburn's May Concert Series (news release) at Town Creek Park, weather permitting, Thursday night (5/17) from 6-7:30 PM.

Friday-Saturday (5/18-5/19) jazz at Piccolo is not yet announced on its website, but Thursday (5/17) will be vocalist Jane Drake's regular appearance, usually with her trio. The hotel's restaurant, Ariccia, will do it's weekly Sunday (5/20) brunch from 11-2. UPDATE: Headliners are Atlanta saxophonist Taylor Kennedy on Friday and Montgomery saxophonist Coleman Woodson on Saturday.

Locally based and nationally exposed indie duo Martha's Trouble will be at Opelika's Noon Tunes next Wednesday (5/23).

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