★ Gerald Clayton – Over the course of eight years, with three albums as a leader, several studio projects as a sideman, and countless worldwide performances, pianist and composer Gerald Clayton has established himself as a leading figure in the up-and-coming generation of jazz artists who are fluent in the range of styles that make up today’s jazz lexicon. Hailed by The New York Times for his “huge, authoritative presence,” Clayton is well on his way toward etching his own enduring mark in the long and rich tradition of jazz. Never has this been more apparent than in Life Forum, his latest recording on Concord Jazz and his most ambitious project to date.
Born in the Netherlands in 1984 and raised in Southern California, Clayton took his first piano lessons before age seven with the full support and encouragement of his father, the acclaimed jazz bassist, composer and bandleader, John Clayton. Music was a central part of his life from as long as he can remember and it became a lifetime commitment very early on:
“I was in the third grade, and there was a talent show where I played a boogie-woogie piece that my dad had written for me,” he recalls. “It was the first time that I played for an audience where I felt that people were really moved by something that I had just played. I remember thinking, ‘Yep, this is what I’ll be doing for the rest of my life.’”
In 2006, Gerald received the second place prize in the prestigious Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz Piano Competition. Around that time, he was introduced to trumpeter Roy Hargrove when they were both featured artists at a performance of the Henry Mancini Orchestra. “We were backstage during one of the rehearsals, and we started playing some duets,” recalls Clayton. “After that I would see him from time to time in New York, and he would say, ‘Great that you’re in New York now. I’ll call you.’ That was how things started.”
The association resulted in three years of extensive touring with Hargrove between 2006 and 2009, and appearances on Hargrove’s recordings, Earfood (2008) and Emergence (2009). Gerald also appeared on recordings by several other artists, such as Diana Krall, Ambrose Akinmusire, Kendrick Scott, Melissa Morgan, Terell Stafford & Dick Oatts, and more recently Michael Rodriguez, Dayna Stephens, Terri Lyne Carrington, and the Clayton Brothers Quintet, led by his father and his uncle, saxophonist Jeff Clayton. Gerald continues to perform regularly with the Clayton Brothers.
In 2009, he released Two Shade, his debut album as a leader, with bassist Joe Sanders and drummer Justin Brown. Sanders and Brown have remained with him for his two subsequent records. It was from this recording that Gerald received a 2010 Grammy nomination in the category of ‘Best Improvised Jazz Solo’ for his rendition of Cole Porter’s “All of You.”
In 2011, Gerald received a second Grammy nomination, this time for ‘Best Jazz Instrumental Composition’, for his piece “Battle Circle” featured on the Clayton Brothers recording, The New Song and Dance.
The same year, Clayton released his second album, Bond: The Paris Sessions. While the expectations may have been high in the aftermath of the acclaimed debut album, Clayton recalls the album coming together organically and with a minimum of stress. “You hear people talk about the curse of the sophomore album, but recording that album – and the whole process leading up to it – was very natural for us as a trio. We’d been touring a great deal at the time and spending a lot of time together, so going into the studio and catching that vibe was completely natural.” Bond received a Grammy nomination, Gerald’s third, in 2012 for ‘Best Jazz Instrumental Album’.
Life Forum, set for release in April 2013, “might be the most ambitious album yet,” states Clayton. “Conceptualizing the music for a group of eight musicians was a new experience for me, and it required more preparation than I was accustomed to. With the addition of lyrics to three of the tunes, as well as some other post-production work, this project has been a departure from my previous two. I’m doing more writing now than I’ve ever done before, and working with Ben Wendel, who produced the record, was very helpful. I really admire his playing and his writing. He and I got together prior to the sessions to talk about the music and map out what I needed to do to get it recorded. In that sense, it was more demanding than the previous records.”
He performs regularly with Charles Lloyd in the Wild Man Dance project and in quartet.
★ Reuben Rogers – has a natural penchant for story telling. And Rogers, himself, will be the first to tell you his skills have coalesced under the influence of his impressive contemporaries.
Rogers’ ability to transport the emotion of a piece into his accompaniment is akin to that of a fine woven tapestry, creating a blanket of rhythm and harmony that is welcomed by vocalists and instrumentalists alike. From a hard-hitting groove to a featherlike touch, with each interjection, Rogers echoes an affirmation of the soloist’s statement, rendering a musical conversation in which the narrative is smoothly passed.
His own musical narration, often shaded in a palette of blue, has reached a point in its development where a leading flight is inevitable. This can be heard on Rogers’ debut solo project, „The Things I Am,” co-produced by renowned saxophonist Ron Blake.
Born November 15, 1974, and raised in the Virgin Islands, Rogers was exposed to varieties of music that included Calypso, Reggae, Gospel and Jazz. In his formative years, Rogers received encouragement from his parents to explore his exceptional musical talent. He began with the clarinet, experimented with the piano, drums and guitar, yet at the tender age of 14 found his true passion in the bass.
Under the watchful eye of his high school band teacher Georgia Francis, this passion found its focus in jazz encountered during workshops conducted by fellow Virgin Islanders Ron Blake and Dion Parson. Rogers’ potential was well recognized by numerous awards, grants and scholarships from the St. Thomas Arts Council and other local organizations. This in turn opened the door for Rogers’ summer studies at Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan and in Boston at Berklee College of Music. Upon completion of their five-week summer program, Berklee awarded Rogers a scholarship toward his degree studies.
Rogers’ musical education is punctuated by numerous outstanding student awards, most notably, a scholarship endowed by the Fish Middleton Jazz Society. He earned his Bachelor of Music in 1997 from Berklee College of Music. Rogers’ command of both the electric and acoustic bass has aided him in adapting to various musical genres. This versatility in addition to the creative energy that Rogers brings to the stage and recording studio has led him to be one of the most sought after bassists of his generation. He has enjoyed the opportunity of intense musical relationships with jazz artists of world-renown, such as Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Joshua Redman, Marcus Roberts, Nicholas Payton, Mulgrew Miller, Jackie McLean, Charles Lloyd and Dianne Reeves, amongst others. Rogers’ peers continue to influence and enrich his musical style and direction. He has toured extensively all over the globe, and has recorded on over 60 CDs.
Ever committed to supporting the arts in the Virgin Islands, Rogers returns when his schedule permits to conduct music workshops in local schools and organize fundraising concerts that benefit the education of today’s island youth. His musical endeavors come full circle during performances with Ron Blake and Dion Parson in the Caribbean jazz group „21st Century.”
★ Kendrick Scott – was born and raised in Houston. The first encounters Kendrick had with the drums were in church, where his parents, Kenneth and Stepheny, and older brother were involved in the music ministry. Scott was later accepted to Houston’s famed High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) where his high school career culminated in many awards – the most notable being The Clifford Brown/Stan Getz Fellowship, given by the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) and The National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts. Upon graduation from high school in 1998, Kendrick was awarded a scholarship to attend the famed Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, majoring in Music Education. Since graduating from Berklee in 2002, Scott has performed with a variety of name artists including the Jazz Crusaders, guitarist Pat Metheny, jazz legend, Charles Lloyd, saxophonists Joe Lovano and Kenny Garrett, vocalists Dianne Reeves, Lizz Wright, and trumpeter Terence Blanchard, to name a few. He also was a member of the Berklee-Monterey Quartet, performing at the legendary Monterey Jazz Festival in 1999-2000, 2002 and 2007.
Scott’s debut recording with his group Oracle recorded The Source in 2006, including pianists Aaron Parks and Robert Glasper, guitarist Lionel Loueke, vocalist Gretchen Parlato, and others. Scott also performed with the Terence Blanchard Quintet on the album A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina) (2007), which was nominated for two Grammy Awards for 2008. Kendrick was a member of the band that accompanied Terence Blanchard to the Monterey Jazz Festival’s 50th anniversary in 2007, and Scott will embark on the 22-state tour, starting in January, 2008 with the 50th Anniversary MJF All-Star Band features the leaders of the past, present and future withTerence Blanchard on trumpet, James Moody on saxophone, Benny Green on piano, Derrick Hodge on bass, and jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon.
▎CLAYTON / ROGERS / SCOTT
Gerald Clayton – fortepian
Reuben Rogers – kontrabas
Kendrick Scott – perkusja
Środa, 2.11.2016, godz. 22:00
I pula (przedsprzedaż) – 70 PLN
II pula (w dniu koncertu) – 77 PLN
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