For Immediate Release, November 15, 2017
Contact Quentin E. Baxter
Quentin E. Baxter presents three jazz concerts on Kiawah, sponsored by the Town of Kiawah Island Cultural Events Fund
Each concert is $25 General Admission, 7:30pm at Turtle Point Clubhouse
CHARLESTON, SC – Grammy-nominated musician, producer and world-renowned drummer Quentin E. Baxter presents another amazing three-concert series at the Legends Room – Turtle Point Clubhouse on Kiawah Island. Each individual concert is $25 general admission and starts at 7:30pm. A three-concert package is available for a limited time, for $60. Tickets are available at www.baxtermusic.com or 843-766-8814. The concert series is sponsored by the Town of Kiawah Island Cultural Events Fund. Artist photos available upon request.
RODNEY JORDAN QUINTET
THURSDAY, JANUARY 11, 2018 at 7:30pm
The first featured artist of the series is bassist/educator/composer Rodney Jordan. This concert kicks off a CD release tour of Jordan’s debut album as a bandleader, Playing Jazz Vol. 1. Accompanying Jordan for the show will be trumpeter Melvin Jones, saxophonist Mark Sterbank, pianist Louis Heriveaux, and drummer Quentin E. Baxter. Playing Jazz Vol. 1 features Stephen Riley on tenor saxophone, Alphonso Horne on trumpet, Marcus Roberts on piano and Jason Marsalis on drums.
Jordan is certainly no stranger to the Lowcountry audiences, having facilitated the bass chair in performances with world-renowned artists such as vocalist René Marie and pianist Marcus Roberts. Jordan can be heard on numerous recording, including the Marcus Roberts Trio, Marcus Roberts Nonet, Béla Fleck & the Marcus Roberts Trio, René Marie, Russell Gunn, Curtis Fuller, Bill Anschell, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Melvin Jones, and Scotty Barnhart.
A native of Memphis, TN, Jordan grew up playing the bass in church and his high school orchestra. He later studied music with Dr. London Branch, Alvin Fielder, and Andy Hardwick at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi.
During his college years, Jordan joined the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, where he served as Assistant Principal Bassist. Teaching has always been a passion for Jordan. After receiving a B.M. in Music Education from Jackson State University, Jordan relocated to Georgia and became Chair of the String Department at the Dougherty County Public School while serving as Principal Bassist with the Albany Symphony Orchestra in Albany, GA. Jordan also taught in the DeKalb County School Systems and served as a bass instructor at both Darton College (part of the University System of Georgia) in Albany and at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
In 2001, Jordan joined the faculty in the School of Music at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL as Associate Professor of Jazz Studies where he teaches jazz bass, jazz combo playing, music education classes, and a jazz styles class. It was here at FSU that Jordan and pianist Marcus Roberts first met and played together. The two instantly formed a very close musical bond, playing and teaching together on many occasions.
“One of the first things that I noticed about Rodney was his dedicated work ethic,” says Marcus Roberts. “When I observed students around him, I noticed that they became more serious just from working with him. His example inspires and leads them to greater commitment to learning how to play this music. Students respect him because he practices what he preaches. He also spends a lot of extra time with the students, and is never too busy to answer their questions.”
Jordan joined the Marcus Roberts Trio in 2009. It was evident during that first official performance of the newly-formed trio at the prestigious Wigmore Hall in London that Jordan thoroughly understood Roberts’ unique trio concept.
Rodney Jordan is one of the most versatile jazz bassists on the scene today. His tone is rich and soulful when he plays hauntingly beautiful phrases with the bow. Just as readily, he plays fast virtuosic passages with apparent effortless skill. Jordan’s knowledge of harmony from his classical bass training combined with the relentless feeling of swing in his playing is a perfect fit for the powerful melodic, blues-based, syncopated improvisational sound of the Marcus Roberts Trio.
Rodney Jordan’s passion and dedication to the music is evident in every note that he plays. There is little doubt that he will make a lasting contribution to his instrument and to jazz music.
ULYSSES OWENS JR & FRIENDS
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2018 at 7:30pm
The second featured artist of the series is drummer/producer/educator Ulysses Owens, Jr. Heralded as a “powerhouse of a showman” (Glide Magazine), a “legitimate jazz triple threat” (Critical Jazz), and a drummer who “take[s] a back seat to no one” (The New York Times), Ulysses Owens Jr goes the limit in the jazz world and beyond.
Accompanying Owens in his presentation of “Ellington and Beyond” will be trumpeter Alphonso Horne, pianist Liston Gregory III, bassist Phil Norris, and vocalist Kiaya Cash.
“Playing in the Southeast is a rare occurrence for me though I am from there. Charleston and Savannah are two of my favorite cities in the world. …There are so many music lovers in the Lowcountry and I’m honored for the invitation(s) to showcase my band there. I am also honored to work with Quentin Baxter and be part of the great presentation of live music he has created there,” he said.
Owens, a native of Jacksonville, FL, started playing drums at just two years old. His mother, Gwendolyn, enrolled him in classical piano lessons. In high school, Ulysses attended the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, where he became part of the school’s inaugural jazz program and graduated with a full scholarship to the Juilliard School.
Owens is also a graduate of the Juilliard’s inaugural Jazz Studies Program.
From GRAMMY-award winning performances with Christian McBride’s acclaimed trio and big band to world tours with Kurt Elling and Joey Alexander, Owens’s artistic command of percussion has earned him positions in some of the most successful jazz ensembles of the 21st century. Owens’ reverence for tradition distinctly manifests in his straight-away playing style, but it is the versatility of his talent – his unique ability to manipulate texture and create penetrating musical shapes – that attracts the attention of heavy hitters in jazz. His performance catalog includes collaborations with Nicholas Payton, Wynton Marsalis, Monty Alexander, Dianne Schuur, Russell Malone, Renee Fleming and Mulgrew Miller, just to name a few.
A burgeoning force in the industry, Owens has been named a Rising Star by DownBeat’s Critics Poll for five consecutive years. He is a recipient of the 2013 ASCAP Plus Award, a gold medal winner of the 2014 Global Music Awards and a 2015 Jazz at Lincoln Center Swing Award honoree.
Still, most notable of Owens’ accomplishments are his performances on the 2010 Grammy Award winning Kurt Elling live album, Dedicated to You, and the 2012 Grammy Award winning Christian McBride Big Band album, The Good Feeling. His work with Joey Alexander and the Christian McBride Trio has also received recognition by the Academy, garnering Grammy Award nominations for “My Favorite Things,” “Out Here,” and “Live at the Village Vanguard.”
At the heart of Owens’s work is a passion for creation and the desire to reach new audiences. On and off stage, music emanates from every inch of his being, and no performance goes unmarked by Owens’ signature smile. Owens is a gifted bandleader, claiming three successful albums of his own (It’s Time for U, Unanimous, and Onward and Upward) and three self-produced albums with the New Century Jazz Quintet (Time is Now, In Case You Missed Us, and Arise), a skillful group he co-leads with pianist Takeshi Ohbayashi. This band-first philosophy reassures Owens that the conversation with the audience remains fluid and focused, another stamp of his seasoned expertise and professional sophistication.
Music education is also a huge passion of Owens’s career. As Founder and Artistic Director of Don’t Miss A Beat, his family non-profit organization in Jacksonville, FL, and Professor in the Jazz Studies Program at The Juilliard School, Owens continues to make a great impact in the area of Jazz Education.
There is hardly a quiet moment in the life of Ulysses Owens Jr, but as long as audiences keep turning to music to fuel hearts and souls, this performer, producer, and educator will continue sharing his talents as fully and graciously as he always does.
HARRY ALLEN QUARTET
MONDAY, MARCH 12, 2018 at 7:30pm
The third featured artist on the concert series is tenor saxophonist Harry Allen. Performing originals and arrangements of “classics” from the Great American Songbook, Allen will be joined by guitarist Randy Napoleon, bassist Elias Bailey, and drummer Quentin E. Baxter.
Gene Lees writes, “Stan Getz was once asked his idea of the perfect tenor saxophone soloist. His answer was, ‘My technique, Al Cohn’s ideas, and Zoot’s time.’ The fulfillment of that ideal may very well be embodied in thirty-year-old Harry Allen.”
Swing Bros. recording artist Harry Allen now has more than thirty recordings to his name. Three of Allen’s recordings have won Gold Disc Awards from Japan’s Swing Journal Magazine, and his album Tenors Anyone? won both the Gold Disc Award and the New Star Award. Allen’s recordings have made the top ten list for favorite new releases in Swing Journal Magazine’s reader’s poll and Jazz Journal International’s critics poll for 1997.
The third of the Gold Disc Award winners, “Eu Nao Quero Dancar (I Won’t Dance), was voted second for the 1998 Album of the Year award by Swing Journal Magazine’s reader’s poll. In 2006, the Harry Allen – Joe Cohn Quartet won the New York Nightlife Award for Outstanding Jazz Combo Performance and was nominated for Best Jazz Combo by the Jazz Journalists Association.
Born in Washington, D.C., Allen spent his formative years in Los Angeles, CA and Burrillville, RI. Allen received a Bachelor of Arts in Music in 1988 from Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Frequently touring the United States, Europe and Asia, Allen has performed with artists such as Rosemary Clooney, Ray Brown, Hank Jones, Frank Wess, Flip Phillips, Scott Hamilton, Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison, Kenny Burrell, Herb Ellis, John Pizzarelli, Bucky Pizzarelli, Gus Johnson, Jeff Hamilton, Terry Gibbs, Warren Vache, and Freddy Cole. Allen can also be heard on recordings with Tony Bennett, Johnny Mandel, Ray Brown, Tommy Flanagan, James Taylor, Sheryl Crow, Kenny Barron, Dave McKenna, Dori Caymmi, Larry Goldings, George Mraz, Jake Hanna, and Al Foster, among others.
“Rhythmic edge and endless flow of ideas…a first division tenor player”
– Martin Gaylord, The Daily Telegraph
“Rich and Satisfying when he’s balladeering, mind blowing when he’s cooking”
– Martin Richards, Jazz Journal
“…his tremendous tenor sax playing…endlessly inventive and with a flood of original ideas…his tone and execution are always superb”
– Eddie Cook, Jazz Journal