JAZZ. THE LIFEBLOOD OF AMERICAN CULTURE.

Produced by Luce Group for NJAI 

AARON DIEHL

Columbus, Ohio native Aaron Diehl seeks to standout in his era as an artist to exemplify quality, authenticity, and a fluency in the American musical vernacular. The 2011 Cole Porter Fellow of the American Pianists Association, Diehl has been hailed by the New York Times as "a smart young pianist with a fastidious grasp of jazz traditions." He is committed to unearthing the treasures of a rich musical language through collaborative efforts with artists across generations.

Born in 1985, Diehl grew up in a nurturing musical environment. His grandfather, pianist/trombonist Arthur Baskerville, was his first influence. Aaron began studying classically at age 7, and discovered his passion for jazz music when attending Interlochen Summer Camp. There he met piano prodigy Eldar Djangirov, who made an lasting impression on Diehl through his enthusiasm for Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum.

In 2002, Diehl was a finalist in Jazz at Lincoln Center's Essentially Ellington competition, where he was awarded "Outstanding Soloist." The following year, he was invited to tour with the Wynton Marsalis Septet on their European tour. A 2007 graduate of the Juilliard School, he studied with Kenny Barron, Oxana Yablonskaya and Eric Reed. He is a Martin E. Segal Award recipient.

Diehl released his first live album in 2008, a solo concert recorded at the Caramoor Festival. In 2010, "Live at the Players" featured two of his working trios-- David Wong and Paul Sikivie on bass, along with Quincy Davis and Lawrence Leathers on drums. His latest release, "The Bespoke Man's Narrative," (Mack Avenue) is the current product of Diehl's ensemble cultivation, influenced partly by John Lewis and the Modern Jazz Quartet. He is the 2013 Jazz Journalist Association's Up-And-Coming Musician of the Year Award recipient.


 

GARY BARTZ QUARTET

Grammy Award winning jazz saxophonist Gary Bartz first came to New York In 1958 to attend the Julliard Conservatory of Music. Just 17 years old, Gary couldn't wait to come to the city to play and learn. "It was a very good time for the music in New York, at the end of what had been the be-bop era," says Bartz. "Charlie Parker had passed away three years previously but Miles' group was in its heyday, Monk was down at the Five Spot, and Ornette Coleman was just coming to town. Things were fresh." Back then, Gary could regularly be found drinking Cokes in the all ages "peanut gallery" of Birdland, enjoying a marathon bill of performers. "If I didn't have money to get in. I'd help somebody carry a drum and sneak in," laughs Bartz. "I learned that early on."

Circa mid-'60s, the alto saxophonist - still in his early 20s - began performing throughout the city with the Max Roach/Abbey Lincoln Group and quickly established himself as the most promising alto voice since Cannonball Adderley. "In those days, we used to go by people's lofts and stay for weeks, just working on music," says Gary. "Polks would all chip in and buy food, and one of us would cook. But there was always music, because people were dropping by at all hours. We didn't even think about it; that's just what we did. We were very unselfish about what we were writing because, after all, music doesn't belong to any one person. It belongs to the people, to everybody."

With the splash of his New York debut solidly behind him, Bartz soon joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. According to the story, Gary's parents owned a club in Baltimore, the North End Lounge. When his father hired Blakey for a gig, Gary grabbed the opportunity to fill a sax player vacancy in the band. After his performance that night, the young Bartz was officially hired to join the Jazz Messengers; in 1965, he would make his recording debut on Blakey's SOULFINGER album.

From 1962-64, Gary joined Charles Mingus' Workshop and began practicing regularly with fellow members of the horn section, including Eric Dolphy. In 1968, Bartz began an association with McCoy Tyner, which included participating in Tyner's classic EXPANSIONS and EXTENSIONS albums. Work with McCoy proved especially significant for Bartz because of the bandleader's strong connection to John Coltrane — who Gary succinctly cites as a profound influence. Gary continues to perform and record with McCoy to this day.

During his first two years with Tyner, Gary was also touring with Max Roach and taking some time out to record on Max's Atlantic Records release, MEMBERS DON'T GET WEARY. "With Max, there was that bond with Charlie Parker," declares Bartz. "Charlie Parker is why I play the alto saxophone."

Bartz received a call from Miles Davis in 1970; work with the legendary horn player marked Gary's first experience playing electric music. It also reaffirmed his yen for an even stronger connection to Coltrane.

In addition to working with Miles in the early '70s - including playing the historic Isle of Wight Festival in August, 1970 - Bartz was busy fronting his own NTU Troop ensemble. The group got its name from the Bantu language: NTU means unity in all things, time and space, living and dead, seen and unseen.

Outside the Troop, Bartz had been recording as a group leader since 1968, and continued to do so throughout the '70s, during which time he released such acclaimed albums as, ANOTHER EARTHHOMEMUSIC IS MY SANCTUARY, and LOVE AFFAIR, by the late '70s, he was doing studio work in Los Angeles with Norman Connors and Phyllis Hyman. In 1988, after a nine-year break between solo releases, Bartz began recording what music columnist Gene Kalbacher described as"vital ear-opening sides," on such albums as MONSOONWEST 42ND STREET,THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD, and SHADOWS.

Bartz followed those impressive works in 1995 with the release of his debut Atlantic album THE RED AND ORANGE POEMS, a self-described musical mystery novel and just one of Gary's brilliantly conceived concept albums. Back when Bartz masterminded the much-touted I'VE KNOWN RIVERS album, based on the poetry of Langston Hughes, his concepts would be twenty years ahead of those held by some of today's jazz/hip hop and acid jazz combos.

So it continues with THE BLUES CHRONICLES: TALES OF LIFE. A testimonial to a steadfast belief in the power of music to soothe, challenge, spark a crowd to full freak, or move one person to think. It adds up to a shoe box full of musical snapshots from a life lived and played with passion and stirred - with both joy and sadness - by the blues.

Gary's latest release, LIVE AT THE JAZZ STANDARD. VOL. 1 - SOULSTICE, is the first of a series of recordings documenting his legendary, non-stop style, live performances. This initial release on his own OYO label bares testimony to Gary's continuing growth as a composer, group leader, and master of both the alto and soprano saxophones. A quartet session recorded in 1998, it will be followed by LIVE AT THE JAZZ STANDARD, VOL 2, scheduled for late Spring 2000 release, which features Gary's exciting Sextet. Scheduled for release this year, SOPRANO STORIES will find Gary exclusively performing on the soprano saxophone in a studio quartet setting. With over 30 recordings as a leader (as well as more than 100 recordings as a guest artist with others), Gary Bartz has taken his rightful place in the pantheon of jazz greats.

WARREN WOLF

Warren attended the Peabody Prepatory for eight years studying classical music with former Baltimore Symphony Orchestra member Leo LePage. During his high school years at the Baltimore School for the Arts, Warren studied with current Baltimore Symphony Orchestra member John Locke. After graduating from Baltimore School for the Arts in June of 1997, Warren headed north and enrolled at the Berklee College of Music in Boston,MA.

During his time at Berklee, Warren studied with Carribean Jazz Vibraphonist Dave Samuels for seven of eight semesters.One semester was spent with vibist Ed Saindon. During his time at Berklee, Warren began to explore deeper into jazz. Some musicians who've helped Warren reach his musical goal during his time at Berklee were musicians such as Jeremy Pelt, John Lamkin, Darren Barrett, Wayne Escoffery, Richard Johnson, Kendrick Scott, Walter Smith, Jason Palmer, Rashawn Ross and many others. Through those musicians Warren becamse an active performer around the Boston area, gigging frequently on the Vibraphone, Drums and Piano. One of the highlights of Warren's stay in Boston was co-leading a quintet with Boston-based trumpeter Jason Palmer at the historic jazz club Wallys Cafe. Warren was the house drummer at Wallys for two years, performing every Friday and Saturday.

After graduating from Berklee in May of 2001, Warren became an active musician on the Boston local scene. Warren was hired in September of 2003 to become an instructor in the percussion department at Berklee College of Music. Warren taught private lessons on the Vibraphone and Drums, as well as teach a beginners keyboard class for entering freshman drumset majors.

After two years of teaching at Berklee College of Music, Warren headed back to Baltimore to start his main goal of becoming a full time performing musician. Since leaving Berklee as a teacher, Warren has landed the piano duties performing in the Rachael Price Group. Recording and touring with Rachael, Warren has had the opportunity to tour throughout the entire Unites States of America. Warren is currently the drummer of choice for Alto Saxophonist Tia Fuller, who tours with internationally renowned pop star Beyonce Knowles. Warren is also a member of the Donal Fox Group which includes bassist John Lockwood and drummers Dafnis Preito and Terri Lyne Carrington. Also, Warren tour and perform with Bobby Watson's "Live and Learn" Sextet, Karriem Riggins "Virtuoso Experience" and Christian McBride & "Inside Straight". With these three groups Warren has traveled the world. Warren has performed throughout the United States of America, South America, Canada, Italy, Spain, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Scotland, London, Greece, Singapore, Thailand, Jarkata, Bangkok, Tokyo, Paris, Moscow and many other countries.

 

BILL CHARLAP

One of the world’s premiere jazz pianists, Bill Charlap has performed with many leading artists of our time, ranging from Phil Woods and Tony Bennett to Gerry Mulligan and Wynton Marsalis. He is known for his interpretations of American popular songs and has recorded albums featuring the music of Hoagy Carmichael, Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin. Time Magazine wrote, “Bill Charlap approaches a song the way a lover approaches his beloved…no matter how imaginative or surprising his take on a song is, he invariably zeroes in on its essence.”
 
In 1997, Charlap formed the Bill Charlap Trio with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington (no relation), now recognized as one of the leading groups in jazz. In 2000, he was signed to Blue Note Records and has since received two Grammy Award nominations, for Somewhere: The Songs of Leonard Bernstein and most recently The Bill Charlap Trio: Live at the Village Vanguard. In 2009, Charlap was pianist and musical director for The Blue Note 7, an all-star jazz septet celebrating the legacy of Blue Note Records on its 70th anniversary. The septet performed a 50-city tour and released the CD, Mosaic: A Celebration of Blue Note Records.
 
Charlap is the artistic director of New York City’s Jazz in July Festival at the 92nd Street Y. He has produced several concerts for Jazz at Lincoln Center and an evening of George Gershwin’s music at the Hollywood Bowl.
 
Born in New York City, Charlap began playing the piano at age three. His father was Broadway composer Moose Charlap, whose credits include Peter Pan, and his mother is singer Sandy Stewart, who appeared on the Ed Sullivan and Perry Como shows and earned a Grammy nomination for her recording of “My Coloring Book.” In 2005, Charlap and Stewart released the acclaimed CD, Love Is Here To Stay (Blue Note).


RENEE ROSNES

Canadian born, Renee Rosnes is one of the premier pianists and composers of her generation. Shortly after relocating from Vancouver to New York in 1986, Rosnes quickly established a reputation as a major talent. She has recorded and toured with a veritable "who's who" of jazz, being the pianist of choice for such legendary musicians as Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, JJ Johnson, Buster Williams and Bobby Hutcherson. In 1989, James Moody hired Renee for his quartet, and she remained a member of his band until his passing in 2010.

In 2012, she was the musical director for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center's For Love of Moody: A Jazz Celebration, a show that included performances by George Benson, the Manhattan Transfer and Jimmy Heath. Also in 2012, she produced Joe Henderson's 75th Birthday Celebration for Jazz at Lincoln Center's Allen Room, which featured Bobby Hutcherson, Chris Potter and Robert Hurst among others. From 2004-2009, Rosnes was a member of the all-star octet, the SFJAZZ Collective. From 2008-2010, Rosnes enjoyed her role as the radio host of The Jazz Profiles, an interview series produced by Canada's CBC. Also in the role of jazz journalist, Renee has contributed two major cover story interviews for JazzTimes magazine, one with Wayne Shorter and his quartet (April 2013) and the other with pianist Geri Allen (September 2013).

OSMANY PAREDES

Osmany Paredes Gonzalez is a pianist, composer and arranger whose style blends jazz with his Afro-Cuban rhythmic heritage by using a technique derived from years of classical education. Born in Santa Clara, Cuba, his father began Osmany's musical education at the age of five. Guillermo Paredes, percussionist with the Santa Clara Orquesta de Música Moderna, was his first teacher and primary influence. He taught him about the different Afro-Cuban rhythms and styles.

At the age of eight, Osmany started his formal education in classical piano at the Olga Alonso School of Vocational Arts in Santa Clara, Cuba. He continued these studies at the esteemed National School of Music in Havana and graduated with honors in 1991. Throughout the time that he was studying the classics, he continued to listen to as many jazz recordings as possible in order to incorporate that style into his playing. While still in school Osmany played with many groups in Cuba including the charanga group Orquesta America. This group provided him with his first tour outside of Cuba when they went to Venezuela.

After graduation he joined the jazz group of Bobby Carcasses and later the charanga group Orquesta Enrique Jorrin. These three groups gave him an invaluable education in Cuban music, jazz, and performance. After moving to Mexico in 1992, he played with various artists and groups including Israel "Cachao" Lopez, Jerry Gonzalez, Celio Gonzalez, Diego alias "El Cigala", and "Patato" Valdes, Fellove Valdes among others. Osmany has appeared at the renowned Havana Jazz Plaza Festival, the Caracas and Trujillo Jazz Festivals, Venezuela; Acapulco International Jazz Festival, Theatre of Fine Arts, the Centro Historico International Festival; International Festival Tribute to Agustin Lara (2001) as the producer, musical director, arranger and pianist; Veracruz International Caribbean Festival, the Cervantino International Festival, Mexico; and he has also participated in other festivals in Austria, Germany, Spain, Uruguay, Chile, and Colombia.

Since his arrival in the United States in 2003, Osmany Paredes has been featured in many well-known clubs; and he has performed or recorded with David Murray, Richard Bona, Giovanni Hidalgo, George Garzone, Howard Johnson, Roy Hargrove, Jane Bunnett and Issac Delgado among others. He has also appeared at the Zinc Bar, the Jazz Gallery, Smoke, Jazz Standard and Dizzy's Club Coca Cola in New York City, the Kimmel Center and the Museum of Art in Philadelphia, the Freihofer Jazz Festival in Saratoga Springs, the Berklee Performance Center and the Regattabar in Boston, Providende Sound Session 2005, 2006 and 2007, the San Jose Jazz Festival, the San Francisco Jazz Festival, the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles, Yoshi's in Oakland, the Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle and the Art of Jazz in Toronto.


JENNIFER VINCENT

Jennifer Vincent, bassist and cellist, has been an active force on the music scene in New York City for well over a decade. She plays and has played and toured with the likes of Betty Carter, Abbey Lincoln, the famed Boy's Choir of Harlem, Willie Martinez y La Familia, Son Sublime, the Xavier Cougat Orchestra, the Roberto Rodriguez Septet, Carmen Lundy, Harry Whitteaker (longtime artistic director and keyboardist for Roberta Flack), Jon Hendricks, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and many other jazz and Latin notables.

Jennifer's sound has been characterized as "Cheerfully Blantonian" by the Village Voice. Her bass lines are featured on NBC's 75th Anniversary "Cosby Show Retrospective", and she can be heard on commercials for Lipitor, Marriott Hotels, and Olive Garden. She has played on many film soundtracks, including "90 Miles", a film which won Best Documentary at the 2003 Havana Film Festival. She has been featured on "City Arts", has traveled to South America as a Jazz Ambassador for the State Department, and plays for Lincoln Center's "Meet the Artist" series. All About Jazz has this to say about her: "Bass player Jennifer Vincent shows that she can stay with anyone when it comes to getting a bass to sing....."

Jennifer, who started as a classically-trained cellist at Oberlin Conservatory, is equally comfortable in the jazz, Latin-jazz, and traditional Cuban musical idioms. Her bass teachers include jazz icon Ron Carter, Andy Gonzales, Ed Bennett, Buster Williams, and Cuban bass legend Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez of the Buena Vista Social Club, with whom she traveled to Cuba to study with.

Jennifer delves into music that utilizes West African, Japanese, and Middle Eastern influences with artists such as Sogbety Diomande form the Ivory Coast, the Pan-Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble, and Algerian pianist Maurice el Medioni's "Descarga Oriental", which won the 2006 BBC Music Award for Best World Crossover. According to Songlines World Music magazine, "Vincent's thick, measured New York Latin Bass, so different from anything el Medioni has previously recorded with, is perfect!". For the past 5 years she has been touring the world over with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, carrying on the tradition of the longest-running and most legendary jazz orchestra in American history.