January-8th-2006, 02:09 PM
Trinity Jazz Festival (Houston, TX)
David Liebman and Roseanna Vitro to headline Trinity Jazz Festival
by Bob Morgan
Jan 5th, 2006
Trinity Episcopal Church Announces 5th Annual Jazz Festival January 27 - 29, 2006
Trinity Episcopal Church, 1015 Holman at Main
Trinity Episcopal Church, located in Midtown at 1015 Holman at Main, announces the line-up for its 5th Annual Jazz Festival.
Friday, January 27, will open with the Kyle Turner Band. Following will be Roseanna Vitro, jazz vocalist, joined by Pamela York, piano, David Craig, bass, and Joel Fulgham, drums.
Saturday, January 28, will begin with trumpeter Barrie Lee Hall, Jr., and his quartet (Jose-miguel Yamal, piano; Bill Murray, bass; Sebastian Whittaker, drums). Making a rare Houston appearance is tenor saxophone giant David Liebman, accompanied by Paul English, piano, John Fremgen, bass, and J. J. Johnson, drums, the latter two from Austin.
Both evenings begin at 8:00 p.m. and there is plenty of free parking. Also, Trinity Church is located on the MetroRail line ("Ensemble" stop). Tickets are $35 for general admission, $55 for premium seating, and $20 for students with i.d. There is a $5 discount on tickets purchased by January 15th. Tickets may be purchased on the web at www.trinityjazzfest.net or by calling the church at 713.528.4100.
The Festival concludes on Sunday, January 29, 2006 with a "jazz mass" scheduled at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Houston pianist Paul English will be joined by other jazz artists and the Reverend William Miller in the jazz-themed religious celebration based around the famous 1968 "I have been to the mountaintop" speech by the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., in Memphis, Tennessee. The jazz mass is free and open to all.
Commenting on the three-day celebration, Miller says, "Jazz, done well, is difficult, complex music that also requires an almost spiritual ability to improvise freely – we’ve maintained the highest artistic standards for both the concerts and the jazz worship services. All of our world-class visiting artists have been blown away. Trinity Church seeks to become a home for the sacred arts, a place where creative expression and spirituality meet and flourish. We take pride in continuing as an integral part of the cultural and spiritual awakening in our great city."
Jazz saxophonist David Liebman has been hailed by many as one of the greats of that instrument.
"Liebman is among the most important saxophonists in contemporary music…a leader and artist of integrity and independent direction." Downbeat Magazine
Growing up in New York, his future was defined by listening to John Coltrane perform at legendary venues such as Birdland, the Village Vanguard, and the Half Note. Liebman’s first big break came when Elvin Jones hired him for the Elvin Jones Group. Within two years Liebman followed Coltrane’s path as the tenor player in the Miles Davis band (1970-74) along with Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, and Al Foster. Simultaneously, Liebman began exploring music with his own groups which included such jazz greats as Richie Beirach, Bob Moses, John Scofield, and Kenny Kirkland.
"While others of his 60s generation have fallen off their ambition, Liebman has remained dogged about composition and trying different styles…" Ben Ratliff, N Y Times
David Liebman, equally at home on the tenor and soprano saxophones, has forged a monumental career that encompasses classic jazz, fusion jazz, and avant-garde jazz. At present he has appeared on nearly 300 recordings, of which he has been the leader and/or co-leader on almost 100.
"For more than three decades David Liebman has championed artistic integrity and core musical values, while sharing a beacon for saxophonists in the stylistically fragmented post-Coltrane era. A majestic player, Liebman commands the soprano and tenor saxophones with unequalled technical skill, while his note choice and phraseology convey a lifetime of musical stories." Cadence Magazine
Roseanna Vitro is a native of Texarkana, Arkansas, who honed her jazz chops in Houston in the 1980s. Since then she has become one of the most sought after singers in the country. In 2005, she was named a "jazz ambassador" and appeared throughout Europe as a cultural ambassador for the U.S. Vitro explains, "It’s a goodwill gesture from the U.S. government, like in the days of Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie as ambassadors. What better way to represent the U.S. in a positive light than with jazz?" The title "jazz ambassador" was bestowed by the Kennedy Center, which sponsors cultural exchange programs. Vitro has appeared throughout Turkey and the Balkans—Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, and Cyprus. In each location she not only gave concerts but worked with local musicians, even encouraging them to sit in with her. "That shows how jazz is a universal language" says Vitro.
In September 2005, Roseanna recorded a live concert at the Kennedy Center Jazz Club. She has nine recordings and has worked with instrumentalists such as Arnett Cobb, Joe Lovano, Kenny Werner, Eddie Gomez, David "Fathead" Newman, and Fred Hersch.
"Her creative vocalese, her scatting and her presence are wondrous, and her calm affectionate rapport with the audience persuade you she shouldn’t stop." International Herald Tribune "…she has the unrelenting scatability of Ella Fitzgerald, the pristine elegance of Sarah Vaughn, the blues-bucket gustiness of Aretha Franklin, and her own distinct, clear voice." Downbeat Magazine
Roseanna spends much of her time in the U.S. as an educator at New Jersey City University where she teaches vocal jazz. Teaching is an important part of her life — it is where she can "give back" to the ones who have gone before her and try to cultivate and continue a love of her art.
Born in Louisiana, trumpeter Barrie Lee Hall, Jr., grew up as a musician in Houston. He can usually be found in the trumpet section of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, now led by Paul Mercer Ellington (Duke's grandson). Introduced to Duke himself one night by fellow Houstonian Arnett Cobb, Hall found himself on the bandstand of the legendary Duke Ellington Orchestra a short two days later.
He has never looked back and continues to enjoy a busy career as a trumpet player, composer, and arranger. He also spent five years as music director at Liberty Baptist Church in Houston. Says Hall, "I would love to see Ellington’s sacred works done more in the church. I have done this piece [Ellington’s Sacred Concert] when Duke was living and it has always been powerful. It ministers to people."
Hall’s credits include work for the Broadway hit "Sophisticated Ladies," projects with Kathleen Battle, the Boston Pops, Branford Marsalis, and many arrangements for the Duke Ellington Orchestra. He appeared on several Ellington recordings including the Grammy winning "Digital Duke" on the GRP label. He also travels to Europe as a guest soloist in Switzerland with a big band made up of top musicians from the U. S.
The Kyle Turner Band consistently thrills audiences in Houston and around the country. Tenor saxophonist Kyle Turner is a native Houstonian who studied at Texas Southern University. Closely associated with Kirk Whalum, Turner developed his talent in all areas of jazz. He has performed with many big names in the jazz arena: Kirk Whalum, Joe Sample, Ronnie and Hubert Laws, along with many others. Kyle also works to bring opportunities to young, talented jazz musicians.
"Kyle Turner’s music impacts people. It is both passionate and reflective. It is both old and youthful. It is both raw and refined." Kirk Whalum
Turner has issued three recordings, the third released on his own label, Lykyla Entertainment Group. He continues to record, produce and compose music for various projects including plays and movies.
ABOUT THE EVENT
The first Trinity Jazz Festival was produced in 2002 over a three-day span. Artists that year included Paul English, Elias Haslinger (Austin), Ed Calle (NYC), and Ellis Marsalis (New Orleans). The Reverend William Miller, a native Houstonian, got the idea from his former parish in Austin, Saint James. The Saint James festival has been in existence for many years and draws from the abundance of musicians in the Austin area. Miller wanted to broaden the scope of the Trinity Jazz Festival so he invited musicians with a national reputation while still supporting local jazz artists. Local artists featured in the festival have included bass player Thomas Helton’s group "Tribute," and pianists Suzi Stern, Gary Norian, and Paul English; internationally known artists have included Marvin Stamm, Ed Soph, Jason Moran, David "Fathead" Newman, and Bud Shank.
The high point of the past three festivals has undoubtedly been the Sunday morning jazz mass. While there is no official jazz liturgy, Miller chooses a theme that can be illustrated and highlighted by the performances of the many jazz musicians present. Part "high mass" and part "praise service," the service is a unique blend that never fails to communicate Miller’s message.
ABOUT THE CHURCH
Trinity Episcopal Church has been a significant spiritual home for the city of Houston since 1893. In 1917 Trinity Church was the ninth largest Episcopal Church in the United States, and during the 1920s, had the largest Sunday School in Texas, and, possibly, in the South. Six of Trinity's 14 rectors and two of its parishioners have become Bishops. From 1927-1942 Trinity operated a tearoom that served thousands of lunches and hosted many parties for the community. Over the decades, Trinity Church has responded to its changing neighborhood with compassionate awareness. Lord of the Streets Mission (LOTS), a significant ministry to the homeless and economically disadvantaged populations of our city, was founded by Trinity members almost 15 years ago. LOTS continues to hold its Sunday morning 7:00 a.m. service and breakfast at Trinity and meals for the homeless are provided six days a week. In addition to Lord of the Streets Mission, Trinity Church has founded three other missions in the city that are now thriving parishes.
The beautiful gothic church building, designed by world-renowned architects Ralph Adams Cram and William Ward Watkin of Boston, was built in 1917 and was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1988. The recently renovated Morrow Chapel features exceptional works of art by a diversity of talented artists.
Recognizing its location in the cultural center of a vibrant cosmopolitan community, Trinity Church celebrates the vital connection between the arts and the sacred. Numerous performing arts organizations, such as the acclaimed Houston Chamber Choir, perform at the church regularly. Trinity Church seeks to become a place where art and spirituality meet and flourish. Trinity is a church in the heart of the city with a true heart for the city.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
To continue to establish Trinity Church as a center for the arts and spirituality; to celebrate the unique American musical genre of jazz in the sacred context; to promote the cultural and artistic diversity of Trinity Church; to offer a program of music enrichment as an outreach effort to the Houston community, focusing particularly on students and young musicians; to enhance the worship experience of Trinity Church.