Hot Summer Nights and Cool Jazz
Louisiana State University's Hot Summer Nights and Cool Jazz concert series summer 2012 season is packed with an impressive lineup of guest performances by Hilary Kole, Gene Bertoncini, Rick VanMatre, Clarence Johnson III, and Steve and Sasha Masakowski.
The Hot Summer Nights Band kicks off their season on June 14th and 15th with guests Hilary Kole, vocalist and Gene Bertoncini, guitar. This pairing promises to spellbind and delight the audience.
Stephen Holden of the New York Times raves, "Ms. Kole's poised, sultry ballad-singing has always been easy on the ears. But her smooth melodic lines have never been so consistently infused with literary subtext, which spells the difference between sounded pretty, and having something to say."
Mike Joyce of the Jazz Times describes Gene Bertoncini's guitar expertise as "unique and versatile". Joyce also states Gene as being, "a superb stylist on both nylon-string acoustic guitar and amplified archtop. An exemplary solo performer, he has also collaborated with the likes of Buddy Rich, Wayne Shorter, Burt Bacharach, Tony Bennett, Lena Horne and Nancy Wilson".
On June 28th the band will be joined by multifaceted saxophonist, Rick VanMatre. Rick is a saxophonist, clarinetist, conductor, and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He has recorded as a jazz saxophone soloist numerous times and performed with such artists as John McNeil, Bobby Shew, Gene Bertoncini, Tim Hagans, Rosemary Clooney, the Duke Ellington Orchestra led by Mercer Ellington, and the Woody Herman Orchestra directed by Frank Tiberi.
June 29th's performance will change gears and showcase the Hot Summer Nights Band in their concert titled "Just Us". Each member is a master soloist in his own right and combined as an ensemble they are unstoppable.
Trumpeter Brian Shaw is Assistant Professor of Trumpet and Jazz Studies at Louisiana State University and is Co-Principal Trumpet of the Dallas Wind Symphony. Enjoying old and new styles alike, he is recognized as a prominent Baroque trumpeter and recorded a CD titled "Virtuoso Concertos for Clarino" which includes works by Michael Haydn and F.X. Richter. As a jazz trumpeter, Shaw performs regularly on the popular LSU concert series "Hot Summer Nights and Cool Jazz" and played lead trumpet on the 2009 Dave Rivello Ensemble debut album. Brian's jazz books are published by Advance Music and Universal Edition.
Bassist Bill Grimes began the Hot Summer Nights series in the mid 1990's initially as part of a summer faculty recital. He's watched it grow into a successful and usually sold-out group of six concerts. Bill has completed 28 years on the faculty at LSU, and is now holds the E.&D. White endowed alumni professorship. He spends his time between teaching jazz improvisation, jazz history, coaching chamber groups, playing the bass, writing pops orchestra arrangements, and making sawdust in a woodshop. He resides in Baton Rouge with his wife Jan, (also on the music faculty) and their two sons, Jonathan (a drummer and arts producer) and Tim (a seminarian).
Drummer Troy Davis has an impressive list of credentials in the jazz idiom, including performing with jazz vocalist Betty Carter, trumpeter Terrence Blanchard, and recently with jazz legend Ahmad Jamal. He has played on many of the film scores for director Spike Lee and has toured the world playing with artists at the highest level. Yet he is proud to call Baton Rouge home. Having grown up here, Troy has returned and resides with his wife and four young sons.
Pianist Willis Delony, the Barineau Professor of Keyboard Studies and Professor of Jazz Studies, is equally at home in both the classical and jazz worlds. As he completes his term as Interim Director of the School of Music, he prepares to return to full-time teaching in July and continue a busy schedule of performing, arranging and composing. He will be traveling to Brazil in late May for duo recital performances with James Campbell (Professor of Clarinet at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University). The two musicians will perform first in Belo Horizonte on May 29, and again in the Amazonian port city of Belem on May 31. Their program will feature classic clarinet/piano repertoire and also jazz-oriented works, including a new composition by Delony entitled Now We're Friends. After hosting and performing on Hot Summer Nights and Cool Jazz with Bill Grimes, Brian Shaw and Troy Davis, he and the group will appear at the Crested Butte (CO) Music Festival in August. Delony continues his association with the Minneapolis-based vocal group, Five By Design, and is writing new orchestral arrangements for their performances with the Boston Pops in December.
The Hot Summer Nights Band is excited to be joined by New Orleanian guest saxophonist Clarence Johnson III for their July 12th performance.
Known for his fierce and often sultry saxophone sound and astounding virtuosity, Clarence Johnson III has performed and recorded with the likes of Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, Gladys Knight, Wynton Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint, and Dr. John to name a few. Clarence made his big screen debut as a member of the Ray Charles Septet and the Ray Charles Orchestra performing on baritone saxophone alongside Oscar award-winning actor Jamie Fox in the blockbuster movie RAY (Universal Pictures 2004). Mr. Johnson also currently serves on the music faculty of Morehouse College as the Principal Woodwind Instructor, Symphonic Band Director, and Professor.
July 13th's concert promises to wrap up the 2012 season with a bang. New Orlenian jazz guitarist Steve Masakowski will be joined by his daughter, vocalist Sasha Masakowski and backed by the Hot Summer Nights Band and Jazz Orchestra.
Steve Masakowski has long been regarded as one of the top Jazz artists from New Orleans. Born and raised in New Orleans, Steve has played guitar with most of the city's greatest musicians including Alvin "Red" Tyler, Ellis Marsalis, Earl Turbinton, and James Black. He has also performed with Grammy Award winning artists Bobby McFerrin, Nicholas Payton, Allen Toussaint, and Dianne Reeves at major festivals around the world. As a recording artist, he has released numerous CD's including two on the prestigious Blue Note Records label. He has been an active member of, and composer for the award winning New Orleans Jazz group Astral Project. He has twice been voted "Best Guitarist", and won "Best Contemporary Jazz Group" three times by Gambit and Offbeat magazines in their annual reader's polls.
Vocalist Sasha Masakowski is blossoming as a very impressive key figure in the newest generation of jazz musicians destined to keep the musical legend of New Orleans and her family afloat and ever-expanding. Sasha began singing at age 8 and decided at a very early age that she wanted to follow in the footsteps of her parents and pursue the career of a musical artist. Sasha has received vast acclaim from critics, fellow musicians, and general audiences alike throughout the United States. Her reputation as a daring, fearless improviser and charming, creative interpreter has lead to reviews such as "Sasha Masakowski approaches songs as a musician, not as a character in a musical like so many jazz female vocalists" (Alex Rawls, jazz critic) and "The future of jazz is in great hands! Whether she's singing a great standard or an obscure samba, her musical fearlessness is a joy to hear" (Leah Chase, jazz vocalist).
As always, the Hot Summer Nights Band will be on hand at all performances to lay down the groove and set the mood.
All Hot Summer Nights and Cool Jazz performances will be held at 7:30pm in the Louisiana State University School of Music Building Recital Hall at the corner of Dalrymple and Infirmary Drive in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students with student I.D. card. Tickets may be purchased on this website or by calling 1-800-838-3006.
Louisiana State University School of Music Recital Hall (View)
102 New Music Building
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
|Minimum Age: 10|
|Kid Friendly: Yes!|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|