The concert featuring Cyrus Chestnut, held on Sunday, Mar 18th at Millersville University’s Ware Center was nothing short of remarkable!

Chestnut, who has graced our stage in previous years, seems only to get better with age – to which all in attendance will attest. It was far from a disappointment. We thank the Cyrus Chestnut Trio for their stirring performance.

Up next: The Kim Thompson Group

Kim Thompson graduated from Manhattan School of Music in 2003 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Performance and Composition. She is a fresh, new talent whose portfolio includes projects alongside megastar Beyonce, jazz legends Kenny Barron, Roy Hargrove, Wallace Roney, Mike Stern, and more.

The concert will take place on April 22nd at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel
4650 Lindle Road in Harrisburg
, promptly at 6pm. The Central Dauphin H.S. Jazz Band will begin the evening’s festivities at 5pm.

 


Okay, it’s not that we’re obsessed, but let’s just say “we’re ecstatic” to bring Cyrus back to the Central PA stage.

For those of you who don’t know why (and we can’t imagine who that might be!), Chestnut is one of the leading jazz pianists on the planet, receiving countless awards for his expertise.

His trio will perform at the Ware Center at 6pm on the Millersville University grounds in Millersville, PA. Preceding the trio will be the Hempfield H.S. Jazz Ensemble at 5pm.

Tickets can be obtained online via CPFJ’s website or by dialing 717.540.1010.


We’re counting down the days until we open our mid-season with the incomparable CYRUS CHESTNUT! As noted, Chestnut will perform on March 18th at the Ware Center at Millersville University in Millersville, PA.

Chestnut has performed with some of the legendary and leading musicians in music, not simply jazz, such as Isaac Hayes and Kathleen Battle, to name a few. His talent is undeniable! Critics agree: Cyrus Chestnut is AMAZING – and this is one concert you won’t want to miss.

To get your tickets, log onto http://www.cpfj.org or call 717.540.1010. Tickets MIGHT be available at the door (if we’re not sold out)!

Tickets can be purchased online via CPFJ’s website or by dialing 717.540.1010.


Back by popular demand, the Cyrus Chestnut Trio will open CPFJ’s new season on Sunday, March 18th at the Ware Center/Millersville University in Millersville, PA. The show starts promptly at 5pm with the Hempfield H.S. Jazz Ensemble. The Trio will appear at 6pm.

Chestnut is one of the leading jazz pianists in the world. Born in Baltimore, MD, Chestnut earned a degree in jazz composition and arranging Berklee and was awarded the Eubie Blake Fellowship, the Oscar Peterson, Quincy Jones, and Count Basie awards for exceptional performance standards at the college.

He has performed with some of the legendary and leading musicians in the business, including Terence Blanchard, Branford Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard, Chick Corea, Jimmy Heath, James Moody, Joe Williams, Isaac Hayes, Kathleen Battle, Betty Carter and, Dizzy Gillespie just to name a few.

Tickets to this event can be purchased online via CPFJ’s website or by dialing 717.540.1010.


Central PA Friends of Jazz will kick off its 2011 fall season with THREE outstanding performances at the SHERATON HOTEL on Lindle Road in Harrisburg (formerly the Marriott Hotel).

The season opens on Sunday September 25th with a CD Release Party featuring the Terell Stafford Quintet as they ‘Play the Music of Billy Strayhorn.’

Terell Stafford

The JazzTimes says of the trumpeter’s latest CD (This Side of Strayhorn), “…the extraordinary trumpeter and flugelhornist Terell Stafford shines the light back on Strayhorn,” and calls the recording a “remarkable composing gift” as he refers to Stafford’s “startling interpretative talent.”

Stafford has been called “one of the great players of our time” by the legendary jazz pianist McCoy Tyner.

The Sunday, October 23rd concert welcomes the Bobby Watson Quintet.

Bobby Watson

The saxophonist’s latest CD “The Gates BBQ Suite” (so named in honor of Watson’s grandparents), has been called a “joyous, groove-based sensibility of the album hints that the compositions were designed by a man familiar with the music of Donald Byrd and Ramsey Lewis.”

Lew Tabackin

The Lew Tabackin Trio will be featured on Sunday, November 20th. Flutist and saxophonist Tabackin has won First Place, Flute, Swing Journal Reader’s Poll for four consecutive years as well as Down Beat International Critics Poll 2010 – Flute. Reviewers describe Tabackin’s performances as “distinctive” with “purposeful fervor.”

Tickets for each concert can be purchased via the website (www.cpfj.org) or purchased at the door on the day of the concert. Doors open at 4:30pm. For more information call 717.540.1010 or send a question or comment via email to info@cpfj.org.


Steve Rudolph

Join us when our own Steve Rudolph shares his life on BlogTalkRadio’s “Livin’ the Dream! with JBlair Brown,” a LIVE Internet program. Scheduled for 2pm on Wed, April 6th, Rudolph will discuss his adventures and life in the jazz industry.

Rudolph was born and raised in Evansville, IN. He fell in love with music, first as a trumpet student and, at age 22, transitioned to the piano.

A natural on the keys, Rudolph found himself, a few short years later performing with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, backing up the likes of Helen O’Connell and the Mills Brothers. After moving to Harrisburg in 1978 (my center of the universe!), Rudolph became a main staple at the renowned Holiday Inn Town. With his ever-increasing reputation as a solid jazz pianist, his name became pseudonymous with greats like Royce Campbell, Johnny Coles, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Hunt, Lonnie Lester, Joe Lovano, Buddy Tate, JJ Wiggins, and many others.

Rudolph has performed at Carnegie Hall and across the US as well as throughout Europe. During the early 80’s, he and a small group of jazz enthusiasts founded Central PA Friends of Jazz – and we’re all the better for it.

You can connect to the LIVE show by clicking here at 2pm on Wed, April 6th at 2pm. The show’s chat room will also be open, so feel free to scroll to the bottom of the page and share your questions or comments for Steve. And if you’re truly daring…DIAL IN anytime during the 30-minute segment and be heard LIVE on the radio! The number to dial is 347-539-5805. Hope you can attend!


Etienne Charles

The house was rockin’ last night when the Etienne Charles Quintet entertained us at the Hilton in downtown Harrisburg.

A storyteller of sorts, the night was peppered with folklore told in Charles’ native Trinidad and Tobago. In fact, the name of his latest CD is titled “Folklore,” and represents the tales told to him as a child: of mermaids, forest dwellers and such. It’s a splendid cocktail of lively tempos and beats as distinct as Charles’ own style of storytelling.

A natural artist and storyteller, Charles weaved his childhood tales into his gig effortlessly. And then there was audience participation in an echoing of ooohs, ahhhs, boo-be-boo-bows, and more “does he seriously think we can mimic THAT sound?” moments.

It was quite a festive occasion. And why wouldn’t it be – because that’s how we do it here at CPFJ.


Etienne Charles

CPFJ will feature the Etienne Charles Trio on Sunday, March 20th at 5pm at the Hilton Harrisburg.

As a precursor, BlogTalkRadio’s “Livin’ the Dream! with JBlair Brown” will interview Charles for this upcoming concert. The show’s host, Judith Brown, is also the publicist for CPFJ and says, “It’s a natural solution to getting the word out there. Of course, we (CPFJ) also use traditional means – such as press releases, ads and social media – to publicize our events. But adding my show to the mix is definitely an added benefit.”

Other CPFJ-associated artists interviewed on “Livin’ the Dream!” include Aaron Goldberg (who performed at CPFJ’s February Sunday concert) and Amy Banks (a friend and former board member of CPFJ).

To hear Etienne Charles’ interview LIVE, click here on Friday, Mar 18th at 2pm, where you’ll also be able to participate in the chat session during the interview.

You can also listen on your phone by dialing 347-539-5805.


Ahhh, the joys of LIVE MUSIC! Nothing beats it.

If you were privy to attend this past Sunday concert featuring The Aaron Goldberg Trio, you know that what I’m about to say is absolutely true; if you weren’t: too bad, too sad…because the Goldberg Trio lit up that Hilton Harrisburg like fireworks on Independence Day! They were truly awesome!!!

But that’s not the whole story. Let me give you the Reader’s Digest version:

Goldberg, who performed in Haiti Saturday night (yes, the real Haiti, not…like “little Haiti” that might refer to a small Haitian community in the states…THE HAITIAN ISLAND!). Anyway, in order to make it to CPFJs gig, Goldberg did everything short of bribery to get here. Seriously. And if you were there on Sunday, you would know that this also is true: apparently Goldberg’s second career is stand-up comedy. His deadpan delivery is simply classic. Perfect timing (which comes in handy in music too) and straight face (which could be attributed to jet lag) were spot-on, regardless of the inspiration.

To add to the night’s “are you kidding me?” theme: When renowned bassist Omer (pronounced o-MARE) Avital picked up his instrument to begin the set a string popped. Just like that – POP! But Omer is so gifted that no one could tell the difference. Add to his flair Goldberg’s skills and the rock-solid performance by drummer Eric Harland – and you had yourself one of the best concerts to hit this circuit. Hands down!

So there you have it: the recap from this past Sunday’s concert. It was an “out-of-this-world, Lord-have-mercy!, give-me-some-more” classic jazz performance.

Up next: CPFJ presents The Etienne Charles Quartet LIVE at the Hilton Harrisburg on March 20th at 6pm (with a local jazz ensemble starting us off at 5pm). And on April 17th, CPFJ brings back by popular demand the great Mulgrew Miller – this time LIVE at Hollywood Casino.

Yeah, folks…we’re just gettin’ started…

Jazz: reignited

February 15, 2011


Ok, so WE know that jazz has always been here…and that it’s absolutely the best form of musical expression in the world. (Did we ever doubt that?) Seems though that the rest of the nation is finally catching on.

She's a baddddd girl!

Case in point: The “Oh-no!-she-didn’t-snatch-that-Grammy-away-from Justin-Bieber!” fan-tabulous Esperanza Spalding’s win over the teen throbber! Who wasn’t moved by that? What jazz lover didn’t feel pride as Spalding gracefully accepted the award, much to the dismay of crying teens everywhere.

So today we feel pride and dignity and appreciation toward a panel of people (whoever they are) who (obviously) realized that jazz is an important and formidable presence in American society (which WE always knew!).

So glad they finally figured it out.