New Orleans Ladies of Jazz; Stephanie Jordan, Germaine Bazzle, Leah Chase at Bayou Boogaloo Festival

Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 3:45 p.m.

SYLVAIN MUSIC NOTES - New Orleans Ladies of Jazz; Stephanie Jordan, Germaine Bazzle, and Leah Chase will perform together on stage on Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 3:45 p.m. during the 5th Annual “Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo,” a community music festival held on the banks of Bayou Saint John in New Orleans. Backed by the Stephanie Jordan Big Band, this performance will provide music lovers an opportunity to enjoy some of New Orleans most renowned jazz divas in Bazzle, Chase, and Jordan performing traditional jazz standards from the era of the Big Band sound.

Voted Offbeat 2010 Best of the Beat award for Best Neighborhood Festival, the Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo festival has maintained its’ commitment of providing a community-building experience while also raising funds for local charities. The event will occur Friday (evening), Saturday, and Sunday rain or shine. Other featured acts include Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & the Zydeco Twisters; Delfaeyo Marsalis’ Sweet Thunder; Donald Harrison and the Congo Nation; Kris Royal and Dark Matter, Cyril Neville’s Tribe 13; and others.

Germaine Bazzle is often referred to as one of New Orleans' important jazz vocalists. After graduation from Xavier University of Louisiana, Germaine began a teaching career and entertaining in the same year, teaching during the day and playing bass in a local traditional jazz band at night. After 12 years as a teacher, she left the classroom and began singing with various bands in New Orleans. Three years later, she returned to the classroom, but continued to perform with such jazz greats as Alvin “Red" Tyler, Peter “Chuck" Badie, Victor Goines, bassist/vocalist, George French, pianist Ellis Marsalis, Emile Vinnette, Larry Siebert, David Torkanowsky and many more. Germaine can be heard on her CD entitled “Standing Ovation."

In his liner notes producer Kalama ya Salaam writes that while some might compare Bazzle to other great jazz vocalists she is “dazzling in her own right . . . Especially in her ability to mimic the sound of the trombone, but also her musicianship. She knows the music, the changes, and above all the rhythms. And the listener can hear her expertise in the way this lady improvises ... Moreover there is a bubbling exuberance in Germaine’s style. She smiles. She laughs, sometimes even giggles. Hers is a joyful sound. She is an awesome jazz artist and also a very warm and sensitive human being whose artistry makes one feel glad to be alive.”

Leah Chase is the product of a very fertile creative environment. Her maternal namesake, Leah Sr., is an engaging dynamo of activity and chief chef at “Dooky Chase" Restaurant. Her father Edgar “Dooky" Chase was the leader of the “Dooky Chase Orchestra." Leah Chase graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans with a degree in Vocal Performance. She completed one year of graduate study at The Juilliard School in New York, before leaving to pursue her true love—Jazz.

A self-described balladeer who loves “meaty lyrics”, Leah has the unique ability to take a familiar song and infuse it with a fresh perspective. She wants the audience to feel as if they have actually “lived” the song along with her. A very visual performer, Leah quickly establishes a warm rapport with her audience. She exudes latent but smoldering sensuality that is comfortably blended with an excellent comedic sense. Her performances are as eclectic as her song selections, from the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Leah can be heard on her CD entitled “At Last" and also on the Matt Lemmier CD “Portraits of Wonder." Leah is currently an Adjunct Faculty Member at the University of New Orleans, Tulane University, and Loyola University. In the words of one reviewer, “Listening to Leah Chase sing is like hearing the private reflections of a melancholy angel. Her sultry voice is comforting and unsettling – a journey through remembered passion and lost love.”

Stephanie Jordan, whom critics have placed in the company of Nancy Wilson and Diana Krall, began to receive noted prominence following the national televised Jazz at Lincoln Center Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Jordan’s recent concert with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble at the Harris Theater led Chicago Tribune’s leading art critic Howard Reich to proclaim, “The woman can sing and indisputably knows how to reach out across the footlights . . . Jordan showed ample voice, bringing heft to music of the Gershwins and Cole Porter without pushing volume levels. Clearly she values plush sound and knows how to produce it.”

Stephanie Jordan performed at the private celebration ‘Oprah Winfrey and Friends of Susan Taylor’ at New York City's ESPACE in honor of Susan Taylor's 37 years of service to Essence magazine. She also sang the national anthem alongside Grammy Award winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis and guitarist Jonathan Dubose at the 2008 NBA All- Star Game in New Orleans. She has appeared live on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Marians Jazzroom in Bern Switzerland, St Croix Blue Bay Jazz Fest, Manship Theatre in Baton Rouge, Duke Ellington Festival, Washington D.C., Chicago JazzFest Heritage, Glenwood Springs, Co., Adagio's Jazz Club in Savannah, Hayti Heritage Center in Durham, Sweet Lorraine's in New Orleans, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Stephanie has been inducted as a member of the New Orleans Magazine Jazz All-Stars and has served as a 'Jazz Ambassadors' for the U.S. Department of State.

The Stephanie Jordan Big Band Jazz Ensemble will include Emmy Award-winning arranger Mike Esneault on Piano; and horn section and rhythm section made up of some of New Orleans’ greatest talent including; Bobby Campo, Blake Daniels Roderick Paulen, Clarence Johnson, BJ McGibney, Chris Severin, John Jones, and Don Vappie.

Stephanie Jordan Big Band Musician’s Background

Mike Esneault is an acclaimed composer, pianist, and arranger. He has performed and recorded with artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Nicholas Payton, Frank Morgan, Brian Blade, Pete Fountain, and many more. He has also performed at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and at venues all around the world. As a composer/arranger Mike recently won an Emmy award for his score for the PBS documentary "Acthafalaya Houseboat." Mike continues to write numerous scores for television and film. He worked closely with film composer Terence Blanchard on the films “Original Sin”, “Caveman’s Valentine”, and "People I Know". Mike’s arrangements have been performed at Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and have been performed by orchestras including the Prague Symphony Orchestra, London Studio Orchestra, Seattle Studio Orchestra, and numerous others. Mike is also very active as a clinician and teacher. He has given master classes across the country focusing on composition, jazz improvisation, arranging and music technology. Mike has also been a faculty member of the East Baton Rouge Gifted and Talented Program since 1998. Mike is also serving as an Artist in Residence at Louisiana State University where he teaches jazz piano and improvisation.

Bobby Campo, trumpeter, leader and composer, was also a founding member of La’s LeRoux and has performed and recorded with Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Kerry Livgren (of KANSAS), Don Vappie and the Creole Jazz Seranaders, Pete Fountain, The John Mahoney Big Band, Matt Lemmler, and most recently Dr. John. Bobby also worked in the Baton Rouge Symphony for 19 years.

Clarence Johnson III, alto sax, awards include in 1999 & 2004, Offbeat Magazine’s Best of the Beat-New Orleans’ Best Saxophonist and 1998 Big Easy Award-Best Emerging Artist. Film and TV credits include; “RAY” staring Jamie Fox, CBS’ “ELVIS” and ABC’s “SEARCHING FOR DAVID’S HEART”. Clarence has recorded with Tori Amos, Bruce Hornsby, Davell Crawford, and also Dave Bartholomew and Earl Palmer.

John Jones is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. He began his musical journey on the drums at the age of eight and has been performing professionally since he was twelve. In 2006, John received his Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance from Southern University. The following year, John was encouraged to audition for the Louis Armstrong Quintet program at the University of New Orleans. He was accepted into the LAQ program under the direction of Steve Masakowski and Ed Peterson and is currently working towards his Master's Degree. John is also presently studying with renowned jazz drummer, Troy Davis.

Chris Severin has performed with many jazz greats, including: Dr. John, Dianne Reeves, Ellis Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Lou Rawls, Alvin Batiste, Herlin Riley, Victor Goines, Irma Thomas and Kent Jordan. He has toured worldwide to such venues as the Bern Jazz Festival, Berlin Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, Mt. Fuji Jazz Festival, Montreau and the Nexus Night Club. He has also been selected by top jazz recording companies such as Blue Note Records, Rounder Records and Windham Hill Records. He also serves on the faculty of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA).

Don Vappie, born in New Orleans, is descended from a long line of New Orleans musicians that goes back to the nineteenth century. Once a featured performer in the Preservation Hall Band, Vappie now leads and tours with the Creole Jazz Serenaders (CJS). His family’s musical heritage was recently explored in American Creole: New Orleans Reunion, a PBS documentary. As a result, he was honored with a LA Creole Society Award for his promotion of the Creole culture of New Orleans in music and film. He was also chosen by the Historic New Orleans Collection to serve as Musical Director for the premier of their newly discovered Jelly Roll Morton compositions. Over the past ten years, Don has appeared as a regular guest with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz At Lincoln Center.

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Vincent Sylvain