11/25/11 By Vincent Sylvain
Christmas with New Orleans Ladies of Jazz; Germaine Bazzle, Leah Chase, Stephanie Jordan adds gospel singer Jai Reed to Concert Performance
Presented by Music Alive Ensemble at the UNO Performing Arts Center Recital Hall, December 4
NEW ORLEANS, LA - The New Orleans Ladies of Jazz; Stephanie Jordan, Germaine Bazzle, and Leah Chase will perform for the 2nd Annual "Ladies of Jazz Holiday Concert" in collaboration with the Music Alive Ensemble. They will be joined by a special guest appearance by gospel sensation Jai Reed during the Sunday, December 4, 2011 performance from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the University of New Orleans Performing Arts Center Recital Hall (Lakefront Campus).
Principally sponsored by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, admission to this limited seating holiday concert is free but RSVP is required by emailing [email protected]
Under the direction of Jackson State University's Professor of Music; violinist Rachel Jordan, the Music Alive Ensemble is a blend of professional classical and jazz musicians, composers, arrangers and educators living in Louisiana. This concert provides music lover an opportunity to enjoy some of New Orleans most renowned jazz divas in Bazzle, Chase, and Jordan performing some of your favorite holiday tunes.
Germaine Bazzle is often referred to as one of New Orleans’ important jazz vocalists; 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; while Stephanie Jordan has performed the at the 2008 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans, NPR Talk of the Nation, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and has served as a ‘Jazz Ambassadors’ for the U.S. Department of State.
Every once in a while a talent comes along who grabs everyone's attention leaving an indelible mark. Jai Reed is an artist who has done just that! When he sings he becomes the vehicle through which the intent of worship and praise is fully recognized. His commanding vocal talent is at a level of brilliant achievement.
Music Alive Ensemble is dedicated to the ideal that music as art communicates the breadth, passion and intellect of society. Through concerts, artist demonstrations, and teaching workshops Music Alive Ensemble provides musicians, composers and arrangers a platform for artistic expression. Music Alive Ensemble perpetuates cultural diversity and finds common ground through classical and jazz artistic collaboration.
"Our goal is to bring families into artistic venues in hopes that the experience will educate and encourage burgeoning artists and develop a supportive listening base for future generations of musicians," adds Rachel.
The Music Alive Ensemble String Quartet includes Rachel Jordan, Violin; Amy Thiaville, Violin; Marjorie Garnier, Viola; and Gary Geslin, Cello while the Jazz Ensemble consists of Mike Esneault, Piano; Chris Severin, Bass; John Jones and Troy Davis, Drums; Jonathan Bloom, Percussion; Kent Jordan, Flute and Marlon Jordan, Trumpet.
The group also announced its’ involvement in the release of the 'Christmas with New Orleans Ladies of Jazz and Music Alice Ensemble; I Saw Three Ships' album which was inspired by tunes from last year's concert.
On the CD's title track; Bazzle, Chase, and Jordan join together offering their individual interpretation of “I Saw Three Ship Come Sailing In” as each take turn belting out notes in their respective signature sound. They are once again in perfect harmony leading the ensemble in an arrangement of local Emmy-Award pianist Mike Esneault on My Favorite Things; a tune from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music. This song also provides Marlon Jordan an opportunity to explore the vast range of his custom-built Monette trumpet, teasingly playing back and forth off the ladies in the tradition of call-and-response technique of earlier generations.
Kent Jordan's arrangement of Frank Looesser's What Are You Doing New Year's Eve is absolutely stunning and Germaine's delivery puts you in the mood for toasted marshmallows and hot chocolate. In anticipation of the Gulf Coast's first cool breeze of the fall season, Leah swings with Irvin Berlin's I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm.
Stephanie Jordan's awe inspiring performance on the Christmas classic The Little Drummer Boy is an excellent exhibition of her authoritative satin-like voice, enveloping the listeners with each phrase of 'pa rum pum pum pum' tugging at ones heart while placing one in a time warp as the percussion creates a sense of actual presence at the manger. As the story goes, "the lyrics tell of a poor young boy who, unable to afford a gift for the infant Jesus, plays his drum for the newborn with the Virgin Mary's approval. The newborn seems to understand and smiles at the boy in gratitude." Rachel's arrangement of Katherine K. Davis, Henry Onorati and Harry Simeone's composition is yet another version which is destined for acclaim.
Producer and classical violinist Rachel Jordan and the Music Alive Ensemble String Octet show their mantle on their recording of Christopher Crump's arrangement of Astor Piazzolla's Oblivion. Incorporating elements from jazz and classical music; with reference to love, passion, and elegance, one truly understands why Rachel has dubbed her annual concert series 'Jazz Meets Classical.'
The CD is available for download at iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon and others or at www.RachelJordanMusic.com.
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization was set up to be the nonprofit owner of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival—Jazz Fest (nojazzfest.com)—with a mission to sow the seeds of our unique culture for generations to come. Its goal is to make sure that the festival's proceeds would be redistributed into the local community.
To that end, the Foundation has developed numerous programs and assets and is the prime sponsor of this event. Other sponsors include the University of New Orleans, Kidd Jordan Institute of Jazz and Modern Music, Metro Disposal Inc., The Law Office of Chip Forstall, Sylvain Solutions, Zawadi Giving Circle, and others.
To learn more about Music Alive Ensemble, please visit www.musicaliveno.com.
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