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YMCA Sponsors New Orleans Tribute Album

With support from a grant issued by the New York State Music Fund, a YMCA branch has partnered with several jazz and blues musicians to record a New Orleans tribute album. Based in Rome, N.Y., the YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley hopes to raise money from album sales for scholarships and instruments for students who can’t afford them. Several tracks for the CD have already been recorded, including songs by clarinetist Doreen Ketchens, Topsy Chapman & Solid Harmony, and Cajun artist Jo-El Sonnier. Trumpeter Leroy Jones contributes three tracks to the album, including the world premiere of “Katrina,” and jazz educators and performers the Jordan Family (Kidd, Kent, Marlon, Stephanie and Rachel), along with Jason Marsalis, have also agreed to be a part of the record.

The Tri-Valley YMCA previously recorded a CD of its students performing contemporary jazz tunes, and plans to follow up the New Orleans tribute album with a third record, tentatively called Compilations. The YMCA students will provide the instrumentals and the featured artists will perform vocals and instrumental solos. Jazz at Lincoln Center lead trumpeter Sean Jones has already completed two tracks for the album, “Got Rhythm” and “Lil Darlin.” The record will also feature national recording artist Brenda Russell singing “It’s a Jazz Day,” and Grammy winner Joanne Shenandoah performing her version of “At Last.” YMCA Tri-Valley CEO Henry Leo also states that he has spoken with contacts for musicians Harry Connick, Jr. and Wynton Marsalis. The albums are scheduled for release this fall.

Originally Published