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Photo Gallery: The Royal Bopsters and Very Special Guests at Birdland

Annie Ross, Jon Hendricks, Sheila Jordan, Bob Dorough & Andy Bey share a stage

Jon Hendricks reunites with Annie Ross, Birdland, NYC 9-15
Amy London with the Royal Bopsters Project, Birdland, NYC 9-15
Andy Bey, Birdland, NYC 9-15
Andy Bey (third from left) with the Royal Bopsters Project, Birdland, NYC 9-15
Andy Bey, Sheila Jordan, Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross and Bob Dorough, Birdland, NYC, 9-15
Annie Ross
Annie Ross, Birdland, NYC, September 2015 (photo: Jeff Tamarkin)
Annie Ross, Birdland, NYC 9-15
Bob Dorough, Birdland, NYC 9-15
Bob Dorough (center) with the Royal Bopsters Project, Birdland, NYC 9-15
Jon Hendricks (center) with the Royal Bopsters Project, Birdland, NYC 9-15
Jon Hendricks, Birdland, NYC 9-15
The Royal Bopsters at Birdland, NYC, 9-15. Left to right: Dylan Pramuk, Holli Ross, Amy London and Darmon Meader
Sheila Jordan, Birdland, NYC 9-15
Sheila Jordan, Birdland, NYC 9-15
Sheila Jordan (third from left), with the Royal Bopsters Project, Birdland, NYC 9-15

Four hundred and thirty-one. That was the combined age of the five legendary guest vocalists-Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross, Sheila Jordan, Bob Dorough and Andy Bey-who joined a considerably younger vocal quartet comprising Amy London, Darmon Meader (of the New York Voices), Holli Ross and Dylan Pramuk onstage Sept. 16 at New York City’s Birdland.

The occasion was the second in a five-night series of shows promoting London, Meader, Pramuk and Ross’ (as they are formally billed) The Royal Bopsters Project, a new album released earlier this month on the Motéma label. The recording, produced by project facilitator London, features material originally performed by Charlie Parker, Freddie Hubbard and others.

The Bopsters are a Manhattan Transfer-like harmony group proficient in the art of vocalese and their album features all of the guests save Bey, whose place in the recording studio was taken by Mark Murphy, who was unable to attend the NYC shows. Each of the guests fronted the Royal Bopsters quartet for two solo spots, then yielded the stage to the next guest, with all five returning for the finale, King Pleasure’s “Jazz Jump.” The event reunited the surviving two-thirds of the iconic vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks and Ross for the first time in years. The Bopsters perform at the venue through Sunday, with two of the five guesting each night.

JazzTimes‘ Jeff Tamarkin was at Birdland for the Wednesday night early set and captured highlights with his camera.

Originally Published