Highlights In Jazz Presents Women In Jazz at Tribeca Performing Arts Center
Jack Kleinsinger’s Highlights In Jazz (Highlights In Jazz), New York’s Longest Running Jazz Concert Series, continues its 45th season at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 6, 2017, at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center Borough of Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers Street, New York City, with a special Women In Jazz program featuring the festive multi-dimensional music of Cynthia Sayer and her Joyride Band with clarinetist Adrian Cunningham, the innovative vocal stylings of René Marie plus International Women in Jazz Youth in Action Award Winner pianist Leonieke Scheuble, and, as in all Highlights In Jazz concerts, a surprise special guest.
Cynthia Sayer and her Joyride Band features award winning banjo player and vocalist Cynthia Sayer, who will be making her third Highlights In Jazz appearance. Her festive group, the Joyride Band, features clarinetist Adrian Cunningham, bassist Mike Weatherly and drummer/washboard percussionist Larry Eagle. Sayer, whose scheduled February Highlights In Jazz concert appearance was snowed out, fills the program slot left open by the recent passing of legendary pianist/vocalist Barbara Carroll. Sayer first rose to international prominence as a founding member of Woody Allen’s New Orleans Jazz Band. A Banjo Hall of Famer, she has performed and recorded with a diverse Who’s Who of jazz, pop and classical musicians, including Marvin Hamlisch, Wynton Marsalis, Bucky Pizzarelli, Bruce Springsteen, and the New York Philharmonic. She’s been praised in The New York Times for her “drive and virtuosity,” and by pianist Dick Hyman for her shows that “takes us into places where you’d never expect the banjo to be admitted.”
Joining Sayer on the bill will be GRAMMY© nominated vocalist/composer René Marie. In a span of two decades, 11 recordings and countless stage performances, she has cemented her reputation as not only a singer, but also as a composer, arranger, theatrical performer and teacher. Rooted in jazz traditions laid down by Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington and other leading ladies of past generations, she borrows various elements of folk, R&B and even classical and country to create a captivating hybrid style. Ms. Marie, who will be accompanied by her longstanding trio of pianist John Chin, bassist Elias Bailey and drummer Quentin Baxter, will be making her debut Highlights In Jazz appearance. She declares, “WOW, 45 years! Congratulations to Jack for his decades long dedication toward keeping jazz alive. I look forward to bringing our music to his series.”
Also making her Highlights In Jazz debut will be the gifted young pianist Leonieke Scheuble the 2013 International Women in Jazz Youth in Action Award Winner. Leonieke (phonetically pronounced “lay-o-nee-ka”) started to play piano sometime after being inspired by “Ray,” the movie based on the life of Ray Charles. Without any prior musical training, she began to spend great lengths of time at the piano creating songs that were rhythmically interesting and compositionally balanced. At age 7 she began formal studies with noted jazz teacher Steve Ash. In 2014 motivated by her jazz drumming father Nick Scheuble she released her first CD “Debut” recorded at the legendary Rudy Van Gelder studios. In 2015 she was awarded “Best Up and Coming Young Artist” at the annual Hot House Magazine Fan Award Ceremony at The Metropolitan Room in New York City.
All Highlights In Jazz concerts also feature a surprise special guest, chosen from among the music’s finest players. Some of the biggest stars in jazz who have appeared as guests in previous years have been Eubie Blake, Cab Calloway, Dizzy Gillespie, Savion Glover, Earl Hines, Branford Marsalis, Carmen McRae, Gerry Mulligan, George Shearing, Dr. Billy Taylor, Frank Wess and many others.
The 45th season of Highlights In Jazz will conclude on Thursday, May 4, 2017 with The Joe Bushkin Centennial concert, feting the world acclaimed pianist/composer with an all star revue featuring Wycliffe Gordon, Warren Vaché, Harry Allen, Eric Comstock, Ted Rosenthal, Spike Wilner, Steve Johns, Nicki Parrott and John Colianni, under the musical direction of Bob Merrill.