Jazz Power Initiative in collaboration with Jazzmobile’s Summerfest presents: Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam – Message From Saturn, a jazz musical about the healing power of the blues
(Posted: July 06, 2021)
Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam returns live in person to Marcus
Garvey Park in Harlem, Friday July 16 at 7 p.m.
New York, July 6, 2021 – Jazz Power Initiative (JPI) concludes its 2021 summer season with our Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam on Friday July 16, 2021 at 7 p.m., live and in person at the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater in Marcus Garvey Park, Harlem, New York. Seating at the Jazzmobile Summerfest at Marcus Garvey Park is outdoors, free and open to the general public for audiences of all ages! Presented by Jazzmobile’s Summerfest, “Message From Saturn” – our jazz musical about the healing power of the blues – concludes our Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam summer concert series, presented in partnership with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and produced by Jazz Power Initiative, the upscale New York City nonprofit community organization whose mission is to transform lives through jazz music and entertainment programs.
Our July intergenerational Jazz Power Jam, Message from Saturn is performed by singer, actor, dancer and producer Ty stephens, in a special concert presentation, presented by veteran Jazzmobile singer Antoinette Montague, and the co-founding members of Sweet Honey in the Rock, Carole Maillard and Louise robinson, under the musical direction of the general and artistic director of Jazz Power Initiative Eli Yamin. This production includes Knoel Scott (saxophone), from the Sun Ra Arkestra, David F. Gibson (drums) and Jennifer Vincent (bass) the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Tom Dempsey (guitar), Eli Yamin (piano) and Zah! Jazz Power Youth, the advanced youth vocal ensemble of Jazz Power Initiative.
Join us at Marcus Garvey Park on Friday July 16 at 7 p.m. for a fun, family celebration with a one hour concert, Message from saturn, our jazz musical about the healing power of the blues, inspired by Sun Ra and Mary Lou Williams and written by Eli Yamin and Clifford Carlson: Mary, Lou and William discover proof that the Milky Way is dying. The constellations of the zodiac have disappeared. Commissioned by the Big Bang, the children left with a group of Asteroids singing and dancing to the Four Elements (Earth, Water, Air and Fire) to learn the blues of the Zodiac Constellations represented by the musicians of the group. They return to The Night Sky and use their newfound knowledge to play the blues and save the galaxy. The blues, it is revealed, has been the healing energy that has held the universe together for billions of years.
With our thanks to our supporters
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs with New York City Council and board member Ydanis Rodriguez; the Hispanic Federation; The Miranda Family Fund; The Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone; Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; The New York State Council for the Arts; The National Jazz Museum in Harlem; The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; and individual supporters of the Jazz Power Initiative.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Ty stephens is an award winning
singer-songwriter, entertainer and recording artist (winner of the grand prize
Jazzmobile / Anheuser-Busch Solo Jazz Vocalist Competition, NYC,
2006, and first place in the R & B / Blues category of the International
Songwriting Competition 2002 for “Somethin ‘Strange”), co-author and
original cast of “From My Hometown”, co-writer / production, choreographer and longtime magazine star “Shades Of Harlem”, and co-writer / production, choreographer and currently starring in the new off-Broadway hit ” On Kentucky Avenue “(Songbirds Unlimited Productions / StepForward Entertainment). He appeared on Broadway in the original productions of “Sophisticated Ladies” and “Marilyn, An American Fable”. He recorded with industry legends
Harry Belafonte, Peggy Lee, dance music icon Dan Hartmann, disco pioneer Nile Rodgers (“Beavis & Butthead”), master drummer Baba Olatunji, renowned trumpeter Chuck Mangione, singer Gwen McCrae, the premiere Def Jam artist Alyson Williams, among others, and most recently, a second tour of Busan, Korea, also with the US State Department. Ty’s original recordings include “Aquarian Mind”, “Deeper In Fantasy” and “Musichameleon”, as well as the all new “Good Medicine”. The group is currently completing two new releases: a Spirit LP and a Standard Jazz CD.
Knoel Scott, baritone and alto saxophonist, and composer currently works on both sides of the Atlantic with frequent tours by Sun Ra Arkestra alternating with his own Knoel Scott Quartet (“KSQ”) which has become a staple of London audiences. Formerly known as the “King Tut of Harlem”, Knoel often worked at Harlem’s Showman’s Cafe, Smalls’ Paradise, Red Rooster, Lickety Split, and The Family at a time when jazz was played until sunrise. Major Harlem associations include Selena Clarke, Freddie Drew, Nat Willliams, Jack McDuff, Don Pullen, and John Hicks. Other collaborators range from Olu Dara, Bobby Forrester, Larry ’88 keys’ Keyes, Andy Razaf, Jimmy ‘Preacher’ Robbins, Charles Earland to Tommy Turrentine, Jerry Gonzalez and Leon Thomas. Knoel Scott has been a member of the famous Sun Ra Arkestra since 1988, usually playing the alto saxophone but occasionally the tenor or his native baritone. Sun Ra encouraged Knoel to dance and sing, and his Ra-inspired versatility and agility continue to captivate audiences.
Musician born in Philadelphia, David F. Gibson, has toured extensively and recorded with the Count Basie Orchestra under the direction of Frank Foster. David has also performed with many artists and ensembles, including Joe Williams, Clark Terry, the Sun Ra Arkestra, the Odean Pope Saxophone Choir, the Diane Schuur Trio, the Duke Ellington Orchestra and the Woody Herman Orchestra. Music critic Chip Deffa (The New York Post) states that “Gibson’s drumming is loud and smooth and as satisfying as any drummer I have heard in years.” Music critic Jerry Carrier (The Philadelphia Daily News) said, “Gibson is perhaps the ultimate drummer in the band.” He’s also featured on recordings that include Music is My Life by Diane Schuur and Live at the Iridium by Harry Sweets Edison. He is an adjunct faculty member at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music and received a Bachelor of Music degree from Temple University.
Bassist and cellist Jennifer vincent has been an active force on the New York jazz and Latin scenes for the past two decades. She plays, tours and records with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Betty Carter, Abbey Lincoln, KD Lang, Fantasia, Vanessa Williams, Patti Labelle and the Cocomama collective. She was fortunate to study at The New School with jazz and Latin jazz legends Ron Carter, Buster Williams and Andy Gonzales. In 2001, she traveled to Cuba to study with Orlando “Cachaito” Lopez, bassist of the beloved Buena Vista Social Club. Jennifer is the bassist for Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz At Lincoln Center All-Stars who was featured in the hit musical “After Midnight” on Broadway.
Tom dempsey has performed and / or recorded with a virtual “Who’s Who” of world famous jazz musicians including: Wynton Marsalis, George Coleman, Kenny Barron, Roy Haynes and Bobby McFerrin. He is currently a music professor at LaGuardia Community College and a faculty member at Jazz at Lincoln Center. He is the author of several books on jazz guitar and has filmed hundreds of instructional videos inspiring students around the world.
Zah! Jazz Power Youth, is the Jazz Power Initiative’s advanced ensemble of young high school, college and postgraduate students who rehearse weekly and perform frequently throughout the year with a group of seasoned professionals. Recent performances include the inaugural Clean Energy Ball for President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, The United Palace in Washington Heights in honor of Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jazz at Lincoln Center as well as our Monthly Intergenerational Jazz Power Jam at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.
Pianist, composer and producer Eli Yamin, has dedicated his life to playing, teaching and building community through jazz. He has performed and toured as an ambassador for jazz in the United States in more than 25 countries, as well as at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center and the White House. He co-founded and is the CEO and Artistic Director of Jazz Power Initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming lives through the education and performance of jazz music. His three youth-focused musicals have been performed internationally and in the United States, including Message from Saturn, on the healing power of the blues, presented by Jazzmobile this summer. Eli’s book, So You Want to Sing the Blues: A Guide For Performers, was published in conjunction with the National Association of Teacher of Singing (NATS). He received a Masters in Music Education from Lehman College (CUNY) and is working on his Doctorate in Musical Arts at Stony Brook (SUNY).
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