Jazz Arts Group’s 2016-2017 “Swingin’ with the CJO” Subscription Series at the Southern Theatre kicks off next week with a platter of flavors from New Orleans, “The Birthplace of Jazz.” The Columbus Jazz Orchestra, led by Artistic Director Byron Stripling and joined by renowned New Orleans musicians Evan Christopher and Jamison Ross, presents “New Orleans on Parade” on Thursday, October 20th at 7:30pm, Friday the 21st and Saturday the 22nd at 8pm, and Sunday the 23rd at 3pm. Single tickets are available here, and season ticket information is available here or by calling 614.469.0939. Clarinetist, researcher and educator Christopher is one of the foremost modern champions of the jazz clarinet tradition, and has played with numerous jazz greats. Drummer/vocalist Ross won the 2012 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, and earned a Grammy nomination for Best Vocal Jazz Album for his debut album Jamison. UPDATE: Stripling provides some excellent background to the show in this blog post. Christopher and Ross will be on hand for the first installment of JAG’s 2016-17 series of “Offstage At The Jazz Academy” free artist workshops on Saturday the 22nd at 2pm at the Jazz Academy located inside the Lincoln Theatre (more details here). Also, come early to Sunday’s performance (2pm) for the first appearance of the 2016-17 Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra. This will be a great weekend of jazz! Keep reading for more on Christopher and Ross from JAG:
More About Evan Christopher:
Evan Christopher combines virtuosity, immaculate taste, and enthusiasm with a commitment to exploring the full range of possibilities in the New Orleans clarinet tradition. His highly personal brand of “contemporary, early jazz” strives to extend the legacies of early Creole clarinetists such as Sidney Bechet, Omer Simeon, and Barney Bigard. Critics remarking on Christopher’s dynamic expressiveness have coined his style “close-encounter music” (NEW YORK TIMES) and have called his respect for the music traditions of New Orleans, “a triumph, joining the present seamlessly to a glorious past” (THE OBSERVER, UK).
Christopher’s journey on Clarinet Road began in 1994, when he left his native California to join the New Orleans music community. Published research on the New Orleans clarinet style, his Clarinet Roadseries of CD and international touring place him squarely as one of the most active ambassadors of the tradition.
As a composer, original songs are the high point of acclaimed recordings including Delta Bound (Arbors, 2007) featuring pianist Dick Hyman, The Remembering Song (Arbors, 2010) featuring guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, and his clarinet feature on the Grammy-winning, New Orleans Jazz Orchestra’s Book One (2012).
In addition to a busy performing career, music workshops and educational or community outreach complement his concerts, and a regular column for NolaVie.com discusses cultural conservation in post-Federal Flood New Orleans.
More About Jamison Ross:
A native of Jacksonville, FL Jamison Ross has been surrounded by music his entire life. It was during his early years at his grandfather’s church that his musical gifts were realized. “For me music was just something that we did, it was all around us. Everyone in my family either sung, played an instrument or both.”
It was Ross’ mother, who encouraged him to buttress the musical gifts with formal training; Ross studied drums in elementary and high school. He went on to develop a higher level of understanding at Florida State University, where he received a B.A. in jazz studies and at University of New Orleans where he earned a master’s degree in jazz studies.
The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz introduced Jamison Ross as an incredible young drummer in 2012 after he won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, which afforded him the opportunity to record with Concord Jazz.
Three years later, Jamison, his joyous debut, presents him not only as a jazz musician who commands the drums, but also as a gifted composer, bandleader and more pointedly, a singer. “Most people knew me only as a drummer and had no idea that I could sing” says Ross. “But I had been singing my entire life, so I chose to present my voice as part of my offering to this world of jazz.” Singing on ten of the twelve tracks on the record led to Jamison earning a GRAMMY® nomination for Best Vocal Jazz Album.
Jamison currently lives in New Orleans with his wife Adrienne and daughter Jazz.