On Thursday, December 13, the two pianists perform together without accompaniment, presenting their own highly original brands of jazz compositions. On Friday, December 14, the legendary South African jazz vocalist Sathima Bea Benjamin joins the two pianists, performing an elegant jazz set with bassist Marcus McLaurine, and drummer George Gray. The series closes when saxophonist TK Blue and percussionist Bujo Kevin Jones join the group for a full-band jam on Saturday, December 15.
Harlem-born and Queens-raised, jazz pianist Onaje Allan Gumbs has enjoyed a career as first-call sideman, valued arranger and composer, producer, bandleader, and recording artist. Many will remember his vital contributions to such Woody Shaw classics as Moontrane and Rosewood, to which he lent his composing and arranging skills. Still others will recall his work as producer and arranger for vocal dates led by Marlena Shaw; or perhaps his sideman contributions to dates with an impressive range of artists - from Kenny Burrell and Nat Adderley, to Ronald Shannon Jackson, to Jonathan Butler. Onaje's soundtrack writing includes Danny Glover's Showtime film Override, and his composition Dare to Dream" was a theme for a Panasonic awards presentation. In 2006, Onaje was nominated for an NAACP Image Award as Outstanding Jazz Artist. His most recent album, Sack Full of Dreams, has garnered critical acclaim and proven to be a jazz radio favorite, and features the vocal work of esteemed film and stage actor Obba Babatunde.
Hotep Idris Galeta was born in Crawford, Cape Town and grew up exposed to the rich music culture in and around the city. After meeting Abdullah Ibrahim, then known as Dollar Brand, at a high school jazz concert, the two became close friends and Brand became Hotep's mentor. Hotep, or as he was known in the 50's, Cecil Barnard, went on to establish himself as one of the young emerging pianists on the Cape Town Jazz scene. Hotep left South Africa in 1961 for London and then New York, remaining in exile for thirty years, during which he worked with jazz figures such as Jackie McLean, Woody Shaw, Elvin Jones, and Archie Shepp. He was appointed lecturer in Jazz studies to the University of Hartford's Hartt College of Music in 1985. This position continued until his return to South Africa in 1991. In 2003, Hotep released the critically acclaimed solo album Malay Tone Poem, recorded with some of South Africa's rising jazz stars including Marcus Wyatt and Zim Ngqawana. Hotep currently manages the Resource Centre at Artscape Performing Arts Theatre Complex in Cape Town, South Africa, and also co-ordinates the Jazz Performance and Community Outreach Jazz Education programs there, and also teaches at Fort Hare University.
Onaje Allan Gumbs and Hotep Idris Galeta with special guests
December 13, 14, and 15, 2007
433 W. 34th St. New York, NY 10001
Shows at 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
$30 per show
To make a reservation, for more information, or for press requests, call 917-907-1200
Jazz Duo Blast-Off, December 13: Onaje Allan Gumbs and Hotep Idris Galeta, duo piano performance
SongSpirit Songstress, December 14: Onaje Allan Gumbs and Hotep Idris Galeta, pianos; with special guest vocalist Sathima Bea Benjamin, vocals; Marcus McLaurine, bass; George Gray, drums
Jump-Up Jam Session, December 15: Onaje Allan Gumbs and Hotep Idris Galeta, pianos; featuring saxophonist TK Blue and percussionist Bujo Kevin Jones; with Marcus McLaurine, bass; George Gray, drums