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Holiday Magic Comes To Baltimore With The Tim Warfield Septet

SOURCE: Published:
Tim Warfield With help from a band of bona fide jazz stars, saxophonist Tim Warfield
Tim Warfield
Tim Warfield

sax, tenor
brings holiday magic to Baltimore with a concert at the Creative Alliance at the Patterson on December 22. (Shows at 4:00 and 6:30 p.m will allow Ravens fans time to attend before the big game). The stellar ensemble includes Cyrus Chestnut
Cyrus Chestnut
Cyrus Chestnut
b.1963
piano
(piano), Stefon Harris
Stefon Harris
Stefon Harris
b.1973
vibraphone
(vibraphone), Clarence Penn
Clarence Penn
Clarence Penn
b.1968
drums
(drums), Terell Stafford
Terell Stafford
Terell Stafford
b.1966
trumpet
(trumpet), Rodney Whitaker
Rodney Whitaker
Rodney Whitaker
b.1968
bass, acoustic
(bass), and Joanna Pascale
Joanna Pascale
Joanna Pascale

vocalist
(vocals).

It’s rare to see so many big names in just one jazz show, and that would not be possible without some major teamwork. Jazzway 6004 sponsors the concert in partnership with Creative Alliance, and WEAA 88.9 FM is a media sponsor.

The concert features the music of Warfield’s 2012 CD entitled Tim Warfield's Jazzy Christmas, on his label Undaunted Music. The album reached No. 25 in the Jazzweek radio charts, and many of the concert performers also appear on the album!

They’ll perform Warfield’s unique arrangements delivered with nuanced jazz vocabulary and brilliant improvisation. The program features favorites like “The Little Drummer Boy" and “Silent Night," along with lesser-known gems like Claude Thornhill's “Snowfall," and the Hanukkah song.

Emerging in the 1990s, Warfield has worked with such greats as Christian McBride and Dizzy Gillespie. He currently performs with the Terell Stafford Quintet. Ben Ratliff of the New York Times says Warfield has “an earthy, smoky tone and post bop learning in excellent proportions.” The Pennsylvania native teaches at Temple University and Messsiah College.

The storied career of legendary pianist and Baltimore native Cyrus Chestnut includes work with saxophonists James Carter and Joe Lovano and trumpeters Roy Hargrove and Freddie Hubbard. Chestnut has backed vocalists from Betty Carter to Brian McKnight, and recently performed at the Kennedy Center with opera singer Kathleen Battle. Last August he released a highly praised album of originals called Soul Brother Cool.

Trumpeter Terell Stafford is a legend in the making. In 2011, he was featured in articles in Jazz Times, Downbeat, and All About Jazz. McCoy Tyner has hailed him “one of the great players of our time.” Stafford has played with sextets lead by Tyner, Benny Golson and Kenny Barron. He is a member of the GRAMMY award-winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and leads his own quintet. Stafford is director of jazz studies at Temple University.

The Creative Alliance is Baltimore’s premier multi-arts center and home to award-winning restaurant Clementine. Jazzway 6004 presents straight-ahead jazz and blues, bringing in a host of national and international performers. DownBeat magazine named it one of the nation’s foremost house concert venues. The Patterson Theater is located at 3134 Eastern Ave., Baltimore MD 21224. Valet parking is available. Tickets are $27 ($23 for Creative Alliance members).

About the band

Emerging on the scene in the 1990s, Tim Warfield has worked with such greats as Christian McBride and Dizzy Gillespie. He currently performs with the Terell Stafford Quintet. Ben Ratliff of the New York Times says Warfield has “an earthy, smoky tone and post bop learning in excellent proportions.”

The storied career of legendary pianist and Baltimore native Cyrus Chestnut includes work with saxophonists James Carter and Joe Lovano and trumpeters Roy Hargrove and Freddie Hubbard. Chestnut has backed vocalists from Betty Carter to Brian McKnight, and recently performed at the Kennedy Center with opera singer Kathleen Battle. Last August he released a highly praised album of originals called Soul Brother Cool.

The Los Angeles Times has called vibraphonist Stefon Harris “one of the most important young artists in jazz.” A recipient of the prestigious Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center. he has earned three consecutive Grammy nominations, including Best Jazz Album for Grand Unification Theory (2003), and earned numerous other awards. He has performed in concert halls across the globe and worked with many jazz luminaries from Joe Henderson to Cassandra Wilson. As part of the Classical Jazz Quartet, he has recorded a series of jazz-interpreted classics of Bach, Rachmaninoff, and Tchaikovsky with Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, and Lewis Nash.

Drummer Clarence Penn is known for his versatility in service to the jazz muse. He has worked with Wynton and Ellis Marsalis, Betty Carter, Roberta Flack, Dizzy Gillespie, Dianne Reeves, Stanley Clarke, David Sanchez, Slide Hampton, Freddie Hubbard and Kenny Barron. Modern Drummer’s, Ken Micallef wrote, “No question, Penn is one of the most flexible and chameleon-like drummers to ever stroke the skins.”

Trumpeter Terell Stafford is a legend in the making. In 2011, he was featured in articles in Jazz Times, Downbeat, and All About Jazz. McCoy Tyner has hailed him “one of the great players of our time.” Stafford has played with sextets lead by Tyner, Benny Golson and Kenny Barron. He is a member of the GRAMMY award-winning Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and leads his own quintet. Stafford is director of jazz studies at Temple University.

Internationally renowned bassist Rodney Whitaker played for seven years with the Wynton Marsalis Septet and Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. He has worked with a dizzying number of contemporary jazz icons and late greats Dizzy Gillespie, Mulgrew Miller, Marian McPartland, Joe Henderson, Hank Jones, and Betty ‘Bebop’ Carter. He has played with symphony orchestras and toured as a featured performer with the Roy Hargrove Quintet. Whitaker appears on over 100 recordings and has composed scores for film. In the Detroit Free Press, Mark Stryker said that Whitaker is known as an “inexhaustibly swinging bassist with a mammoth-sized sound and an infectious personality as radiant as his walking lines and solos.”

Like Warfield and Stafford, vocalist Joanna Pascale is on the faculty of Temple University. For the past decade, her quintet has performed weekly at the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia, where she leads a rotating cast of noteworthy musicians. Says Christopher Louden, in Jazz Times: “Close listening reveals strong hints of Lena Horne and Nancy Wilson. Stylistically, though, Pascale more closely suggests Peggy Lee. Like Lee, she reveals an innate sensuality, equaling Lee’s ability to elevate ballads to maximum torchiness."


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