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The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music Presents Series Opener! Joan Stiles Quintet "Mostly Mary Lou"

SOURCE: Published:
September 30, 2005

To: Listings/Critics/Features From: JAZZ PROMO SERVICES

The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music Jazz Presents Series Opener!



Joan Stiles Quintet “Mostly Mary Lou" Joan Stiles (piano) with Jeremy Pelt (trumpet), Joel Frahm (tenor sax), Kimberly Marshall (voice), Joong Hua Jung (bass) and Willie Jones, III

Wednesday, October 5, 2005 8:00pm New School Jazz Performance Space 55 West 13th Street (5th floor)

Join us for the new season! Complimentary Tickets for anyone who sends an email to jazzevents@newschool.edu by 6:00 pm on Tuesday, October 4th.

For more information about the Jazz Presents Series, please visit www.jazz.newschool.edu To learn more about Joan Stiles, visit www.joanstilesmusic.com

Pianist/Arranger/Composer, Joan Stiles opens the Jazz Presents series with her stellar presentation of the music of Mary Lou Williams. Inspired by seeing Mary Lou perform at the Cookery when she was a teenager, Joan was moved “the way you could hear the entire history of jazz in everything she played.” Joan Stiles builds on this history with her arrangements and performances of Mary Lou's repertoire with ensembles that have included Jeremy Pelt, Steve Wilson, Warren Vache, Joel Frahm, Dennis Irwin and Lewis Nash.

Joan Stiles also gives lecture/demonstrations entitled “Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band." An analytical article, “Mary Lou Williams' 'Waltz Boogie': Unity, Inflection and the Blues" will be published in 2006 in the Annual Review of Jazz Studies (Rutgers).

“[Stiles] swings with wit and verve, brimming with the joyous flair of a Wynton Kelly or Errol Garner…hauntingly beautiful arrangements" --Bill Milkowski

JOAN STILES On her long-awaited debut recording, Love Call (Zoho) the Brooklyn native and Manhattan resident led an all-star octet in swinging performances of her provocative reinterpretations of jazz standards. Her collaborators included Frank Wess and very special guest, Clark Terry. Love Call was on many Top Ten lists for 2004--Cadence Magazine Editor's Choice, JazzWeek Radio #9 and was cited by Frequency Media as “one of the best new and emerging artist releases" on their Artist Breakthough Chart.

As a teenager, although her two favorite records were by Thelonious Monk and Bill Evans, she sang and played in pop music groups and in college, studied classical piano. While she was in graduate school, she served on the Classical Theory faculty of Brooklyn College, worked as an accompanist on harpsichord and piano, and wrote instructional articles for music magazines.

Jazz was never far from her heart and she pursued her interest in the music while earning two masters degrees, completing her coursework toward her doctorate—and raising two children. “Listening to Bill Evans made me think I could best express myself in Jazz. Evans’ music embodied the structural principles of classical music within a swinging style and made me realize I could combine elements of popular music with my classical training. Because at that time I felt such an affinity for Evans, I made a concerted effort to listen more to the earlier pianists who influenced his style."

She has performed at Birdland, The Blue Note, Sweet Rhythm, and was featured at the “Kool-Knowledge Conference on Mary Lou Williams" at the Institute of Jazz Studies. When not performing, Joan Stiles is an active jazz educator. At the New School Jazz for Jazz and Contemporary Music, she teaches Theory, Piano, and coaches singers in the Vocal Rhythm Section Workshop. She is also a member of the full-time Jazz Faculty of Manhattan School of Music, where she is the Coordinator of the Jazz Keyboard classes.

An important facet of Joan's musical life is her involvement with the work of Jazz great, Mary Lou Williams. Joan has given lecture/demonstrations entitled “Mary Lou Williams: The Lady Who Swings the Band" and has been re-arranging and performing this repertoire in the ongoing concert series “Mostly Mary Lou" with ensembles that have included Jeremy Pelt, Steve Wilson, Warren Vache, Joel Frahm, Dennis Irwin and Lewis Nash. An analytical article, “Mary Lou Williams' 'Waltz Boogie': Unity, Inflection and the Blues" will be published in 2006 in the Annual Review of Jazz Studies (Rutgers).

“I heard Mary Lou Williams at the Cookery when I was teenager," Joan recalls. “She had the most powerful vibration of any woman I'd ever encountered. Her music resonated with me as a young developing pianist—the rhythmic energy and the way you could hear the entire history of jazz in everything she played."

A concert review of Joan with her “Mostly Mary Lou" quintet featuring Steve Wilson and Jeremy Pelt found that “Stiles is a skilled musical architect, dedicated to the craft of balance and dynamics, of blend and boldness and being the boss in the best possible way. She is more than just a graceful interpreter of Mary Lou, Duke and Monk; her playing illuminated the masterpieces she made her own." (M. Hochandel, The Daily Gazette).

Her 2nd CD, Hurley-Burley will be released in early 2006 and features the beautiful and swinging work of Jeremy Pelt, Steve Wilson, Joel Frahm, Peter Washington and Lewis Nash. For this sextet outing, she presents originals and re-imaginings of compositions by her major influences—the great composer-pianists, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington and Mary Lou Williams.

MARY LOU WILLIAMS (1910-1981) was an extraordinary pianist, arranger and composer who mastered the art of stride, boogie, bop and avant-garde styles. Her arrangements and compositions were performed by the Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and Dizzy Gillespie ensembles and her long tenure in the 1930’s as arranger and pianist with Andy Kirk and his Clouds of Joy forged new territory. She devoted much of her later life to religious works including her Mass, which was choreographed by Alvin Ailey.

“Mary Lou Williams is a perpetual contemporary. Her writing and performing have always been a little ahead and throughout her career, her music retains—and maintains—a standard of quality that is timeless. SHE IS SOUL ON SOUL." –Duke Ellington

JEREMY PELT (trumpet) For two years in a row, Jeremy was voted Rising Star on the Trumpet by Downbeat Magazine and the Jazz Journalist Association. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, he is the leader of three different bands, a sought-after sideman and regular member of the Lewis Nash Sextet, Mingus Big Band and The Cannonball Legacy Band. He has 4 CDs as a leader--his latest MaxJazz release, Identity features all original compositions.

JOEL FRAHM (tenor/soprano sax) Joel has performed/recorded with Betty Carter, Matt Wilson, Fred Hersch, Lee Konitz, Brad Mehldau, Ben Allison. A graduate of Manhattan School of Music, he has three CDs on Palmetto Records—Sorry No Decaf, The Navigator and Don't Explain (featuring Brad Meldau) which was #1 on the JazzWeek radio chart. He will be touring this year with Ingrid Jensen's, “Project O", Pat Martino and Ben's Allison's “Medicine Wheel" as well as leading his own groups and doing clinics.



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