Fall Series Includes Concerts Featuring Maurício de Souza, Maurice Chestnut, Antonio Hart and Lakecia Benjamin
NEWARK, NJ: WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM’s award-winning, free Kids Jazz Concert Series, which brings jazz culture and dynamic performances to young people in the Spring and Fall, returns with performances at four New Jersey venues on Saturdays in October. The hour-long concerts, which begin at 12:30 pm, feature drummer Maurício de Souza, October 6, at Clinton Elementary School in Maplewood; tap artist Maurice Chestnut, October 13, at Newark Symphony Hall; saxophonist Antonio Hart, October 20, at Newark Museum; and saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin, October 27, at South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC).
The series presents top jazz and blues artists who produce programs tailor-made for young people, leaving time for further exploration of the music through Q&A sessions with the artists. The interactive programs give young people opportunities to learn about the distinct qualities of jazz, and why it is a reflection of the community, nation, and world. In addition to the music, the events include door prizes, a gift for each child and a fun-filled afternoon with other young jazz lovers.
“We’re pleased to present an exciting and diverse line-up of artists, including a Brazilian jazz event, tap dancing, a salute to James Moody and a masterful demonstration of jazz rhythms, ” said Dorthaan Kirk, producer of the Kids Jazz Concert Series. “We’re also thrilled that the series is part of Newark’s Endless Arts October and the TD James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival, which takes place throughout the area October 15 – 21. These partnerships are a great way to expand upon WBGO’s youth initiatives and build upon the legacy of the music for the next generation of jazz audiences and artists.”
The 2012 Fall Kids Jazz Concert Series features:
Saturday, October 6 – 12:30 pm
Maurício de Souza – Brazilian Jazz: When Cool New York Meets Tropical Brazil
Clinton Elementary School
27 Berkshire Road
Maplewood. NJ 07040
Part of Endless Arts October
Born in Brasília, Brazil, Maurício de Souza is a jazz drummer who easily performs in both traditional jazz and Brazilian jazz styles. He studied with world-renowned jazz drummer and master teacher Joe Morello for eight years and was influenced by Buddy Rich, Airto Moreira, Dave Weckl, Roy Haynes and Bill Stewart, among others. Born into a musical family, de Souza began playing the drums at the age of 11. Within a few months, he began performing with numerous local rock cover groups in his hometown and soon joined the youth percussion group at Brasília's Teatro Nacional (National Theater, home of Brasília's Symphony Orchestra). Since settling in Northern New Jersey in 2004, de Souza has been active in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area, performing at some of the finest jazz venues with his two bands, Bossa Brasil and Maurício de Souza Group. In 2010, he released his first commercial record entitled, Here. There ..., which features both of his groups along with special guests. At this performance, de Souza will show how American jazz influenced Brazilian music and how the two were combined to create Bossa Nova, how their instruments work and fit into the music and where the various styles originated.
Saturday, October 13 – 12:30 pm
Maurice Chestnut – Jazz & Tap!
Newark Symphony Hall
1020 Broad Street
New Jersey native Maurice Chestnut began dancing at age five and became a professional dancer four years later as an original member of the New Jersey Tap Ensemble. He garnered critical acclaim when he joined the national touring company of Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk as well as performing in numerous Off-Broadway productions. In addition to performing with his own band, he has performed with prominent jazz musicians, including Christian McBride, Cyrus Chestnut, T. S. Monk and Geri Allen. As a featured soloist and choreographer, Maurice continues to further develop his signature style of “playing tap” as a “live instrument.” He seamlessly weaves complex dance steps to interplay with musical notes, creating a powerful and distinctive energy that resonates with his audiences. At Newark Symphony Hall, Chestnut will dance and explain how jazz and tap blend together.
Saturday, October 20 – 12:30 pm
Antonio Hart – In the Mood for Moody
49 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102
Part of the TD James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival & Endless Arts October
Born and reared in Baltimore, MD, alto saxophonist Antonio Hart was classically trained at the Baltimore School for the Arts, studied jazz at the Berklee College of Music and later earned his Master's degree in Music Composition and Performance at Queens College. At Berklee, he joined forces with trumpeter Roy Hargrove and, together, they toured worldwide and made a number of critically acclaimed recordings. In 1991, Hart made For the First Time, his debut recording as a leader. Since then, he has performed and recorded nearly 100 albums with jazz greats, including Nat Adderley, Monty Alexander, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ray Brown, Cyrus Chestnut, Dizzy Gillespie, Slide Hampton, Jimmy Heath, McCoy Tyner and Nancy Wilson. In addition to performing and composing, Hart has led Peer-to-Peer Jazz Education Tours for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, and serves as a full-time professor at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. For this event, Hart will pay tribute to the late saxophonist and Newark native, James Moody, with songs and instruments showcasing Moody’s versatility as a musician.
Saturday October 27 – 12:30 pm
Lakecia Benjamin – Jump and Shout for Jazz
South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC)
One SOPAC Way
South Orange, NJ 07079
A native New Yorker, saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin, is a sought after performer in jazz, soul and funk music. She first picked up the saxophone at Fiorello LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts and went on to study at New York's New School University. She began performing with Clark Terry and Reggie Workman, which led to work with Rashied Ali, David Murray Big Band, Vanessa Rubin and James Blood" Ulmer. With her deep jazz roots, she was soon in demand as an arranger and horn section leader, landing stints with Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Macy Gray, the Roots and Anita Baker. Her extensive recording credits include saxophone and arrangements for Santigold, Maurice Brown, Clark Terry Big Band, Krystle Warren and Talib Kweli. A featured musician and arranger for comedy star Craig Robinson and the Nasty Delicious, Benjamin takes center stage in her own right with the release of her soul/funk album, RETOX. At SOPAC, she will explain four basic jazz rhythms: the stomp clap, shuffle beat, swing pattern and the modern funk beat.
All concerts begin at 12:30 pm, and last for approximately one hour. Families should plan to arrive at noon to ensure seating.
The WBGO 88.3 FM Kids Jazz Concert Series is sponsored by The Agnes Varis Fund, F. M. Kirby Foundation, Inc., Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, NJPAC Jazz for Teens and Prudential Foundation.
Founded in 1979, Newark Public Radio, Inc. is a publicly supported cultural institution that champions jazz at WBGO 88.3 FM in Newark, New Jersey and worldwide via wbgo.org. WBGO is the recognized world leader in jazz radio and one of the most respected jazz presenters in the country, and offers award-winning news and innovative children’s programs. Beyond reaching 400, 000 weekly listeners (including 17, 000 contributing members) on air, online and via mobile devices, WBGO presents live broadcasts from prestigious jazz venues and produces acclaimed programs for NPR heard by millions. WBGO is Jazz Week magazine’s 2010 Major Market Station of the Year.