NO TEARS SUITE, commissioned by OXFORD AMERICAN performed today at Little Rock Central High School

In September 2017, Oxford American premiered a 60-minute jazz composition entitled No Tears Suite, written by Little Rock jazz pianist Chris Parker and vocalist Kelley Hurt. The duo created the work in honor of unity on the 60th anniversary of the Little Rock Central High School desegregation crisis.

In this reprisal, Parker and Hurt will again be joined by five exceptional jazz artists, including GRAMMY-winning jazz drummer Brian Blade, who played in the original 2017 ensemble, in addition to fifteen members of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra who will premiere the new, expanded symphonic arrangements of the No Tears Suite written by GRAMMY-nominated arranger, composer and bassist Rufus Reid.

This FREE performance starts at 3pm in the Roosevelt Thompson Auditorium at Little Rock Central High School.  Tickets may be reserved here.

The artists include:
Geoffrey Robson, conductor
Kelly Hurt, vocalist
Chris Parker, piano/composer
Rufus Reid, bass/arranger
Brian Blade, drums
Bobby LaVell, tenor saxophone
Marc Franklin, trumpet
Chad Fowler, alto and baritone saxophones

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NO TEARS SUITE, commissioned by OXFORD AMERICAN being performed tonight

In September 2017, Oxford American premiered a 60-minute jazz composition entitled No Tears Suite, written by Little Rock jazz pianist Chris Parker and vocalist Kelley Hurt. The duo created the work in honor of unity on the 60th anniversary of the Little Rock Central High School desegregation crisis.

In this reprisal, Parker and Hurt will again be joined by five exceptional jazz artists, including GRAMMY-winning jazz drummer Brian Blade, who played in the original 2017 ensemble, in addition to fifteen members of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra who will premiere the new, expanded symphonic arrangements of the No Tears Suite written by GRAMMY-nominated arranger, composer and bassist Rufus Reid.

The program starts at 8pm tonight at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, 501 W 9th Street.  Tickets may be purchased here.

The artists include:
Geoffrey Robson, conductor
Kelly Hurt, vocalist
Chris Parker, piano/composer
Rufus Reid, bass/arranger
Brian Blade, drums
Bobby LaVell, tenor saxophone
Marc Franklin, trumpet
Chad Fowler, alto and baritone saxophones

Today at Noon – Panel Discussion of “NO TEARS SUITE” commissioned by OXFORD AMERICAN

Today (March 1) at noon – a free panel discussion presented in collaboration with the National Park Service and Clinton School of Public Service will be held at Central High School National Historic Site.

Featuring  Rufus Reid, Kelley Hurt, and Bobby LaVell, the panel will be moderated by composer Chris Parker. The goal is to facilitate discussion on the ongoing work of social equity in the United States from the perspectives of people living in different communities and what role music and the arts play in affecting change in our society today.

Additional partners on the project include University of Central Arkansas College of Fine Arts & Communication, Central High National Historic Site, Kay Kelley Arnold, Mid-America Arts Alliance, National Endowment for the Arts, Arkansas Arts Council, and Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.

This project is generously funded by the Stella Boyle Smith Trust, Mid-America Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts and the state arts agencies of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

Performances of “No Tears Suite” will take place on Saturday at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and Sunday at Central High School.

Evolution of Jazz and its place on 9th Street focus of forum by Clinton School, Oxford American and Mosaic Templars

jazz forumTonight (January 14) at 6pm at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Clinton School Speaker Series is presenting a forum on Jazz.  “Jazz: Evolution of an American Art Form and Its Place on 9th Street,” Jazz Symposium will be presented in partnership with the Oxford American and Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.

This panel discussion will be moderated by musician and lifelong jazz enthusiast, Chris Parker, and feature panelists Amina Claudine Myers (born in Blackwell, Ark.), a New York-based jazz singer and pianist; John Cain, a Little Rock-based activist and 9th Street historian; and Nathan Hood, a Hot Springs-based baritone saxophone player. The panel will share personal experiences as jazz musicians and lovers of the genre, as well as the art form’s historical context within the African American microeconomics that existed in U.S. cities prior to the Civil Rights movement.

At 7:30 p.m. — following the 60-minute symposium — a jazz ensemble led by Chris Parker will play a 60-minute set of music. Featured members of the ensemble will include bassist Bill Huntington, drummer Yvette ‘Babygirl’ Preyer, and saxophonist Nathan Hood. Parker, Huntington, Preyer, and Hood have worked with an impressive and wide range of musicians, including Ellis Marsalis, Dr. John, Benny Powell, Art Pepper, Isaac Hayes, and Harold Ousley, among others. Admission for the performance is $10 regular or $5 for students/artists.

Tonight at 7:30 at South on Main – FREE Oxford American Local Live concert with Steve Suter and Friends

llsom suterTonight at 7:30 PM is this week’s installment of the Oxford American Local Live concert series. The music tonight is provided by Steve Suter and Friends.

Presented by the Oxford American magazine, Local Live showcases the best of local and regional music talent and is always free and open to the public. Call ahead to South on Main to make your reservations and ensure a table: (501) 244-9660.

Steve Suter and Friends will bring with them a beautiful night of jazz, standards, and some surprises! Presented by Steve Suter, formerly with the Gatemouth Brown Big Band, Bonerama, and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. Rompin’ New Orleans-style trombone will be joined by Chris Parker and his beautifully sophisticated Arkansas piano. Friends will stop by as the night progresses…

 

Steven Michael Suter is a native of New Orleans and currently resides in Hot Springs. He is a graduate of Loyola University of New Orleans (B.M.), and Northwestern University of Chicago (M.M.). Joining him for this performance, among others, is Little Rock pianist Chris Parker.

Having played with such diverse and varied groups such as the Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown Big Band, the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maxim Shostakovich, Bonerama, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, the Millar Brass Ensemble, and the Al Belletto Big Jazz Band, it is quite evident that Suter’s expertise crosses all musical genres.

Suter has also played with Pete Fountain, Natalie Cole, Rita Moreno, Bobby Vinton, Bob Hope, Ray Charles, the Temptations, the O’Jays, Gladys Knight, Johnny Mathis, Don Rickles, and Mel Torme to name a few.

He has recorded with Bonerama, Jill Scott, Solomon Burke, Al Martino, Barry Manilow, Al Belletto, Gatemouth Brown, The New Orleans Nightcrawlers, and the Millar Brass Ensemble. He’s has made television appearances on MSNBC with the “Mississippi Rising” telethon for Katrina victims, and on NBC withExtreme Makeover: Home Edition. He played in the house band for HBO’s Comic Relief in ’06, was featured at the ’07 Sugar Bowl, and performed on Late Night with David Letterman with Bonerama and Damien Kulash.

He was a member of Bonerama when the group received awards from Offbeat magazine and the Big Easy Awards, both of New Orleans, for outstanding performance. Suter received special recognition by NAJE for jazz education in 2000, and in 2006 Steven was named one of New Orleans Magazine‘s “Jazz All-Stars.”

In addition to a busy schedule of performing, teaching, and writing music, Steven is currently the Programs and Services Counsel for The Muses Creative Artistry Project, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to preservation of classical art and music through performance and education.

The John Bush Quintet play at the Ron Robinson Theater tonight as part of Arkansas Sounds

john_bushTonight at 7pm at the Ron Robinson Theater, saxophonist John Bush and his quintet will play vocal and instrumental jazz favorites.  Seating is General Admission, and tickets are $10.

Jazz saxophonist John Bush’s musical upbringing occurred in Little Rock in the late 1950s and early 1960s, along with jazz enthusiasts John Stubblefield, James Leary, and Claudine Meyers. While Bush’s contemporaries pursued professional careers playing jazz music, he took another direction in that he came back to music later in life.

His aspiration is to uphold the original edict that drove all of the players he grew up with, as well as recognize the same Arkansas jazz traditions and honor the paths taken by musicians like The Original Yellow Jackets, Louis Jordan, Al Hibbler, and Pharaoh Sanders.

Bush is dedicated to playing in the same spirit of those who helped lay the foundations for this rich and beloved genre. The John Bush Quintet includes vocalist Kelley Hurt, bassist Bill Huntington, keyboardist Chris Parker, and drummer Bryan Withers.

Arkansas Sounds is a project of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, a department of the Central Arkansas Library System. Focused on Arkansas music and musicians both past and present, Arkansas Sounds presents concerts, workshops, and other events to showcase Arkansas’s musical culture.

John Bush Group headlines Local Live tonight at South on Main

Tonight at 7:30pm, join the Oxford American magazine for this week’s Local Live concert at South on Main, starring the John Bush Group! As always, Local Live is free and open to the public.

To guarantee a table/seat for this popular series, call ahead at (501) 244-9660. Local Live is made possible by the generous sponsorship of Cosmic Cowboy Music.Cosmic Cowboy Music logo

John Bush’s musical upbringing occurred here in Little Rock in the late 1950s and early 1960s, along with other lovers and students of the genre at that time, including John Stubblefield, James Leary, and Claudine Meyers. While Bush’s contemporaries committed themselves to and pursued professional careers playing jazz music, he took another direction in that he came back to music later in life. His aspiration is to uphold the original edict that drove all of the players he grew up with, as well as recognize the same Arkansas jazz traditions and honor the paths taken by musicians like The Original Yellow Jackets, Louis Jordan, Al Hibbler, and Pharaoh Sanders. Bush is dedicated to playing in the same true spirit of those who helped lay the foundations for this rich and beloved genre.

Joining Bush for this show is an exceptionally talented ensemble of players, including vocalist Kelley Hurt, Bill Huntington (bass), Chris Parker (keys), and Brian Withers (drum).