Bill Evans was born in New Jersey in 1929. He was a pioneering modal jazz pianist with a unique style of playing that set him apart from the others. His delicate playing style masked his lifelong struggles with addiction and difficulty he endured. He died entirely too soon at the age of 51 in 1980. His music is an invitation to recognize our own shortcomings, our own addiction, and our own demons. Helping us to find a better path to realizing our own potential.
Born in Philadelphia in 1929, Benny Golson remains one the greatest composers, interpreters and practitioners of jazz. In grieving the loss of his dear friend Clifford Brown, Benny’s grief lead him to create some of the most beautiful and incredible jazz that we have. He represents, to this day, always finding voice, always finding meaning, and always finding relevance within one’s own artistry.
Art Pepper began his career in the late 40s playing with big bands. He was known for his comebacks after being repeatedly thrown in prison for heroine. After each prison stint, he would continue to stretch his career even further each time. Art played with a sense of urgency and sensuality that changed the world forever.
Archie Shepp was a great saxophone player who incorporated African music directly into his work. His music helped shape contemporary events and give an aural sense to current events reflecting the political realities of his time. Archie helps us understand that we are all connected as one and music is a perfect art form to help us realize that we are all as one.
Born in Chicago 1919 and was a well-known Jazz singer. Her nickname in some circles was “The Jezebel of Jazz”. She helped to define a new approach to Jazz while she quested for a sense of restraint and boundaries in her ways while still looking for freedom and new venues to explore. She developed her own sense of rhythm and dynamics and remained an individual. Showing that we can remain both contained yet still be inspired simultaneously.