MONDAY, APRIL 8TH at 7:00PM
Leonieke Scheuble: “Young Women in Jazz, (the future)”
Leonieke Scheuble (pronounced “Lay-o-nee-ka”) was just 10 years old when jazz great Dr. Lonnie Smith gifted her with a Hammond organ. Three years later, she would go on to win “Best Up and Coming Young Artist” at the 2015 Hot House Fan Decision Awards. A recipient of the 2017 Governor’s Award for “Exceptional Promise in Music” as well as two International Women in Jazz awards, Leonieke is also a TEDx speaker. Her first of two CDs “Debut” (2013), was recorded by Rudy van Gelder and features Jimmy Cobb. She can been seen performing regularly as a featured artist or leading her trio at many of New York and New Jersey’s finest Jazz venues.
MONDAY, APRIL 15TH at 7:00PM
April Grier: “Mary Lou Williams, the Lady Who Swings the Band”
Mary Lou Williams was always far ahead of her time, a genius. During an era when Jazz was the nation's popular music, she was one of its greatest innovators. As both a pianist and composer, she was a font of daring and creativity who helped shape the sound of 20th century America. And like the dynamic, turbulent nation in which she lived, Williams seemed to redefine herself with every passing decade. From child prodigy to "Boogie-Woogie Queen" to groundbreaking composer to mentoring some of the greatest musicians of all time, Mary Lou Williams never ceased to astound those who heard her play. But away from the piano, Williams was a woman in a "man's world," a black person in a "whites only" society, an ambitious artist who dared to be different, and who struggled against the imperatives of being a "star."
April D. Grier holds a M.A. in Jazz Studies from Georgia State University, and a M.A. in Jazz History and Research from Rutgers-Newark. In addition to teaching at Rutgers University and Newark School of the Arts, she is the Reference Coordinator at the Institute of Jazz Studies in Newark and has produced and hosted several radio programs for WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM. As the owner of Magenta Jazz Management, a jazz talent/booking agency, April is deeply committed to enriching communities through the arts and empowering performing artists economically.
TUESDAY, APRIL 23rd at 7:00PM
“the Music and Story of OO-BLA-DEE”
Discussion Led by Two River Theater
Oo-Bla-Dee paints a shimmering portrait of an all-female band of African-American bebop musicians traveling the country following the end of World War II. Don’t miss this play-with-music created by Golden Globe-winning actor and playwright Regina Taylor (I’ll Fly Away, Crowns), Obie-winning jazz composer Diedre L. Murray (The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess) and Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson (August Wilson’s Jitney at Two River and on Broadway).
MONDAY, APRIL 29TH at 7:00PM
Champian Fulton: “Women of Song”
Champian Fulton is a mainstay on the vibrant New York Jazz scene as well as at the finest clubs and concert halls around the world. She has performed with musical royalty such as Lou Donaldson, Frank Wess, Eric Alexander, Buster Williams, and Louis Hayes. From New York to Barcelona, Champian’s swinging style and charismatic performances have made her a guardian of the legacy of Jazz. Music education is also a concern near and dear to her heart, having been inspired and mentored by the late great Clark Terry in his tireless advocacy for the perpetuation of the craft. Champian strives to impart this unique knowledge to students around the world. In addition to her involvement in the Litchfield Jazz Camp and the Rutgers Jazz Institute, and as integral part of our own Jazz Arts Academy faculty, Champian has also been featured in many of our own concert presentations through the years.