Jazz on the Move 2020
The Nashville Jazz Workshop, in collaboration with the Frist Art Museum, announces the 14th season of the popular jazz performance and education series, Jazz on the Move. Each installment features a lecture and performance highlighting a major figure or period in jazz history. Presented by Nashville’s top jazz artist/educators, the series offers audiences world class music as well as an opportunity to learn more about jazz. The series is presented monthly at the Frist Art Museum January through April, and expands for three additional performances at other community venues later in the year.
The programs take place on a series of Sunday afternoons. All performances are at 3:00 pm in the auditorium at the Frist Art Museum, 919 Broadway, Nashville, TN. Performances in the series are free and open to the public. Each performance is led by a jazz artist intimately familiar with the jazz great being profiled, with an outstanding group of supporting musicians.
Presentations in this year’s series are:
Sunday, January 19 – Tribute to Freddie Hubbard, presented Jamey Simmons
Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard was a pioneer of the hard bop style in the 1960’s. With a career spanning into the 1990’s, he was considered one of the finest trumpet players of the era. A native of Indianapolis, Hubbard played with brothers Wes and Monk Montgomery while in his teens. During the 1960’s he was a sideman on some of the most popular albums of the period, recording with such greats as Oliver Nelson, Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins, and Ornette Coleman. He went on to popular success in the 1970’s with a series of albums for producer Creed Taylor and CTI records. He led his own groups in the 1980’s, including jazz greats such as Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw, Bobby Hutcherson, and Benny Golson. He continued performing into the 1990’s and beyond despite health problems, until his death in 2008 at the age of 70. In 2006 he was named an NEA Jazz Master.
The program will be led by trumpeter Jamey Simmons, director of Middle Tennessee State University’s Jazz Studies program and a longtime faculty member and performing artist at the Nashville Jazz Workshop.
Sunday, February 16 – The Life and Music of Betty Carter, A presentation for Black History Month with Dara Tucker
Betty Carter began singing at age 16, winning amateur competitions in her home town of Detroit, and performing with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Lionel Hampton at a young age. From the beginning she developed a unique vocal style focused on improvisation and scat singing. Fiercely independent, she clashed with Hampton, who fired her seven times. She went on to tour with Ray Charles in the 1960’s. From the late 60’s on she toured with a trio of piano, bass, and drums and became known a mentor to many young jazz musicians who cut their teeth in her trio. Among the great pianists who got their start with Carter were Mulgrew Miller, Cyrus Chestnut, and Benny Green.
Vocalist Dara Tucker is one of the most popular and versatile artists to emerge from Nashville’s thriving jazz scene. Her four CDs run the gamut of styes from Jazz to Soul, Gospel, Pop, Americana, and more. Dara is well-known to Jazz on the Move audiences for her previous presentations on Nancy Wilson (2017) and Nina Simone (2018).
Sunday, March 15 – The Life and Music of Sonny Rollins, with Rahsaan Barber
Sonny Rollins has been called “the greatest living improvisor,” and his 1956 album, “Saxophone Colossus,” has also become a well-deserved nickname. His career spans the eras of bebop, hard bop, free jazz, and has extended to the modern era . . . he only recently retired from touring in 2012 at the age of 81. His compositions are among the most played of modern jazz standards, and include “St. Thomas,” “Doxy,” “Valse Hot,” and Sonnymoon for Two.” An NEA Jazz Master since 2013, Rollins retains a modest outlook. Despite his many awards and accolades, he usually maintained that he was “still trying to get better.”
Nashville saxophonist Rahsaan Barber is one of the city’s most accomplished saxophonists. A graduate of Indiana University’s jazz program, where he studied with Dr. David Baker, he went on to receive a Masters Degree from the Manhattan School of Music and is currently working on a doctorate from the University of Memphis. Since his return to Nashville 10 years ago, Rahsaan has been a successful bandleader and touring and recording artist, and serves as Vice President of the Tennessee Jazz and Blues Society. Rahsaan’s previous Jazz on the Move presentations have included programs on John Coltrane and Miles Davis.
Sunday, April 19 – The Life and Music of Bud Powell, with Bruce Dudley
Pianist Bud Powell was a leading figure in the development of bebop in the 1940’s. A virtuoso instrumentalist, he is credited with adapting the style of Charlie Parker to the piano. A brilliant composer as well, his writings are among the most imaginative in modern jazz. An early protégé of Thelonious Monk, Powell was a regular participant in the bebop sessions at Minton’s Playhouse, and appeared on classic recordings with Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Max Roach. Considered a troubled genius, Powell had frequent legal problems and psychiatric hospitalizations, and he apparently never recovered from a beating by police early in his career. From 1959 to 1963 he lived in Paris, where he continued to perform and record. He returned to New York in 1964, where he died from tuberculosis and alcoholism in 1966, at the age of 41.
A brilliant jazz pianist, composer, and educator, Bruce Dudleyreceived his doctorate from the University of Colorado and serves on the faculty of Belmont University, Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music, and the Nashville Jazz Workshop. Bruce has made a study of Bud Powell’s music and improvisational style and has taught classes on this at the NJW.
The Jazz on the Move series is presented with support from the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Caterpillar Financial, Peter and Anne Neff, the Carolyn Kulkin Fund for Education and Community, New City Properties, and ArkivJazz.
Those attending Jazz on the Move at the Frist will be able to visit the Frist’s exhibits free of charge, and will also receive discounted parking. Parking tends to fill up on Sundays, however, and patrons are encouraged to carpool, rideshare, or use public transport.
The Frist Art Museum is an accredited nonprofit art-exhibition center, with approximately 24,000 square feet of gallery space, dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from local, state and regional artists, as well as major U.S. and international exhibitions. It is located at 919 Broadway, Nashville, Tennessee, 37203. www.fristartmuseum.org.