Vincent York’s Jazzistry





Vincent York’s Jazzistry

Celebrating International Jazz Day

  • $20 General Admission
  • $10 Student
  • VIncent York, bandleader
  • Dwight Adams, trumpet/flugelhorn
  • Gary Schunk, piano
  • Ron English, guitar/banjo
  • Marion Hayden, bass
  • Jesse Kramer, drums

Event Details

In November 2011 The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), proclaimed April 30th to be celebrated as “International Jazz Day.” Jazz music that originated in America will be celebrated around the world as an educational tool, and a force for peace, unity, dialogue and enhanced cooperation among people.

In 1994, this is exactly what Vincent York had in mind when he developed the interactive educational program that became known as Vincent York’s Jazzistry. This local nonprofit takes students on a musical tour that transverses time and space, turning school auditoriums into musical time machines. The program literally swings through an unforgettable history lesson connecting all of us to our shared American heritage.

This is your chance to witness a Jazzistry program for yourself! Vincent takes the school presentation format and adds more full songs and historical content to lead the audience through the history of American music while playing some of the best traditional jazz in Michigan.

Come and explore the history, meaning, impact, and legacy of American jazz while enjoying selections from some of our greatest jazz musicians.

VIncent York

First and foremost, Vincent York is a jazz musician. He attended Southern University at Baton Rogue, becoming the first jazz studies major under clarinetist Alvin Batiste. After graduate study in classical saxophone at the University of Michigan, he toured with the Duke Ellington Orchestra under the direction of Mercer Ellington before forming his own band, the Force (now known as Vincent York’s new York Force), in 1977. York has recorded or played with noteworthy jazz artists such as Louis Smith, Marcus Belgrave, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Lena Horne, Joe Williams, Cab Calloway and Motown names such as The Temptations, Aretha Franklin and Martha Reeves.

In his position as artistic director of Jazzistry, Vincent’s roles include composer, bandleader, educator, and advocate for the arts. Vincent believes every American can be proud of jazz. He says, “it embodies our most admired cultural characteristics: self expression, spontaneity, boldness, and invention!”

Dwight Adams

Dwight Adams (Detroit) was marked as a gifted musician from his work with the Teddy Harris New Breed Be-Bop Society Orchestra at the age of 16. Winner of Metro Times 1993 and 1996 Spirit of Detroit awards, he leads The Dwight Adams Quartet, is featured in many Detroit bands, has toured with Stevie Wonder, and has played and recorded with Vincent York’s New York Force.

Gary Schunk

Gary Schunk fuses his passionate energy with his seasoned technical prowess with his arsenal of keyboards. Based primarily in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan, Schunk has earned much acclaim as an acoustic pianist, electronic keyboardist, and composer for his own electric jazz trio Schunk-Starr-Dryden. Schunk has played with numerous jazz greats including Joe Williams, Earl Klugh, Sonny Stitt, Kenny Burrell, Anita O’Day, Mark Murphy, Pepper Adams, Terumasa Hino, Dave Valentin, David “Fathead” Newman, and many others.
In November of 1995, Schunk was chosen as one of ten winners in JAZZIZ magazine’s Keyboards on Fire contest.

Ron English

Ron English is a performer, composer, educator, clinician and adjudicator. He has taught at universities, worked with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Motown groups and recorded with the Lyman Woodard Organization and Rahsan Roland Kirk. An integral part of Detroit’s jazz scene since the 60s, he was awarded Metro Detroit’s Best Guitarist 1991 and 1993. Ron currently teaches guitar, jazz theory and ensemble classes in the Continuing Education program at Marygrove College. He previously taught in Jazz Studies programs at Oakland University and Michigan State University

Marion Hayden

Marion Hayden is one of the nation’s finest proponents of the acoustic bass. Classically trained, she honed her skills in private studies at the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and many jam sessions in Detroit's various jazz clubs. Marion is bass instructor in the jazz department of Tri-C College, Cleveland Ohio, and is on faculty at the U of M School of Music. She has performed with many jazz artists including Marcus Belgrave, Roy Brooks, Kirk Lightsey, Ralph Peterson, Kenny Burrell, Regina Carter and James Carter.

Jesse Kramer

One of the most promising young drummers in Metro Detroit, Kramer has already performed at clubs, theaters, and festivals with some of the top local and national jazz musicians. Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Jesse studied with local masters such as saxophonist Vincent York and drummer Sean Dobbins. While still in high school, Jesse was awarded a Downbeat Magazine Student Music Award for best group, and his trio performed at the Detroit Jazz Festival. He performs regularly in Detroit and Ann Arbor, and has quickly become a first-call drummer for many established artists/groups in the area.