Celebrate International Jazz Day with Vincent York
A Tribute to Paul Desmond and Chet Baker
- $20 General Admission
- $10 Student
- VIncent York, bandleader
- Paul Finkbeiner, trumpet
- Ellen Rowe, piano
- Marion Hayden, bass
- Sean Dobbins, drums
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 year, the band focuses on the music of Paul Desmond and Chet Baker.
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!”
Paul has been teaching trumpet for 12 years. He has a Bachelor of Music from Western Michigan University. He can be heard at the Firefly Club Sunday afternoons with Phil Oglive's Rhythm Kings (a small big band that specializes in music from the 20's and 30's), Monday night with the Paul Keller Orchestra (formerly the Bird of Paradise Orchestra), and Wednesday night with the Paul Keller Ensemble (a modern jazz sextet modeled after Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers). He has recorded with The Bird of Paradise Orchestra, the Paul Keller Ensemble, Paul Vornhagen, Bess Bonnier, the Scott Gwinnell Jazz Orchestra, Jan Krist, Steve Fentriss, and is currently finishing up his own project. Paul is accepting beginning to advanced students.
Ellen Rowe, jazz pianist and composer, is currently Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation at the University of Michigan. She is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Rayburn Wright and Bill Dobbins. Prior to her appointment in Michigan, she served as Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Connecticut.
Winner of the Hartford, CT Advocate Readers’ Poll for Best Acoustic Jazz, Ms. Rowe has performed at jazz clubs and on concert series throughout the U.S., as well as touring in Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Ireland, Poland, and Australia. Also active as a clinician, she has given workshops and master classes at the Melbourne Conservatory, Hochshule fur Musik in Cologne, and the Royal Academy of Music in London, in addition to many appearances as a guest artist at festivals and Universities around the country.
When not leading her own quartet, she is in demand as a sideman, having performed with a wide variety of jazz artists including Kenny Wheeler, Tim Ries, Tom Harrell, John Clayton, Ingrid Jensen, and Steve Turre. She has also been a guest on two installments of Marian McPartland’s “Piano Jazz” on National Public Radio, most recently in March of 2003. Her two CDs as a leader, Sylvan Way (2000) and Denali Pass (2005) have received extensive airplay and critical acclaim.
Ms. Rowe's compositions and arrangements have been performed and recorded by jazz ensembles and orchestras around the world, including the Village Vanguard Orchestra, BBC Jazz Orchestra, U.S. Navy Commodores, Berlin and NDR Radio Jazz Orchestras, London Symphony, DIVA, and the Perth Jazz Orchestra. Many of these works can be heard on recently released CD’s including Leave It To Diva, The Perth Jazz Orchestra, Bingo (The Bird of Paradise Orchestra) and I Believe In You (DIVA). She has recently been a composer-in-residence at the Eastman School of Music and the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Her big band compositions are currently published by Sierra Music Publications.
Having been selected to conduct the MENC All-Eastern and All-Northwest Jazz Ensembles as well as All-State jazz ensembles throughout the country, Rowe has also been an invited clinician at the Music Educators National Conference Eastern Division Convention and the International Association of Jazz Educators Convention. Her quartet was recently featured in performance at the 2005 IAJE Conference in Long Beach, California and the 2009 Detroit International Jazz festival.
Marion Hayden is one of very few female jazz bassists, in her case deciding to stay close to home while becoming one of the more enduring instrumentalists in the Midwestern United States. Born in Detroit, MI, in 1952, she is the daughter of Marion and Herbert Hayden, her father an avid record collector and jazz pianist himself. Growing up on the industrial west side of the Motor City, she took up piano at the age of nine, followed by the upright acoustic bass at 12. In the summer Metro Arts program she met Wendell Harrison and Marcus Belgrave, who would become teachers, and in time lifelong collaborators. Hayden attended Cass Tech High School and graduated from Henry Ford High School, took classes at Michigan State University and then the University of Michigan, gaining a liberal arts degree with a minor in entomology. She took a position with the Michigan Department of Agriculture while working the nightclub circuit playing jazz with Belgrave, pianist Charles Boles, Teddy Harris, Jr., the Jimmy Wilkins Orchestra, Buddy Budson, LaMonte Hamilton, saxophonist George Benson, Marvin "Doc" Holladay, Randy Gelispie, Donald Walden, Kenn Cox, and Stan Booker.
Briefly disillusioned with the jazz scene in the early '80s, she took a two-year hiatus before her career was revived through playing again with Cox, and most notably master percussionist Roy Brooks in his combo the Artistic Truth. For a time while married to guitarist Bill Banfield, she worked on joint projects with him including symphonic and cinematic music reflecting her classical training. From there her career took off as one of the founding members of the all-female ensemble Venus, followed by the band Straight Ahead in collaboration with Regina Carter.
This versatility led her to a wide variety of engagements, but also gave her the opportunity to become a high-level educator. She became a professor of bass instruction in the jazz department of Tri-C College in Cleveland, OH, and was installed in the faculty at the University of Michigan School of Music. She has performed or recorded with such jazz veterans as Kirk Lightsey, Ralph Peterson, Jr., Terry Callier, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Fortune, Kenny Burrell, Steve Turre, Cecil Bridgewater, fellow Detroiter James Carter, and countless other professionals passing through. Straight Ahead have maintained a local presence beyond their recordings, while Hayden is also heard with the band of saxophonist Allen Barnes, and is a member of the Modern Jazz Messengers led by drummer Sean Dobbins. Her solo CD Visions was released in 2008, and she has composed a suite based on the writings of poet Phyllis Wheatley.
Sean Dobbins got his start as a sought-after Detroit area jazz sideman at a young age, when he would regularly play with Blue Note artist Louis Smith.
Though still young by jazz standards, Dobbins has amassed an impressive list of playing companions. He has performed/toured/recorded with Johnny Basset, Benny Golson, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Frank Morgan, Joey DeFrancesco, George Cables, James “Blood” Ulmer, Paul Finkbeiner, Larry Willis, Rodney Whitaker, Johnny O'Neal, Paul Keller, Tad Weed, Kurt Krahnke, Kelly Broadway, David “Fathead” Newman, Donald Walden, Ramona Collins, and Michael Gabriel.
Sean's sound can best be described as hard-driving, solid rhythm with refreshing melodic sensibility. Some of Sean's influences include Art Blakey, Jeff Hamilton, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Ed Thigpen, Sonny Payne, and also Detroit area greats Gerald Cleaver and Pete Siers.
A product of the Ann Arbor Public Schools, Sean has stayed devoted to education throughout his life. Early mentor Louis Smith, an Ann Arbor Public Schools band teacher, impressed the importance of a good education upon Sean at an early age. Sean is known in his community as a band director, drum teacher and positive influence for many.