Geoff Clapp

Geoff Clapp

August 10, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

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While Geoff was a high school student at the North Carolina School of the Arts (studying classical percussion and playing in the school’s jazz band), he had the opportunity to meet and hear New Orleanians, including trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, pianist Ellis Marsalis and drummer Herlin Riley (All-Star 1991). “I never knew drums could be played like that,” exclaims Clapp of Riley’s style and talents. “That really sparked my true interest in jazz.”

These events ultimately resulted in Clapp attending the University of New Orleans in the fall of 1989. He was among the first talented group of musicians, which included drummer Brian Blade (All-Star 1993), trumpeter Jeremy Davenport (All-Star 2000) and bassist Chris Thomas (All-Star 1999) in the new jazz studies program headed by Ellis Marsalis. “We were just a bunch of hoodlums trying to play jazz,” says Clapp with a chuckle.

Geoff Clapp

He soon immersed himself in New Orleans drumming, soaking up the style from the likes of Riley, Stanley Stephens and Shannon Powell (All-Star 1995).

The road called Clapp away from his studies and he headed out with some heavies, including saxophonist Donald Harrison, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, Ellis Marsalis and trumpeter Jeremy Davenport. Because Clapp has made a habit of often returning to New Orleans to gig, it might surprise some that he actually moved away from here in ’99 and was primarily based in Brooklyn until returning to New Orleans in the fall of 2007.

Beyond pursuing his jazz career (including tours presented by the State Department tour that took him to Africa), he did his share of teaching. He was active with Wynton Marsalis’ Lincoln Center jazz educational program as well as bassist Christian McBride’s Jazz House Kids workshops in inner city schools. He continues to teach as an adjunct instructor at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and Dillard University, as well as teach privately.

​Clapp, who began beating Tupperware bowls with wooden spoons and moved from a rock to a jazz drum set, is back on the New Orleans modern jazz scene, playing what he describes as a mix of the “heady New York and soulful New Orleans” drum styles.


Victor Atkins

Victor Atkins

November 9, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

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Victor Atkins

BIO

Victor “Red” Atkins is known for being a “powerful and unconventional” piano player. Victor is a native of Selma, Alabama and currently lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. Atkins had an early start with jazz as his father loved Charlie Parker. At home he learned how to appreciate music and develop an ear for more complex music.

He began his professional career on Delfeayo Marsalis’ “Pontius Pilate’s Decision” record. After recording he moved on to be a professional pianist alongside many notable musicians such as Elvin Jones, Mark Whitfield, Nnenna Freelon, Joshua Redman, Wynton Marsalis, and Leroy Jones. Subsequently he returned to school to finish his Masters at the Manhattan school of Music. He was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in 1998. Atkins is well-known for his work with Grammy-winning, New Orleans-based Los Hombres Calientes as well as his re-working of Duke Ellington’s “Such Sweet Thunder,” a tribute to William Shakespeare.

Not only is Victor Atkins a professional musician but also a tenured professor at the University of New Orleans, where he teaches theory, composition, jazz keyboard, and applied piano. He also works with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra on compositions, and has played with them numerous times. Victor Atkins credits Donald Brown as his mentor. His studies with him had the largest impact, and it is when he developed a sincere appreciation for jazz.

He currently says that Horace Silver is his favorite professional pianist. Victor Atkins says that he is looking forward to The JAZZ ROOM and playing Horace Silver. “He’s a recognized musician and arranger. Horace covered a lot of ground and came along at an important time in history and music. His writing was impeccable and his playing is recognizable; both of which draw from a very sincere place. He had a unique way of combining hard bop and soul…most people wouldn’t marry the two well… Horace Silver is an essential piece of American music history.”   While he is here he will concentrate on quintet arrangements, and says “it will be party.” Victor is looking forward to The JAZZ ROOM audience experiencing music he calls “accessible, but so incredibly melodic, sophisticated, and complex.”


Howard Alden

Howard Alden

October 12, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

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Howard Alden

BIO

“He may be the best of his generation,” writes Owen Cordle in JazzTimesGeorge Kanzler of the Newark Star Ledger proclaims that he is “the most impressive and creative member of a new generation of jazz guitarists.” And Chip Deffaa of the New York Post observed that he is “…one of the very finest young guitarists working today.”

It seems that the only thing regarding Howard Alden on which the critics have debate is whether the remarkable jazz guitarist is one of the best or simply the best.

Born in Newport Beach, California, in 1958, Howard began playing at age ten, inspired by recordings of Armstrong, Basie and Goodman, as well as those by guitarists Barney Kessel, Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt and George Van Eps. Soon he was working professionally around Los Angeles playing in groups ranging from traditional to mainstream to modern jazz. In 1979, Alden went east, for a summer in Atlantic City with Red Norvo, and continued to perform with him frequently for several years.

Upon moving to New York City in 1982, Alden’s skills, both as soloist and accompanist, were quickly recognized and sought-out for appearances and recordings with such artists as Joe Bushkin, Ruby Braff, Joe Williams, Warren Vache` and Woody Herman.

He has continued to win accolades from critics and musicians alike, adding Benny Carter, Flip Phillips, Mel Powell, Bud Freeman, Kenny Davern, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie and George Van Eps, as well as notable contemporaries such as Scott Hamilton and Ken Peplowski to his list of impressive credits.

Howard Alden has been a Concord Jazz recording artist since the late ’80s where his prolific recorded output as leader, co-leader, and versatile sideman, has captured an artist of consistently astonishing virtuosity and originality.

One of the many highlights in Howard Alden’s fruitful association with Concord Jazz came in 1991 when, at the urging of Concord President, Carl Jefferson, Alden recorded with one of his all-time heroes, seven-string guitar master George Van Eps on the album Thirteen Strings .

As a result of his associating with – and inspiration from – George Van Eps, Alden has been playing the seven-string guitar since 1992. The seven string guitar imparts a greater range and harmonic richness to Alden’s already colorful tonal palette, as evidenced on three remarkable follow-up albums with Van Eps, his critically acclaimed duo recordings with saxophonist/clarinetist Ken Peplowski, and the stunning interplay between Alden and special guest Frank Wess on Your Story – The Music of Bill Evans . Alden also teamed up with fellow guitarists Jimmy Bruno and Frank Vignola to record a three guitar outing entitled The Concord Jazz Guitar Collective , which was quickly called by some critics “an instant classic!”

Alden’s recording from 1996 Take Your Pick serves to underline Howard’s wide scope of knowledge of jazz literature. Thoughout the disc, one is amazed at how skillfully Alden delivers interpretations with fresh surprises. Michael Moore, Bill Goodwin, Lew Tabackin, and Renee Rosnes combine with Alden to bring exciting interplay and thrills around every corner to the ten standard and lesser known gems hand picked for this recording. Released in honor of Concord’s 25th anniversary was a duo recording with Jimmy Bruno, Full Circle teamed with the very first Concord recording Jazz/ Concord featuring Herb Ellis and Joe Pass.

Howard can be heard on the soundtrack to the 1999 Woody Allen movie “Sweet and Lowdown”, starring Sean Penn, who was also nominated for an Academy Award for his role as a legendary jazz guitarist in the ’30s. Howard not only played all the guitar solos, but also coached Mr. Penn on playing the guitar for his role in the film. The London Observer had this to say about Alden’s 2001 solo CD, My Shining Hour ; “If there is such a thing as a complete jazz guitarist, then Alden is it. Only a real virtuoso can sustain a whole CD of solo guitar with the aplomb he displays here.” In 2004 Howard was the guitarist(and musical director) chosen for an all-star line-up commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival, touring 50 cities of the United States in addition to their appearance at the Newport Festival. The 2005-2006 season saw Howard adding his acoustic guitar voice to violinist Mark O’Connor’s Hot Swing on his national concert tour. His 2009 recording, “I REMEMBER DJANGO”, once again features his distinctive acoustic sound, developing and expanding the warm and elegant spirit of his performance in “Sweet and Low Down”. Howard’s inimitable playing has also been sought out by rock/blues/pop icon Steve Miller for recording projects and live appearances. Even country music legend Vince Gill recently said, after hearing Howard play in Nashville; “I’m meat and potatoes, but he’s the real deal!” And guitar virtuoso Leo Kottke has this to say about “Guitar” , Howard’s recent solo recording on K2B2 records; “It’s the best recording of the seven-string guitar I’ve ever heard!”. In 2018, in addition to his solo guitar work, Howard has been asked to join multi-genre violin star Nigel Kennedy in recordings and concerts.

Howard Alden was voted “Best Emerging Talent-Guitar” in the first annual JazzTimes critics’ poll, 1990, and “Talent Deserving Wider Recognition” in the 1996, 1992, 1993 and 1995 Downbeat critics’ poll. In February of 2009, Howard was recognized as a “Modern Maestro”, one of DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE’S 75 Great Guitarists of all time! “An original virtuoso”

https://howardalden.com/ha6/index.php/video-clips


James Singleton

James Singleton

September 14, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

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James Singleton

BIO

James Singleton is an acoustic bassist, composer, and producer. He is a member of the New Orleans-based jazz group Astral Project with Johnny VidacovichTony Dagradi, and Steve Masakowski. He has been described as one of the best and most sought after bassists in New Orleans.[1]
He has performed with John ScofieldStanton Moore, and John Medeski as well as John AbercrombieArt BaronEllis Marsalis, Earl Turbinton, Eddie HarrisClarence “Gatemouth” BrownLionel HamptonArnett Cobb and Banu Gibson among others. He has recorded with Chet BakerAlvin “Red” TylerJames BookerJohnny “Tan Canary” AdamsCharlie Rich and Zachary Richard among others.
He produced Astral Project’s Elvado which won OffBeat magazine’s 1998 Best Modern Jazz Album of the year award. Although Elvado has been described as “straight-ahead bop-influenced jazz with a Crescent City ambiance”[2] Astral Project’s live performances are also known for improvisation which Singleton has described as “composing in the groove.”[3]
He has led projects such as “3 Now 4,” “The James Singleton Orchestra” and “The James Singleton Trio.”

Some of Singleton’s recent projects include playing as a member of the New Orleans saxophonist Robert Wagner Trio[4] and the New Orleans keyboardist Robert Walter Trio. In early 2007 he toured nationally with Skerik and Mike Dillon. In 2008 various projects included an experimental jazz string quartet composed of two former Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra members Dave Rebeck and Matt Rhody as well as cellist Helen Gillet.[5] Singleton moved to Los Angeles after Hurricane Katrina, but continued to perform frequently in New Orleans.[6] In December 2008, Singleton returned to New Orleans.


Geoff Clapp

Geoff Clapp

August 10, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

Buy Tickets

While Geoff was a high school student at the North Carolina School of the Arts (studying classical percussion and playing in the school’s jazz band), he had the opportunity to meet and hear New Orleanians, including trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, pianist Ellis Marsalis and drummer Herlin Riley (All-Star 1991). “I never knew drums could be played like that,” exclaims Clapp of Riley’s style and talents. “That really sparked my true interest in jazz.”

These events ultimately resulted in Clapp attending the University of New Orleans in the fall of 1989. He was among the first talented group of musicians, which included drummer Brian Blade (All-Star 1993), trumpeter Jeremy Davenport (All-Star 2000) and bassist Chris Thomas (All-Star 1999) in the new jazz studies program headed by Ellis Marsalis. “We were just a bunch of hoodlums trying to play jazz,” says Clapp with a chuckle.

Geoff Clapp

He soon immersed himself in New Orleans drumming, soaking up the style from the likes of Riley, Stanley Stephens and Shannon Powell (All-Star 1995).

The road called Clapp away from his studies and he headed out with some heavies, including saxophonist Donald Harrison, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, Ellis Marsalis and trumpeter Jeremy Davenport. Because Clapp has made a habit of often returning to New Orleans to gig, it might surprise some that he actually moved away from here in ’99 and was primarily based in Brooklyn until returning to New Orleans in the fall of 2007.

Beyond pursuing his jazz career (including tours presented by the State Department tour that took him to Africa), he did his share of teaching. He was active with Wynton Marsalis’ Lincoln Center jazz educational program as well as bassist Christian McBride’s Jazz House Kids workshops in inner city schools. He continues to teach as an adjunct instructor at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and Dillard University, as well as teach privately.

​Clapp, who began beating Tupperware bowls with wooden spoons and moved from a rock to a jazz drum set, is back on the New Orleans modern jazz scene, playing what he describes as a mix of the “heady New York and soulful New Orleans” drum styles.


Ed Cherry

Ed Cherry

July 13, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

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Ed Cherry

BIO

Born in New Haven,Connecticut, Ed moved to New York in 1978 to play guitar with Dizzy Gillespie from 1978 to 1992 performing in Gillespie’s quartet, big band and with The United Nation Orchestra which recorded the Grammy Award-winning Live at Royal Festival Hall (Enja). Gillespie died in 1993, and Cherry released his first recording as a leader, ‘First Take’ (Groovin’ High). That same year, Ed recorded with Paquito D’Riveras’ small group which recorded “Havana Cafe” (Chesky Records). Ed also worked with composer/saxophonist Henry Threadgill for two years and recorded  three cds with Henry’s ‘Very Very Circus’ group.

In 1995, Cherry released his second project as a solo artist, entitled A Second Look (Groovin’ High Records). During that same period Ed worked with Hammond organist John Patton recording three critically acclaimed cds with Patton’s quartet-‘Blue Planet Man’,’Minor Swing’ and ‘This ones for Jah'(DIW). From 1997 to 1998, Cherry worked in Roy Hargrove’s “Crisol” Latin jazz band, which performed in Havana, Cuba. During this same period, he also worked w/baritone saxophonist, Hamiett Bluiett, recording Bluiett’s cd ‘With Eyes Wide Open’ on Justin-Time records.In 2001, Cherry toured Europe for the first time with his own group. He also released his  cd, ‘The Spirit Speaks’ on the Canadian Justin Time Records label, inspired by the great jazz organist Jimmy Smith with whom he had also recently worked.Ed was asked to perform at the ‘Vodaphone Madarao Jazz festival’in 2002 in Madarao Japan with his quartet featuring trumpeter Jon Faddis.

More recently , Ed toured with the great Hammond organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, recording one critically acclaimed cd, ‘In The Beginning’ on Pilgrimage Records in 2012.

Currently Ed has a brand new second recording released on Posi-Tone Records. (‘It’s All Good’ his first release in 2012 for Posi-Tone stayed in the JazzWeek charts for 3 months) his second recording for the label is titled “Soul Tree” ( release date February 19 2016 ) featuring Kyle Koehler on Hammond B3 organ and drummer Anwar Marshall. As of this pre release date, it’s already gathering rave reviews.

Ed continues to work nationally and internationally ; concerts, workshops, jazz clubs.

Wikipedia

Downbeat magazine “blindfold test”

Downbeat Magazine “Soultree ” Review

https://www.edcherryguitar.com/video


Roseanna Vitro

Roseanna Vitro

May 9, 2022

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

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BIO

Born Roseanna Elizabeth Vitro[1] in Hot Springs, Arkansas, on February 28, 1951, Vitro began singing at an early age, drawing inspiration from gospel, rock, rhythm and blues, musical theatre, and classical music.[2] During the 1950s, her father owned a night club in Hot Springs called The Flamingo. He loved Dean Martin‘s music and opera, and her mother’s family sang gospel. By the 1960s, she was determined to be a rock singer.[3]
Vitro was exposed to jazz and it became her genre of choice after moving to Houston, Texas in the 1970s. Ray Sullenger discovered Vitro and presented her to the Houston jazz community where she sang frequently with Arnett Cobb.[4] She worked for two years at the Green Room in Houston with her group Roseanna with Strings and Things and hosted a radio show on KUHF-FM. The band performed with Oscar PetersonBill EvansTommy Flanagan, and Keter Betts. Cobb, Peterson, and Sullenger encouraged her to dedicate herself to jazz.
In 1978, she moved to New York City with guitarist Scott Hardy and began to study with Gabor Carelli, a professor from the Manhattan School of Music, and began to perform with Kenny Werner and Fred Hersch. She sang with Lionel Hampton and toured with him. She appeared at The Blue NoteIridiumBirdland, and Dizzy’s Jazz Club at Lincoln Center. She appeared with Steve Allen at The Town Hall at The Apollo Theater and recorded an album of Allen’s songs. In 2005 she performed and recorded with the Kenny Werner Trio at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
She has worked with Kenny BarronChristian McBrideElvin JonesGary BartzKevin Mahogany, and David “Fathead” Newman, all of whom have appeared on her recordings.[2] She was a guest on Marian McPartland’s radio program Piano Jazz.[1] Her album The Music of Randy Newman[5] received 4 1/2 stars in Down Beat magazine and a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album in 2012.

Vitro taught vocal jazz at the State University of New York at Purchase and retired in 2017 as Vocal Jazz Chair at New Jersey City University and New Jersey Performing Arts Center. She holds workshops, concerts, and master classes. She has studied classical voice, ear-training, classical Indian vocal technique, Portuguese, piano, and jazz technique and concept.


Pat Kelly

Pat Kelly

April 13, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

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Pat Kelly

BIO

Recognized for his signature touch, harmonic dexterity, bluesy melodies and sense of rhythm, guitarist Pat Kelley has enjoyed a steady and successful career in Los Angeles as a studio and touring musician, recording artist, composer, producer, arranger, vocalist, recording engineer, and educator.

An integral part of the Thornton School of Music Guitar Faculty at the University of Southern California for twenty-four years, two of Pat’s books, Arpeggios for the Evolving Guitarist and Melodic Minor Guitar are part of the USC Thornton School of Music instructional series (Mel Bay Publications). Pat has also been on the faculty of the Monterey Jazz Festival Summer Jazz Camp, Guitar College Summer Guitar & Bass Camp, the University of Tulsa Summer Jazz Camp, and Interlochen Center for the Arts.
A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Pat grew up playing music with his Dad, other guitarists, singers, and bands, from the age of five. After majoring in music composition at the University of Tulsa, Pat moved to Southern California in the early 1970’s where he has recorded and toured with George Benson, Natalie Cole, David Benoit, Ronnie Laws, Hubert Laws, Tom Scott, Al Jarreau, Chick Corea, Dave Brubeck, Dave Koz, Jane Monheit, Olivia Newton John, Melissa Manchester, Burt Bacharach, Jose Feliciano, and many others.
Performances with symphony orchestras include Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Houston, Atlanta, Tulsa, Denver, San Antonio, Auckland, Nashville, Toledo, and the Asia America Symphony Orchestra.
While recording hundreds of commercial jingles, records, films, and television shows, Pat also worked for several years as the guitarist in house bands on the Merv Griffin, Pat Sajak, and Carol Burnett television shows. He has also written more than one hundred-fifty compositions that have been recorded for CDs, film, television, and music libraries.

In 2003, Pat was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, joining past inductees Chet Baker, Oscar Pettiford, Lester Young, Charlie Christian, and Barney Kessel.


Joel Frahm

Joel Frahm

July 11, 2022

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

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BIO

For nearly 30 years, Joel Frahm has lived in New York City, working in jazz clubs, collaborating with other musicians, and honing his craft. His bold, inventive tenor sound has won fans in the U.S. and across the world.

He has worked alongside Betty Carter, Kenny Barron, Freddy Cole, Dianne Schuur, Kurt Elling, Jane Monheit, Bill Charlap, Brad Mehldau, Matt Wilson, Cyrille Aimee, and many other top artists. He has played as a leader or sideman on more than 100 recordings and has appeared at jazz festivals in the United States, Europe, Israel, Canada and South America. In addition to his work as a performer, he has taught jazz classes in clinics at the University of North Carolina, the University of Connecticut, New York University, Wichita State University, the University of North Texas, Baylor University, Colorado State University, Furman University, the University of Toronto, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, the University of Manitoba and others. He also has worked at the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation program; the Sant Andreu Youth Jazz Orchestra in Barcelona, Spain; the Dave Brubeck Institute in Stockton, California; the Center for Jazz Studies at the Israel Conservatory in Tel Aviv; the Czech Jazz Workshop in Prague; and the Siena Jazz Workshop in Italy.

Joel grew up in Racine, Wisconsin and moved to West Hartford, Connecticut as a high school freshman, where he became part of the acclaimed Hall High School jazz band. It was there he developed a passion for jazz, exploring the music of jazz greats such as Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard, Horace Silver and Wayne Shorter. In 1992, he received a bachelor’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music.


Edward Petersen

Edward Petersen

January 13, 2020

7:30pm

 

301 Main Street

North Little Rock, AR 72114

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Edward Petersen

BIO

 

Edward Petersen is the Associate Chair of the Department of Music and Coordinator of Jazz Studies at the University of New Orleans. He is a featured saxophone soloist and arranger with Dee Dee Bridgewater and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO). He has performed at major festivals and concert halls in the United States (Rose Hall-Lincoln Center, Newport Jazz Festival, and many other venues), France (Jazz a’Vienne, L’Olympia), Switzerland (Festival Ete, Jazz Ascona), Finland (Pori Jazz Festival), Norway (Molde Jazz Festival), Hungary (Jazz Veszprem Festival), Canada (Saskatoon Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival), Netherlands (North Sea Jazz Festival), Australia (Sydney Recital Hall, Melbourne Jazz Festival), South Africa (Capetown Jazz Festival), and New Zealand (Wellington Jazz Festival) .

He has written many compositions and arrangements for NOJO-including two arrangements on the recently released Sony Music-Okeh CD, Dee Dee’s Feathers. He is a featured soloist on NOJO’s Grammy Award-winning CD, Book One. He has played with J.J. Johnson, Johnny Griffin, Clifford Jordan, Wilbur Campbell, Jay McShann, Lionel Hampton, Henry Butler, Herlin Riley, Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, Ira Sullivan, Eddie Harris, David Liebman, Ellis Marsalis, Ernie Watts and many others. He has recorded with Kurt Elling, Dr. John, Ron Carter, Cedar Walton, Laurence Hobgood, Clark Terry, Art Farmer, Willie Pickens, Von Freeman, Brian Seeger, Fareed Haque, Jason Marsalis, Ramsey Lewis, Frank Mantooth, Johnny Adams, Ruth Brown, Chet Baker, and many others. His playing and musical compositions are featured on numerous other recordings, including three Grammy- nominated Blue Note CD’s by Kurt Elling, Close Your Eyes, The Messenger, and Live in Chicago and several releases under his own name on the Delmark label, Upward Spiral, The Haint, and Von and Ed, which also features the legendary Chicago saxophonist and NEA Jazz Master, Von Freeman. He recently released a CD on his own label entitled The Mission. He has received numerous commissions from the New Orleans Jazz Institute for original compositions and for the creation of jazz adaptations and arrangements of other music, ranging from opera to pop. He received a Louisiana Division of the Arts Artist Fellowship in Music Performance and has received numerous Special Composers’ Awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).