Chamber Music America
The Cecilia Smith Ensembe pictured are (seated l-r) Lafayette Harris, Jr., piano; Cecilia Smith, vibraphone
(standing l-r) Kenny Davis, acoustic bass; Carla Cook, guest vocalist; Carlton Holmes, hammond B-3 and keyboards; Ron Savage, drums. Missing: Sheila Anderson WGBO Jazz Radio, emcee.
The ensemble have been performing, recording, and collaborating for more than 30 years in venues ranging from HBCUs to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
Cecilia and Ron Savage were students together and eventually faculty members at Berklee College of Music. Lafayette Harris Jr and Cecilia have played together in quartet, quintet and most recently, duo settings.
Cecilia and the ensemble will be playing pieces that have never been recorded, including unique arrangements and original tunes by Cecilia Smith, who says, “I believe these songs will be memorable and uplifting. It is a pleasure for me to work with some of today’s leading improvisationalists in jazz to create this concert.” Sheila Anderson of WBGO Jazz Radio will be the emcee for the concert.
Standards and Original Cecilia Smith tunes will include:
Photo by Michelle Etwaroo
The Cecilia Smith Ensemble and their producer at Powerstation Studios of BerkleeNYC.
Music writer Scott Nygaard greeted Grant Gordy (above right)and Ross Martin’s (above left) first album with the comments: “While obviously a must-have for guitarists looking for the latest in six-string virtuosity, Year of the Dog, as well as any upcoming live shows by the prodigious duo, will appeal to any music lover interested in new sounds and spontaneous musical sport. And it will likely be the Album of the Year (of the Decade, of the Century) for many listeners.”
Gordy’s recent jazz release, “Interpreter,” has received glowing reviews. Martin explored onstage performance in Off-Broadway’s version of Girl From the North Country and frequently on Broadway in Hadestown, both before and after the COVID-19 closure. This spring and summer, Gordy and Martin have devised duo arrangements for an upcoming jazz steel-string, acoustic guitar album.
Photo by Marc Dalio.
Ross Martin, left; Grant Gordy, right
AGAR is thrilled to bring you two major virtual jazz concerts, Nothing But Good Vibes, by the Cecilia Smith Ensemble, premiering October 3, 2022. and Bye Bye Blues! premiering November 1, 2022, by the Grant Gordy and Ross Martin Duo. These concerts are presented by Amherst Glebe Arts Response, Inc. in collaboration with Gifts of Art, Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan, and VCU Health/Arts in Healthcare are supported by Chamber Music America’s Presenter Consortium for Jazz program, funded through the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
Concerts are streamed from New York studios and made available for the purpose of reducing stress, decreasing isolation, and building resilience in individuals particularly affected by COVID-19. Intended audience includes medical and non-medical staff, patients, families and volunteers in hospitals and nursing facilities, and “learners” (medical and nursing students). The concerts also will be streamed to individuals with disabilities or illnesses who are receiving home-delivered meals and home health services, as well as to their caregivers. Audiences include staff and patients at University of Virginia Health in Charlottesville, Centra Health, Central Virginia Alliance for Community Living of Greater Lynchburg, Centra/PACE in Gretna, Lynchburg, and Farmville, and Summit and Westminster Canterbury, Lynchburg.