About the Swing: Great Jazz music live.
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...and when you hear the music, you will be too.


Event details:

About the Swing at P.S. 154 Harriet Tubman 2012
Thu., May 10, 2012 – 1:00 PM
P.S. 154 Harriet Tubman
250 West 127th Street, New York, NY 10027
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Lineup: Ben Wolfe, Carolyn Leonhart, Helen Sung, Rodney Green, Wayne Escoffery,  

Performer Details:

Ben Wolfe — Bass

Ben Wolfe

As Wynton Marsalis said, “Ben Wolfe swings with authority.”  Including his recent quintet recording, “Live at Smalls” on the SmallsLIVE label, Bassist-composer Ben Wolfe has released six CDs comprised solely of his original music. Of the music on his MAXJAZZ release “No Strangers Here” The New York Times says, “In this music Mingus and Miles Davis meet Bartok and Bernard Herrmann”.

In January 2008, The New York Sun reviewed Ben’s new composition, From Here I See, commissioned by the Rubin Museum for the Harlem in the Himalayas series as a piece “Bernstein would doubtlessly have approved of.” Like many of Ben’s compositions, this 25-minute Suite fell into line with the jazz concept of a double quartet — a format that combines the standard jazz quartet with the standard string quartet.  
Chamber Music America awarded him the 2004 New Works: Creation and Presentation Program Grant, funded through the generosity of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.  As a result of this award, Wolfe was able to compose his extended composition Contradiction: Music for Sextet.
Wolfe also recently made his mark as a film composer, working with Matthew Modine on the film short, I Think I Thought. At the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival, The New York Sun reviewed his work on this film as, “a standout music score.”
Born in Baltimore, Maryland and raised in Portland, Oregon, Wolfe has gained a large following from his performances with Wynton Marsalis, Harry Connick Jr., and Diana Krall. Early on in his career, he formed a Duo with Harry Connick Jr. and went on to record over a dozen albums and soundtracks.  During his years with Connick, he performed on numerous world tours as musical director.  He then joined the Wynton Marsalis Septet and remained until it disbanded. Wolfe also became an integral part of Diana Krall’s touring band and played on many of her recordings, including the Grammy Award winning CD, “When I Look In Your Eyes.”

When a member of The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (JLCO), Wolfe performed with Joe Henderson, Doc Cheatham, Jon Hendricks, Harry “Sweets” Edison, and Billy Higgins, among others.   Other artists he has recorded with include Branford Marsalis, James Moody, Eric Reed, Carl Allen, and Benny Green.  In addition to his most recent CDs, Ben’s previous recordings include “13 Sketches” (1996) and “Bagdad Theater” (1997), both released on Mons Records; the critically acclaimed “Murray’s Cadillac” (2000) on Amosaya Music; and “My Kinda Beautiful” (2004) on Planet Arts Records.

Ben is currently on the teaching faculty at The Julliard School: Jazz Division.

Carolyn Leonhart — Vocalist

Carolyn Leonhart

The daughter of noted jazz bassist Jay Leonhart, Carolyn Leonhart’s intimate and soulful voice has been recognized countless times over the years, and reflects the quality of the musicians she has played with. In addition to having tenure as the lead back-up vocalist with the legendary jazz/rock band Steely Dan for over a decade, Carolyn won 3rd Place in the Thelonious Monk Vocal Jazz Competition in 1995 was featured on the cover of Jazziz Magazine’s Women In Jazz issue in 2003. Carolyn has performed and/or recorded with Al Jarreau, Hank Jones, Michael McDonald, Christian McBride, Jimmy Cobb, Eric Reed, as well as many others. Carolyn’s newest release, "Tides Of Yesterday" (Savant Records) with its original compositions as well as song by Charles Mingus, Lee Morgan and Donald Fagen, is receiving wide critical acclaim and is currently under consideration for a Grammy Nomination for Best Vocal jazz Album of 2010.

" That Carolyn Leonhart can hold her own as a superlative vocalist is undeniable."
Christopher Loudon, Jazz Times, May 2010

" If you want to hear some exquisite renditions of "The Sweetest Sounds," "Never Never Land," "Where There is Love" and more, pick up "Tides of Yesterday."
Liz Smith, WoWoWoW.com, May 2010

Carolyn Leonhart's website
Helen Sung — Piano

Helen Sung

Award-winning jazz pianist/composer Helen Sung is pioneering her own path: as an Asian-American artist, she challenges stereotypes with a singular voice informed by her virtuosity in classical, jazz, & popular music. An aspiring classical pianist before “a Tommy Flanagan solo changed everything,” Sung is a graduate of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance and has gone on to work with such jazz luminaries as Clark Terry, Jon Faddis, Ron Carter, Wayne Shorter, Steve Turre, and MacArthur Fellow Regina Carter. She can currently be seen performing with the Mingus Big Band, Terri Lyne Carrington, and T.S.Monk.

Sung is also a noted bandleader with several critically acclaimed albums – Going Express, her 2nd CD on Sunnyside Records, was released in September 2010. Sungbird after Albéniz, a jazz-classical adventure, was hailed “a real winner” (All About Jazz), a “seamless recording in which one composer’s contributions complement the other’s.” (BillBoard).  She has been featured on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz, NPR’s JazzSet, and in such publications as Downbeat, JazzTimes, and Keyboard. With recent appearances at the Aspen Institute’s Ideas Festival, Seattle’s Earshot Festival; the Fontana Chamber Arts Summer Festival; the Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams Festival (where she won the Piano Competition); and duo concerts with master bassist Ron Carter, Sung is poised for the international stage – her NuGenerations project toured southern Africa as a US State Department-Rhythm Road ensemble, and her trio was featured at the Kalisz International Jazz Piano Festival (Poland) and Jazz Lucca Donna Festival (Italy).

Sung’s rich experience at the Monk Institute inspires her to remain involved with music education through clinics and workshops.  She also produced a jazz residency program (made possible by a Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Foundation grant) benefiting underserved youth in Camden, NJ. In performance, Sung welcomes “listeners into her world: a place of passion, adventure and drama, and truckloads of rhythm…taking audiences for a ride they won’t soon forget.” (Kalamazoo Gazette)

Helen Sung's website
Rodney Green — Drums

Rodney Green

Rodney Green grew up in Camden, NJ, surrounded by gospel music and musicians. Green, whose father was a minister, was playing the drums at 3 years old. He didn’t receive his first formal lesson until 14, when he studied with drummer Scott Robinson. By then he was already playing in church and clubs in Philadelphia. At 16, he won a spot in the All-American Grammy Band and was playing regularly at Patti LaBelle’s club. His first tour was at 17, in Italy with Bobby Watson, while still in high school.
One week after graduation Rodney was on a bus to New York, where he quickly developed a name for himself as someone exceptionally professional and skilled at only 17. He played with Christian McBride, Eric Reed, Greg Osby, Joe Henderson, Benny Green, Tom Harrell, Mulgrew Miller, and Abbey Lincoln, among others. At 19, he joined Diana Krall’s band, where he spent the next 2 years, traveled the world and learned a lot about the business.
Today, Rodney Green is already a seasoned professional with a resume worthy of someone a decade older. He works with leaders such as Charlie Haden, Michael Brecker and Terence Blanchard, vocalists Peter Cincotti and Lizz Wright, and steps out as a leader himself with the Rodney Green Quartet. For this still young musician, who already has a lifetime worth of gigs and recordings behind him, the best is yet to come.

Rodney Green's website
Wayne Escoffery — Tenor Sax

Wayne Escoffery

Since moving to New York City in 2000, tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery has become one of the Jazz world’s most talented rising stars and in-demand sidemen. He has recorded five CDs as a leader and been on numerous recordings as a sideman.  In 2006 Wayne secured one of the most coveted gigs in jazz: a frontline position in Tom Harrell’s working quintet. He is currently a member of the quintet and to date has recorded two CDs with the group, even co-producing Harell’s latest release “Prana Dance”.

Wayne Escoffery's website