About the Swing: Great Jazz music live.
We are about the Swing. Listen!

...and when you hear the music, you will be too.


Event details:

P.S. 46 2011 Concert
Tue., November 30, 2010 – 3:17 PM
P.S. 46 Arthur Tappan School
2987 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10039
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What exactly is swing?  The response may vary depending on who you ask.  Swing was not only a type of music but a movement of the American People.  The “Swing Era” was characterized by many different sentiments and factors such as relief from World War I, a lack of popular and exciting dance music, and also a lack of television and radio meant that the music was to be spread by word of mouth.

Artists and musicians have always had a way of understanding sentiments of the people and an ability to create useful outlets for dealing with their problems.  When musicians recognized that the American people were looking for something new they began composing powerful dance music for big bands of more than 20 people.  The noise and the energy of the music practically forced audiences to get onto their feet and dance away the night.  Americans looking for the newest thing to do heard about swing dances from their friends and came out in numbers to dance.  People found refuge in what became America’s popular dance music –Swing!

Many musicians aided in bring the sounds of swing to the forefront including Fletcher Henderson, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and perhaps the most famous American composer of all time Duke Ellington.  Equally as important to the actual music were the different dances concurrently created to match the rhythms and excitement of swing.  Famous dances such as the “Foxtrot”, the “Lindyhop”, and the “Charleston” became standard dances around America.  In part, due to the fact that the dances were a blend of European contra dance and African dance, swing was music for ALL people regardless of color or creed.

Things to remember about the Swing Era: The bands were huge often consisting of 25 or more people; the music was powerful and energetic dance music which sparked the birth of popular dances; up until this point the majority of Americans only danced cordially to slow music such as waltzes etc.  Imaging walking into a large auditorium in Harlem back in the late 1920’s and hearing this fast and rhythm-filled music that made people jump, twirl, stomp, and laugh for the first time –what a sight!  The excitement and fun surrounding this music is still very much alive and we hope you feel the same way today.

Lineup: Alvin Atkinson, Bruce Williams, Carolyn Leonhart, Chrissy Bridgeman, Helen Sung, Linda Oh, Stirling Taylor,  

Performer Details:

Alvin Atkinson — Drums

Alvin Atkinson

Drummer, educator and clinician, Alvin Atkinson, Jr. has toured the globe with his group Alvin Atkinson and the Sound Merchants.  In 2009, the group traveled to Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon for the U.S. State Department’s Musical Overtures tour.  In the 2007 and 2008, the group participated in the Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad Program (sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center) tour to the Middle East and Russia.  In 2008, Jazz at Lincoln Center asked Alvin to lead the “All-Star American Music Abroad Group” tour to Mali, India and China.

Atkinson’s career highlights include recording the theme song for PBS’s show, Moment of Luxury, the New York One Television Network’s theme song, and the music for the HBO Cat House and Katie Morgan: Sex Guide documentaries.  Additionally, Atkinson participated as a  Jazz Ambassador for the U.S. For the past seven years. Traveling to Africa, South America, Southeast Asia, Middle East, and Hayti. This program is  sponsored by the U.S. State Department Kennedy Center and Jazz @ Lincoln Center .A performance at the White House for President George W. Bush in 2002; house drummer for the 2002-2003 season of the Emeril Live television show on the Food Network Channel; and the “Harlem” National Tour with the Kennedy Center 2002 and 2003.

Throughout the US and abroad, Atkinson has shared the stage with notable artists such as: Freddy Redd, Roy Hargrove,  Ellis Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, Barry Harris, Houston Person, Luciana Souza, Don Braden, Frank Wess, Oscar Brown, Jr., Ernie Andrews, Tom Browne, Vanessa Rubin and Wycliffe Gordon.

Atkinson served as the Visiting Professor of Drum-set Studies for the 2004-2005 school year at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada.  He worked with Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Middle School Jazz Academy, the Bronx Academy, and The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City. Currently Atkinson conducts music workshops through the Midori & Friends, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Band Director’s Academy, and the Litchfield Jazz Camp.
Atkinson’s first solo project Alvin Atkinson and the Sound Merchants received nominations for “Best International Jazz Song” from the First Annual 2007 Toronto Exclusive Magazine and “Best Jazz Song” from the Seventh Annual Independent Music Awards for the single Dance of the Emirates.

Bruce Williams — Alto Saxophone

Bruce Williams

Bruce Williams is a powerful young jazz saxophonist who hails from our nation's capital of Washington, D.C. He has made his presence known on the jazz scene by garnering critical attention with his own enthusiastically received CD releases - "Brotherhood" and "Altoicity" - issued on Savant/High Note Records.  Bruce's latest CD titled, "More To Go" was released this year on his own Brushwood Music label.  This latest recording represents the feeling of a real band playing modern straight ahead jazz, post bop, funk, and avant garde swing. It was recorded with everyone all in the same room to give the music hot & live vibe.  Moreover, Bruce has made an indelible impression as a sideman on over twenty other CD and video recordings. He has performed, toured, and recorded with a long roster of jazz legends - Little Jimmy Scott,Frank Foster, The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Stanley Cowell, Louis Smith, CecilBrooks III, The Count Basie Orchestra, The World Saxophone Quartet, Russell Gunn,Curtis Fuller, and Roy Hargrove to name a few. Bruce has been an honored recipient of awards from DownBeat magazine and The Charlie Parker Music and More Foundation. His ability to perform masterfully in a range of jazz styles has placed him on two Grammy nominated recordings and sent him to numerous cities throughout the US and abroad -France, Italy, Germany, Scandinavia, Switzerland, the West Indies, and Japan Bruce Williams has toured as the youngest member, of the internationally recognized jazz group, "The World Saxophone Quartet". Bruce is currently a member of the "Thelonious Monk Legacy Septet" formed by legendary drummer Ben Riley and of Roy Hargrove's "RH Factor". Bruce also leads four bands of his own - a quartet, a quintet, a jazz organ trio, and a progressive electric jazz group.

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
Chrissy Bridgeman — Dancer

Chrissy Bridgeman

Chrissy Bridgeman enjoys bringing new ideas to traditional styles and technique and is constantly learning new material and technique to add to her 12 years of experience in teaching and performing. Chrissy has won numerous events including the American Lindy Hop Championships and Canadian Swing Dance Championships. Chrissy has also choreographed and appeared in film and theater for Hard Rock Live’s Oscar Night America, American Heartland Theater’s production of SWING!, and many others.  Most importantly,  Chrissy focuses on making sure everyone learns and has a great time.


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
Linda Oh — Bass

Linda Oh

Born in Malaysia, raised in Western Australia and now living in New York City, Linda was a James Morrison Scholarship Finalist in 2003 and received the ASCAP Young Jazz  Composer’s award in 2008. She also received an honorary mention at the 2009 Thelonious Monk Bass Competition and received the 2010 Bell Award for Young Australian Artist of the Year. She was also nominated for Best Up and Coming Artist this year by the Jazz Journalist’s Association and was the No 8 Rising Star in the Downbeat Critic’s Poll. Recently she came 2nd in the BASS 2010 Jazz Bass competition.

Linda completed her Masters at the Manhattan School of Music in and is an active double bassist, electric bassist and composer, composing music for short films including the Student Academy Award nominated film “Wian Bu.”

Linda has performed with the likes of Steve Wilson, Slide Hampton, TS Monk, Charles Tolliver, James Morrison, Wayne Escoffery, Joel Frahm and Mark Whitfield.  She has just released her debut trio album "Entry" with Obed Calvaire and Ambrose Akinmusire that has received great reviews and did well in the 2009 End of Year polls in the Village Voice and All About Jazz. It was also one of Vijay Iyer’s top ten of 2009.  She is now working on a jazz quartet with string quartet concept "Concert in the Dark" where the musicians play with specific movements throughout the audience with very minimal lighting to enhance the listening experience and create a spatial surround sound effect.

Stirling Taylor — Dancer

Stirling Taylor

Stirling Taylor was born in Dallas Texas where his passion for the limelight and dance started at a very early age. Learning Salsa, Bachatta, and Merengue from his Latin friends was only a start for the passion that would drive the rest of his future. After high school Stirling moved to Florida to pursue an education in broadcasting journalism at the University of Central Florida, University of South Florida and the University of Carolina at Charlotte. While attending school he was approached at a dance event to be a dance Instructor and fell in love with the world of ballroom and Latin dance. Since than Stirling has won numerous awards for his dancing as well as his talent to teach. He has been recognized as a top instructor for his skill to share his passion and knowledge with his students, gaining them first place at several dance events. Through his years as an instructor Stirling specializes in the ability to transfer the knowledge he possesses to the student or students in a fast fun and easy manner.