The Airmen of Note’s Jazz Heritage Series, presented by The United States Air Force Band, provides a wonderful opportunity for the public to experience the Air Force’s high level of professionalism through concerts featuring masters of the only American-born art form–jazz.
2016 Jazz Heritage Series Guest Artists:
Friday, Sept. 30 – Steve Turre, critically-acclaimed trombonist
Friday, Oct. 21- Cyrus Chestnut, legendary pianist
Friday, Nov. 11 – Terell Stafford, GRAMMY award-winning trumpeter
All concerts begin at 8 p.m.
Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center
4915 E Campus Dr, Alexandria, VA 22311
Concerts are FREE and open to the public~no tickets.
One of the world’s preeminent jazz innovators, trombonist and seashellist Steve Turre, has consistently won both the Readers’ and Critics’ polls in JazzTimes, Downbeat and Jazziz for Best Trombone and for Best Miscellaneous Instrumentalist (shells). Turre was born to Mexican-American parents and grew up in the San Francisco Bay area, where he absorbed daily doses of mariachi, blues and jazz. While attending Sacramento State University, he joined the Escovedo Brothers salsa band, which began his career-long involvement in that genre.
In addition to performing as a member of the Saturday Night Live Band since 1984, Turre leads several different ensembles. Sanctified Shells utilizes the seashell in a larger context, transforming his horn section into a “shell choir.” Turre’s 1999 Verve release, “Lotus Flower,” showcases his Sextet With Strings. The recording explores many great standards and original compositions arranged by Turre for a unique instrumentation of trombone and shells, violin, cello, piano, bass and drums. Turre’s quartet and quintet provide a setting based in tradition and stretching the limits conceptually and stylistically. In the summer of 2000, Telarc released “In The Spur of the Moment.” This recording features Steve with three different quartets, each with a different and distinct master pianist: Ray Charles, Chucho Valdes and Stephen Scott.
Turre’s self-titled Verve release pioneers a unique artistic vision, drawing upon jazz, Afro-Cuban and Brazilian sources. This innovative recording also features Cassandra Wilson, Randy Brecker, Graciela, Mongo Santamaria and J.J. Johnson. Previously, Turre recorded “Right There” and “Rhythm Within” featuring Herbie Hancock, Jon Faddis, Pharoah Sanders and Sanctified Shells on Verve’s subsidiary label, Antilles.
Turre continually evolves as a musician and arranger. He has a strong command of all musical styles and, when it comes to his distinct brand of jazz, he always keeps one foot in the past and one in the future.
Soulful jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut might just be proof positive of the impact that music has on babies in the womb. Either that, or a life in music was simply in his blood. Chestnut’s father, a postal employee and son of a church minister, was the official organist for their local church in Baltimore, Maryland. His home was filled with the sounds of the gospel music his church-going parents played in their home, along with jazz records by artists such as Thelonious Monk and Jimmy Smith. Chestnut has said that the roots of his love of music began there; and, to this day, Chestnut’s ties to the gospel church remain constant.
Throughout his career, Chestnut has worked with an array of artists, including saxophonists James Carter, Donald Harrison and Joe Lovano; trumpeters Roy Hargrove and Freddie Hubbard; jazzman Chick Corea, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops and opera singer Kathleen Battle.
The New York Daily News once heralded Chestnut as the rightful heir to Bud Powell, Art Tatum and Erroll Garner. In a National Public Radio (NPR) interview for “All Things Considered,” Chestnut remarked, “If I can send one person home after a performance feeling better than when they arrived, then I’ve done my job, and I sleep good at night.” To this day, Chestnut attends church every Sunday, and whenever he can he plays in the local church in Brooklyn, New York, where he lives with his family. He told CBS News, “If I’m not working, you’ll find me in somebody’s church.”
Chestnut continually tours with his trio, playing live at jazz festivals around the world as well as clubs and concert halls. His leadership and prowess as a soloist has also led him to be a first call for the piano chair in many big bands including the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band.
Terell Stafford, acclaimed trumpet player based in New York, has been hailed as “one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player” by piano legend McCoy Tyner. Stafford is recognized as an incredibly gifted and versatile player, he combines a deep love of melody with his own brand of spirited and adventurous lyricism. Stafford’s exceptionally expressive and well defined musical talent allows him to dance in and around the rich trumpet tradition of his predecessors while making his own inroads. Stafford first picked up the trumpet at age thirteen, initially studying classical music.
In 1988, Stafford had the good fortune to meet and receive advice from Wynton Marsalis who suggested that he study with Dr. William Fielder at Rutgers University. After studying trumpet fundamentals with Dr. Fielder, Stafford was inspired to play all genres of music including jazz. It was during this time that he began to immerse himself in jazz; listening to everything he could get his hands on. Since the mid-1990’s, Stafford has performed with Benny Golson’s Sextet, McCoy Tyner’s Sextet, Kenny Barron Quintet, Frank Wess Quintet, Jimmy Heath Quintet and Big Band, Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Alumni Band.
Stafford has been a member of several GRAMMY nominated ensembles, including the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, which was awarded a GRAMMY in 2009 for Best Large Ensemble, Live at the Village Vanguard.
Currently, Stafford is the Director of Jazz Studies and Chair of Instrumental Studies at Temple University, founder and band leader of the Terell Stafford Quintet, and Managing and Artistic Director of the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia. Stafford is renowned in the jazz world as an educator, performer and leader along with countless award nominations, accolades and associated acts.
Terell Stafford was born in Miami and raised in Chicago and Silver Spring, Maryland. He received a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Maryland in 1988 and a Masters of Music from Rutgers University in 1993.
The Airmen of Note, the premier jazz ensemble of the U.S. Air Force, regularly performs and records with the leading artists in the jazz world. In 1990, the Note started its popular Jazz Heritage Series. These concerts featured internationally acclaimed jazz musicians joining forces with one of the best big bands in America–the Airmen of Note.
A radio broadcast was added in 2007, expanding the dimension and appeal of the series and allowing listeners across the United States to enjoy these programs that previously could only be appreciated by live audiences in Washington, D.C. Now the U.S. Air Force Band Airmen of Note is pleased to offer the Jazz Heritage Series Broadcasts Archives, giving jazz fans worldwide a chance to listen online to past Jazz Heritage Series performances. These archival concerts feature Slide Hampton, Phil Woods, Junior Mance, Paquito D’Rivera, Karrin Allyson, Butch Miles, Kurt Elling, Allen Vizzutti, Rufus Reid, New York Voices, Joey DeFrancesco, Gary Smulyan, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Al Jarreau, Carmen Bradford, Kirk Whalum, Doc Severinsen, and many more!