Jazzmeia Horn, vocals
Keith Brown, piano
Eric Wheeler, bass
Anwar Marshall, drums
Filmed exclusively for Cal Performances in the Music Room of the Rosen House, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, Katonah, NY, on March 10–11, 2021.
The Cal Performances at Home Spring 2021 season is dedicated to Gail and Dan Rubinfeld, leading supporters of Cal Performances and the well-being of our artists for almost 30 years.
Major support provided by The Bernard Osher Foundation.
This performance is made possible, in part, by Patron Sponsor Beth DeAtley.
Note: following its premiere, the video recording of this concert will be available on demand through July 21, 2021.
Blessed with a name perfect for her chosen path—it was the singer’s jazz-loving, piano-playing grandmother who picked it—Jazzmeia Horn was born in Dallas in 1991; grew up in a tightly knit, church-going family filled with musical talent; and began singing as a toddler. She attended Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts—an institution famous for launching the careers of such musical greats as Roy Hargrove, Norah Jones, and Erykah Badu—and later the New School in New York City. Horn’s education included steering herself to the mentors who would guide her passion for jazz—artists like Bobby McFerrin, Abbey Lincoln, and Betty Carter. Winner of the 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Competition and the 2015 Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition, Horn soon signed with Concord Records, releasing her debut album, the Grammy-nominated A Social Call, to great critical acclaim.
In the four years since Horn bowed with that album, she has been busy on the road, honing her vocal skills to a finely tuned level, writing songs of personal relevance and social message, and perfecting a fearless approach to improvisation and performance. The convergence of this drive and development has resulted in Horn’s second Grammy nomination, for Love and Liberation—an album filled with songs of daring musicality, emotional power, and messages of immediate relevancy.
Jazzmeia chose the title because, “‘Love and liberation’ is a concept and mantra that I use consistently in my everyday life. For me, the two go hand in hand and they both describe where I am in my life and career right now. An act of love is an act of liberation, and choosing to liberate—oneself or another—is an act of love.”
Keith Brown—pianist, composer, arranger, and educator—was born and raised in Tennessee and began playing piano and bass at an early age. His father, Donald, is a world-renowned jazz pianist/composer who has performed with many greats, and his mother, Dorothy, is a pianist who also plays various woodwind instruments.
Brown first learned to play songs of artists like Stevie Wonder by ear and then started classical piano lessons at age eight. He began to study jazz seriously after high school, and it was at this time that he began to be influenced by great Memphis pianists such as Phineas Newborn Jr., James Williams, and Mulgrew Miller. By age 18, Brown was playing piano and bass around Knoxville in a variety of jazz, R&B, funk, and country bands. Later, he would go on to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
Brown has performed and recorded with some remarkable musicians, both as a leader and a sideman. He has shared the stage with great artists such as Jazzmeia Horn, Camille Thurman, Dezron Douglas, Sherman Irby, Steve Stagle, Kenneth Whalum III, David Weiss, and Bobby Watson, to name a few. “I always try to write and perform in a way that is intellectual but that has a strong sense of melody or groove that can touch those who are open enough to listen.”
Currently Brown resides in New York City, where he continues to make a name for himself as a pianist and composer, both nationally and internationally.
Eric Wheeler is a Washington, DC native and has been playing string bass for 20 years. Encouraged by his mother, he began studying classical music at the age of nine at the DC Youth Orchestra Program. At age 13, Wheeler was accepted into the Duke Ellington School for the Arts, where he studied jazz music with Carolyn Kellock, a master educator whose students have included renowned bassists such as Ameen Saleem, Ben Williams, and Corcoran Holt. During his four years at Ellington, Wheeler also enjoyed the opportunity to travel internationally with his school band, trips that greatly influenced his decision to pursue a career in music.
In the fall of 1998, Wheeler was accepted into the prestigious National Symphony Youth Fellowship Program, where he studied with the NSO’s Jeff Weisner. In the fall of 2000, Wheeler was accepted into the jazz studies program at Howard University. During those years, he worked professionally in the DC area as a jazz and classical musician, playing at venues such as Bohemian Caverns, Blues Alley, and the Kennedy Center. Wheeler received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Howard University.
In 2013, Wheeler moved to New York City in hopes of furthering his musical career. Since then, he has toured the world, recording and performing with notable jazz and pop artists including Seal, Jennifer Holiday, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Delfeayo Marsalis, and Pharaoh Sanders. Wheeler can be heard on Theo Croker’s Grammy-nominated Star People Nation. Today, he resides on Long Island, New York, and works as a full time musician.
Anwar Marshall is a native of Philadelphia and was introduced to music early on by his mother and father, both accomplished musicians and music educators. As a boy, he received a drum set as a Christmas gift, moving on to study percussion in the Philadelphia public school system with Carl Mottola. Marshall attended the High School for Creative and Performing Arts and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of the Arts, where he studied with Erik Johnson and Joe Nero. He was also mentored by Byron Landham, Mike Boone, Sid Simmons, and many other Philadelphia area musicians.
Marshall has enjoyed collaborating with musicians including Orrin Evans, the Captain Black Big Band, Ed Cherry, Tim Warfield, Dave Douglas, Christian McBride, Pat Metheny, Robert Glasper, Adam Blackstone, Somi, and John Swana. He is also co-leader of a 10-piece ensemble, the Fresh Cut Orchestra, with trumpeter Josh Lawrence and bassist Jason Fraticelli.
For Cal Performances at Home
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STUDENT MUSICAL ACTIVITIES
Mark Sumner, Director, UC Choral Ensembles
Bill Ganz, Associate Director, UC Choral Ensembles
Matthew Sadowski, Director of Bands/Interim Department Manager
Ted Moore, Director, UC Jazz Ensembles
Brittney Nguyen, SMA Coordinator
Liz Baqir, Ticket Services Manager
Gordon Young, Assistant Ticket Office Manager
Sherice Jones, Assistant Ticket Office Manager
Jeffrey Mason, Patron Services Associate
Opening fanfare used by permission from Jordi Savall from his 2015 recording of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo on Alia Vox.
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