Ensemble’s newest album was named “2020 Jazz Album of the Year”
BALTIMORE – Live jazz will return to the Baltimore Museum of Art auditorium with the launch of the Baltimore Chamber Jazz Society’s (BCJS) 30th anniversary season, Sunday, Apr. 10, at 5 p.m. Stefon Harris and his quintet, Blackout, will make their Baltimore debut together performing a mix of “sleek, slinky soul, funk, R&B and hip-hop – like Stevie Wonder rubbing elbows with George Gershwin.”
Heralded as “one of the most important artists in jazz” by The Los Angeles Times, Harris won the prestigious Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center, earned four GRAMMY™ nominations and has been named Best Mallet player eight times by the Jazz Journalists Association. He also was chosen “Best Vibes” in numerous DownBeat Magazine and Jazz Times critics polls.
A Lionel Hampton, Milt Jackson and Bobby Hutcherson disciple, Harris belongs to the grand lineage of vibraphonists in jazz. This sought-after bandleader, sideman (for Wynton Marsalis, Diana Krall, Ry Cooder, Common and others), teacher and TED Talk thought leader was called “the standout vibraphonist of his generation” by The New Yorker.
Harris’ newest album with Blackout, Sonic Creed, was named 2020 Jazz Album of the Year by WBGO – the world’s #1 jazz station. Chronicling the story of a people and their time on the planet, it’s a “reflection of African-American life in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. A sonic manifestation and creed of family, community, and legacy, it explores afresh the music of masters such as Bobby Hutcherson, Abbey Lincoln, Wayne Shorter, and Horace Silver.”
“It’s exciting to have Stefon Harris and Blackout kick off our 30th anniversary season, which features diverse artists who celebrate the past, yet break with it in significant ways to reflect what’s happening in jazz currently,” said BCJS Chair & President J. William (Bill) Murray. “We are especially delighted to be able to bring live jazz back to Baltimore in an intimate concert setting with affordable prices after a two-year delay due to the COVID pandemic.”
The BCJS Spring 2022 concert series will continue Sunday, May 15, with the all-female supergroup ARTEMIS making their Baltimore debut, and Sunday, June 12, with New York Voices making their Baltimore debut and marking BCJS’ first-ever vocal ensemble performance. Tickets for all concerts are $45, with a season subscription available for $125. They are on sale now at baltimorechamberjazz.org and instantseats.com.
The Baltimore Chamber Jazz Society is a nonprofit organization supported in part by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council. Its mission is to bring to Baltimore outstanding jazz musicians, to present them in an intimate concert setting, to keep ticket prices as low as possible, and to carry forward the long and illustrious history of jazz in Baltimore.
For 30 years BCJS has carried on the Baltimore tradition of Sunday jazz concerts that started with the renowned Left Bank Jazz Society. BCJS concerts feature the most serious, advanced, and adventurous musicians and groups in the art form. This unwavering commitment to the art form underlies every effort conducted by the organization, including staying within and promoting Baltimore’s cultural fabric. For more information, visit baltimorechamberjazz.org, call (410) 385-5888, or follow @baltimorechamberjazz on Facebook.