News and Features

D’Jam Kicks Off With A Free Concert, Tribute to Living Legends of North Texas Jazz

djam logoOnce again, Dallas jazz clubs, educators and performers are banding together to draw attention to their favorite music during the month of April. And this year, to get you fired up, they’re kicking off D’JAM (Dallas Jazz Appreciation Month) with a free concert this Saturday afternoon in the lobby at City Performance Hall.  Jose Bowen, dean of the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU, will be performing with his band Jampact. Bowen announced yesterday he will leave SMU to become president of Gaucher College. Might be one of your last chances to see him play.

You can find all of D’JAM’s events in April in a special category on the Art&Seek calendar.

Saturday’s lineup of performers includes:

Sammons Jazz Ensemble with James Gilyard and special guest Denise Lee

Jessica Curran Quartet, from UNT

Jose Bowen and Jampact, from SMU

Jason Davis and Mahogany – South Dallas Cultural Center

 

On Saturday, the group will also present the D’JAM 2014 Jazz Legend Awards. (These bios are excerpted from information supplied by D’JAM).

Jazz Artist: Shelley Carrol

Saxophonist Shelley Carrol hails from family of gospel singers and musicians in Houston, Texas. He landed in the famed Boys Choir of Houston. After picking up the saxophone, he was able to study with the legendary Texas Tenor greats Arnett Cobb and Don Wilkerson. At the time he didn’t know how revered these gentlemen were around the globe. They simply lived in his neighborhood. Shelley attended the city’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and was a standout in the city’s Summer Jazz Workshop Program. This is where he developed a true flair for the stage.

While attending the University of North Texas, Shelley earned a spot in the Grammy Nominated One O’clock Lab Band. He recorded two critically acclaimed CD’s in 1990 and 1991. During the same period, Carrol was invited to join the Duke Ellington Orchestra by trumpeter Barry Lee Hall. Since joining the band, he has toured the U.S. and over 30 foreign countries. He has also recorded and/ or performed with Sheryl Crow, Whitney Houston, Roger Waters, Marla Gibbs, Maureen McGovern, Marchel Ivery, Kirk Whalum, Tony Bennett, Roy Hargrove, Fingerprints, Phyllis Hyman, Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams and a host of others.

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Jazz Educator: Dan Haerle

Dan Haerle is a composer, performer, educator, and ambassador of jazz piano. A Regents Professor Emeritus of Jazz Studies at the University of North Texas, Haerle has authored instructional material used by thousands of musicians worldwide. He was inducted into the International Association of Jazz Education (IAJE) Hall of Fame in 2003. In 2012, the Jazz Education Network (JEN) recognized him, along with Jamey Aebersold, David Baker and Jerry Coker, as the inaugural class of the LeJENds of Jazz award. Through participation in a variety of educational programs, Dan’s focused attention has benefited countless musicians from youth to professional. He continues to teach jazz piano and improvisation at the Dallas School of Music and private online lessons. Dan’s website.

Dan has performed with Clark Terry, Pat Metheny, Freddie Hubbard and numerous other modern jazz leaders, and has recorded multiple albums featuring his own music as well as jazz standards.

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Jazz Benefactor: Stan Levenson, Co-founder, Levenson &Brinker Public Relations & Levenson Group of Companies

Stan Levenson’s career as a public relations professional spans over 45 years in Dallas. He’s also dedicated several decades to community service, the arts and support for education.

A former chairman of the Greater Dallas Chamber’s marketing committee, Mr. Levenson has directed numerous civic initiatives, including the Mayor’s Task Force on Marketing Southern Dallas; chairing the grand opening of the African-American Museum at Fair Park; serving on the boards of the Dallas Arboretum and the North Texas Commission, as well as participating as a member of the President’s Advisory Council of the AT&T Center for the Performing Arts and the Legacy Council at the Sammons Center for the Performing Arts; also the Texas Trees, Thanks-Giving and Jewish Family Service Foundations.

Throughout his career, Mr. Levenson has been active on advisory boards at the University of North Texas’ College of Music; the University of Texas at Dallas’ School of Arts and Humanities; SMU’s Perkins School of Theology and for the past 25 years, Communication Studies at Southern Methodist University, where he also was an adjunct professor and taught PR Management.

In 2008, Levenson was selected to the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee by Chairman Roger Staubach and other board members. Currently, Mr. Levenson is a member of the board of the Dallas Holocaust Museum/ Center for Education and Tolerance and is past Chairman of the Urban League of Greater Dallas.

 

Jazz Supporter: Wendell Sneed

Wendell Sneed fell in love with jazz as a student at Bishop College.  Like so many jazz artists who came of age in the early ’60s, Sneed found that by the early ’70s, support for jazz declined. Like many jazz players, he    turned to R&B for his musical survival. In the ’90s, Sneed,  now a Dallas Museum of Art employee,  became coordinator of the museum’s Music in the Atrium, changing its name to Jazz in the Atrium. Sneed was able to employ more than 100 jazz musicians over the 17+ years that he ran Jazz in the Atrium. He gave artists like Andrew Griffith, Keith Anderson, Whitney Russell, and Ephraim Loften a place to shine as Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts students. All have gone on to be professional jazz players. Sneed booked artists like vocalists Tatiana Mayfield and Jazzmeia Horn for Jazz in the Atrium gigs. While giving young musicians a leg up is  part of Sneed’s legacy as a jazz supporter, he’s also responsible for connecting some of Dallas’ most important jazz players, musicians like Marchel Ivery, Roger Boykin, Dave Zollar, Shelley Carrol, Candace “Mahogany” Miller, and countless others to new audiences via the Atrium experience.  Sneed announced his retirement in December and jazz musicians and vocalists filled the DMA atrium to pay homage.  He’s  now sharing his expertise with young jazz students participating in the Thriving Minds Youth Jazz Orchestra run by South Dallas Cultural Center along with his jazz pals Roger Boykin and Shelley Carrol.

 

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