The gorgeous Pyatt Hall located behind the walls of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music is like the ultimate blank canvas for musicians. Acoustically and vibrationally isolated, even a general conversation between two people can be mistaken for beautiful music within the space.
It only makes sense then, for the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival to launch a new five concert series at Pyatt Hall dedicated to showcasing emerging artists, alongside established legends of mainstream jazz.
A truly engaging talent like Blue Note artist Kandace Springs is timeless and undeniable. Taking inspiration from the likes of Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, and Roberta Flack, her music is organic, intimate, and deeply soulful. The Nashville-based singer/songwriter/pianist makes warm and sophisticated soul, pop, and jazz with a stunning voice that pop legend Prince said “could melt snow.”
First-call pianist for the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band and both The Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestras, Cyrus Chestnut absorbed years of experience as a sideman with Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, and scores of other great players. Now, he’s stepped into the spotlight as a charismatic and thought-provoking composer and bandleader. Blending contemporary and traditional jazz with gospel and hints of Latin and samba, some call Chestnut the greatest jazz pianist of his generation.
The multi-faceted pianist and composer Emmet Cohen is said to be one of the most dynamic and young musicians in modern jazz today. Elegant introspection, neo-classical flourishes, and bravura bebop chops all around, this young superstar has it all! Combined with bassist Ron Carter and Evan Sherman on drums, this special concert will be one to remember.
One of jazz’s most versatile and esteemed bassists, Grammy Award-winning Buster Williams brings his highly refined technique and deep tone to collaborations with a vast range of vocal, post-bop, and progressive jazz artists. Williams co-founded the great jazz combos Timeless All-Stars and Sphere, has worked with Betty Carter and Nancy Wilson, and is revered for his exploratory playing in Herbie Hancock’s legendary Mwandishi Sextet.
With a fat, buttery sound reminiscent of Ben Webster and Don Byas, tenor saxophone giant Scott Hamilton was at the forefront of a new generation of young artists that helped revitalize the sophisticated sound of small-group swing, ushering in the “Young Lion” Jazz Renaissance of the mid-1970s. Around that same time, award-winning Italian jazz pianist Rossano Sportiello was busy being born! Touted as “the best stride piano player” mentor Barry Harris has ever heard, echoes of Ralph Sutton, Dave McKenna, and Bill Evans can be heard in Sportiello’s rich and assured playing.