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Jazzschool Institute Vocalists Present "Kind of Blue" at Yoshi's Oakland May 10
(Published: April 15, 2010)

Miles Davis's masterpiece Kind of Blue is not only the best-selling jazz album in history, but it has been a creative touchstone for jazz musicians and fans since its release in 1959. Instrumentalists and singers alike have for years been drawn to this music, and "All Blues," often performed with its Oscar Brown Jr. lyrics, has emerged as a jazz anthem.

On Monday, May 10 at 8:00 pm, the Jazzschool Institute freshman vocal class will take to the stage at Yoshi's Oakland to sing the iconic music of Kind of Blue in its entirety. The Yoshi's show marks the first time that the entire album -- all of the songs and many of the solos -- will be performed in a vocal setting in a single presentation.

"The music from Kind of Blue has been done by countless singers, myself included, and is an essential piece of our jazz language," says Laurie Antonioli, Jazzschool Institute Vocal Program Director and Artistic Director for the Yoshi's presentation. "This semester our focus has been on instrumental jazz. The evocative music from this recording is wonderfully singable, and the lyrics we're using -- both classic and brand-new -- fit the melodies in a poetic fashion."

"The focus on this legendary recording demonstrates the Institute's commitment to studying and performing the important works of past jazz masters," says Susan Muscarella, Jazzschool Founder and Director. "I am especially pleased that the first-year students in Laurie Antonioli's Vocal Performance class have taken on this ambitious and exciting project!"

Performers include Jazzschool Institute students Barbara Adamson, Afi Ayanna, Kathy Blackburn, Andrea Claburn, Rikki Gibson, Jua Howard, and Avelina Nunez-Brown, with accompaniment by Matt Clark, piano; Peter Barshay, bass; and Jason Lewis, drums.

Jon Hendricks recorded "Freddie Freeloader" (with his lyrics) for a 1993 album with Bobby McFerrin, Al Jarreau, and George Benson. At Yoshi's, four students will be featured on "Freddie," each singing a different solo: Ayanna taking Wynton Kelly's solo, Nunez-Brown Cannonball Adderley's, Claburn Miles Davis's, and Gibson John Coltrane's.

Andrea Claburn is singing Meredith D'Ambrosio's lyrics for the melody of "Blue in Green" while Kathy Blackburn will perform her original lyrics set to the Miles Davis solo. Jua Howard will be singing the Oscar Brown Jr. lyrics to "All Blues," the most commonly recorded track from the album, joined by Barbara Adamson, who has written lyrics to Miles's solo. Avelina Nunez-Brown's feature is "Flamenco Sketches," with lyrics by Antonioli (whose own version of the song with Richie Beirach was recorded in 1995 and released in 2005).

The Kind of Blue segment of the concert will conclude with Afi Ayanna singing "So What" (lyrics by Eddie Jefferson) and all the students contributing background vocals.

Jua Howard and Kathy Blackburn will serve as emcees for the first half of the evening, offering back-story details on the songs. Ashley Kahn's 2000 book, Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece, was a resource for their narrative.

In the concert's second half, each of the seven students will be featured on two songs apiece.

Tickets for the May 10 event are $12 and may be purchased from Yoshi's (510-238-9200, http://www.yoshis.com).

More Information: http://www.yoshis.com

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