Jordan Family headlines opening of George and Joyce Wein Jazz Center in New Orleans
After years of planning and many months of construction, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation will celebrate the grand opening of the new George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center with a gala concert. The Dec. 12 event will feature music by saxophonist Edward "Kidd" Jordan, who founded the Jazz & Heritage Foundation's Don "Moose" Jamison Heritage School of Music in 1990. Joining him onstage will be four of his musical children: Kent, Marlon, Stephanie and Rachel Jordan.
The George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center is located at 1225 N. Rampart Street - adjacent to the Jazz & Heritage Foundation offices - and was purchased by the foundation in 2008. After extensive planning, the foundation decided to use the space as the first permanent home of its Don "Moose" Jamison Heritage School of Music, a free program that has operated on local university campuses since its inception. It will also serve as a community center.
The Jazz & Heritage Center is named in honor of George Wein and his late wife Joyce, the pioneering festival producers who helped to launch the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (which is owned by the Jazz & Heritage Foundation) in 1970.
After nearly two years of renovations, the historic building that houses the Jazz & Heritage Center is poised to become a state-of-the-art education and community center. It will be the permanent home of our Heritage School of Music and will serve as the location for many programs and events produced by the Jazz & Heritage Foundation. It also will be available for other community arts organizations for classes and events. The building has seven classrooms (including dedicated labs for piano and drums) and a 200-seat performance hall.
Kidd Jordan is acclaimed internationally as one of the true master improvisers still performing today. Indie Jazz aptly describes Sir Edward Kidd Jordan as a genteel man who is probably the single most under-documented jazz musician of his generation... Jordan was recognized as a jazz maverick back in the 1940s intent on exploring jazz rooted music's outer reaches. In recognition of his great musical achievements, knighthood was bestowed on him by the Republic of France where he holds the title Chevalier des Artes et Lettres.
This virtuoso unselfishly shared his gift of and passion for music for more than 50 years, 36 of which he spent at Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) until he retired in 2006 as head of the jazz studies program. So significant has his work been that his achievements were documented by CBS institution 60 Minutes and he was honored with Offbeat magazine's first Lifetime Achievement Award for Music Education. In 2013 he was selected as recipient of the Jazz Journalists Association (JJA) 'Jazz Hero' award.
The list of musicians and singers Kidd has performed and recorded with is long and replete with the cream of jazz, soul, R&B, and even rock. From Aretha Franklin to REM, Cannonball Adderley to Ornette Coleman, Ray Charles to Sun Ra, Kidd has performed with the Who's Who of music. He was an influence in the beginning of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and a major force in the formation of the World Saxophone Quartet, both of whom he has performed with. With Alvin Fielder and Clyde Kerr, Jr., he formed the Improvisational Arts Quintet.
Kidd Jordan has a long and abiding commitment to jazz education and many of today's top jazz musicians including Terence Blanchard, Marsalis brothers, Marlon Jordan, Nicholas Payton, Trombone Shorty, and many others have benefited from his tutelage.
Flutist Kent Jordan is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he received his Bachelor's of Music in Performance on the Flute. Kent presently heads the music department at Lusher Charter School, an arts intensive program in New Orleans, as well as serving as an instructor at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage School of Music.
Kent also teaches the big band and flute curriculums at the Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp. As former Chair of the Music Department at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA) Kent has cultivated many students such as: Christian Scott, Troy Andrews, and Devin Phillips.
Kent has performed and recorded as a sideman with the likes of Alvin Batiste, Kevin Eubanks, Ellis Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis and the legendary Elvin Jones. This accomplished flautist has been performing professionally since 1969, when he was a soloist with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra. Kent has released three albums under the Columbia label; No Question, Night Aire, and Essence. His last album, Out of This World was produced under his own label, Funshanel Art Media.
Marlon Jordan was one of the "Young Jazz Lions" who were signed, recorded and promoted on major record labels in the 1980s. He recorded three impressive LPs for Columbia from 1998 to 1992, For You Only, Learson's Return, and The Undaunted, and one for the Arabesque label entitled Marlon's Mode in 1997.
His last album, Marlon Jordan featuring Stephanie Jordan, You Don't Know What Love Is announces the return of an exceptional trumpeter... This dancing and delicious document reveals a mature artist who sounds like himself. You can hear Jordan's clean, boppish lines laced with power, and an encyclopedic knowledge of the entire jazz trumpet tradition, signed in own unique sonic signature.
An accomplished classical musician as well, Marlon has performed solo with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra. But his true joy is his constant performance in the streets and nightclubs of New Orleans and Brazil. Marlon graduated from the famed NOCCA (New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts.
Rachel Jordan is a Professor of Violin at Jackson State University, a member of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra In Houston, Texas, and a member of the Carter Quartet at Loyola University in New Orleans. Rachel has served as adjunct faculty at Xavier University, Southern University, and Dillard University in New Orleans. Ms. Jordan was also a member of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans for 12 years.
Rachel received both her Bachelor of Music and her Master of Music from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland where she studied with Berl Senofsky.
Rachel is also the founder and artistic director of the Music Alive Ensemble which she created in 2001, a classical and jazz ensemble of musicians, composers, and arrangers. She has been a featured performer at the Kennedy Center, Mozart Festival in Salzburg, Austria, the Music Center of Houston, and Mozart Festival in Washington, D.C. Jordan performed with Jackson State University Orchestra for the Congressional Black Caucus Inaugural Ceremony of President Barack Obama.
In 2011, Rachel produced "Christmas with the New Orleans Ladies of Jazz; I Saw Three Ships, " a holiday CD which features Germaine Bazzle, Leah Chase, and Stephanie Jordan performing with Music Alive Ensemble. Rachel also performs on and is the executive producer of the Marlon Jordan featuring Stephanie Jordan CD titled "You Don't Know What Love Is."
Vocalist Stephanie Jordan is consistently praised for her poise, elegance, and soulful articulation. She draws frequent comparisons to her mentor-the legendary jazz chanteuse Shirley Horn-as well as Abbey Lincoln, Lena Horne and Carmen McRae. Critics have also likened Ms. Jordan to jazz stars Diana Krall and Nancy Wilson.
Stephanie's current show continues her signature trademark of singing jazz standards from the Big Band era. It includes highlights from her self-produced debut CD on her Vige Music label; "Stephanie Jordan Sings A Tribute to the Fabulous Lena Horne; Yesterday When I Was Young" which honors the legendary Grammy Award winner who starred in many films.
She has had the honor of performing in the presence of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama; as well as having sang to Stevie Wonder during the National Urban League's 2012 National Conference. Jordan performed for the private celebration 'Oprah Winfrey and Friends of Susan Taylor' and she sang the National Anthem for the NBA All-Star Game.
Following hurricane Katrina, Stephanie and Marlon served as US Jazz Ambassadors on a European Tour to Bucharest, Germany, Lithuania and Ukraine on behalf of the U.S. Department of State and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Stephanie has performed on other stellar stages such as the Kennedy Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Chicago's Harris Theater, the Marians Jazzroom in Bern, Switzerland, Baton Rouges' Manship Theatre, and the inaugural International Jazz Day which was celebrated by millions worldwide during an all-star sunrise concert in New Orleans' Congo Square.
After her performance as a late minute replacement for Grammy Award-winning singer Ledisi, Chicago Tribune's leading art critic Howard Reich proclaimed, "The woman can sing ..."
Stephanie, Rachel, Kent, and Marlon were featured performers at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert CD which was produced by Wynton Marsalis. "Singer Stephanie Jordan, a standout here, was the real discovery of the evening. Her haunting rendition of (Here's to Life) this bittersweet ode associated with Shirley Horn was delivered with uncanny poise and a depth of understated soul that mesmerized the crowd and registered to the back rows. Singing with a clarity of diction that recalled Nat "King" Cole, she offered an uplifting message of hope in her heartfelt reading." writes Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes Magazine.
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