Jazz Power Initiative featured in Amsterdam News

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Amsterdam News  ¦  Ron Scott  ¦  02/06/2020  ¦  Ginny’s, Jazz Power, Raka


The Jazz Power Initiative, a nonprofit organization that transforms young lives through jazz arts, education and performance, continues its “Intergenerational Jazz Jam” series at National Jazz Museum in Harlem (58 W. 129th St.) on Feb. 9, 2-5 p.m., with a celebration of Charlie “Yardbird” Parker in honor of the centennial year of his birth: August 29, 1920-March 12, 1955.

The celebration quartet will include pianist, composer Eli Yamin (founder/director of JPI), guitarist Bruce Edwards, bassist Jennifer Vincent, drummer Dwayne “Cook” Broadnax and special guest multi-instrumentalist Knoel Scott.

Scott is a quiet icon whose sound has sparked cheers around the world. He is a composer, bandleader, who plays baritone, tenor and alto saxophones in addition to flute, and a little dancing and singing on the side during live performances. He is best known for his work with the intergalactic pianist, composer, and bandleader Sun Ra. He was an original member of the Sun Ra Arkestra, now under the direction of Marshall Allen. Equivalent to Sun Ra’s eclectic verse Scott has worked with a variety of musicians including Olu Dara, Seleno Clarke, Don Pullen, and Jann Parker.

“We are excited to feature Knoel Scott this month at Intergenerational Jazz Jam celebrating Bird. Knoel embodies jazz power and he gave us the inspiration for ‘Message From Saturn,’ our musical about the healing power of the blues. Through his original compositions and arrangements of Bird tunes, Knoel will show how Bird inspired and continues to inspire him,” said artistic director, producer Eli Yamin. “After Knoel’s featured set at 2, we’ll open up the stage for community members to sit in on a Bird tune or with a poem or dance in the bebop tradition.” Charlie Parker who added the potent chords of bebop to the jazz vocabulary is honored in his hometown with a giant sculpture “Bird Lives” by Robert Graham in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

Jazz Power Initiative (JPI), formerly The Jazz Drama Program, was founded as a non-profit organization in 2003 to transform lives through jazz arts education and performance. JPI serves over 500 youth annually in Harlem, Washington Heights, Inwood and the Bronx. For more information, visit the website jazzpower.org or call 917-818-1759.