fbpx

CATHERINE RUSSELL, Vocalist

CATHERINE RUSSELL
Photo by Sandrine Lee

Will appear in Duke Ellington, which will be performed on March 12, 2020 at Carnegie Hall.
Grammy Award winning vocalist Catherine Russell is a native New Yorker, born into musical royalty. Her father, the late Luis Russell, was a legendary pianist/composer/bandleader, and Louis Armstrong’s long-time musical director. Her mother, Carline Ray, was a pioneering vocalist/guitarist/bassist who performed with International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Mary Lou Williams, and Sy Oliver. A graduate of American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Ms. Russell has toured the world, performing and recording with David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Steely Dan, Jackson Browne, Michael Feinstein, The Holmes Brothers, Wynton Marsalis, and Rosanne Cash, among others, appearing on over 200 albums. Since the 2006 release of her debut album, Cat, on Harmonia Mundi’s World Village label, six acclaimed and chart topping albums have followed, including Strictly Romancin’, awarded  Prix du Jazz Vocal 2012 (Vocal Album of The Year) by the Jazz Academy in France, and Bring It Back in 2014.  Catherine Russell was a featured artist on a Grammy Award winning soundtrack album for the HBO-TV series, Boardwalk Empire.

Her 6th album, Harlem On My Mind, was released in September 2016 and received a Grammy® Nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album.  Catherine has appeared on PBS-TV and on Fresh Air with Terry Gross on NPR. Will Friedwald writing in The Wall Street Journal, calls Catherine Russell “one of the outstanding singers of our time.” Catherine’s 7th album as a leader, Alone Together, was released in March 2019 on Dot Time Records, and held the #1 position on the JazzWeek 2019 Year End Chart for national radio play, while receiving her 2nd Grammy® Nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album.

JASON MARSALIS, Drums

JASON MARSALIS

Will appear in Duke Ellington, which will be performed on March 12, 2020 at Carnegie Hall.

Drummer Jason Marsalis is the youngest son of pianist and music educator Ellis Marsalis. At age seven, he was sitting in with his father’s jazz group and progressed so rapidly as a drummer that his father started using him for some of his own shows. Shortly after graduation from New Orleans Center for Creative Arts in 1995, Marsalis joined a new group lead by the virtuoso pianist, Marcus Roberts, while also furthering his educational goals at Loyola University in New Orleans. In 2008, Marsalis began playing vibraphone and touring with his vibes quartet. At the same time, he has remained an instrumental member of the Marcus Roberts Trio. His skill at the drum set has been a critical part of the sound and philosophy of the trio for many years, and, in fact, he has been featured on all of Roberts’ recordings for the past 20 years. During that same time period, he continued to release his own recordings both on vibes and on drums. His recording, The 21st Century Trad Band, was critically acclaimed in the jazz world and his newest release is entitled Melody Reimagined, Book 1 (Basin Street Records, 2019). In recent years, Marsalis has also become increasingly known for his own educational contributions. He frequently teaches at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and he is a key member of The Modern Jazz Generation group, helping to train many of the younger musicians in the group.

RODNEY JORDAN, Bass

RODNEY JORDAN

Will appear in Duke Ellington, which will be performed on March 12, 2020 at Carnegie Hall.

Jazz bassist, Rodney Jordan, is a native of Memphis, Tennessee. He grew up playing bass in church and like Marcus Roberts, these roots are the foundation for his rich and soulful sound. Jordan went on to study classical upright bass at Jackson State University. This training led him to positions as Assistant Principal Bassist and Principal Bassist with leading state and regional orchestras in Mississippi and Georgia. While living in Atlanta, Jordan became one of the city’s most sought-after jazz bassists, performing and recording with some of America’s finest jazz musicians. Jordan joined the faculty at Florida State University in 2001, where he now serves as an Associate Professor of Jazz Studies. It was there that Jordan and Roberts first played together, while working to train young aspiring musicians. In 2009, Jordan took over the bass chair in Roberts’ trio and he quickly became known for his virtuosity, quick reflexes, and musical wit. His hard-swinging style has earned him the nickname Rodney “Swing” Jordan. Jordan is a perfect fit for Roberts’ melodic, blues-based, rhythmically syncopated improvisational group style. He has also been instrumental to the training of many of the younger musicians in the Modern Jazz Generation, a 10—12 piece band featuring three generations of jazz musicians. Jordan is a gifted and generous teacher who is respected by all. He has been featured on all of Roberts’ recordings since 2009, including the most recent, Trio Crescent: Celebrating Coltrane. He released his first CD as a leader, Playing Jazz, in 2017.

MARCUS ROBERTS, Piano

MARCUS ROBERTS

Will appear in Duke Ellington, which will be performed on March 12, 2020 at Carnegie Hall.

Pianist/composer, Marcus Roberts, has been hailed “the genius of the modern piano”. In 2014, the celebrated CBS News television show, 60 Minutes, profiled his life and work on a segment entitled “The Virtuoso”.  The show traced Roberts’ life to date from his early roots in Jacksonville and at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind to his remarkable career as a modern jazz musician.

Roberts grew up in Jacksonville, FL where his mother’s gospel singing and the music of the local church left a lasting impact on his own musical style. Three years after losing his sight at age five, his parents bought him a piano and he began to teach himself to play. He had his first formal lesson at age 12 but despite that late start, he progressed quickly through hard work and good teachers. Roberts won his first of many piano competitions at age 17 (Mayport Jazz Festival, Jacksonville, FL, 1980) and then two years later he won the Young Artists Award at the National Association of Jazz Educators annual meeting. Of the many awards and competitions that he has won over the years, the one that is most personally meaningful to him is the Helen Keller Award for Personal Achievement. From Keller’s writings and his own family background, Roberts learned much about hope, optimism, and achievement that has stayed with him over the years.

At age 18, Roberts went to study classical piano at Florida State University with the great Leonidas Lipovetsky, a former student of the celebrated Madame Rosina Lhévinne. Lipovetsky was a brilliant and demanding teacher with an appreciation for both the jazz and classical idioms. Roberts left Florida State in 1985 to tour with jazz trumpeter, Wynton Marsalis, where he spent six transformative years. During that time, he was developing his own style and ideas about jazz performance.

Roberts is now known throughout the world for his creation of an entirely new approach to the jazz trio. He is also known for his remarkable ability to blend the jazz and classical idioms to create something wholly new while retaining the authenticity of each art form. In 1995, he hired drummer Jason Marsalis and bassist Roland Guerin to anchor his new trio conception in which the bass and drums had roles that were equal to that of the piano rather than playing traditional accompanying roles. In 1996, his Sony Classical recording (Portraits in Blue) was among the first to fully integrate the jazz and classical genres.

Roberts’ critically-acclaimed legacy of recorded music reflects this tremendous artistic versatility as well as his unique approach to jazz performance. His recordings include solo piano, duets, and trio arrangements of jazz standards as well as original suites of music for trio, large ensembles, and symphony orchestra. His popular DVD recording with the Berlin Philharmonic showcases his ground-breaking arrangement of Gershwin’s Concerto in F for Piano and Orchestra (A Gershwin Night, EuroArts 2003).

Roberts launched his own record label, J-Master Records, in 2009. Since then he has released several popular recordings on that label including New Orleans Meets Harlem, Volume 1 (trio), Deep in the Shed: A Blues Suite (nonet), Celebrating Christmas (trio), From Rags to Rhythm (trio), Together Again: Live in Concert (quartet), Together Again: In the Studio (quartet), Romance, Swing, and the Blues (with the Modern Jazz Generation), and Trio Crescent: Celebrating Coltrane. Two new releases are planned for 2020.

Roberts continues to tour with his long-standing trio featuring two phenomenal musicians—Rodney Jordan (bass) and Jason Marsalis (drums). Marsalis has held the drum chair in the trio for over 25 years and when this trio performs, they sound like they have been performing together for decades. One of Roberts’ more recent musical projects is the founding of a new band called “The Modern Jazz Generation”. This multigenerational ensemble is the realization of Roberts’ long-standing dedication to training and mentoring younger jazz musicians. Both Marsalis and Jordan are also key founding members of this band.

In addition to his renown as a performer, Roberts is also an accomplished composer who has received numerous commissioning awards, including ones from Chamber Music America, Jazz at Lincoln Center, ASCAP, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the Savannah Music Festival who co-commissioned him to write his first piano concerto—”Spirit of the Blues: Piano Concerto in C-Minor” (2013). In 2016, Roberts premiered his second piano concerto (“Rhapsody in D for Piano and Orchestra”) at the Ozawa Music Festival in Matsumoto, Japan. That piece was commissioned by Seiji Ozawa and the Saito Kinen Orchestra. The piece was featured in a concert at last year’s Savannah Music Festival.

Finally, Roberts has long been dedicated to the training and development of younger musicians. At the Savannah Music Festival, he serves as an Associate Artistic Director as well as the Director of the annual Swing Central Jazz programs that bring high school students from all over the country for educational programs and a jazz band competition. Roberts is an associate professor of music at the School of Music at Florida State University. He holds an honorary Doctor of Music degree from The Juilliard School.

Lucas Debargue, Piano

Lucas Debargu
Photo by Felix Broede

Will appear in Beyond Beethoven, which will be performed on January 31, 2020 at Carnegie Hall.

French pianist Lucas Debargue was discovered through his performances at the 15th International Tchaikovsky Competition held in Moscow in 2015. Although placing fourth in the final round, he was the only musician across all disciplines who was awarded with the coveted Moscow Music Critic’s Prize as a pianist whose “incredible gift, artistic vision, and creative freedom have impressed the critics as well as the audience.”

Following this incredible breakthrough Lucas Debargue was invited to solo with leading orchestras in the most prestigious concert halls in the world: the Grand Hall of Tchaikovsky Conservatory and the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow; Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall; Theatre des Champs-Elysées, Salle Gaveau and Paris Philharmonic; Conservatory of Milan; Wigmore Hall and Royal Festival Hall in London; Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw; Prinzregententheater in Munich and the Berlin Philharmonic Hall; Konserthuset in Stockholm; Carnegie Hall in New York; and further prestigious concert halls in Tokyo, Osaka, Chicago, Montréal, Toronto, Seattle, Mexico, Beijing, Taipei, Shanghai, and Seoul.

He also collaborates with famous conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Andrey Boreyko, Mikhail Pletnev, Vladimir Spivakov, Yutaka Sado, and Tugan Sokhiev, and and appears regularly in chamber music ensembles with Gidon Kremer, Janine Jansen, and
Martin Fröst.

Alexander Birch Elliott, baritone

Alexander Birch Elliott

Appeared in the concert The Kingdom which was performed on October 31, 2019 at Carnegie Hall.

Baritone Alexander Birch Elliott continues to garner praise for his “heated intensity and beguiling timbre of mahogany” (New York Times). Alexander made major debuts last season at both The Metropolitan Opera and Houston Grand Opera singing the role of Zurga in Les Pêcheurs de Perles. In the 2019–2020 season he debuts at Carnegie Hall with the American Symphony Orchestra for Elgar’s The Kingdom, as well as with New York’s PROTOTYPE Festival as Lucifer in Rev 23, directed by James Darrah and conducted by Daniela Candillari. He returns to Tulsa Opera for performances of Carmen, as well as to the Pittsburgh Symphony for Fidelio.

Alexander made two significant festival debuts in the summer of 2018, both in celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s centennial. He appeared with the Ravinia Festival in June under the baton of Marin Alsop as a Street Singer in Bernstein’s Mass, followed by performances of Maximilian, the Sea Captain, and the Grand Inquisitor in Candide at the Tanglewood Festival. Recent operatic appearances include as Sonora in La fanciulla del West in his debut with New York City Opera; Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Santa Barbara; Anthony in Sweeney Todd and the title role of Eugene Onegin with Portland Opera; and as Guglielmo in Cosi fan tutte with Opera Omaha.

Cooper Nolan, tenor

Cooper Nolan
Photo by Kristin Hoebermann

Appeared in the concert The Kingdom which was performed on October 31, 2019 at Carnegie Hall.

Tenor Cooper Nolan, praised for his “bright, shining, tenor” (Musical America) and his “powerhouse voice” (Opera News), is increasingly making a name for himself as an important interpreter of some of opera’s most demanding tenor roles. Cooper begins the 2019–2020 season making his Carnegie Hall debut in Elgar’s The Kingdom with the American Symphony Orchestra, followed by debuts with the Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra in the Verdi Requiem and the Jacksonville Symphony in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. He will also return to Theater Aachen for Hermann in a new production of Pique Dame.

Last season, he made his role/house debut as Canio in I Pagliacci with Opera San Jose. Concert appearances included the Verdi Requiem with Lexington Philharmonic and TŌN (The Orchestra Now), Act III of Lohengrin with the Victoria Symphony (Canada) conducted by Christian Kluxen, Act I of Die Walküre with the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra conducted by Federico Cortese, and was a feature soloist in Charlottesville Opera’s Encore: Opera Favorites conducted by Steven Jarvi. Mr. Nolan made his Oper Frankfurt debut as the title role in Verdi’s Stiffelio and made his role debut as Cavaradossi in Tosca with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. He made his role/house debut as Bacchus in a new production of Ariadne auf Naxos at Theater Aachen and sang Don Jose in Carmen with El Paso Opera and in his European debut with Theater Kiel. He returned to Santa Fe Opera, singing Tybalt in Roméo and Juliette under Harry Bicket, while covering Dick Johnson in La fanciulla del West under Emmanuel Villaume.

Eve Gigliotti, Mezzo-soprano

Eve Gigliotti
Photo by Arielle Doneson

Appeared in the concert The Kingdom which was performed on October 31, 2019 at Carnegie Hall.

Mezzo-soprano Eve Gigliotti has a voice that been described as “spirited, handsome-toned” (Opera News), with a stage presence that is “strong” and “impassioned” (The Washington Post). This season Ms. Gigliotti returns to San Francisco Opera as Gertrude in Roméo et Juliette, and at National Sawdust in a highly anticipated residency she curates and performs a program entitled It All Goes Through You, collaborating with Royce Vavrek (libretto), RB Schlather (director), and composers Nico Muhly, Missy Mazzoli, Paola Prestini and Ellen Reid. Later in the season, she performs Gertrude in Hamlet with Washington Concert Opera, joins the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for Messiah, and returns to the Metropolitan Opera, singing Glasha in Kat’a Kabanova.

Last season, Eve Gigliotti was seen at the Metropolitan Opera as Siegrune in Die Walküre, reprised The Little Prince with Opera Parallele, and appeared with the Prototype Festival. During the 2017–2018 season, Ms. Gilgiotti joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the U.S. premiere of A Trip to the Moon, San Francisco Opera for their production of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, both the Eugene Symphony and the Seattle Symphony for Handel’s Messiah, and Opera Parallele as the Pilot in The Little Prince.

Ms. Gigliotti has also been seen recently with the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, Florentine Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, and Washington National Opera. She created the role of Ruth in Nico Muhly’s Dark Sisters, produced by Gotham Chamber Opera, Music Theater Group, and Opera Philadelphia.

JANAI BRUGGER, Soprano

JANAI BRUGGER
Photo by Dario Acosta

Appeared in the concert The Kingdom which was performed on October 31, 2019 at Carnegie Hall.

Amerian soprano, Janai Brugger, a 2012 winner of Operalia and of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, begins the 2019–20 season in the role of Clara in Porgy and Bess at the Metropolitan Opera, a role she also sings at Washington National Opera later in the season. The artist travels to Michigan for performances of Mahler 4 with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra before joining the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall to sing Elgar’s The Kingdom. With the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra she performs in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and Gloria, and Sanctus from Mass in C. She then joins musicAeterna on tour in Germany and Austria for performances of Ninth Symphony. At Cincinnati Opera she performs in the premier of new opera, Castor and Patience, by Gregory Spears in the role of Wilhemina.

Last season saw her return to Grant Park Music Festival in performances of Haydn’s Theresienmesse. She sang Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with The Philadelphia Orchestra at Saratoga Performing Arts Center under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin and made her Salzburg Festival debut in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with musicAeterna conducted by Teodor Currentzis. At Lyric Opera of Chicago she sang the role of Ilia in Idomeneo and joined Dutch National Opera for Clara in Porgy and Bess, a role she also sang at Cincinnati Opera alongside performances as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. In her artistic home at Los Angeles Opera, the artist appeared in the role of Servilia in La Clemenza di Tito.

AMANDA WOODBURY, Soprano

AMANDA WOODBURY
Photo by Fay Fox

Will appear in Sons of Bach, on December 19, 2019 at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center. 

 A native of Crestwood, Kentucky, soprano Amanda Woodbury has been praised by the San Francisco Chronicle as having a voice that is “bright, beautifully colored, and full of strength and passion.” The 2019 – 2020 season sees Ms. Woodbury’s role debut as Ophélie in Thomas’ Hamlet with Hong Kong Opera, and a return to the role of Konstanze in Alison Moritz’s production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Opera Omaha. Ms. Woobdury also returns to the Metropolitan Opera to cover the title role in a new production of Manon and the role of Countess in Le nozze di Figaro. Orchestral appearances include an appearance with American Symphony Orchestra for a concert of Bach Arias, marking her Alice Tully Hall debut.

The 2018 – 2019 season sees Ms. Woodbury return to the Metropolitan Opera for a 5th season, with roles including Leïla in Les Pêcheurs de perles, conducted by Emanuel Villaume, and Woglinde in Robert Lepage’s productions of Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung, conducted by Philippe Jordan. Ms. Woodbury also makes house debuts as Violetta in La traviata with both the Glimmerglass Festival and San Antonio Opera, and as Juliette in Roméo et Juliette with Hawaii Opera Theater.

Career highlights include multiple appearances at the Metropolitan Opera including a role debut as Juliette in the new Bartlett Sher production of Roméo et Juliette, Leïla in Les Pêcheurs des perles, Tebaldo in Don Carlo, appearances on the Rising Stars concert series, and covers of Norina in Don Pasquale and Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffmann.