HAVING rubbed shoulders and performed at festivals and clubs with the likes of international jazz greats Marcus Belgrave, Aretha Franklin, Bobby Sanabria, Jimmy Cobb and Bennie Maupin, a jazz quintet will bring the best of the genre to Nelson Mandela Bay tonight.
The Anthony Stanco Ensemble – graduates of the jazz studies programme at Michigan State University where they studied under acclaimed musicians Rodney Whitaker and Etienne Charles – is comprised of some of the most promising young talents in jazz today.
The quintet has also conducted workshops and master classes across the US.
The group is touring Southern Africa and has been in the Eastern Cape since yesterday to lead interactive workshops at Sundays River Primary School, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s music department – which is hosting tonight’s concert – and Stirling High School in East London.
Trumpeter Anthony Stanco is a rising talent who recorded a live album with the Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Bobby Sanabria called Kenya Revisited LIVE! in 2008.
It was nominated for a Latin Grammy.
Saxophonist, composer and educator Marcus Elliot has directed the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Civic Jazz Ensemble and also leads his own group, The Marcus Elliot Quartet. As a composer, Elliot recorded his first CD Looking Forward at the age of 20, which consisted of all of his original compositions.
Pianist Paul Bratcher began playing piano at age 11 and began his study of jazz at high school after which he continued his education at Messiah College and has just completed a master’s degree in jazz studies from Michigan State University.
Sam Copperman on acoustic bass began playing electric bass at the age of eight and switched to upright at age 14. He began his career at 15 playing for local musicals. In 2008 he studied with renowned bassist Rodney Whitaker at Michigan State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in jazz studies last year.
Drummer Jordan Otto began playing percussion at the age of 11 and got his first drum set soon after that. Since then, he has studied many different styles including jazz, rock, funk, Latin, and various Afro-Caribbean and Brazilian styles.
The quintet will be performing at NMMU’s South Campus Auditorium tonight at 7.30pm.
Entrance to the concert is free.