Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tampa's Jazz History to be Celebrated in Honor of Ernie Calhoun April 2, 2017

Soulful Tenor:
90 Candles for 
Ernie Calhoun!

Sunday, April 2, 2017 ~ 3:00 PM

Saxophonist ERNIE CALHOUN, who has played for generations of listeners in the Tampa Bay area, will be celebrated at a tribute concert and film premiere in the Mainstage Theatre at HCC/Ybor City, on Sunday, April 2, at 3pm. Coming a few weeks before Calhoun’s 90thbirthday, the event is presented by the Tampa Jazz Club and the Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association, as part of HCC’s Visual & Performing Arts Series. And in keeping with Ernie’s history as mentor to younger players, a portion of the proceeds will benefit each organization’s annual Jazz Scholarship.

Leading off the afternoon will be a new documentary film from
Bay Area journalist Arielle Stevenson, featuring Ernie Calhoun
telling his own story. The concert that follows puts the emphasis
on the saxophone (Jeremy CarterValerie GillespieHenry 
AshwoodRodney Rojas, and Kendric McCallister) along
with veteran players who have often shared the stage with
Ernie – pianist Kevin Wilder, guitarist Vincent Sims, bassist
Kenny Walker, and drummer Ron Gregg. In addition, there
will be a special appearance by Tampa legends Kitty Daniels
and Majid Shabazz, who with Ernie Calhoun have helped
shape the Tampa music scene for decades.

Tampa’s fabled Central Avenue, the heart of the city’s African-American community, was home to Ernie Calhoun from age 13, in 1938. He went on the road with singer Percy Mayfield (who heard him practicing through his bedroom window) at 18, and worked closely with the young Ray Charles, then living in Tampa. After years on the road, he formed Ernie Cal & The Soul Brothers, the highly popular group who performed with the biggest names in jazz as they came through town. That band eventually became Al Downing & the All-Stars, always featuring Ernie’s big, soulful sound on the tenor.

The documentary that begins the concert showcases Ernie Calhoun’s musical career, as well as his life off-stage. After seeing intense front-line action in Korea, he returned to the Jim Crow south, attended Morehouse College, and became active in the civil rights movement. He would go on to a career as a leader in community service organizations in Tampa, leading outreach efforts to help minority youth, and later senior citizens. He helped the lives of thousands through his day job, all the while making great music until his retirement from playing, just a few years ago. The film is by Arielle Stevenson, from an oral history project prepared by David Brown and Stan Wilkins, with Bob Seymour.

Tampa Jazz Club
The Al Downing Jazz Association
HCC Visual and Performing Arts Series

Tickets also available at the door
(cash or check only) or
online at: tampajazzclub.com


Sunday, April 30, 2017 ~ 3:00 PM

Laila Biali Trio

Award-winning Canadian Jazz pianist, vocalist and songwriter Laila Biali has toured with Suzanne Vega, Chris Botti and Paula Cole and recorded with and supported Sting. She takes the best of pop, rock and soul, informs it with her knowledge of Jazz and weaves it into her musical arrangements. Laila's music has been presented at prestigious venues spanning four continents including the North Sea Jazz Festival, Tokyo's Cotton Club, Peru's El Festival Internacional de Lima, and Carnegie Hall in New York City. Her latest studio recording Tracing Light received a JUNO nomination for "2011 Best Vocal Jazz Album of the Year" and her most recent release Live in Concert, recorded live in February 2012 in front of a gracious audience at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, Canada, captures the spirit of live performance so essential to Jazz. Live in Concert was in rotation at 73 radio stations in North America. Laila is also a member of the all female New York based neo-Classical crossover quartet Rose & the Nightingale whose members tour with Grammy award-winner Esperanza Spalding. Her accolades include "SOCAN Composer of the Year" and "Keyboardist of the Year" at Canada's National Jazz Awards. She currently splits her time between New York City and Toronto.
Laila Biali – vocals, piano
Matt Aronoff – bass
Ben Wittman – drums


Tampa Jazz Club
HCC Visual and Performing Arts Series


Mainstage Theatre
Performing Arts Center - HCC Ybor
1304 E 11th  Ave, Tampa, FL 33605

$15 Club Members, $15 in advance.
$20 day of show (nonmembers)
$10 Students with ID

HCC Events Complimentary
to HCC Students (HCC
Events Only)

Complimentary for Children
10 and under

Tickets for all events also
available at the door
(cash or check only)or online at:

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