Keith Hall

carlallen.com

A world-class jazz drummer and outstanding educator, Carl Allen will perform at Western Michigan University tonight at 7:30 pm in the Dalton Center Recital Hall. The concert will feature many of his own works, including a tribute to trumpeter Roy Hargrove, who recently died at 49.

In a conversation with Cara Lieurance and  Jazz Currents host Keith Hall, who describes Allen a mentor,  Allen shares his thoughts and advice for young players. He carries a sense of history with him, and an appreciation for the jazz greats who took him under their wings, including Art Blakey and Freddie Hubbard. He describes his some of his experiences playing with bassist Christian McBride, and trumpeter/film composer Terence Blanchard. Allen also reflects on what he set out to establish at the Juilliard School, where he helped found its jazz program in 2001, leaving as director in 2014. 


Susan Wagener, Lens To Pixels Photography / http://www.lenstopixels.com/

Have you ever had a friend who can remember, and appreciate, the old days with a vividness that brings it all back to life? In this episode of Jazz Currents, host Keith Hall visits with with jazz pianist John Shea, of the John Shea Trio. He's a beloved West Michigan musician who never forgot a kind favor, a funny story, or a long-gone music venue. Hall and Shea both grew up in Battle Creek, MI.

Shea is a walking lexicon of jazz knowledge. His mentors included jazz drummer Bennie Carew, a bandleader who shaped the Michigan scene from the 1940s to 80s, and a music teacher, Margaret Skidmore, who vouched for the young Shea, then in ninth grade, to play piano in the pit for a production of Fiddler on the Roof. His variety of experiences, and his habit of always learning another tune has given Shea a staggering mental playlist upon which to draw.

In the studio at WMUK, John Shea plays Irving Berlin's "Always," Gershwin's "Someone To Watch Over Me," one of his own pieces, "Shawn's Blues," and others.


Keith Hall

John Proulx (pronounced "Proo") grew up in Grand Rapids, MI, where he started playing tunes by ear at an early age. He studied music at Roosevelt University in Chicago, moved to Los Angeles, and built a career performing as a jazz pianist for artists like Melissa Manchester, Anita O'Day, and Nancy Wilson. He also recorded four solo albums, most recently 2018's Say It But some of his biggest successes came as a songwriter. In 2006, his song "These Golden Years" was recorded by Nancy Wilson on her album Turned To Blue, which went on to win the "Best Jazz Vocal Album" Grammy Award.

John Proulx shares some of these experiences with Keith Hall and talks about what brought him back to Michigan to earn his master's degree at Western Michigan University, where he directs GCII. Proulx performs five of his own songs in the studio, including "Push Hands Annie," Stuck in the Dream With Me," "Stained Glass," "Proulx's Blues," and "Before You Know It."


billyhartmusic.com

Billy Hart always wants to learn more about music, even though he's been performing professionally since the 1950s, beginning with R&B acts like Otis Redding and Sam and Dave, while being mentored by jazz leaders Shirley Horn and Buck Hill. Originally from Washington, DC, Hart moved to New York in 1968 and became a fixture in a scene that included McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter, and Joe Zawinul. Hart has performed as a sideman and a leader on over 600 albums, and continues to record, with his own quartet and with big band projects. 

Hart talks about some of his experiences and lessons learned over the years, as he previews his performance on Western Michigan University's Jazz Masters Series with fellow musicians Keith Hall (professor of jazz drums) and Tom Knific (professor of bass).


Keith Hall

Pianist Matthew Fries, bassist Phil Palombi, and drummer Keith Hall have performed together as Tri-Fi for over 15 years and recorded five albums. Tri-Fi will appear in concert in the Dalton Center Recital Hall on Wednesday, Oct 3 at 7:30 pm on the Bullock Performance Institute Series at WMU, but first, they showcase their chemistry in conversation with Cara Lieurance at WMUK.


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