TUE DEC 19 | 7:00pm | FREE
Creative Alliance presents a series of free public performances, The Songster Series, designed to reveal the hidden influences that have impacted celebrated regional musicians. This series gets to the heart of who these musicians are, their musical influences, and how their sound evolved.
Join host Brooks Long for an evening of music and conversation with two Baltimore Jazz heavyweights, LaFayette Gilchrist (piano) and Eric Kennedy (drums, piano, vocals). Learn how Hip-Hop, Rock & Roll, Blues, Funk, Swing, Soul, Go-Go, Bebop, Country, Gospel and Prince Rodgers Nelson informed their remarkable artistic journeys.
Pianist and composer LaFayette Gilchrist’s inimitable unconventional mix of Thelonius jazz, Clintonian funk, Native Tongue Hip-Hop and and Brownian (Chuck, that is) Go-Go of his native Washington D.C. has garnered high local and national acclaim. Young LaFayette would listen to the Godfather of Go-Go Chuck Brown rehearse the band at his aunt’s house just a few doors away from where Brown lived. As a leader of The New Volcanoes and a sideman for artists like saxophonist David Murray, soul legend Fontella Bass and singer/songwriter Macy Gray, LaFayette drew attention as a versatile musician somehow coming from left field yet steeped in 100 years of jazz tradition. In 2016, he released his 12th collection New Urban World Blues, featuring the single “Blues For Freddie Gray” with vocals by tonight’s host, Brooks Long.
For decades, Eric Kennedy has been the tasteful, dynamic and soulful engine behind the drum kit for countless jazz ensembles both in Baltimore and around the world. An unassuming figure, few know his equally formidable skills as a vocalist, pianist and composer. Growing up in musical family that received visits from R&B luminaries like Bootsy Collins and in a Baltimore neighborhood filled with summertime backyard band competitions, Kennedy was shaped by the unique experiences of Charm City. A partial list of jazz luminaries Eric has performed, toured and recorded with include Curtis Fuller, Phil Woods, Fred Wesley (James Brown’s music director), Nnena Freelon, Bobby Watson, John Hicks, Richard Wyands, TK Blue, Eddie Henderson, Curtis Lundy, Joe Bonner and Carl Grubbs.