Crosstown Arts presents Stax Music Academy: SONGBIRDS: A Tribute to Women in Jazz in The Green Room.
The Green Room at Crosstown Arts
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Doors at 7 pm | Show at 7:30 pm
Tickets: $10 GA (Free for SMA students and faculty)
To celebrate Women’s History Month, the jazz department at the Stax Music Academy will present a tribute to the pioneers and powerhouses that have blazed trails for women worldwide in jazz. The concert will feature SMA’s jazz vocal ensemble, Kind Of Blue, named after the iconic 1959 Miles Davis album. The vocalists will be accompanied by a band of instrumentalists from the SMA Jazz Department. This tribute includes nods to the music of Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, Nina Simone, and even contemporary artists like Esperanza Spalding and Jamila Woods. The music will speak to the strength, elegance, innovation, and devotion that women have embodied in the evolution across the diaspora of modern jazz music.
The Stax Music Academy jazz department, under the direction of SMA alumnus Kori Wallace, currently hosts three main ensembles. The premiere group, The Legacy Quintet, boldly carries the torch of Memphis’ rich musical history and features the program’s four top performing instrumentalists and top performing vocalist. Kind Of Blue, our jazz vocal ensemble, provides vocalists the opportunity to dive deeply into the nuances of the jazz language spoken by some of the greatest voices in American music. Lastly, we have the newly minted Phineas Newborn Jazz Orchestra. The PNJO shines a light on one of the titans of Memphis jazz, and creates the space for students to develop in large ensemble performance. The overall mission of the jazz department is to provide an environment for students to tap into the roots of Memphis music through its deep connection to jazz. Through that connection, students are also able to develop in their approaches to the many styles synonymous with this great city.