The Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts says it continues its 2022-23 Jazz series with the Sean Jones Quartet.
The theatre said on Monday that the quartet will be featured on Mar. 4, 8:00 p.m., at 2960 Broadway at 116th St., in Upper Manhattan.
The quartet comprises: Sean Jones, trumpet; Luques Curtis, bass; Orrin Evans, piano; and Koleby Royston, drums.
“The former lead trumpeter of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Jones is a musical chameleon, adept in all styles and genres,” said the Miller Theatre in a statement. “He brings his quartet to the stage for his Miller debut.
“Music and spirituality have always been intertwined in the artistic vision of trumpeter, bandleader, composer, educator, and activist Sean Jones,” it added, stating that Jones sang and performed as a child with the church choir in his hometown of Warren, Ohio, and switched from playing the drums to the trumpet at the age of 10.
“Jones is a musical chameleon, comfortable in any musical setting no matter the role or genre,” the Miller Theatre continued. “After a six-month stint with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis offered him a permanent position as lead trumpeter of the ensemble, a post he held from 2004 until 2010.”
In 2015, Jones was tapped to become a member of the SFJAZZ Collective, the Miller Theatre said.
During this time, it said Jones has managed to keep a core group of talented musicians together under his leadership, forming the foundation for groups that have produced and released eight recordings on Mack Avenue Records. His most recent is Sean Jones: Live from Jazz at the Bistro (2017).
The Miller Theatre said Jones has been prominently featured in recordings and performances with many major figures in jazz, including Illinois Jacquet, Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, Nancy Wilson, Dianne Reeves, Gerald Wilson, and Marcus Miller.
He was selected by Miller, Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter for their A Tribute to Miles tour in 2011.
He has also performed with the Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Youngstown symphony orchestras, as well as Soulful Symphony in Baltimore and a chamber group at the Salt Bay Chamberfest.
The Miller Theatre said Jones is an internationally recognized educator. He is president of the Jazz Education Network, artistic director for the NYO JAZZ Program of Carnegie Hall, and holds the Richard and Elizabeth Case Chair in Jazz Studies at The John Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute. Previously, he served as chair of the brass department at Berklee College of Music in Boston.
New York-based bassist Luques Curtis was born in Hartford, CT, where he studied at the Greater Hartford Academy of Performing Arts, Artist Collective, and Guakia with Dave Santoro, Volcan Orham, Nat Reeves, Paul Brown, and others, according to the Miller Theatre.
In high school, Jones studied the Afro-Caribbean genre with Andy Gonzalez and Joe Santiago and at the Berklee College of Music, which he attended on full scholarship, he studied with John Lockwood and Ron Mahdi, the Miller Theatre said.
It said he has performed with Gary Burton, Ralph Peterson, Donald Harrison, Christian Scott, Francisco Mela, Eddie Palmieri, Stefon Harris, Ralph Peterson, Christian Scott, Sean Jones, Orrin Evans, and Christian Sands, among others.
Curtis is the recipient of the 2016 DownBeat Critics Poll in the “Rising Star-Bass” category and a Ralph Bunche Fellowship to complete his master’s degree at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.
With his brother, the Miller Theatre said he co-owns the record label Truth Revolution Records, which has five releases under “Curtis Brothers,” including the recent Algorithm.
Curtis was also part of Brian Lynch’s Grammy winning CD Simpatico and numerous other Grammy nominated recordings including Lynch’s Madera Latino and Christian Scott’s Rewind That.
As a sideman, the Miller Theatre said Curtis has participated in over 100 recordings, including Eddie Palmieri’s Sabiduria and Mi Luz Mayor; Gary Burton’s Next Generations; Dave Valentin’s Come Fly With Me; Sean Jones’ *Im*Pro*Vise, Roots, Kaleidoscope, and The Search Within; and Orrin Evans’ Faith In Action.
Pianist, composer, bandleader, educator and arranger Orrin Evans traverses the vocabularies of swinging, blues-infused jazz, and spiritual jazz/avant-garde jazz traditions, as well as the Euro-canon, the Miller Theatre said.
A two-time GRAMMY nominee and Pew Fellow, “Evans’ stylistically polyglot compositions are influenced by the Black Music culture of his native Philadelphia and by a decade playing in the Mingus Big Band,” the theatre said.
It said he topped the “Rising Star – Pianist” category in 2018 DownBeat Critics Poll and was featured in DownBeat’s September 2021 edition.
As a bandleader, the Miller Theatre said Evans has led the Captain Black Big Band and has co-led the collective Tar Baby with drummer Nasheet Waits and bassist Eric Revis.
Recent ventures include a duo with guitarist Kevin Eubanks and the trio The Bad Plus.
Bassist Luques Curtis and drummer Mark Whitfield, Jr. are Evan’s partners in his working trio, which also comprises the rhythm section for the trumpeter Sean Jones.
Evans, who made his first album, Justin Time, at age 21, has recorded albums for Smoke Sessions, Imani Records (the imprint he founded with his wife), Criss Cross, Palmetto, and Posi-Tone.
Recent performances include gigs for Terreno Comum and the Pittsburgh Jazz Festival, and with Luques Curtis (bass), Clarence Penn (drums), Alexia Bomtempo (vocals), and Leandro Pellegrino (guitar).
The Miller Theatre said Evans also curated the concert series “What’s Happening Wednesdays” at South Jazz Kitchen in Philadelphia and “Philly Meets New York,” which brought Philadelphia talent to Smoke Jazz Club in Manhattan, as well as the weekly jazz curriculum in Philadelphia public schools, sponsored by the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts’ Jazz Standards programming division.
He is currently the DC Jazz Festival’s Artist-in-Residence. Evans attended Rutgers University where he studied with NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron.
Koleby Royston, hailing from Denver, is from a family of musicians and found his love for drumming at age 15 when he attended the Jazz House Kids Summer Workshop in Montclair, NJ, the Miller Theatre said.
It said he has worked alongside notable musicians Sean Jones, Allison Miller, Mark Whitfield Jr., Tia Fuller, Mimi Jones, Josh Evans, Julius Tolentino, and others.
Miller Theatre prides itself in being a leading presenter of new music in New York City and a “vital force for innovative programming.”
“Miller is dedicated to producing and presenting unique events, with a focus on contemporary and early music, jazz, opera and multimedia performances,” the statement said.
Founded in 1988, Miller Theatre has helped launch the careers of myriad composers and ensembles, serving as an incubator for emerging artists and a champion of those not yet well known in America.
A four-time recipient of the ASCAP/Chamber Music America Award for Adventurous Programming, Miller Theatre said its goals are to “produce innovative programs, support the development of new work and connect creative artists with enquiring audiences.”