[ Concerts ]

Jazz bassist Ron Carter brings his trio to Yale March 23

March 2, 2012

“…his music embodies all the qualities that make jazz an
enduring, vital art form.”
–Stereo Review

The Ellington Jazz Series at the Yale School of Music continues its 2011–2012 season on Friday, March 23 with a concert featuring the Ron Carter Trio. One of the most honored and popular bassists performing today, Carter will perform with two other jazz stars, pianist Donald Vega and guitarist Russell Malone.

Grammy Award-winner Ron Carter “is living proof that integrity and clarity of artistic vision are alive and well in… jazz,” enthused John Snyder of the jazz label EmArcy. Carter has been named Outstanding Bassist of the Decade by the Detroit News, Jazz Bassist of the Year by Downbeat magazine, and Most Valuable Player by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

The NPR show Billy Taylor’s Jazz has noted that guitarist Russell Malone “brings new meaning to the term versatility,” and the Chicago Tribune asserts that his “whispering romanticism and gently arpeggiated chords had an undeniable seductive pull.”

Pianist Donald Vega has earned praise for his “firm technical command with inventiveness and sensitivity” (JazzReview.com). JazzTimes has called him “an exceptionally articulate pianist” with a “romantic lyricism.” His sound has been said to resonate with a touch of Oscar Peterson’s versatility and Bill Evans’ elegant lyricism.

The concert will begin at 8 pm at Morse Recital Hall, located in Sprague Memorial Hall at 470 College Street. Tickets are $20–$30, $10 with student ID, available at music.yale.edu, 203 432-4158, or at the box office in Sprague Hall.

The Ellington Jazz Series at Yale is directed by Willie Ruff. For more information on the series, visit music.yale.edu/concerts/ellington.

About the Ron Carter Trio

Ron Carter is among the most original, prolific, and  influential bassists in jazz. With more than 2,000 albums to his credit, he has recorded with many of music’s greats: Tommy Flanagan, Gil Evans, Lena Horne, Bill Evans, B.B. King, the Kronos Quartet, Dexter Gordon, Wes Montgomery, and Bobby Timmons. In 1993 Ron Carter earned a Grammy award for Best Jazz Instrumental Group, the Miles Davis Tribute Band and another Grammy in 1998 for ‘Call Sheet Blues,’ an instrumental composition from the film ’Round Midnight. He has scored and arranged music for many films. Carter’s books include Building Jazz Bass Lines and The Music of Ron Carter. Carter has received honorary doctorates from the New England Conservatory of Music and the Manhattan School of Music. He was honored by the French Minister of Culture with France’s premier cultural award, the medallion and title of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters. He has lectured, conducted, and performed at clinics and master classes, instructing jazz ensembles and teaching the business of music at numerous universities. He was the artistic director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Studies while it was located in Boston and is now Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the City College of New York. As a performer, he remains as active as ever.

Born in Albany, Georgia, Russell Malone grew up playing a variety of music. Eventually, he made jazz his main focus, but he never lost his appreciation of other styles. Malone was 25 when, in 1988, he was hired as a sideman by the organist Jimmy Smith. He went on to back Harry Connick, Jr. from 1990 to 1994 and spent four years working with Verve labelmate Diana Krall, in addition to guesting on numerous recordings. By the new millennium, Malone’s profile was much higher, owing to his appearances with Krall and on record with Mose Allison and Benny Green. His career also benefited from an appearance in the 1996 movie Kansas City and from the praise given to his post-Columbia albums. A fluid and highly melodic player, Malone’s solos are constructed with intelligence and display his remarkable self-taught skills to great effect. Throughout his work there is evidence of his uncommonly good taste, together with hints of his interest in and, indeed, reverence for, the great traditions of the guitar’s role in the history of jazz. Malone has composed a number of pieces, several of which he has recorded.

Donald Vega’s style and virtuosity on piano, along with his composing and arranging, mark this young artist as a unique and exciting presence in the world of jazz. Due to civil war in Nicaragua, Vega immigrated to the United States at the age of fourteen without speaking a word of English. Within a year of coming to the U.S. he won the prestigious Los Angeles Spotlight Awards competition, capturing the attention of Henry Mancini and the jazz critic Leonard Feather. Vega began studying at the Colburn School of Performing Arts (where he also taught) and went on to earn a B.A. from the University of Southern California, an M.A. from the Manhattan School of Music, and an Artist Diploma from Juilliard. Along the way, he won the LA Jazz Society’s New Talent Award, the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in 2010, and Downbeat’s Student Music Award for 2007 best Jazz Soloist, and has had his compositions highlighted in JAZZIZ. Vega’s first album as a leader, Tomorrows, was released in 2008 to rave reviews; the album also six original tunes, showing Vega’s evolution into a creative composer and arranger. Donald currently resides in New York. He frequently performs at nightclubs in New York City as well as throughout Europe and Latin America. Vega is currently working on his second album.

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