Clark University’s 2020 Geller Jazz Concert will feature vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant with Sullivan Fortner, piano, and an opening set by alto saxophonist Caroline Davis. The concert will take place on Thursday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m. in Razzo Hall, Traina Center for the Arts (92 Downing St.).
Tickets — $10 for Clark community members (students, faculty, staff, and alumni) and $25 for general admission — may be purchased online starting Wednesday, Feb. 5. The Geller Jazz Concert has sold out every year, so jazz aficionados are encouraged to buy their tickets early.
McLorin Salvant burst on the scene in 2010 when she won first prize in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2010. Since then, an avalanche of acclaim includes Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Vocal Album in 2015 (For One to Love), 2017 (Dreams and Daggers), and 2018 (The Window); and the 2019 Glenn Gould Protege Prize, awarded by Jessye Norman at the Twelfth Glenn Gould Prize Gala. Her composition, The Ogresse — a musical journey based on a dark and romantic fairytale-like story — premiered in fall 2019 at Jazz at Lincoln Center and featured McLorin Salvant as performer.
Fortner is a Grammy Award-winning artist who has received international praise as both key player and producer for his The Window (Mack Avenue, 2018) alongside Cecile McLorin Salvant. As a solo leader, he has released Moments Preserved (Decca, 2018) and Aria (Impulse!, 2015), and in 2019 earned recognition in multiple DownBeat Critics Poll categories, winning first place in Rising Star Piano and Rising Star Jazz Artist.
Opening for McLorin Salvant will be Brooklyn-based alto saxophonist/composer Caroline Davis and her latest ensemble, Alula, an adventurous project featuring drummer Dan Weiss and keyboardist Lex Korten. The music is compositionally motivated by an anterior digit on a bird’s wing and charged with trippy flights and landings, rotating lines and looped impressions, taut yet organic beats, and synth washes with throbbing bass notes trailing rigorous paths.
The Geller Jazz Concert is supported by a generous gift to the Visual and Performing Arts Department from the Estate of Selma Geller. The biannual jazz concert series pairs new and emerging artists with jazz legends and supports audience development programming. Previously featured artists in Geller Jazz Concert series and recipients of the Selma B. Geller Foundations of Jazz award include Ron Carter, Dave Liebman, Tom Harrell, Christian MacBride, Ravi Coltrane & Joe Lovano, and Trio da Paz.
Selma Geller was a New York City philanthropist who died in 2007. She was deeply concerned about the lack of musical educational opportunities available to the current generation of students. Her gifts to Clark University for music scholarships and musical performances are a testament to her desire to bring the original American musical art form to the Clark community.
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