Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily M. Darow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Jazz at Bard presents Strike Force, a quintet featuring five of the country's top jazz percussionists—Thurman Barker, Bryan Carrott, Eli Fountain, Ray Mantilla, and Wilson Moorman III—on Saturday, February 28. The program, "Give the Drummer Some," will begin at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall. Admission is $15. A free preconcert lecture, beginning at 6:30 p.m., will held in room 102 of the F. W. Olin Humanities Building. The five percussionists will discuss the formation of Strike Force as well as their respective careers.

Thurman Barker—the guiding hand behind Strike Force and associate professor of music at Bard—says, "The players in the quintet are percussionists with whom I've worked on many occasions. We all bring a little something different to the group. If there is a common thread among us, it would be that we all love playing the instruments and really enjoy experimenting with different kinds of music." He concludes, "We've just recorded a CD and will continue to explore the percussion literature and original music through the world of percussion."

The next performance in the spring 2004 Jazz at Bard series will be on Thursday, May 6, at 8:00 p.m. in the multipurpose room of the Bertelsmann Campus Center. The William Parker Quintet will perform "Rocket to the Moon Has Just Injured the Rain God," with cellist (and Bard senior) Shiau-Shu Yu. The quintet members are Rob Brown, alto flute and clarinet; Lewis Barnes, trumpet; Hamid Drake, drums; Leena Conquest, voice; and William Parker, bass, donson ngoni, sintir, and shakuhachi. Admission is $15. (This performance was postponed due to the December 6 blizzard.)

Organized by two Bard alumnae, Raissa St. Pierre '87 and Sheila Moloney '84, the Jazz at Bard series is an ongoing effort to bring internationally recognized jazz performers to the Hudson Valley.

For further information, to purchase tickets, or for reservations, call 845-758-7456, e-mail, or visit Reservations and advance ticket purchase are recommended.

About the Musicians:

"Thurman Barker proved he's become one of the most astonishing, inventive drummers in jazz," writes the Boston Herald. "He's that rare combination: a drummer of both raw muscle and fierce intelligence." Barker began his professional career at the age of 16, playing for blues singer Mighty Joe Young. Classically trained at the American Conservatory of Music, his reputation as a drummer grew quickly. He is a charter member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, a jazz cooperative formed in 1965 in Chicago to teach music to inner-city youths. He has performed worldwide and recorded with Cecil Taylor, Muhal Richard Abrams, Amina Claudine Myers, Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell, Sam Rivers, Billy Bang, Joseph Jarman, and Henry Threadgill. The World Music Institute commissioned two of his works: Dialogue was premiered at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City in 1994, and Expansions was premiered by the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra. He developed the jazz program at Bard College after joining the faculty in 1993. Barker has his own record label, Uptee, on which he recorded Voyage, The Way I Hear It, and Time Factor, which is "a gem that reveals the depth of his talent . . . music that's challenging and compelling," according to Steve Israel, music critic for the Times Herald Record.

Bryan Carrott, a renowned jazz vibraphonist and mallet percussionist, has toured and recorded throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. He has played with David "Fathead" Newman, Ralph Peterson, Henry Threadgill, Muhal Richard Abrams, Butch Morris, Dave Douglas, the Jazz Passengers, and Charlie Hunter, among others. With 50 recordings to date, Carrott has also had guest appearances with Greg Osby, Tom Harrell, and Jay-Z. He's been featured on BET's Jazz Central, on the feature film soundtrack 3 A.M. (with Branford Marsalis), and as a mallet/multipercussionist for Disney's hit Broadway show The Lion King. He is a two-time recipient of New York's Meet the Composer Foundation award and has been named for several consecutive years in Down Beat magazine's International Critics' Poll in the vibe category.

Eli Fountain has performed with Sam Rivers, Henry Threadgill, Anthony Davis, and Muhal Richard Abrams. He is a member of the group M'Boom Re Percussion. Fountain has recorded with Lena Horne, Max Roach, Geri Allen, and Terrance Blanchard. He has also accompanied the Temptations, Nancy Wilson, Toni-Tony-Tone, Peabo Bryson, Freddy Jackson, Whitney Houston, Joe Williams, Bob Hope, and Glen Campbell. His TV credits include The Cotton Club, Live with Regis and Kathy Lee, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, and Sit Down and Listen.

Ray Mantilla entered the international spotlight in 1960 with Herbie Mann and then was invited to record the classic Freedom Now Suite by Max Roach. He toured nationally and in Europe and Japan with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, recording and performing with almost every major figure in jazz, including singers Eartha Kitt and Josephine Baker. In 1977 he became the first North American Latin musician to step foot on Cuban soil since the Cuban Revolution as part of the historic goodwill ensemble led by Dizzy Gillespie. Mantilla's career has included membership in many legendary jazz and Latin jazz ensembles. The short list includes Charles Mingus, Ray Barretto, Gato Barbieri, Sonny Sitt, Bobby Watson, Tito Puente, Cedar Walton, and Freddie Hubbard. In addition to appearing on more than 200 albums and CDs, Mantilla has also recorded six CDs as a band leader, establishing him as one of the most significant jazz and Latin percussionists on the current scene.

Wilson Moorman III, inspired by the musical example of his uncle, pianist Clement Moorman, studied music at the Juilliard School with Saul Goodman. He has appeared with the North Carolina, New Jersey, and Staten Island Symphonies; the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Harlem Festival Orchestra, New York Pro-Arte Chamber Orchestra, Santa Fe Opera Company, Alvin Ailey Ballet Company, and the Dance Theater of Harlem. His Broadway credits include Stop the World with Sammy Davis Jr., Dancin', and Sophisticated Ladies, as well as Porgy and Bess with the Houston Grand Opera Company. Some of his rock and jazz credits include Lloyd Price, Marvin Gaye, Tom Jones, the Butch Morris and Sam Rivers Ensembles, Larry Young Trio, Wilberforce, Glass Shadows, M'Boom Re Percussion, and the Vibration Industrial Park. Moorman is on the faculties of the Borough of Manhattan and LaGuardia Community Colleges of CUNY.

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This event was last updated on 03-01-2004