Uptown Live: Jazz Music Blooms This Spring

Hailey BrinnelHailey Brinnel (Submitted Image)

WEST CHESTER, PA —  Jazz music will be blooming this spring on both stages at Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center. The Chester County performing arts venue is set to welcome multiple artists to its two intimate settings, hosted by Sara Michaels and the Jazz Cocktail Hour Series.

Vocalist Sharon Sable will appear with They Say it’s Spring, The Music of Blossom Dearie, on Friday, March 24 at 7:30 PM in the 85-seat Univest Cabaret. Then, the son of the legendary Latin artist, Tito Puente, Sr., Tito Puente Jr. will celebrate the “King of Latin Music” with a performance on Thursday, March 30 at 7:30 PM on the larger A. Roy Smith Mainstage. In April, Uptown presents the electric, Philadelphia-based vocalist, pianist and composer V. Shayne Frederick and the Tim Brey Quartet: The King Suite & News on Sunday, April 2, at 4:00 PM in the Cabaret. Finally, Uptown welcomes renowned jazz singer Paula Johns, who presents: “What the World Needs Now” Tribute to Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick and Hal David featuring The Dave Hartl Septet on the Mainstage on Thursday, May 4 at 7:30 PM.

Ticket prices vary for each performance. Every show is at Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center at 226 N. High Street. For more about this show, other concerts and upcoming events, visit uptownwestchester.org or call (610) 356-2787.

Spring Jazz at Uptown
Friday, March 24 at 7:30 PM
Sharon Sable Sings: They Say It’s Spring Music of Blossom Dearie
Tickets: $35 in advance. $40 at the door.
Performed in the Univest Cabaret at Uptown

With a career spanning six decades, Blossom Dearie’s recordings are still delighting a loyal following of music lovers and fellow musicians. Bill Evans, Annie Ross, John Lennon and Miles Davis were just some of her fans. The combination of her unpretentious vocal delivery and remarkably tasteful piano accompaniment made her music ethereal, understated, impressive and bold, all at the same time. Blossom Dearie performed in a variety of places from the small Jazz clubs and cabarets of Paris, London and NYC, to concert audiences at Carnegie Hall. She recorded many songs of the Great American Songbook (including the lesser-known gems), was one of the voices of the Grammy-nominated “Schoolhouse Rock” album, and went on to write and record original material with many artists such as Johnny Mercer, Michel Legrand and Sting. Vocalist Sharon Sable and pianist Joe Holt will honor the unique voice, extraordinary piano accompaniment and remarkable repertoire and career of this beloved jazz icon, Blossom Dearie.

Sharon Sable is one of the region’s most beloved interpreters of song. The award-winning vocalist’s musical journey has taken her from recording with international pop stars such as Pink, to performing regularly with the region’s finest jazz musicians, and even recently sharing the stage with the legendary Stevie Wonder at an impromptu performance in Philadelphia, PA. Though Dearie’s singing was one of a kind, Sharon’s delivery is reminiscent of Blossom’s sincere, witty and exquisite vocal prowess.  Sable was named Best Female Artist 2019 at the Delaware Valley Hometown Hero Awards.

Joe Holt is a luminary pianist known for his imaginative, whimsical improvisations, as well as being a sensitive accompanist and collaborator. Joe is best described not with a stylistic label but by his engaging improvisational performances; in and for the moment, creating a space for all in the audience to join him. Jazz fans will appreciate Joe, but so will those for whom “jazz” may not be so appealing.   Also joining will be Mary Lou Newnam (sax and flute) and Tom Baldwin (acoustic bass)

Thursday, March 30, 7:30 PM
Tito Puente, Jr
Tickets: $20
Performed on the Roy A. Smith Mainstage at Uptown

This will be his first-ever appearance at the intimate 327-seat venue when he presents a one-of-a-kind, high-voltage Afro-Cuban concert with his Latin Jazz Ensemble Band.  Billboard Music Award-winner Tito Puente, Jr. is determined to keep the artistry of his father alive while bringing his own distinct style of tropical and Latin jazz to audiences around the world. He  is on a passionate mission, determined to nurture the musical legacy left by his father. He refuses to let him become a distant memory. “He was just too vibrant, too exciting. There was magic in the music my father made,” said Puente, Jr. “It made people happy all over the world.”

Puente, Jr. has appeared in a tribute to his father on NBC’s two-hour special “The Apollo at 70: A Hot Night in Harlem.” Symphony appearances include Dallas, San Antonio, Colorado, South Bend, and performances with the Palm Desert Symphony and the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marvin Hamlisch. “People who don’t know anything about Latin music know my father and people always, always smile when they say my father’s name,” he confides. “That is a very special gift I have been given.”

Sunday. April 2, 4:00 PM
V. Shayne Frederick and the Tim Brey Quartet: The King Suite & News
Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door
Performed in the Univest Cabaret

V. Shayne Frederick, hailed by the Philadelphia Inquirer as a  “one of the region’s greatest jazz singers,”  brings Tim Brey, who WRTI gushes “has developed a reputation as one of the most in-demand pianists on the Philly scene,” to Uptown for the first time. Together, this mega ensemble will perform from their hit new albums, Frederick’s The King Suite, and Brey’s News, respectively. Tim Brey’s quartet includes a cadre of gifted musicians who tower over the jazz scene: bassist Madison Rast, drummer Anwar Marshall, and the storied John Swana.

V. Shayne Frederick is a vocalist, pianist, and composer, with performances spanning decades. He’s electrified TEDx, NPR, and countless stages. The Philadelphia Inquirer notes his “silken baritone and elegant charm,” Metro Philadelphia salutes him as an “elastic vocalist,” while WXPN notes “his stunning baritone effortlessly soars,” and All About Jazz suggests he’s “one to watch […] a shining light.” DownBeat simply declared him “soulful.” Shayne’s fifth recording, The King Suite, has gained international media attention. His vocals have also been featured on Ropeadope Records (Paul Giess’ Hymns Volume 1) and Outside In Music (Nicholas Krolak’s Voice = Power). He is a keyboardist, composer and vocalist for Yolanda Wisher and the Afroeaters, a Board Governor of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Recording Academy, and on faculty at The University of the Arts.

Tim Brey is a Philadelphia-based jazz pianist and composer. In his diverse career as a bandleader, sideman, and solo pianist, Brey has performed with Terell Stafford, Renée Fleming, Houston Person, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Veronica Swift, Peter Bernstein, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Warren Wolf, Samara Joy, Steve Wilson, Tim Warfield, Rodney Whitaker, and many more. His third studio album as a leader, News, debuting in October 2022, follows Brey’s expanding compositional vision for his sextet. Brey teaches jazz piano, theory, and improvisation at the Boyer College of Music at Temple University, alongside a small private studio of dedicated musicians and pianists.

Thursday, May 4, 7:30 PM
Paula Johns Presents: “What the World Needs Now” Tribute to Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick and Hal David featuring The Dave Hartl Septet
Tickets: $35 in advance, $40 at the door
Performed on the Roy A. Smith Mainstage at Uptown

With the passing of the legendary and prolific songwriter, Burt Bacharach, Paula Johns and her Musical Director, Dave Hartl, decided it was time to once again pay homage to this iconic artist!

“Back to Bacharach” – A Tribute to The Music of Burt Bacharach and his Greatest Muse, Miss Dionne Warwick will be a stunning evening of hearing classic hits like, “Alfie,” “Walk on By,” “Deja Vu,” “The Look of Love,” and so many other favorites. The evening reminds us of the relationships between Burt Bacharach and Dionne Warwick, as well as Bacharach’s collaborations with Dusty Springfield, Barbra Streisand, Marlene Dietrich, Elvis Costello, and more… all in partnership with popular lyricist Hal David.

Join us for this one-night-only celebration and remembrance of Burt Bacharach and his favorite muse, Dionne Warwick. Paula Johns is an accomplished jazz/cabaret singer who is most renowned for her magical interpretation and re-creation of the “Girl Singer” from the legendary jazz and big band eras. David Hartl, Musical Director and Pianist is known as a master of many styles and instruments. His career has included performances on piano and synthesizer with hundreds of popular artists including Linda Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, The Three Degrees, The Supremes, and many more; over two decades on the faculty of the University of the Arts; over 60 musical theater productions; jazz performances with artists including Jimmy Bruno, Phil Woods, and many others.

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