John Payne Quartet joined by the “Born Again” 35-member John Payne Music Center Saxophone Choir
May 3, 2011
John Payne Quartet joined by the “Born Again” 35-member John Payne Music Center Saxophone Choir, under the direction of Duncan Martin. Tuesday, May 3rd, sets at 8 pm & 9:30 pm. Tickets: $10. Ryles Jazz Club, 212 Hampshire St., Cambridge. For advance tickets and information: 617-876-9330 or www.ryles.com.
For one night only, the John Payne Music Center (JPMC) Saxophone Choir will rise up and be “Born Again,” participating in this year’s Greater Boston’s Jazz Week ‘11. The Sax Choir, led by arranger, conductor, and sax mentor Duncan Martin, will provide the accompanying soundscape for JPMC’s founder John Payne (on soprano, alto, and tenor sax) and his Quartet, with Adam Feldman on piano, Peter Tillotson on bass, and Rick Klane on drums.
The last time the Sax Choir graced Boston-area clubs was in November 2006. Before then, from September 1980 on, the Sax Choir had been very active, making five TV appearances and performing regularly at various venues around town, including Regattabar, Scullers, the old Oxford Ale House, the old Tam O’ Shanter, and Ryles Jazz Club. During that stretch of time, the Sax Choir rubbed elbows with the likes of Livingston Taylor, Aretha Franklin, and on two occasions with soon-to-be-elected President Bill Clinton, who even sat in with them in 1992, when they performed at a Democratic fundraiser at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.
The Sax Choir is made up of alums and the current student body at the John Payne Music Center (JPMC). Highly acclaimed sax player John Payne founded this music center, based in Brookline MA, because he firmly believed in the importance of providing competent, caring musical instruction to students of all ages with the clear intention of not only increasing musical ability but also maximizing musical enjoyment. JPMC has been going strong since the early ‘80’s, with many students evolving into professional musicians.
For the “Born Again” concert to be held during this year’s Jazz Week, the Sax Choir will be providing support to soloist John Payne and his Quartet, who will be performing works by Phil Woods, Victor Feldman, Mike Mainieri, Stevie Wonder, and Harold Mabern. They will also perform two original tunes: "Gringo Salso" by John Payne and "Silver Lining" by Duncan Martin as well as Martin's lush arrangement of the spiritual "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen." The choir will include the following 35 players:
Alto 1 section:
Asa Ericsdotter, Miriam Hyman, Emma MacAllister, Laurie Mass, Sandra Pilotto, Robert Saper, Eleanor Shavell, Janelle Slobodkin;
Alto 2 section:
Jill Altshuler (mother of section mate Zack Altshuler), Zack Altshuler (son of section mate Jill Altshuler), Rebecca Bradeen, Tim Brenner, Jason Chari, Amandine Crespy, Paul Foisy, Daniel Gorton, Nancy Gutmann, Richard Winter, Thomas Wucherpfennig;
Tenor 1 section:
Ron Brunelle, John Clippinger, Joe Moynihan, Martha Osler, Marianne Rooney;
Tenor 2 section:
Chip Benson, Jeffrey Berstein, Harvey Cox, Heather Hermann, John Mruk, Ed Musman, Bob Tumposky, Lynn Tibbetts;
John Fierke, Dennis Hart, Noam Levine.
The impetus to reconvene the Sax Choir after a four and a half year hiatus is Jazz Week – and for all intents and purposes, the “Born Again” concert is a one shot deal. But then again, one should never say never again, since the Sax Choir is indeed a force to reckon with! The power surge from this concert may then make it impossible to put the genie back in the vintage bottle!
Further background information:
John Payne (founder of the John Payne Music Center (JPMC)) has over two decades of teaching experience (25,000+ lessons under his belt) and especially enjoys teaching complete beginners and improvisation. Payne has played with Bonnie Raitt (on her “Give It Up” album, and on tour), Van Morrison (played on “Astral Weeks,” voted by Rolling Stone Magazine in 1980's as one of the top ten rock albums of the last twenty years), and appearances with Pheobe Snow, David Bromberg, Michael Franks, Leon Redbone, Noel Stookey, and Maria Muldaur. He has appeared many times on national television including an appearance with Bonnie Raitt on Saturday Night Live, Phoebe Snow on the Tonight Show, Don Kirschner's Rock Concert, and Midnight Special. Payne has released three albums under his own name on major labels, and has played nationally and locally for over thirty years. He was voted best Boston-area jazz band by Boston Magazine and nominated best clarinetist in the Playboy jazz poll. His instruments are saxophone, clarinet, and flute. Payne is a cum laude graduate of Harvard University, with a BA in philosophy.
Duncan Martin (director of the JPMC Saxophone Choir) has been playing jazz in the New England area for forty years, starting at age thirteen in a five-horn dance band at the New Bedford Yacht Club. Throughout his high school and college years, Martin founded and co-lead many concert bands performing in a variety of styles. While studying at Berklee College of Music, he formed his Duncan Martin Quintet, which continues to perform commercial engagements to this day, as well as his funk band Sambar. Martin has been a life-long music educator, affiliated with schools such as the Westborough (MA) Elementary and Junior High Schools and the Harvey Finstein School of Music. He has also been teaching saxophone, flute, clarinet, and recorder, as well as theory classes and jazz ensembles, at the John Payne Music Center since its inception in the early ‘80’s. Martin has served as the conductor and arranger for the JPMC Saxophone Choir during all this time. For the last 10 years he has also been playing with the Shimon Ben-Shir Group who appear regularly at Ryles, Acton Jazz Café, and Jazz in the Square. The group has released 3 albums, "Shades”, "Ways”, and this month, "Encounters". Martin performs on saxophone, clarinet, and flute. He has a BA in Music from BU, and is a magna cum laude graduate of Berklee’s Music Education program.
The John Payne Music Center is located at 9A Station St., Brookline, MA 02445. For more information on JPMC, visit www.jpmc.us or call 617-277-3438. JPMC invites anyone interested to come and sit in on an ensemble session, with the first one free for non-beginners.
For more information on Greater Boston’s Jazz Week ’11, log on to www.jazzboston.org/about/jazzweek2011.asp.