Saxophonist Hasan Ali and guitarist Nathan Ward are members of the James Moody Jazz Orchestra, part of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s TD Jazz for Teens program. On Sunday, December 11, Ali, left in photo above, and Ward, seniors at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, were the Rising Stars at NJJS’ Jersey Jazz LIVE! concert, opening up ahead of David Ostwald’s Hot Four. The crowd was treated to a variety of jazz and American Songbook favorites including Jerome Kern’s “All the Things You Are”, Erroll Garner’s “Misty”, and Charlie Parker’s “Billie’s Bounce”.
On November 13, Ali, Ward, and SP-F classmate, bassist Audrey Coyne, performed with the Moody Jazz Orchestra at a concert to celebrate the “Jazz and Equality: Beyond the Struggle” exhibition at the Ahavas Sholom Synagogue in Newark. The exhibit featured artwork reflecting the struggle of artists with disabilities to create their art and establish careers.
When the Hot Four took the stage, Ostwald thanked the New Jersey Jazz Society for featuring the younger artists. Then the group blew the roof off the Madison, NJ, Community Arts Center with such favorites as Duke Ellington’s “Creole Love Call”, Harold Arlen’s “I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues”, and, of course, “Swing That Music,” written by Louis Armstrong and Horace Gerlach. (From left, in photo below: Michael Hashim on soprano saxophone, Joe Boga on trumpet, Ostwald on tuba, and James Chirillo on banjo).
PHOTOS BY MITCHELL SEIDELTD