Trumpeter James Gibbs III was discovered by the late jazz vocalist Betty Carter when he was playing at a WBGO Radio gala at New York’s Five Spot jazz club in 1994. Since then, he has often toured with rhythm & blues vocalist Joe Thomas and performed with jazz pianists Nat Adderley, Jr. and Cyrus Chestnut, bassists John Lee and Rufus Reid, and drummer TS Monk, among others. In November 2020, during Covid, Gibbs was a special guest during Adderley’s Virtual Social for the New Jersey Jazz Society.
On Sunday night, January 21, Gibbs and his Brick City Soul Collective will kick off the winter/spring series at the South Orange Performing Arts Center’s Jazz in the Loft. The other three concerts in the series will feature alto saxophonist Erena Terakubo, leading a quartet on February 18, pianist James Austin, Jr., also leading a quartet, on March 14, and saxophonist Willie Williams’ quartet on April 28. The series is curated by Lee.
Terakubo was Jersey Jazz Magazine’s cover story in October 2023, and she also performed at SOPAC’s Giants of Jazz concert in November, honoring pianist Kenny Barron. Austin, Jr., is the pianist in tenor saxophonist Lance Bryant’s trio, which will be appearing at NJJS’ Jersey Jazz LIVE! concert, Sunday afternoon, February 4, at the Madison (NJ) Community Arts Center.
The Jazz in the Loft concerts begin at 7 p.m. For more information or to order tickets, log onto sopacnow.org or call (973) 313-2787.