Lance Bryant Trio at February Jersey Jazz LIVE!

Tenor saxophonist, arranger, and educator Lance Bryant (photo above) moved to New York City in the mid-1980s after studying at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 1990, Bryant began a decade-long relationship with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, eventually becoming the band’s Musical Director and Principal Arranger.

During his career, Bryant has performed with vocalists Phyllis Hyman and Jon Hendricks and pianist James Williams, among many others. He has been an onstage musician for such Broadway shows as Swing!, After Midnight, and Shuffle Along; and one Monday night a month, he leads his own big band at Newark’s Clements Place.

On Sunday afternoon, February 4, Bryant, now a resident of Cedar Grove, NJ, will bring a trio to the New Jersey Jazz Society’s Jersey Jazz LIVE! concert at the Madison (NJ) Community Arts Center. He will be joined by bassist Tom DiCarlo and pianist James Austin, Jr.

In celebration of Black History Month, the trio, according to Bryant, will be playing “some classic pieces that defined some of jazz styles throughout decades of the music. We’ll also perform pieces showing how some of the iconic artists musically dealt with social justice.” Selections could include Lil Hardin Armstrong’s “Struttin With Some Barbeque”, John Coltrane’s “Alabama”, and Abel Meeropol’s “Strange Fruit”, recorded by Billie Holiday in 1939.

In addition to his performing and arranging activities, Bryant serves on the faculty of three New Jersey jazz education programs — Jazz House Kids, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s Jazz for Teens, and the New Jersey Youth Symphony’s jazz curricula. He will be participating in two additional Black History concerts at the Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway, NJ, later this month. On February 22, he will be playing with the Bob DeVos Quartet and on February 25, he will be a special guest at the NJ Youth Symphony’s Black History Month Celebration.

DiCarlo has performed and/or recorded with many world-renowned musicians including trumpeter Claudio Roditi, tenor saxophonist/flutist Don Braden, and tenor saxophonist Houston Person, to name a few. He was selected by the U.S. State Department and Jazz at Lincoln Center to conduct educational workshops, masterclasses, and performances in Southeast Asia and had the honor of touring with the Mark Sherman/Tim Horner quartet throughout South Korea, China, Russia, and the Philippines. DiCarlo is an adjunct professor of theory lab, director of jazz combo, and double bass at Lafayette College in Easton, PA

Austin, Jr., originally from Chicago and now a resident of Cliffside Park, NJ, studied under jazz legend Barry Harris. He currently directs NJPAC’ s Jazz Jam series at Clements Place. When AllAboutJazz‘s Geannine Reid reviewed his JCA Records album, Songs in the Key of Wonder, she described him as “an accomplished pianist and bandleader who honed his craft under the tutelage of a number of legendary musicians.”

The Lance Bryant Trio will be preceded by a Rising Stars opening act led by trumpeter Jacob Tolentino, who was the Rising Star in the November 2023 issue of Jersey Jazz. Tolentino (photo below), a resident of Roselle Park, NJ, was a member of the 2023 All-State Jazz Ensemble that performed at the TD James Moody Jazz Festival. In the spring of 2022, he was part of the Newark Academy band that competed as a finalist in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington competition. And, in February 2023, Tolentino was named an Outstanding Soloist at the Charles Mingus High School Competition & Festival, held at The New School of Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York. Last summer, he was selected as one of 10 trumpet players in a nationwide audition process to be invited to Jazz at Lincoln Center’s prestigious Summer Jazz Academy.

The Madison Community Arts Center is located at 10 Kings Road in Madison, NJ. The Jersey Jazz LIVE! concerts begin at 3 p.m. Admission will be $10 for NJJS members and $15 for non-members. Student admission is $5 with valid ID. There will be light refreshments for purchase. To order tickets in advance, log onto https://madisonarts.ticketleap.com/jersey-jazz-live-02-04-24.

Funding for Jersey Jazz Live! has been made possible, in part, by funds from Morris Arts through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of The National Endowment for the Arts. This program is also proudly supported by a grant from The Summit Foundation.

LANCE BRYANT PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER DRUKKER

 

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The New Jersey Jazz Society (NJJS) is a non-profit organization of business and professional people, musicians, teachers, students and listeners working together for the purpose of advancing jazz music.