Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month got off to a soaring start on March 3rd as vocalist Lucy Wijnands (photo above) delivered an wonderful tribute to Sarah Vaughan, and guitarist Sally Shupe, leading a Rising Star opening act quintet (photo below), presented musical tributes to three women composer/performers.

Wijnands, accompanied by her father, stride pianist Bram Wijnands, treated the audience at the New Jersey Jazz Society’s Jersey Jazz LIVE! concert to a variety of songs recorded and performed by Vaughan including Johnny Green’s “Body and Soul” (on the Grammy-nominated Pablo album, How Long Has This Been Going On?); Walter Gross and Jack Lawrence’s “Tenderly”, first recorded by Vaughan in 1947; Sonny Burke and Paul Francis Webster’s “Black Coffee”, and one of Wijnands’ ‘favorites,’, “Baubles, Bangles and Beads” from the 1953 musical, Kiss Me Kate. To me, though, the showstopper was the Gershwins’ “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise”, from the movie, American in Paris, and featured on Vaughan’s 1958 EmArcy album, Sarah Vaughan Sings George Gershwin.

Shupe, a senior at Columbia High School in Maplewood/South Orange, NJ, started off her set with “Blues for Herb”, written for legendary guitarist Herb Ellis by guitarist Emily Remler; “Games” by jazz harpist Dorothy Ashby; and “Just Another Day at the Office” by pianist Monika Herzog. The other members of Shupe’s quintet were: tenor saxophonist Abhik Mojumdar from South Brunswick High School; pianist Thomas Dinh, Robbinsville High School; bassist Jeff Andolaro, Shawnee High School; and drummer Beckett Diehl, a freshman at William Paterson University who is from Basking Ridge. Shupe, Mojumdar, Dinh, and Andolaro were members of the high school All-State Jazz Ensemble that performed last November at the TD James Moody Jazz Festival at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. -SANFORD JOSEPHSON

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.



Photo by Mitchell Seidel


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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.