Christopher McBride & The Whole Proof Presents: Singer Meets Saxophonist
Thursday, December 15$25 – $35
Set 1 seating times: 630 / 645 / 7
Set 2 seating times: 830 / 845 / 9
Black Cat JAZZ@theEDGE!! Presents…
Christopher McBride & The Whole Proof Presents: Singer Meets Saxophonist
Christopher McBride – Saxophone
Charles Turner – Vocals
Jonathan Edward Thomas – Piano
Barry Stephenson – Bass
Cedric Easton – Drums
‘Singer Meets Saxophonist’ is the brainchild of GRAMMY-Nominated saxophonist Christopher McBride, in which some of the top vocalists and musicians in New York collaborate for fantastic evenings of music. When Christopher arrived in New York in 2013, he wanted to work with more vocalists, create a rapport as well as learn more singer repertoire. In 2014, the monthly series was started at Therapy Wine Bar in Brooklyn. In the 18 months that followed, Christopher got the chance to work with vocalists such as PHER, Emily Braden, Milton Suggs, Charles Turner, Melanie Charles, Shenel Johns, Wayne Tucker, J Hoard, Antoinette Montague, and other well-known vocalists and instrumentalists who made a point to stop by. These musicians helped craft a vibe similar to a jam session, much to the delight of the audience.
When the Series moved to Harlem at Minton’s Playhouse in 2017, the weekly Sunday night series featured a vocalist hosted by CNOTE (Christopher McBride, Jonathan Edward Thomas, and Curtis Nowosad), an organ trio that has fantastic chemistry and played twice a week in the East Village for over a year.
From March of 2017 to August of 2019, Sunday nights at Minton‘s Playhouse turned into the place to hear great live music weekly. The New York Times described the house band (Organ Group CNOTENYC) as “part of a network of fabulous young musicians in New York”. The rapport and sincerity of all the musicians create inspiring works appreciated by musicians and patrons alike.
As the series shifts to the national stage, McBride is excited to bring ‘Singer Meets Saxophonist’ to Black Cat and the city of San Francisco. The format stays the same: for this weekend professional musicians and vocalists are encouraged to stop by and sit in on the second set each night. Please join us for some exciting nights of music!
Christopher McBride is a saxophonist based in Harlem whose work includes education, arranging and composition in addition to performance. He has been slowly but steadily turning heads with his ubiquitous work as an invaluable sideman since the mid-aughts. Now Christopher is gaining respect amongst fans, critics, and his peers as one of the most versatile saxophonists in the world. His 2012 debut album Quatuor de Force certainly establishes his ability to front a group and write his own soulful, melodically indelible tunes. Applauded for his ability to play in all musical situations, McBride has the ability to unleash a fiery attack and serrated tone, but on his recent album he explores a more measured, mellow sound heavily influenced by contemporary R&B—with a strong shot of Cannonball Adderley’s post-bop sensuality—but his improvising is very rigorous and cogent. As a composer, McBride was recently selected as the 2022 Make Jazz Fellowship artist at The 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica.
Born in Chicago, and starting his professional career there in 2007, Christopher made the move to NYC in 2013. His group The Whole Proof has played venues all over New York, and Christopher ran his ‘Singer Meets Saxophonist’ series at the famed Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem from 2017-2019. The musicians he has performed for spans many genres with artists such as Billy Preston, Jimmy Heath, Bobby Broom, Percy Gray, Roy Hargrove, Pete Rock, Big Daddy Kane, Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco, Guy Sebastian, Solange, Ne-Yo, Jennifer Hudson, Alice Smith, Brandon Flowers, Lea DeLaria, 88 Keys, Milton Mustafa, Winard Harper, and the Marquis Hill Blacktet.
Christopher also serves as the Director of Education for the Second Line Arts Collective, a non-for-profit organization based out of New Orleans. His primary duties include writing curriculum for the Little Stompers division and teacher development. He has also worked as a journalist and consultant with Forbes Ignite, the innovation coalition of Forbes. He recently received a GRAMMY nomination for his work on Steven Feifke and Bijon Watson’s 2022 album “Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra.”
Charles Turner is a multi-faceted, Brooklyn-based composer and vocalist whose work transcends borders and styles from Jazz, R&B to Soul. Turner has held residencies, hosted, and performed at venues such as Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland, Smoke Jazz club and the historic Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem. International performances include, Pizza Express, in London, Sunside Sunset in Paris, Sala Claomores in Madrid, and more venues abroad from Seoul, South Korea to Wellington New Zealand.
Turner’s Sophomore Album “ Single & In Love” , produced by Grammy award winning drummer Ulysses Owens Jr. has received critical acclaim and continues to play all across the world. Berklee College of Music Graduate, he has extended his educational value by teaching at The American School of Modern Music in Paris, France in 2017 & 18. Then then participated in “ Jazz for Young People” at JALC and conducted Masterclasses in various high schools and Universities such as N.Y.U.
Charles’ passion to bring swing and jazz to listeners of all generations and backgrounds proceeds through his new band and project Charles Turner & Uptown Swing. Bringing the Swing and Spirit of Harlem to music lovers and dancers around the world. Vibrant Swing , Virtuosic Bebop & Vital Blues, The band extends music from the swing era to present under the umbrella of swing .
Vocalist, Composer, & Educator, moving forward to bring this incredible music to the people ; Turner holds the torch of the past and brings it along with him to present day for all to experience , embrace, and enjoy.
Deemed “stunningly good” by the New York Times and a graduate of the famed Juilliard School Thomas has played in festivals around the world, and has performed with Charles Toliver, Walter Blanding, Marquis Hill, Bruce Williams, Dominick Farinacci, Richie Goods, Jazzmeia Horn, and the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, among many others.
Thomas graduated from The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in 2015 and The Juilliard School in 2019. He has been a student to pianists Aaron Goldberg, Dan Nimmer, Aaron Parks, and Taylor Eigsti. In 2012 he was awarded The ASCAP foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he benefited from the city’s wide range of jazz veterans and swing-rooted tradition. Sonically, his sound harkens to the creative influences he’s adopted. Influences such as Kenny Kirkland, Wynton Kelly, and Mulgrew Miller are apparent muses to his ardent sound at the piano.
New York City-based acoustic/electric bassist and composer BARRY STEPHENSON has been acclaimed as “one of the most sought-after bassists on the scene today.” Released in 2020, Barry’s The Iconoclast was nominated for the NAACP Image Award® for Outstanding Jazz Album (Instrumental), and was notably the only independently-produced album in a category that included work by Jon Batiste, George Burton, Christian Sands, and Immanuel Wilkins. The Iconoclast was also named by Offbeat magazine as one of the Top 50 Albums of 2020.
Barry has performed and toured extensively with TV personality, musician, and bandleader Jon Batiste and Stay Human, including regular appearances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and performances at a variety of festivals, including the Monterey, Montreaux, Mon- treal, Newport, North Sea, Umbria, and Playboy Jazz festivals; he has also performed at Bonna- roo and Lollapalooza. Barry has also been featured on recent episodes of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Godfather of Harlem.
Barry has performed with many international- ly-recognized jazz, blues, and soul artists, including Nicholas Payton, David Sanborn, Seal, the late Freddie Cole, Diane Schuur, Marc Cary-Jamison Ross, Sullivan Fortner, Jazzmeia Horn, Herlin Riley, the late Henry Butler, Mark Whitfield, Tim Warfield, Russell Gunn, Christian Sands, Cyrille Aimee, Etienne Charles, Marcus Printup, Davell Crawford, Rodney Green, and Theo Croker.
Cedric Easton is a New York based drummer from Columbus, Ohio. A self-taught musician, Cedric’s foundation for music began in the black Pentecostal church.
Cedric’s dedication, and desire to explore various forms of music afforded him many opportunities to play with various national and international artist including Deitrick Haddon, Dorinda Clark Cole, JD Allen, Richard Giuliano, and Christian Howes. As a live performer, he received honorable mention in Jazz Times (2012), was commissioned by The Peggy R. McConnell Arts Center to compose a theme song (2014), and by the Maroon Arts Group to co-create and direct the multi-disciplinary performance, “Black Staccato” (2015 – 2016). Additionally, he has self-released two music videos entitled, “Inspire Me” (2016) and “Tears” (2018) Most recently Cedric featured in a docufilm entitled, “Legacy: Jon Irabagon A Tenor Odyssey” (2021)
Cedric’s career spans beyond his experience in live performance. He worked as the Worship Arts Director at New Covenant Believers Church (2006 – 2016), a teaching artist with the Jazz Arts Group (2010 – 2016), and was recruited to work for the prestigious Jazz at Lincoln Center based in New York City, New York, where he currently serves as the Associate Director of Outreach, while maintaining an active performance schedule (2016 – present)