BCPAC caps season with encore of ‘The Philly Legends of Jazz Tenor Battle’
As a very special way to celebrate the finale of the Bucks County Performing Arts Center’s 35th performance season, BCPAC will present an encore presentation April 1 of last year’s acclaimed Philly Legends of Jazz Tenor Battle. Get tickets early as this year’s house should be at least as packed as it was last year. Show time is at 7:30 p.m.
Philadelphia jazz legends, Bootsie Barnes, Larry McKenna and young legend, Tim Warfield, will “duke it out” on their saxes as three other top-notch musicians – Matthew Parrish, sana Gierig, and Byron Landham – complete the band. For this most likely final encore, bassist Matthew Parrish has managed once again to gather this group as he has known the legends and the band for most of his 20-plus year career.
The tenor battle concept harkens back to the golden era of big bands where they’d feature their tenor sax soloists, making the audience wild with their repartee. With so few true big bands touring these days, the chance to experience a real tenor battle by tenor sax masters so close to home is a rare offering.
As a kid in Philly, Bootsie Barnes had Bill Cosby and jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan as his classmates. He started playing music at the age of six, but found his niche at 19 when his grandmother gave him a saxophone. Bootsie has worldwide acclaim and experience, but keeps his roots in the Philadelphia area. He has an extensive history with the famed Philadelphia and Atlantic City night club circuits of the sixties and seventies and he was an early leader in the organization that is now the Philadelphia Clef Club. Bootsie has a variety of jazz stories to tell, including his appearance as himself on The Bill Cosby Show, tours with Cosby, tours with big bands, the Al Grey ‘Count Basie All-stars’ among them, and playing at Manhattan’s Birdland and in the Newport Jazz Festival.
Another native Philadelphian, Larry McKenna has had quite the career. His impressive performance resume includes touring with band leader Woody Herman, and appearances with Clark Terry, John Faddis, Buddy aeFranco, Rosemary Cloo- ney, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Mel Torme, and Peter Nero & the Philly Pops. Larry brings his musical experience, which started at the age of 14, to a variety of devoted students, many of whom are now well-known professional musicians. In addition to a long recording history, Larry is also a prolific musical arranger. His arrangements have been played on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” and in the movie “Birdy.”
Tim Warfield, Jr., a native of vork, began studying the alto saxophone at age nine. After high school, Warfield attended Howard University in Washington, a.C. for two years before leaving to lead and co-lead groups in the Central Pennsylvania and Baltimore/Washington areas.
In 1990, Tim Warfield was chosen to be a member of trumpeter and CBS/Sony recording artist Marlon Jordan’s Quintet. In 1991 he was selected to record Tough voung Tenors on the Island/Antilles label, listed as one of the top ten recordings of the year by the New vork Times. Warfield has made several television appearances including the Today Show, Bill Cosby’s vou Bet vour Life (where he was a member of the house band until 1992), and Ted Turner’s 1998 Trumpet Awards. Additionally, he has made numerous stage appearances with such names as aonald Byrd, Michelle Rosewoman, Marcus Miller, Marlon Jordan, James Williams, Christian McBride, The Harper Brothers, aizzy Gillespie, Isaac Hayes, Shirley Scott, Jimmy Smith, Nicholas Payton, Charles Fambrough, Eric Reed, Carl Allen, Terell Stafford, Stefon Harris, Orrin Evans, The Newport Millennium All Stars, “Papa” John aefrancesco, Joey aefrancesco, Claudio Raggazzi, aanilo Perez, and others. In 1994, he joined bassist and serve recording artist Christian McBride’s group, where he remained a member until 1999.
In 2006, Warfield joined trumpeter and Maxjazz recording artist Terell Stafford’s Quintet. Tim is currently serving as a board member for the Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz as well as an artist-in-residence at Messiah College in Grantham , Pa.
As the musical ‘anchor’ of this special band and its organizer, Matthew Parrish, a Bucks County resident, continues to play jazz bass throughout the world. He has performed and recorded with many greats such as Al Grey, Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison, Clark Terry, Marian McPartland, Etta Jones, Houston Person, Paquito a’Rivera, Bobby aurham, Mickey Roker, Shirley Scott, Winton Marsalis, Regina Carter, Stefon Harris, Jackie Terrason, Orrin Evans, and Kenny Barron. Matthew also enjoys composing and arranging music.
Pianist and composer sana Gierig is a man of worldly jazz experience and has shared the stage with jazz stars including Winton Marsalis & the Lincoln Jazz Center Orchestra, Regina Carter, Lena Horne, Paquito a’Rivera, Ute Lemper, Carmen Lundy, Miroslav sitous, and Will aowning. sana also has credentials as the executive producer, artistic musical director, composer, and pianist on Regina Carter’s #1 album, ‘Paganini: After a aream’ (serve/Universal), a historic moment where a non-classical musician was allowed to perform on Paganini’s priceless violin.
Byron Landham, drummer, born in Philly, excels with a fine Philadelphia reputation as exemplified by his work with organist/trumpeter Joey aeFrancesco, and the late organist/pianist Shirley Scott. Byron’s musical passion is with hard bop and soul-jazz. Byron’s Philly drummer influences include the Bobby aurham, Mickey Roker, and Butch Bal- lard, and Byron got first-hand experience knowing all of them. He has also left the Philly circles to play with Betty Carter, Lee Ritenour, Randy Johnston, Russell Malone, and Houston Person.
The battle takes place at the vardley Community Centre, 64 South Main Street, vardley. The centre offers an acoustically superb, historic venue within walking distance of vardley’s shops and eateries. Tickets are available at the door, but advance ticket sales are encouraged. vou are also welcome to stay after the concert for BCPAC’s special ‘Happy 35th Birthday BCPAC’ reception. Finally, try your luck as the BCPAC raffles off several highly collectible, stuffed teddy bears. .
Performance tickets are $18, $15 (seniors) and $10 (students). Tickets are available by contacting the BCPAC office at 215-493-3010, online through PayPal at their website (www.bcpac.org) or at the vardley Community Centre prior to the concert.