July 29, 2005 Al Jarreau, whose unique vocal style critics have called "one of the world's most precious treasures," will kick off the 2005-2006 season for the Reichhold Center for the Arts.
The season was previewed under balmy skies Thursday evening at a St. Thomas Business After Hours event at the Reichhold Center. Along with Jarreau, the season is studded with other top artists including, Puerto Rico vocalist Tito Nieves, pianist Joe Sample, a Quelbe show with local scratch bands, and a performance by the Parsons Dance Company of New York City.
Jarreau, winner of five Grammy Awards, began singing at age four, and, basically never stopped. He did, however, embark on a professional career in vocational rehabilitation after getting a Master's degree from the University of Iowa.
He moved to San Francisco to pursue that career, but began playing in small jazz clubs, and soon the rehabilitation career was history as he pursued his true love music. In 1977 he launched his first world tour and received his first Grammy Award for best jazz vocal performance.
He will launch the season with an 8 p.m. October 1 performance.
Tickets are available at the following locations: Parrot Fish, Modern Music(both locations), Krystal & Gifts Galore, Connections – St. John, UVI Bookstore and the Reichhold Center ticketing office at 693-1559.
Travel packages are also available from St. Croix, Puerto Rico, and the British Virgin Islands. This event is sponsored by Theodore Tunick & Company, the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts, American Airlines/American Eagle, & Frenchman's Reef.
The season lineup includes:
— Tito Nieves – Nov. 11 on St. Croix at the St. Croix Island Center for the Performing Arts and Nov. 12 at the Reichhold Center.
Nieves, known as the "Pavarotti of Salsa," is this year's featured Latin artist. Born in Puerto Rico, the young Nieves moved with his musical family to New York. His father and uncle were musicians and composers.
Nieves' gold album, "Yo Quiero Cantar," contained the popular hit, "I'll Always Love You," which was the first salsa song sung in English to hit the top of the charts in Puerto Rico, and even in some U.S. markets.
— Joe Sample -Jan. 14, 2006. For more than four decades, pianist and composer Joe Sample has been an integral and innovative part of jazz history. He started out in hard bop, but went electric in the late '50s, in the fusion era.
With Soul Shadows, the first all-solo piano recording of Sample's illustrious career, he paid homage to the great American songwriters of the 20th century, whose masterful works inspired his own development as one of the most diverse and popular jazz performers of the last half century.
He is a founding member of the influential jazz funk combo The Crusaders (originally the Jazz Crusaders) and a pioneer of contemporary jazz piano.
— Playing Ring: A Musical Journey into Quelbe – Feb. 4, 2006.
Quelbe is now the official music of the Virgin Islands, as legislated this year. This performance brings the territory's greatest Quelbe scratch bands together, along with the traditional dancers. Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights, Lashing Dogs and Jamesie and the All-Stars will play.
— The O 'Jays – Feb. 18, 2006.
By any measurement, the O 'Jays must be considered one of the most important soul music groups of the past 30 years. Originally from Cleveland, (and, in fact, named after local deejay Eddie O 'Jay), the group was together for a decade before getting its first break by teaming with young songwriter/producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.
Critics hail the pure power of the group's music, calling it a "new groove of howling winds." The group is known for the pure power of its performances. Last year they headlined an outdoor concert for 30,000 fans at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, and they were backed by the famous Boston Pops Orchestra.
— Glen Washington – March 25, 2006.
Reggae singer, songwriter and drummer, Washington has added his own voice to the reggae tradition and kept it alive. Washington, who hails from Jamaica, will be accompanied by St. Thomas artist Pressure, born Delyno Brown.
At the age of 10, Pressure began playing the trumpet at Lockhart Elementary School. Now he has a CD entitled "The Pressure is On," which hit the territory on June 27 after debuting at the World Music Festival in California. (See "On Island Profile: Pressure.")
— The Parsons Dance Company – May 20, 2006.
Packed with wit, exuberance and a sense of pure entertainment, the Parsons Dance Company high-energy works have delighted audiences around the globe. The company is also one of the hottest tickets in America.
Dance Magazine, the bible of the profession, said in a recent issue, "Few can compete with choreographer David Parsons when it comes to having fun with dance. 'Too Many Cooks' is the latest product of his whimsical brain. It is a witty, mostly innocent work which amounts to 20 minutes of pure, substantial folly."
Tickets may be purchased two weeks before each show at the Reichhold Box Office, or online at www.reichholdcenter.com., or at the following locations:
— St. Thomas: The UVI Bookstore, Crystal and Gifts Galore, Modern Music (both locations) and Parrot Fish.
— St. John: Connections.
— St. Croix: The UVI Bookstore, Alliance Clothing Store and Urban Threads.
For ticket prices, contact the Reichhold Box Office at 693-1559.
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