Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

Press Release: Crosstown Arts Announces Jazz Concert Series for 2020

Crosstown Arts recently announced that a new concert series would be coming to Memphis, TN: Crosstown Arts Presents Modern Masters Jazz Series.

The jazz series was guest curated by renowned two-decade New Orleans jazz guitarist Ted Ludwig, who has received an ASCAP award, the Louis Armstrong award, and the Overture to the Cultural Season award and is a member of The Arkansas Jazz Hall of Fame. Crosstown Arts will welcome jazz artists from New Orleans, NYC, LA, and beyond. Highlights include Roseanna Vitro, who has sung with Christian McBride, Elvin Jones, and Lionel Hampton; Ed Cherry, of Dizzy Gillespie’s band; GRAMMY-winner Victor Atkins; and Dee Dee Bridgewater saxophonist Ed Peterson.

All concerts will take place in the Green Room at Crosstown Arts. Tickets are on sale now on Eventbrite.

Crosstown Arts Presents Modern Masters Jazz Series Schedule

January 14, 2020 – Ed Peterson

Edward Petersen is the Associate Chair of the Department of Music and Coordinator of Jazz Studies at the University of New Orleans. He is a featured saxophone soloist and arranger with Dee Dee Bridgewater and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO). He has performed at major festivals and concert halls in the United States (Rose Hall-Lincoln Center, Newport Jazz Festival, and many other venues), France (Jazz a’Vienne, L’Olympia), Switzerland (Festival Ete, Jazz Ascona), Finland (Pori Jazz Festival), Norway (Molde Jazz Festival), Hungary (Jazz Veszprem Festival), Canada (Saskatoon Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival), Netherlands (North Sea Jazz Festival), Australia (Sydney Recital Hall, Melbourne Jazz Festival), South Africa (Capetown Jazz Festival), and New Zealand (Wellington Jazz Festival). 

February 11, 2020 – Tim Lerch

Currently one of the Pacific Northwests busiest and most well-respected guitarists, Tim is a member of the legendary Northwest Gypsy Jazz Group Pearl Django. In between gigs with PD Tim tries to play as many Solo Guitar performance as he can fit into the schedule.  Also a sought after session guitarist, Tim records frequently in Seattle and Vancouver.

March 10, 2020 – Joel Frahm

For nearly 30 years, Joel Frahm has lived in New York City, working in jazz clubs, collaborating with other musicians, and honing his craft. His bold, inventive tenor sound has won fans in the U.S. and across the world.

April 14, 2020 – Pat Kelly

Recognized for his signature touch, harmonic dexterity, bluesy melodies and sense of rhythm, guitarist Pat Kelley has enjoyed a steady and successful career in Los Angeles as a studio and touring musician, recording artist, composer, producer, arranger, vocalist, recording engineer, and educator.


May 12, 2020 – Peter Bernstein

New York jazz guitarist Peter Bernstein has been a part of the jazz scene in New York and abroad since 1989. During that time he has participated in over 200 recordings and numerous festival, concert and club performances with musicians from all generations.  “Peter has paid attention to the past as well as the future. He is the most impressive guitarist I’ve heard. He plays the best of them all for swing, logic, feel and taste.” —Jim Hall


June 9, 2020 – Roseanna Vitro

In 1978 Vitro moved to New York City with guitarist Scott Hardy and began to study with Gabor Carelli, a professor from the Manhattan School of Music, and began to perform with Kenny Werner and Fred Hersch. She sang with Lionel Hampton and toured with him. She appeared at The Blue Note, Iridium, Birdland, and Dizzy’s Jazz Club at Lincoln Center. She appeared with Steve Allen at The Town Hall at The Apollo Theater and recorded an album of Allen’s songs. In 2005 she performed and recorded with the Kenny Werner Trio at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. She has worked with Kenny Barron, Christian McBride, Elvin Jones, Gary Bartz, Kevin Mahogany, and David “Fathead” Newman, all of whom have appeared on her recordings.[2] She was a guest on Marian McPartland’s radio program Piano Jazz.[1] Her album The Music of Randy Newman[5] received 4 1/2 stars in Down Beat magazine and a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album in 2012.

July 14, 2020 – Ed Cherry

Born in New Haven, Connecticut, Ed moved to New York in 1978 to play guitar with Dizzy Gillespie from 1978 to 1992 performing in Gillespie’s quartet, big band and with The United Nation Orchestra which recorded the Grammy Award-winning Live at Royal Festival Hall (Enja). Gillespie died in 1993, and Cherry released his first recording as a leader, ‘First Take’ (Groovin’ High). That same year, Ed recorded with Paquito D’Riveras’ small group which recorded “Havana Cafe” (Chesky Records). Ed also worked with composer/saxophonist Henry Threadgill for two years and recorded three CDs with Henry’s ‘Very Very Circus’ group.


August 11, 2020 – Geoff Clapp

While Geoff was a high school student at the North Carolina School of the Arts (studying classical percussion and playing in the school’s jazz band), he had the opportunity to meet and hear New Orleanians, including trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, pianist Ellis Marsalis and drummer Herlin Riley (All-Star 1991). “I never knew drums could be played like that,” exclaims Clapp of Riley’s style and talents. “That really sparked my true interest in jazz.”

These events ultimately resulted in Clapp attending the University of New Orleans in the fall of 1989. He was among the first talented group of musicians, which included drummer Brian Blade (All-Star 1993), trumpeter Jeremy Davenport (All-Star 2000) and bassist Chris Thomas (All-Star 1999) in the new jazz studies program headed by Ellis Marsalis. “We were just a bunch of hoodlums trying to play jazz,” says Clapp with a chuckle.


September 15, 2020 – James Singleton

James Singleton is an acoustic bassist, composer, and producer. He is a member of the New Orleans-based jazz group Astral Project with Johnny Vidacovich, Tony Dagradi, and Steve Masakowski. He has been described as one of the best and most sought-after bassists in New Orleans.  

October 13, 2020 – Howard Alden

“He may be the best of his generation,” writes Owen Cordle in JazzTimes. George Kanzler of the Newark Star-Ledger proclaims that he is “the most impressive and creative member of a new generation of jazz guitarists.” And Chip Deffaa of the New York Post observed that he is “…one of the very finest young guitarists working today.”  

November 10, 2020 – Victor Atkins

Victor began his professional career on Delfeayo Marsalis’ “Pontius Pilate’s Decision” record. After recording, he moved on to be a professional pianist alongside many notable musicians such as Elvin Jones, Mark Whitfield, Nnenna Freelon, Joshua Redman, Wynton Marsalis, and Leroy Jones. Subsequently, he returned to school to finish his Masters at the Manhattan School of Music. He was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in 1998. Atkins is well-known for his work with Grammy-winning, New Orleans-based Los Hombres Calientes as well as his re-working of Duke Ellington’s “Such Sweet Thunder,” a tribute to William Shakespeare.

Check out this Spotify Playlist of music by artists who are a part of the series. Keep up with all music events at The Green Room at Crosstown Arts by following them on Facebook.

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