The Queens Jazz Orchestra at Flushing Town Hall will pay tribute to radio host Phil Schaap and jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker – QNS.com
Flushing Town Hall The Queens Jazz Orchestra will return to the stage with a live performance of “As the crow fliespaying tribute to America’s beloved late broadcaster Phil Schaap and jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker Jr. at 8 p.m. Friday, June 17.
Antonio Hart, a Grammy-nominated jazz artist and original member of the Queens Jazz Orchestra (QJO), will make his debut as a new conductor, following the death in 2020 of his longtime leader, NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath. .
“We are delighted to welcome back the Queens Jazz Orchestra from Flushing Town Hall for the first time since the start of the pandemic,” said Executive and Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek. “Antonio Hart is an incredible musician and bandleader, who has been personally chosen by Dr Jimmy Heath to be his successor for QJO. We look forward to seeing him lead the full orchestra of incredibly talented artists in our beautiful venue. Jazz and Queens lovers, rejoice!
The title of the concert pays homage to Schaap (1951-2021), radio host, record producer and jazz specialist, best known as the host of As the crow flies, a radio show about Columbia University WKCR dedicated to Parker, which he started in 1970 and continued for 52 years.
Widely regarded for the breadth and depth of his jazz knowledge, Schaap received six Grammy Awards for his compilations of vintage jazz recordings and received America’s highest honor in jazz when he was named the NEA Jazz Master in 2021.
Schaap, who lived in Hollis, regularly promoted and supported jazz programs at Flushing City Hall and attended several concerts there. The event will include special comments from colleagues.
The QJO performance will feature the work of Parker (1920-1955), who was a composer and bandleader nicknamed “Bird” or “Yardbird”.
During his short life, Parker changed the course of jazz music. Like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and John Coltrane, Parker was a pioneering composer and improviser who ushered in a new age of jazz and influenced subsequent generations of musicians, writers and artists.
The Grammy-winning musician is a multiple inductee into the Grammy Hall of Fame, an award that recognizes recordings of enduring qualitative or historical significance dating back at least 25 years, and he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1985.
Parker was also inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1979 and the Jazz at Lincoln Center: Nesuhi Ertegun Jazz Hall of Fame in 2009.
Stagsaxophonist and head of jazz studios at Queens College Aaron Copland School of Music, will make his debut as the new head of QJO.
Hart was personally selected for the role by his mentor, the late NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath, who was QJO’s original musical director. To honor his memory, Hart will also lead the QJO in a special music performance composed by Master Heath.
The Queens Jazz Orchestra was co-founded in 2008 by Heath and Flushing Town Hall jazz producer Clyde Bullard. This 17-piece orchestra is dedicated to preserving the legacy of jazz in Queens and nurturing the next generations of great jazz musicians.
In-person tickets for the show are $45/$35 for members and $20 for students. The performance will be streamed live for free on the Flushing Town Hall YouTube channel. To receive the broadcast link and reminder email, RSVP HERE.