Staged within historic Saint Peter's Church, known for its dazzling exterior shape of gray Caledonia granite, the program was presented by the Jazz Ministry - “a home for diverse individuals and communities which celebrates the dignity and vitality of jazz, provides vibrant liturgy and pastoral care, and through intersecting partnerships, offers jazz programs, education and services.”
After sixty years on bandstands and traveling throughout the globe, including many years with Count Basie, Frank Wess is truly a master messenger of jazz – its mission, its magic and its mystery. His much-heralded gigs have included Broadway shows - as a member of pit bands - "Golden Boy," "Irene" and "Sugar Babies," as well as coveted role of staff musician with the Billy Taylor Orchestra for ABC Television's Dick Cavett Show and David Frost Show.
A stint in the Army during World War II took Wess to Africa where in 1942, he played with a 17-piece swing band, mesmerizing the Americans, the Germans and the English so much that they all danced together.
Trombonist Steve Turre, a member of the "Saturday Night Live Band" and current Professor of Jazz at The Julliard School of Music, summed up his respect for the jazz giant: "Frank Wess is an inspiration in every aspect; a nice cat that brings joy; I love him."
Wess, who still practices every day, can be heard on his latest album - "Once is Not Enough" - released by Labeth in 2009.
Mark your calendar - “All Nite Soul” - described by Dale R. Lind, Jazz Pastor Emeritus of St. Peter's Church, as a “homecoming on earth for jazz regulars, where musicians gather in their spiritual and social home” - is next on tap for October 2011, starting on the Sunday evening of Columbus Day weekend and continuing into Monday morning.
Meanwhile, jazz lovers, be sure to check-out and check-in at "Jazz At The Chapel" on Monday, October 25, 2010 at 7PM, where the film "Texas Tenor - The Illinois Jacquet Story" will be screened at the York College performance space which bears his name, one of the historic and spectacular architectural environs recently showcased in the Annual openhousenewyork Weekend
CUNY York College is located at 94-20 Guy R. Brewer Blvd in Jamaica, Queens. Contact Tom Zlabinger at 718-262-2412 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
In 2000, Jacquet was awarded the Jazz at Lincoln Center Award for Artistic Excellence. This upcoming Halloween night, which marks the Birthday of Illinois Jacquet, will feature finale Artist Sets [7:30PM and 9:30PM] of Kenny Werner & The Brussels Jazz Orchestra, at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, thanks to the support of the Flemish Authorities. The Orchestra holds court on Broadway at 60th street beginning Tuesday, October 26, with early treats for jazz souls. For reservations call 212-258-9595/9795 or visit jalc.org/dccc.