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US, J'can combinations on 'The Art of Two'

Published:Sunday | May 27, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Myrna Hague

In fulfilling one of its core outputs to contribute to the diversity of Kingston as a UNESCO designated creative music city, The Jamaica Music Museum (JaMM) will partner with The Ocho Rios Jazz Festival to present 'Twin Double: The Art of Two', a concert of two performances showcasing jazz renditions of standards from the Jamaican and American popular songbooks. The event is set to take place at the Institute of Jamaica's recently acoustically enhanced performance hall at 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 9.

The concert will feature duets by the acclaimed American double bassist Curtis Lundy supported by the distinctive piano stylist Stephen Scott. They will share the evening with local jazz chanteuse Myrna Hague accompanied by the venerable Marjorie Whylie on piano. In addition to "jazzing up" the music of celebrated Jamaican composers Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff and Bob Andy, each duo will also highlight the music of distinguished American songwriters, including the eminent Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, as well as Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin, Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers, among others.




The Ocho Rios Jazz Festival, which was conceived and introduced by the late Sonny Bradshaw, is now in its 29th year. His widow, Myrna Hague-Bradshaw, has kept the festival going as a tribute to her late husband over the past nine years. Regarding the partnership with the JaMM, she said "the collaboration is a natural progression, just like one of those chord sequences that Sonny was pleased to hear a musician execute on one of his arrangements. Embracing the JaMM is like welcoming an outstanding new musician into the band, I think it will work splendidly."

JaMM director/ curator, Herbie Miller said "as for me, I see the partnership as an augmentation that will challenge musicians to develop their craft; improve their creativity, extend the jazz sensibility toward its most expressive improvisational imaginings and inspire renewed public interest in the music as an art form."

Curtis Lundy came to prominence in the band of the great jazz vocalist Betty Carter, who nurtured several young musicians before they eventually gained individual renowned. Stephen Scott played piano from the age of five and in his formative years was considered a child prodigy. As a teen, he attended New York's High School of the Performing Arts where he was introduced to jazz.

A genre-defying artiste, Hague's repertoire moves effortlessly between standards, bebop and popular Jamaican songs. H. Marjorie Whylie's prodigious musical artistry is both critically and popularly acknowledged. Her peers consider her a national treasure, an artist whose cultural and musical knowledge spans the range of classical, jazz and Jamaican vernacular music.