Jazz Greats Coming to the South Carolina During SC Jazz Masterworks Ensemble’s Upcoming Season

SC Jazz Masterworks Ensemble

The South Carolina Jazz Masterworks Ensemble will feature three top jazz artists during its 2019-20 season: pianist Kenny Barron on November 23; guitarist Mike Stern on February 1; and vocalist Veronica Swift on June 13.

Tickets are on sale now at scjazz.org for the ensemble’s next concert, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 23, at 7:30 p.m. It will feature Kenny Barron, who was recently named the No. 1 jazz pianist in the world by the 67th Annual DownBeat magazine International Critics Poll. The concert will take place at Johnson Hall in the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business, 1014 Greene Street, in downtown Columbia.

“Most of the jazz greats play all over the northeast, then skip the south and fly to Florida to perform. We decided to do something about that,” said Robert Gardiner, director of the SC Jazz Masterworks Ensemble. “We are thrilled to announce that Kenny Barron, Mike Stern and Veronica Swift will all be joining us for our second season.”

The 67th Annual DownBeat International Critics Poll recently ranked Barron at no. 1, ahead of jazz luminaries Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea. Honored by The National Endowment for the Arts as a Jazz Master, Barron has an unmatched ability to mesmerize audiences with his elegant playing, sensitive melodies and infectious rhythms. Jazz Weekly calls him “the most lyrical piano player of our time.” Barron has appeared on hundreds of recordings as a leader and sideman, and is considered one of the most influential mainstream jazz pianists since the bebop era.

Kenny Barron 

Mike Stern will join the SC Jazz Masterworks Ensemble in concert at the Harbison Theatre on Saturday, Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m. Regarded as one of the true guitar greats of his generation, Stern made his mark with Miles Davis in the early 1980s, before launching his solo career in 1985. Since then, he has released 17 recordings as a leader, six of which have been nominated for Grammy awards.

The SCJME will close out its second season on Saturday, June 13, featuring New York-based vocalist Veronica Swift, at 7:30 p.m. at the Harbison Theatre. Swift is now being recognized around the country and world as one of the top young singers on the scene. She performs regularly with Chris Botti and with the Birdland Big Band, has toured with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and just released a new album on Mack Avenue records featuring the Benny Green Trio.

The SC Jazz Masterworks Ensemble was created to present jazz concerts at the highest artistic level. Last year’s inaugural season included performances by internationally acclaimed jazz musicians, Chris Potter and Wycliffe Gordon. The ensemble is comprised of 18 of the finest jazz musicians, soloists and bandleaders from across South Carolina and into North Carolina.

11/23/19

7:30 pm

Johnson Hall at USC

Kenny Barron and the SC Jazz Masterworks Ensemble

Dr. Robert Gardiner, Director

$50

2/1/20

7:30 pm

Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College

Mike Stern and the SC Jazz Masterworks Ensemble

Dr. Robert Gardiner, Director

$40/$50

6/13/20

7:30 pm

Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College

Veronica Swift and the SC Jazz Masterworks Ensemble

Dr. Robert Gardiner, Director

$40/$50

Tickets and more info at: scjazz.org.

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