Celebrate North Carolina's musical legacy from classic blues and jazz to contemporary classical/new music, soul and adult contemporary with six performances at CAM from March through June 2020. Part of the North Carolina Arts Council funded project Come Hear NC, these concerts expand upon and continue Come Hear NC's core message The Roots of American Music Run Deep in North Carolina through performances by musicians from throughout the state.
Award-winning and GRAMMY-nominated pianist and composer Ernest Turner brings Kevin Beardsley on bass and Jeremy 'Bean' Clemons on drums to kick-off Cameron Art Museum's new six-part Come Hear NC series with a spotlight on the music of Thelonious Monk. Ernest Turner's professional career has spanned 20 years and has included performances and recordings with some of the biggest names in jazz and pop music, including Delfeayo Marsalis, John Legend, Raphael Saadiq, and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. His latest album, "My Americana" (2019), offers an understated "ode to black American music" rooted in an innovative reimagination of pieces by Stevie Wonder, Fats Waller, and others, alongside original compositions. Turner placed second in the 2019 Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition, and his trio was selected as the winner of the 2019 DCJazzPrix Competition.
"The most important jazz musicians are the ones who are successful in creating their own original world of music with its own rules, logic, and surprises. Thelonious Monk, who was criticized by observers who failed to listen to his music on its own terms, suffered through a decade of neglect before he was suddenly acclaimed as a genius; his music had not changed one bit in the interim. In fact, one of the more remarkable aspects of Monk's music was that it was fully formed by 1947 and he saw no need to alter his playing or compositional style in the slightest during the next 25 years." - Scott Yanow, Jazz Historian, Reviewer, Author
Combo with Pro Musica Series
Pro Musica Concert Series-now in its tenth season--celebrating the works of living composers-ties this third and final concert of its season to CAM's Come Hear NC performances, featuring a new work by composer Stephen Anderson written for Duo Sureño — Nancy King, soprano, Robert Nathanson, guitar and saxophonist Laurent Estoppey, other compositions on the program written for this unusual trio include new works by Mr. Estoppey and Helmut Jasbar. The entire concert will include a myriad of different styles and influences from jazz to folk to the avant-garde.
Acclaimed as a lyrical storyteller, soulful cellist and dynamic singer-songwriter join us in welcoming to CAM for the first time, Shana Tucker. Her unique genre of ChamberSoul™ weaves together jazz, roots folk, acoustic pop, and a touch of R&B, into melodies that echo in your head for days, and dovetails perfectly with the musical focus of Come Hear NC. Steeped in story, Shana's ChamberSoul is rich, deep music that sits down next to you and puts its arm around your shoulders. "I'm intrinsically drawn to acoustic instruments because of their resonance, warmth, and intimacy," she says. "ChamberSoul brings musicians and audience close, and makes the music tangible, no matter how large or small the room is."
Shana is a board member for Blair Publisher (formerly Carolina Wren Press), a North Carolina-based small-press organization that publishes diverse minority writers of quality fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and children's literature. She also serves on the advisory board for the Washington Women in Jazz Festival, an annual event in Washington, DC that celebrates and promotes women jazz artists through concerts, jam sessions, lectures, panel discussions, masterclasses and a young artist competition.
Photo of Shana Tucker by Chris Charles for Creative Silence
Singer Pat "Mother Blues" Cohen brings her crowd-pleasing blues back to CAM in a long overdue return performance. The unofficially crowned Queen of Bourbon Street has all the mettle, pathos and ocean-deep compassion of Billie Holiday, Koko Taylor and Etta James, with her own dramatic flair and wicked humor. Miss her at your own risk! Cohen's show at CAM will follow a performance at New Orleans Jazz Fest (April 23 - May 3, 2020) - her first time performing in the city since being displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Pat "Mother Blues" Cohen is one of the active touring artists with Music Maker Relief Foundation.
Inspired by the social activism and musical work of Nina Simone and other North Carolina music legends, LaCi performs When the Tide Rises a new musical by LaRaisha Dionne, Chiaki Ito, and C. Lee Dionne. In the near future, as the climate crisis escalates to dangerous levels, Wilmington is staring down the barrel of a history-making Category-Seven storm. While some leave the Port City for fear of the worst, many can't, or simply refuse. The story follows individuals and families through an uncertain future that may be solvable if we look to our past to root out inequality, misinformation, and social injustice.
The Benny Hill Quartet spotlights the music of John Coltrane and Lou Donaldson for the closing concert of CAM's six-part Come Hear NC series. Hill is a North Carolina native and was born in Wilmington, where he currently resides and is a full-time professor at Cape Fear Community College. As a North Carolinian the music of NC musicians is special to him, as a jazz saxophonist, the music of John Coltrane and Lou Donaldson is not only special but was influential in his development. Hill will perform works by both artists that were historically significant as well as important repertoire during his growth as a musician. Benny Hill is well versed in the many styles and genres of popular and classical music and specializes in jazz performance. For the past twenty-five years, Benny has performed in a diverse set of musical groups and engagements, ranging from orchestra pits to cruise ships to featured artist and soloist at numerous venues across the country and abroad.