Jazz at CAM


Series 2022-23

CAM Members: $35 individual ticket/$280 series package
Non-Members: $55 individual ticket/$440 series package

Jazz is the original American music art form, born here and enjoyed throughout the world. Cameron Art Museum is proud to present the 12th season of Jazz@CAM.

Line-up Announced and Tickets On Sale July 1

Members save $20 off individual tickets or
$160 off entire series
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Jazz at CAM is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, and North Carolina Arts Council

Lenora Zenzalai Helm

Lenora Zenzalai Helm

Thursday, March 2, 2023, 7 PM

CAM Members: $35; Not Yet Members: $55

Dr. Lenora Z. Helm Hammonds is a Durham based, Chicago IL native, former U.S. Jazz Ambassador twotime Fulbright Senior Music Specialist, and a tenured, Associate Professor in the Department of Music and Jazz Studies Program at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). Her leadership in the department include being Director of Graduate Programs, Jazz Studies. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in vocal jazz performance, jazz ear training, jazz pedagogy and songwriting, directs the NCCU Vocal Jazz Ensemble. She has authored several academic and student initiatives, including the planning, design, and coordination of an NEA & North Carolina Arts Council-sponsored Teaching Artist Certificate program. Academic award highlights include a Duke University-NCCU John Hope Franklin Digital Humanities Fellowship, 2018 Javett Music Award International Jazz Scholar at University of Pretoria, South Africa, a 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award from Marquis Publishing, NCCU’s Excellence in Teaching Award, and receiving the highest faculty honor, the 2021 University of North Carolina Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award. Lenora’s dream for creating access to under-served global populations interested in vocal jazz education was realized in the creation of a library of vocal and music entrepreneurship programs at www.LenoraHelm.online. She earned a Bachelor of Music in Film Scoring and Voice from Berklee College of Music, a Master of Music, Jazz Performance from East Carolina University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education from Boston University. Her research interests and arts practice coalesce the intersections of digital humanities, intercultural maturity, and Jazz. Lenora is a published author with Routledge, Taylor & Francis, and Springer and this work is embodied in international presentations as a clinician, collaborative projects for the Mellon Foundation and National Endowment of the Arts.

Her achievements in academia are in addition to more than four decades as a recording and performing artist. P/K/A Lenora Zenzalai Helm, she is acclaimed as a jazz vocalist, vocal musicianship coach, lyricist, composer, arranger, and big band bandleader. Her achievements include seven commercially released recordings, her own recording and publishing company, Baoule Works Music Publishing, and an extensive discography with internationally renowned names in jazz and contemporary music. Her indie jazz record label, Zenzalai Music, was elected as a 2021 BIMA (Black Independent Music Accelerator) fellow, and featured record executive by A2IM (American Association of Independent Music). She is also a 2021-22 Chamber Music America Residency Presenting Jazz Consortium recipient, awarded to present her 11-song suite, Journeywoman, in virtual concerts. Her achievements garnered accolades as “...the voice of her generation,” by Jazziz Magazine. She has appeared in renowned jazz festivals and venues worldwide. Currently working on the film score for Native/Wright & Green (about the last project of writer Richard Wright), brief composer highlights include jazz composer awards from Chamber Music America/Doris Duke’s New Jazz Works, a MacDowell Colony composer fellowship, and scoring music for ESPN Black History Month ads. Her newest project and crowd-funded seventh recorded release is titled For the Love of Big Band, features her newly formed ensemble, The Tribe Jazz Orchestra® (twenty musicians, three generations of men and women performing American jazz classics and contemporary favorites utilizing innovative instrumentation) and reached JazzWeek’s top 50 radio list. Inspired to change the face of large ensembles usually lacking gender diversity, Tribe Jazz Orchestra® is Lenora’s effort to bring together a diverse group of veteran and emerging musicians from around the globe, based in North Carolina. Visit her at www.LenoraHelm.com

Skip Walker

Skip Walker feat. Travis Shook

Thursday, April 6, 2023, 7 PM

CAM Members: $35; Not Yet Members: $55

Skip Walker is a drummer, composer, producer, educator, and Episcopal Priest. He is a graduate of Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music (the world’s foremost institution for the study of Jazz and modern American music) where he studied with renown drummers John Ramsay, Skip Hadden, and Ed Uribe. Skip got his first break at the age seventeen touring Europe as the drummer for the New York based funk group “The Fatback Band,” but after hearing great jazz drummers such as Art Blakey, Max Roach, Roy Haynes, Elvin Jones and Tony Williams, Skip slowly began falling in love with Jazz. According to Skip, “although I started out being heavily in to R&B/Funk music, the more I listened to Jazz and studied Jazz History, the more I realized that this music is American History with its roots firmly planted in the African American struggle for identity, freedom and justice – I had to get into this music.”

Along with keeping a busy performance schedule, Skip is also Associate Rector at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (Greenville, NC), an online adjunct professor of religion at Methodist University (Fayetteville, NC), an annual workshop leader and lecturer on “Jazz, Spirituality and Race” at the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Reconciliation (Atlanta, GA), and formerly an Adjunct professor of Jazz Studies at the University of North Carolina (Pembroke).

Skip is creator and host of the Thinking Sheep Podcast – A Podcast that interviews experts and everyday people about the three “R’s” of life – Race, Religion and Relationships in order to think more deeply about them.

Travis Shook,(from NYC) made his eponymous Columbia Records debut in a quartet that included Tony Williams and Bunky Green in the 1990s and also played with legendary jazz vocalist Betty Carter. Walker sought him out for his debut Jazz album because of his unique touch and sensitivity on the piano and his ability to create atmospheric colors with his approach on piano.

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