Jazz at CAM

Jazz is the original American music art form, born here and enjoyed throughout the world. Cameron Art Museum is proud to present the 13th season of Jazz@CAM.

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Upcoming Performances

Series 2023-24 Schedule

Rahsaan Barber

Rahsaan Barber and Everyday Magic

Thursday, September 7, 2023, 7 PM
CAM Members: $35; Not-Yet Members: $55

Rahsaan Barber has set out on a singular path of musical excellence in performance, composition, education, and entrepreneurship. In addition to working as a professor at The University of North Carolina since 2020, Rahsaan enjoys a performance career that encompasses an ever-expanding range of musical styles, including jazz, blues, funk, classical, fusion, soul, Latin, and world music. Rahsaan’s passionate, sincere, and studious approach to music-making has garnered professional appearances onstage alongside such heavyweights as Christian McBride, Brian Blade, the Temptations, Delfeayo Marsalis, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Duffy Jackson, Winard Harper, Kirk Franklin, Meghan Trainor and the Wooten Brothers. The saxophonist has performed on many of the world’s most prestigious stages for music including The Ryman, The Village Vanguard, Birdland, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Montreux Jazz Festival, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Rahsaan joined the ranks of the nation’s rising jazz stars both as the leader of his own quintet, Everyday Magic, and as co-leader of the groundbreaking Nashville-based Latin-jazz septet El Movimiento. Rahsaan has entered the ranks of the nation’s premier jazz artists following several celebrated releases, most recently including Mosaic, a double-disc collection of original works released in April of 2021, featuring trumpeter Nathan Warner and trombonist Roland Barber, Rahsaan’s twin brother. Prior to the release of Mosaic, Barber received critical acclaim for The Music In The Night (2017) and Everyday Magic, (2011) both released on the saxophonist’s record label, Jazz Music City, which he founded to showcase his hometown’s (Nashville, TN) diverse and impressive musical talent.

In addition to his own jazz outfits, the saxophonist founded The Nashville Salsa Machine in 2016, a twelve-member ensemble featuring Music City’s most celebrated Latin music performers. Barber is also an in-demand saxophonist for recording sessions and touring work, most recently completing a year-long tour with pop icon Kelly Clarkson and multiple tours with Lauren Daigle. Barber has taught extensively at the collegiate level for well over a decade, including six years of instruction at Belmont University, where he began his collegiate teaching career as instructor jazz and classical saxophone, jazz ensembles, and commercial music styles at the age of twenty-five. Barber has given masterclasses and concerts at numerous colleges and universities, including the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, the University of Memphis, Lipscomb University, UNC-Pembroke, UNC-Wilmington, Indiana University, The University of Wisconsin (OshKosh), the University of Evansville, and many more. In addition, Rahsaan has served as Vice-President of the Tennessee Jazz and Blues Society and as a board member for the Nashville Jazz Workshop’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion panel.

Lenora Zenzalai Helm

Lenora Zenzalai Helm and the Tribe Jazz Orchestra Nonet

Thursday, October 5, 2023, 7 PM
CAM Members: $35; Not-Yet Members: $55

Hailed by Jazziz magazine as the ”voice of her generation” and a “national treasure,” Chicago-born, Durham, North Carolina-based Dr. Lenora Zenzalai Helm is a jazz vocal musician, composer, lyricist, bandleader, and a dedicated educator at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). Helm encompasses all of the inventions and dimensions of jazz and the African Diaspora on her new recording, Journeywoman, featuring her Tribe Jazz Orchestra® Nonet. Helm’s new CD, her eighth as a leader, is a compelling 65-minute, multi-movement 12-track work, where she sings about the life of an allegorical woman named Journey, and her struggles with abuse, birth, death, self-definition and her victories through self-love, perseverance, and affirmation. Recorded in 2022, on her Zenzalai Music Records label, Helm originally composed Journeywoman in 2003, for a commission for Chamber Music America’s New Jazz Works grant (the first African American female vocalist recipient,) funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and for the next two decades she augmented and rearranged the work into its current form, buoyed by the perspective of time. Helm’s Tribe Jazz Orchestra®, founded in 2019, is configured into a harmonically nuanced and rhythmically nimble, nine-piece nonet consisting of several renowned NCCU educators and local musicians.

Tribe Jazz Orchestra® is an ensemble of musicians led by Lenora Zenzalai Helm with a unique approach to the music of the big band tradition. Their CD release, For the Love of Big Band, launched March 9, 2020, received critical acclaim, and despite the ravages on the music industry during the Global Pandemic, reached the JazzWeek Top 50 list of recordings for 2020. With a diverse amalgam of the top men and women performers in jazz today, the instrumentation features a combination of jazz orchestra and modern chamber ensemble to bring a swinging and soulful concert full of groove and excitement covering many styles. In certain settings, subsets of the group perform under Lenora’s baton as Tribe Jazz Orchestra® Nonet, or Septet. The members have performed together in various configurations and have appeared in noted concert halls and international music festivals in The United States, Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. Lenora and the Tribe Jazz Orchestra® Nonet are internationally acclaimed concert performers. Lenora has seven previous commercial recordings and has performed with some of the biggest names in Jazz leading her groups in renowned jazz festivals and venues worldwide, including Jazz Standard, NYC, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy Club Coca Cola Women’s Jazz Festival, Schomburg Center’s Women in Jazz Festival, JVC Jazz Festivals, Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, Cape Town Jazzathon, South Africa, Fiji Jazz & Blues Festival, NCCU Jazz Festival, and the Art of Cool Jazz Festival, Durham, NC. Her creative practice includes being a performing musician while educating emerging artists in jazz as the Associate Professor & Chair of the Department of Music, Director of Graduate Programs, Jazz Studies, and Director of the NCCU Vocal Jazz Ensemble at North Carolina Central University, and being sought after internationally for workshops, clinics, and master classes. She plays a leadership role in creating communities of practice for teaching artists and producing forums where music performances and edutainment events serve families in local and regional communities. A former U.S. Jazz Ambassador, and a two-time Fulbright Senior Music Specialist, she earned dozens of music and leadership-in-music awards and international accolades, including being a MacDowell Composer Fellow and the first Black woman vocal musician selected as a Chamber Music America/New Works Doris Duke Composer

Tribe Jazz Orchestra Nonet Personnel:

Lenora Zenzalai Helm, voice
Special Guest: GRAMMY Nominee Orrin Evans, pianist
Timothy Holley, cello
Baron Tymas, guitar
Natalie Boeyink, electric and acoustic bass
Thomas Taylor, drums
Al Strong, trumpet
Robert Trowers, trombone
Salome Serena Wiley, tenor saxophone and spoken word
Dexter Moses, alto and soprano saxophone and flute

Rebecca Kleinmann

Rebecca Kleinmann Quintet

Thursday, November 2, 2023, 7 PM
CAM Members: $35; Not-Yet Members: $55

Rebecca Kleinmann began synthesizing her diverse musical interests as a flutist and vocalist at Indiana University, where she began her studies as a Classical Flute (performance) major and historically graduated as the first Jazz Flute major in the history of the school’s Jazz Studies program, thanks to the support of her beloved mentor, the late David Baker. She has performed world wide from Brazil to Australia with her own projects and as a supporting musician. She performed major festivals in California including the San Jose Jazz Festival, SF Jazz, and the Healdsburg Jazz Festival. She has studied vocal performance with Fabiana Cozza and Jennifer Barnes. Her varied experiences as a vocalist include performances with the Taylor Memorial Gospel Choir and teaching vocal performance to thousands of elementary school children as an Orff-certified music educator in public schools. Both in teaching and in performances with her various diverse ensembles, Rebecca often utilizes her fluencies in Portuguese and Spanish.

With a growth-minded approach, Rebecca Kleinmann created her ensemble in 2002, created tours up and down California, and performed locally wherever she moved. She hosted a weekly concert series at Bissap Baobab (in San Francisco) for four years, titled “Brazil and Beyond,” where performances featured music from Brazil to Ghana, the Balkans and beyond. Seeking to inform her sound with the benefit of rich musical surroundings. Rebecca has traveled annually to Brazil, as well as to Ghana, Spain, Ireland, Argentina, and Australia. Pianist Benny Green made special note of her unique pursuit of artistic growth, explaining that “Rebecca is masterful and selfless in her ability and inclination of melding her sound with her environment.” In the words of Latin Grammy Nominated pianist and composer, Jovino Santos Neto, “Rebecca plays flute with the passion of a flamenco dancer.”

In early 2022 Rebecca moved from Oakland to Durham, North Carolina and immediately began planting seeds to continue her musical career on the East Coast. In November, she performed her “Durham Debut” concert to a sold-out audience at The Sharp 9 Jazz Gallery, featuring drummer Sylvia Cuenca, bassist Essiet Essiet on bass, percussionist Aaron Sanchez Guerra, pianist Dr. Stephen Anderson, and saxophonist Rahsaan Barber.


TRIAD feat. Christian Tamburr, Dominick Farinacci, and Michael Ward-Bergmen

Thursday, December 7, 2023, 7 PM
CAM Members: $35; Not-Yet Members: $55

TRIAD weaves together diverse musical worlds in an exciting display of musical interplay and visual collaboration. The chamber ensemble pulls influences from jazz, blues, orchestral and the music of Argentina, Brazil and beyond. From Kurt Veil to John Mayer, Astor Piazzolla to Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Jacques Brel to Puccini and more. TRIAD bridges these musical worlds with three unique musical voices that generally don’t overlap: trumpet, accordion, and marimba. The ensemble features renowned trumpeter Dominick Farinacci, vibraphonist/marimbaist Christian Tamburr, and accordionist Michael Ward Bergeman who first collaborated for a residency in London’s West End, in collaboration with the New Generation Festival. The ensemble premiered their project TRIAD in 2022 at the TRI-C Jazz Festival, Lincoln Center in NYC and a 4 night residency at Birdland Jazz Club in NYC

Doug Irving Ensemble

Doug Irving Legacy Ensemble feat. the Music of Ruby and Cynthia Tyson

Thursday, January 4, 2024, 7 PM
CAM Members: $35; Not-Yet Members: $55

The Doug Irving legacy ensemble will be paying respect through performance and recorded music to former Wilmington Pianist and Vocalist Rudy and Cynthia Tyson. They were the original local pioneers of professional jazz in Wilmington NC. Selections will come from original tunes, arrangements, and children ensemble “Jazz-A-Tazz.”

Sean Higgins Trio

Sean Higgins Trio

Thursday, February 1, 2024, 7 PM
CAM Members: $35; Not-Yet Members: $55

Sean Higgins, pianist and composer, is an international touring and recording artist acting as a musical ambassador to audiences worldwide. While classically trained; his own group offers a modern take on the jazz trio configuration. Higgins enjoys exploring many musical genres and has played keyboards in many commercial settings such as R&B, pop, and fusion.

Higgins completed a B.M. in Jazz Performance at UNC-Wilmington, and an M.M. at Northern Illinois University, where he received a full scholarship to lead and compose for the NIU Liberace Sextet. He has conducted clinics in numerous countries and is currently a faculty member of JazzArts Charlotte.

Higgins has opened for Dave Holland, Fourplay, Joe Lovano, Talib Kweli, Ryan Cohen, and Stefon Harris and Blackout.

Some performances include successful 8-week US Jazz Ambassador tours of the Middle East and Russia with Alvin Atkinson & the Sound Merchants and a Japan tour with Akio Sasajima. He has played in many NYC clubs such as The Jazz Standard, Smoke, Dizzy’s-Jazz at Lincoln Center, Lenox Lounge, Shanghai Jazz, St. Nick’s Pub, and Minton’s Playhouse. Sean was a member of the Winard Harper Sextet for 2 years and has shared the stage with Antonio Hart, Charles McPherson, Stephanie Nakasian, Wycliffe Gordon, Fareed Haque, Bobby Watson, Terell Stafford, John Clayton, Jeff Clayton, Russell Malone, and many others. Jazz Festival performances include 2004 Iowa City, 2004 Lima Peru, 2005 Elmhurst, 2006 Vail, 2007 Tri-C, 2007 Columbus Jazz & Ribs, 2008 Cape May, 2008 Usadba-Moscow, 2008 Chelyabinsk, 2008 Vladivostok, 2009-12 Shanghai-JZ, 2014 Changsha, 2015 Xi’An, 2016 Xiamen, 2018-19 Charlotte, 2022 Cheraw.

During his 10 years based in Shanghai, he toured China extensively as well as internationally with Karen Mok, Shunza, and Ronghao Li.

Sean released his debut trio album, The New Thought feat. (Iajhi Hampden-drums, Josh Ramos-bass) in 2005, his 2nd album Three Years’ Stories (Iajhi Hampden-drums, Motoki Mihara-bass) in 2008, and his latest Shanghai Decade (Nicholas McBride-drums, Ji Peng-bass) in 2018.

Angela Bingham

Angela Bingham Trio

Thursday, March 7, 2024, 7 PM
CAM Members: $35; Not-Yet Members: $55

Jazz Vocalist Angela Bingham will perform with Grant Osborne on piano and Scott Sawyer on Guitar. Her trio will feature music from the American songbook and beyond, with a focus on the great female composers & lyricists.

Raleigh, North Carolina based jazz vocalist Angela Bingham has been a singer her entire life. She began studying piano and performing from the American songbook at age 5 in her home of the San Francisco Bay Area. She studied jazz in her teens and early 20s under the direction of Roger Letson at De Anza College, and went on to gain training through workshops and private lessons with some of the world’s most well known jazz vocalists and instrumentalists.

Bingham officially began her career in 1999 in Salt Lake City, Utah. There, she honed her craft working extensively with guitar virtuoso Kenji Aihara and Utah’s pre-eminent tenor saxophonist David Halliday. She left Utah and moved to New York City in 2005, where she held down a monthly residency for five years at the now (sadly defunct) Total Wine Bar, garnering a delightfully loyal Brooklyn fan base. During this time, she began working with many of New York’s most heavyweight jazz musicians and sitting in and performing at venues large and small throughout the city including Birdland, Smalls, and others. She also held down a steady performance schedule at New York’s famed Bar Next Door, a coveted venue for New York jazz musicians.

Bingham’s singing is characterized by the qualities of honest expression, solid swinging and an emphasis on the blues. Of her decision to sing jazz, Angela says, “First and foremost, I am an entertainer and a storyteller, and I use my voice to help people feel their emotions. I want to bring a message of healing through these stories set to music. Jazz is the perfect format for this, because the stories can go in many musical directions. I know that my job is to sing the story, to approach the music as an improvisational musician, and to commune with the audience through laughter, tears and everything in between. It is not enough to have a pretty voice. It goes way beyond that. It’s letting your audience feel that you are in this with them.”

Wilmington Big Band

The Wilmington Big Band

Thursday, April 4, 2024, 7 PM
CAM Members: $35; Not-Yet Members: $55

The Wilmington Big Band is a 17-piece orchestra dedicated to the preservation of the American original art of big band music. Reminiscent of Wrightsville Beach’s own Lumina Ballroom where true showmen like Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey entertained audiences, the Wilmington Big Band combines a mixture of timeless standards and hip pop tunes that will keep you swinging all night long.

CAM Members: $35 individual ticket/$280 series package
Non-Members: $55 individual ticket/$440 series package
Students (w/valid ID): $15 individual ticket

Members save $20 off individual tickets or $160 off entire series

Jazz at CAM is funded in part by

National Endowment for the Arts           North Carolina Arts Council

Isabella Hinds
Nancie and James Kennedy
Dr. William Malloy and Maxine Terry
Dr. Acquenetta Wheeler

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