A MOTHER-DAUGHTER TRIBUTE IN JAZZ, BLUES, & POETRY TO ELLA FITZGERALD, CARMEN McRAE, & SARAH VAUGHN
Description of Performers & Program
THE PATTY CARPENTER JAZZ & BLUES BAND, a versatile and exciting seven person band will play three forty five minute shows. Vocalists PATTY CARPENTER and her daughter, MELISSA SHETLER will cover songs that highlighted the careers of jazz divas Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae, and Sarah Vaughn who all passed away in recent years.
Their haunting and familial harmonies will be backed by DRAA HOBBS on lead guitar; PAUL ARSLANIAN on piano; DAVE SHAPIRO on bass; CLAIRE ARENIUS on drums; and FRED HAAS on saxophone. The sets will be intercut with dramatic poetry readings by noted Vermont poets, VERANDAH PORCHE and her daughter, OONA ADAMS.
"Patty Carpenter is a versatile singer who can perform jazz, blues, rock, gospel, ballads, and Brazilian beats with a classic lyrical sophistication and a funky, sultry swing" says writer Marty Jezer in the liner notes to Patty's upcoming cd release, This Time It's Love. Carpenter, a resident of Greenfield, Massachusetts, performs regularly throughout New England.
Patty grew up playing the piano during the 1950s in Rochester, N.Y. She often drove her grandfather to senior citizen homes where she got her first taste of performing, playing the piano and singing old standards. She also listened to folk, (and played bottleneck guitar at local coffeehouses) rock and jazz, with Joan Baez, Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Carmen McRae among her favorite singers.
At the University of Massachusetts she studied in the jazz program under such master musicians and teachers as Max Roach, Archie Shepp, Billy Taylor, Edna Holt. and Reggie Workman. It was Workman who advised, "if you want to sing the music, learn the history." This show illustrates how seriously Carpenter took that advice.
Jazz guitarist Pat Metheny calls Fred Haas "a totally world-class saxophone player." Haas, a resident of Woodstock, Vermont has played with Oscar Peterson, RayCharles, Clark Terry, Sheila Jordan, Lena Horne, Dionne Warwick, Attila Zoller, Milt Hinton, Don Cherry, Bob Brookmeyer, Gene Bertoncini and many others. He teaches jazz at Dartmouth and Middlebury Colleges and has recorded two CD's, Interplay and I Thought About You. He provides excellent saxophone work on Carpenter's 1995 cassette release, Memories of Love's Refrain.
Before settling in Vermont in 1987, Dave Shapiro was a busy New York freelancer, playing bass regularly with such jazz legends as Woody Herman, Chet Baker, Lee Konitz, Howard McGee, and singers Anita O'Day, Chris Connor, Jackie Cain and Roy Kral. He proved his versatility as a member of the house band at Eddie Condon's (where Dixieland reigned) and the aptly-named Metropolitan Bopera House. His steady and innovative rhythms accompany Carpenter on both of her recordings.
Drummer Claire Arenius has played with Melba Liston, Attila Zoller, Archie Shepp, Ray Copland, Evelyn Blakey, Celebration, and more. She has her own trio which has performed at the Iron Horse and Burlington's Discover Jazz Festival. The recipient of a National Endowment grant, she studied with jazz great, drummer Charli Persip. An accomplished drummer, she has developed a strong individual sound that blends Be-Bop, Blues and shuffles with sensitivity, power, and creativity.
Pianist Paul Arslanian has worked and toured with the Archie Shepp Quartet and accompanied famous tap dancers Jimmy Slide and Gregory Hines. He is also a composer and has one CD out, with a new one set for release on the DVK label.
Melissa Shetler, Carpenter's daughter, is presently working, studying, and performing in New York City. Her voice melds seamlessly and hauntingly with Carpenter's during harmonies. She grew up in southern Vermont and Greenfield, Massachusetts and hopes to follow in the musical footsteps of her mother and father-Boston based sax player Scott Shetler.
Draa Hobbs is a virtuoso guitarist and songwriter who has played with Tal Farlow, Jon Friedman, Attila Zoller, Harold Danko, and George Mraz. He teaches at Marlboro College, Northfield-Mount Hermon and at the Vermont Jazz Center.
Verandah Porche, poet, performer and writing partner received this year's Award for Excellence from the Vermont Arts Council. Her work, which explores the relationships between people and communities, talk and text, was recently featured on ARTBEAT, aired on 130 NPR stations. She has written two books: The Body's Symmetry and Glancing Off.
Porche's daughter, Oona Adams, writes in the tradition of performance poetry. She is particularly interested in the intersection of intensely personal and political material with humor and rhythmic cadence. The topics range from encounters with white supremacists to her cat's interest in eating insects.