DAREarts Foundation Inc. for Children

DAREarts Foundation Inc. for Children

January 24, 2011 15:50 ET

The 3rd Annual 'We Are One Jazz Project' in Concert

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 24, 2011) -

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Marilyn Field, Co-Director
Howard Rees, Co-Director & Music Director
Legendary Jazz Pianist Barry Harris
featuring Special Guest Soloist, Charles McPherson
The Toronto Centre for the Arts,
George Weston Recital Hall
5040 Yonge Street, Toronto
Thursday January 28th 2011, 7pm
Ticketing through Ticket Master

Project partners Howard Rees, (founder of Howard Rees' Jazz Workshops, Canada's oldest independent Jazz school), and Marilyn Field (founder of the DAREarts Foundation, well-known for its work in empowering children), proudly present a creative and timely solution to the issue of disappearing arts programs in schools. After four months of weekly rehearsals in Scarborough Junior Public Schools, they invite you to witness how the power & beauty of Jazz ignites change in young lives.

In the 3rd year of our mandate, this ambitious program brings together internationally acclaimed Jazz master Barry Harris; special guest soloist Charles McPherson; the We Are One Big Band; the North Toronto CI Senior Strings; St. Joseph's College School Jazz Choir; the Toronto Jazz Chorus and the Howard Rees Trio, supporting the project's centerpiece – a 250 voice children's choir representing elementary schools in North Scarborough.

"There is tremendous excitement surrounding this project," says Marilyn Field, president of DAREarts. "This community building event, which provides Toronto with an important 'good news' story, empowers its participants while offering them insight into the beauty and power of jazz music."

"We realize that the current lack of school funding for the arts is a multi-layered issue," says Toronto based Rees, director of the Howard Rees' Jazz Workshops. "While everyone enjoys the performance, appreciation of the artistic process is often lacking. This treatment of the arts is not only shortsighted as it fails to secure and nurture a place for the arts in our educational system, but it comes at a point in time when the irreplaceable knowledge and wisdom of master musicians is leaving us at a rate far greater than it is being replaced."

Rees adds, "The apprenticeship model – itself an almost lost art, is what we are offering here. An invaluable learning experience that is at once beneficial for the student, who gets to work directly with a master musician and for the master musician, who gets to impart a lifetime of knowledge. This is qualitatively different from text-book based learning in a classroom." At the conclusion of this years' project, Dr. Harris will have visited the project on four occasions, traveling to Toronto from New York to inspire and guide the students.

As for the music – make no mistake – these are not simple children's songs. The ensemble will be performing a selection of Barry Harris' orchestral works rich in the melodic beauty and harmonic complexities that has made Dr. Harris one of the most celebrated voices in jazz.


Teacher and pianist Marilyn Field founded DAREarts in 1996, an expanded version of the program she had developed while teaching for the TDSB as a way to influence children while budgets drained arts education. DAREarts has become a Canadian cultural education outreach program that provides children who are 'at risk' of not reaching their full potential with an intensive out-of-school immersion in the arts through world cultures and time.

Performer Bios:

BARRY HARRIS – Pianist, Composer, Arranger, Educator

Barry Harris is an Internationally renowned Jazz Pianist, Composer and Teacher. Claiming to have known from the age of 4 years that he would to be a pianist – and having never looked back, Dr. Harris is also perhaps the world's first teacher of jazz – his student roll a virtual who's who of modern jazz musicians. Harris is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Northwestern University. Additionally, Harris' work has been met with awards and endowments from governments and major jazz organizations around the world.

Not one to rest on his achievements, Harris has devoted his life to the advancement of Jazz. While he regularly criss-crosses the world performing and conducting clinics in harmony and improvisation, Harris has maintained a weekly jazz workshop in New York City for more than 30 years. In the eighties, Harris opened a unique institution, the Jazz Cultural Theater in New York City. It's aim, with the assistance of masters such as Vernel Fournier, Tommy Turrentine and Slide Hampton was to provide people of all ages and backgrounds with an opportunity to learn about the music. Today, thousands of musicians around the world pride themselves as being influenced by Barry Harris' teachings.

By his early twenties, Harris' reputation as a teacher had spread beyond his hometown of Detroit. Harris became sought after by local musicians and visiting professionals alike. Later, under the wing of the great Bud Powell, Harris first internalized the work of his mentor and then set on a course to map out – and in doing so, further expand upon – bebop's harmonic language. His approach to the teaching of jazz uses methods and techniques that pre-date the Berklee School and the Lydian Chromatic approach of George Russell. Harris has developed 4 eight-note scales formed in combination with the major 6th, minor 6th, dominant 7th, dominant 7th flat 5 chords and their respective diminished chords, rather than the 7-note jazz scale, as a basis for melody and harmony. This is the material used by Bud Powell, Joseph Schillinger, George Gershwin and European classical masters such as Frédéric Chopin and J.S. Bach. Harris emphasizes the concept of building a repertoire of one's own musical movements over common harmonic formulae.

Aptly referred to as 'The Keeper of the Flame', Dr. Harris' work points the way to the future in jazz and jazz education.

CHARLES MCPHERSON – Guest Soloist, Alto Saxophone

Charles McPherson was born in Joplin, Missouri and moved to Detroit at age nine. After growing up in Detroit, he studied with the renowned pianist Barry Harris and started playing jazz professionally at age 19. He moved from Detroit to New York in 1959 and performed with Charles Mingus from 1960 to 1972. While performing with Mingus, he collaborated frequently with Harris, Lonnie Hillyer (trumpet), and George Coleman (tenor sax).

McPherson has toured the US, Europe, Japan, Africa and South America with his own group, as well as with jazz greats including Billy Eckstine, Lionel Hampton, Nat Adderly, Jay McShann. Recently he was featured at Lincoln Center showcasing his original compositions and arrangements with a seven-piece ensemble.

McPherson has recorded as guest artist with Charlie Mingus, Barry Harris, Art Farmer, Kenny Drew, Toshiko Akiyoshi, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. He has recorded as leader on Prestige, Fantasy, Mainstream, Discovery, Xanadu, and most recently Arabesque. His most recent recording is the highly acclaimed "Manhattan Nocturne". In addition, Charles was the featured alto saxophonist in the Clint Eastwood film "Bird," a biography about Charlie Parker.

McPherson remains a strong, viable force on the jazz scene today. He is at the height of his powers. His playing combines passionate feeling with intricate patterns of improvisation. Throughout his four decades of being an integral performer of the music, Charles has not merely remained true to his BOP origins, but has expanded on them. Stanley Crouch says in his New York Times article on Charles. "He is a singular voice who has never sacrificed the fluidity of his melody making, and is held in high esteem by musicians both long seasoned and young."

HOWARD REES – Co-Director, Music Director, Pianist

Loved and respected both locally and internationally for his work as an educator and pianist, Rees apprenticed with Barry Harris from 1978-1984 in New York City. Upon returning to Toronto, he founded Howard Rees' Jazz Workshops (Canada's oldest independent jazz school), which now in its' 25th year offers courses in bebop and jazz improvisation. Since its creation, the "Jazz Workshops" have drawn thousands of Canadian and foreign students. Rees is a celebrated clinician and has taught at high schools and colleges in several countries, including Canada, Holland, Italy, Japan, Serbia, Spain, the U.K. and most recently at the Stanford Jazz Workshop in California. In addition, Rees is a contributor to the long running Keyboard Magazine's master class series.

Another area of importance for Rees is documenting the methodologies of Barry Harris. Together with Dr. Harris, a series of critically acclaimed instructional book/DVD volumes have been released and are in use in educational institutions worldwide.

BRIAN KATZ – Choir Conductor

Brian Katz is an internationally acclaimed Canadian guitarist, composer, recording artist, pianist and music educator. He draws on jazz, classical, and various world music traditions to form his personal sound. Brian plays solo and collaborates widely: Stage partners have included guitarists Rob Piltch and Mordy Ferber, Grammy recipient, tabla master, Sukhinder Singh, saxophonist Ernie Tollar, and the late great trumpeter/composer, Fred Stone (who toured and recorded with Duke Ellington). Of Brian's chamber jazz CD "Solana," the Belgian Journal Jazz in Time wrote, "Solana is a recording of abundant intelligence," and the Toronto Star referred to his klezmer-jazz CD, "Collected Stories" (with Martin van de Ven) as "enchanting." Brian is currently on faculty at the University of Toronto where he teaches performance and trains prospective elementary/high-school teachers of music; in addition, he teaches klezmer, classical guitar, and improvisation at York University, and he has recently accepted a position training Early Childhood Education students at Ryerson University. Mr. Katz has authored a book on improvisation and has composed classical and jazz works for the Royal Conservatory of Music's graded series. Brian is one of the few teachers in Canada certified to teach Dalcroze Eurhythmics, a European-based music method that integrates physical movement, singing and improvisation as a means to aiding learners to more fully understand, experience, music.


John Pagnotta has been teaching high school music for eighteen years, and has directed the jazz program at Earl Haig/Claude Watson for the past seven years. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University where he studied jazz saxophone in the mid '80s and was awarded the Oscar Peterson Scholarship for jazz performance in 1987. John continues to study jazz and work as a freelance musician with various ensembles in and around the GTA.

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