2022 Season

2022 was our comeback from Covid and we made adjustments based on CDC guidelines which included only one performance per day and distancing in the pews. We gave up doing Season 2021 online because overall the audio quality was not very good and people were experiencing screen fatigue from Covid. Our Mayor eloquently introduced the event below.

May 21st, The Helen Sung Trio PUSH – Celebrating Women in Jazz

Simply put, Helen Sung is the most innovative, jaw-dropping new artist on the planet we have heard in years. She melds influences from jazz, classical, and Latin into astounding expeditions into new territories. Her latest album Quartet+ is breathtaking with incredibly tasteful, surprising, and dramatic new workings of some jazz standards, and inspiring original material. Currently residing in New York and touring major venues internationally, we are incredibly fortunate to have her make a stop in Newton on May 21st.   Helen is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow. A native of Houston, Texas, and graduate of its High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA), she went on to become part of the inaugural class of the Thelonious Monk Institute (now the Herbie Hancock Institute) at the New England Conservatory of Music. Her recent releases Sung With Words (Stricker Street), a collaborative project with renowned poet Dana Gioia, and Anthem For A New Day (Concord Jazz) topped the jazz charts. Quartet+ (Sunnyside Records), her latest release, followed suit, garnering a 4.5-star DownBeat review and inclusion in its “Best of 2021 Albums” list and a JazzTimes cover story (January 2022 issue). Helen and her band have at performed at Newport, Monterey, Disney Hall, SFJAZZ, and Carnegie Hall. Internationally, her “NuGenerations” Project toured southern Africa as a U.S. State Department Jazz Ambassador, and recent engagements include debuts at the London Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center Shanghai, Blue Note Beijing, and the Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival. She has performed with such luminaries as the late Clark Terry, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Wynton Marsalis (who named her as one of his “Who’s Got Next: Jazz Musicians to Watch!”), MacArthur Fellow Regina Carter, and Grammy-winning artists including Terri Lyne Carrington, Cecile McLorin Salvant, and the Mingus Big Band. Helen is a Steinway Artist and has served on the jazz faculties at Berklee College of Music, the Juilliard School, and Columbia University. Her trio includes David Wong, bass and Kendrick Scott, drums david wong

David Wong was born and raised in New York City and is a graduate of the LaGuardia High School for Music and Art and the Performing Arts. He graduated from the Juilliard and has studied classical bass with Orin O’Brien of the New York Philharmonic, and jazz bass with legends Ron Carter, Ben Wolfe, and John Clayton. He has performed with Eric Reed, Roy Haynes, the Heath Brothers and Wynton Marsalis’s Lincoln Center Orchestra. He has also been performing with singer Sachal Vasandani, and pianists Jeb Patton. and Dan Nimmer, among others.     Since graduating from Berklee in 2002,

Kendrick Scott has performed with the Jazz Crusaders, guitarist Pat Metheny, saxophonists Joe Lovano and Kenny Garrett, vocalists Dianne Reeves, Lizz Wright, Gretchen Parlato and trumpeter Terence Blanchard, to name a few.  Scott’s debut recording with his group Oracle recorded The Source in 2006, including pianists Aaron Parks and Robert Glasper, guitarist Lionel Loueke, vocalist Gretchen Parlato, and others. Scott also performed with the Terence Blanchard Quintet on the album A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina)  which was nominated for two Grammy Awards. Scott embarked on the 22-state tour, starting in January 2008 with the 50th Anniversary Monterey Jazz Festival All-Star Band. It featured the leaders of the past, present, and future with Terence Blanchard on trumpet, James Moody on saxophone, Benny Green on piano, Derrick Hodge on bass, and jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon. Scott also currently plays with the Charles Lloyd Quartet, featuring alongside Reuben Rogers on bass, and Gerald Clayton on piano.

May 7th, Andrus Madsen and April Sun – The Goldberg Variations.

“The Goldberg Variations are among the most meaningful works J. S. Bach wrote for keyboard.” Josef Rheinberger, 1883 Newton’s own Andrus Madsen is well-known internationally in early music circles and performs on the organ, harpsichord clavichord and fortepiano. He is the founding director of Newton Baroque. Originally from Provo, Utah, Andrus received a Bachelor’s degree in organ performance from Brigham Young University and went on to the Eastman School of Music, where he completed a Master’s degree in Musicology, and a Masters and Doctorate in harpsichord performance. Madsen is known for his eloquent Baroque style improvisations. His recording of keyboard music by Pachelbel has received critical acclaim. “Superb recordings of superb instruments by a musician who deserves to be better known.” (Michael Barone of pipedreams).  Andrus would come back in 2023.

Boston-based pianist ​​​​April Sun co-founded the Meadowlark Piano Trio, frequently collaborates with the Phoenix and the Cape Cod Chamber Orchestras, and has performed at Calderwood Hall (Boston), Bing Concert Hall (Stanford), Spectrum (NYC), Pepsico Hall (Fort Worth), and the American Exchange Center at Jiaotong University (China). She holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts and teaches at the Brookline Music School. She serves as a collaborative pianist at New England Conservatory and Boston University. 

May 14th, Harold Charon, Explorations in Latin Music.

One of the things we try to do with the Summit is feature talent before they get Grammys, world attention, and command fees well above our current budgets, and yes this has happened! We poll past summit artists regularly to see who’s the new hot talent on the scene and this time Harold Charon’s name kept coming up. Harold Charon is the youngest headliner we have featured on the Summit, only slightly younger than Jimin Park a few years ago. Originally from Havana, he began piano lessons at 5 years old. Exuding musicianship decades beyond his years, he went on a Canadian tour which included the Halifax Jazz Festival and received training from  Fred Hersh, Taylor Eigsty, Billy Childs and the late great jazz master Chick Corea. Crossing genres, Harold has worked with a variety of artists including Leo Vera, La Cruzada, and Los Clasicos. In 2016 he joined Janio Abreu and Aire D’ Concierto, where he worked as a pianist and composer for Ruy Lopez-Nussa y La Academia. Currently, he is finishing his studies at Berklee, majoring in jazz composition and performance. His music features influences from Latin, Salsa, Jazz and Timba. Timba is a Cuban genre of music based on Cuban son with salsa, American funk/R&B, and the strong influence of Afro-Cuban folkloric music. Chucho Valdez, bandleader of Irakere is considered one of the founders of the style.  Harold would return in 2023.

He’s bringing some amazing talent with him including Trumpeter Richard Stanmeyer who also studies at Berklee on a grant from the college’s Presidential Scholarship Committee. His teachers include Tia Fuller, Marquis Hill, Jason Palmer, Charlie Lewis, and Jeff Stout among others. He performs regularly around town at Wally’s Jazz Café, the House of Blues, the Middle East, PAX East, and The Lilypad.

Cristián Tamblay is a Chilean drummer who performs and records with a wide variety of global artists. Ernan D. Ramos Ortiz “Ed Rox” – Congas and Cajon – is a multi-instrumentalist, rapper, composer, and producer who is strongly influenced by the rich musical culture of Puerto Rico and his upbringing in a family of musicians. “For me, music is the only way that your soul can speak itself.”

Michael Doughty is a bassist from North Andover, MA. and recently was the bassist for Berklee’s Signature Series concert featuring Afro-Cuban artist, Daymé Arocena.