ECJR is on a mission

Published 1:26 am Sunday, August 21, 2011


The East Coast Jazz Revue will present another legend of America’s music Friday.
Cedar Walton, an acclaimed pianist-composer, is set perform with his trio at the Washington Civic Center under the auspices of the ECJR.
“This year, Walton was honored with the prestigious UCLA Duke Ellington Masters of Jazz award and was inducted into the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) 2010 Class of Jazz Masters, which is the nation’s highest honor in jazz,” notes an ECJR news release.
Appearing with Walton will be bassist Buster Williams, saxophonist Vincent Herring and drummer George Fludas.
But Larry Turner, founder and president of the nonprofit group, wants people to know ECJR is about more than concerts.
“While the performances bring a lot of attention and spotlight, our hope in establishing this nonprofit organization was to do the education and outreach to the community, especially young people, by developing a youth academy very similar to what has been done with academies across the country,” said Turner.
The ultimate goal is to initiate a local jazz camp that could engage young musicians for one or two weeks during the summer, he related.
ECJR already has taken steps toward the fulfillment of Turner’s jazz-camp dream.
In May, visiting drummer-bandleader Roger Humphries led a free-to-the-public “master class” that zeroed in on the youths-in-jazz element of ECJR. During the class, attendees exchanged ideas and asked questions while Humphries demonstrated drum techniques.
Turner envisions expanding the class tie-in with the concerts by partnering with nationally known jazz educators.
The Walton concert will not be connected with a master class tentatively scheduled for October. This fall’s class will benefit from the participation of cellist-vocalist Shana Tucker, and perhaps one other jazz professional, according to Turner.
The date for the class hasn’t been set.
In the meantime, Turner is zeroing in on Friday’s concert.
He warns that seating is limited for this catered affair, and that this is an increasingly scarce chance to see a jazz master in action.
“It’s really very rare to have someone like Cedar Walton at this stage in his career,” Turner said, adding Walton, at age 77, is still “very much in demand.”
The $60-per-person ticket price includes a preshow reception catered by The Meeting Place, a Washington restaurant.
Anne Martin, co-owner of the restaurant, said the menu includes pork tenderloin with chutney, smoked salmon, roast beef, vegetables, fresh fruits, dessert and other delicacies.
A cash beer-and-wine bar will be open to patrons.
Washington Mayor Archie Jennings is set to present a proclamation in honor of Walton, Turner said.

East Coast Jazz Revue features
The Cedar Walton

8 p.m. Friday
Washington Civic Center
Cocktail party and reception begins at 6 p.m.
Tickets cost $60 each and must be purchased in advance
For ticket information:
Visit the Little Shoppes of Washington
or call