Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Warren Byrd with the Afro-Semitic Experience: Workshop Performance of Their New Project, “Jazz Souls On Fire” A Benefit for The Buttonwood Tree Piano Fund

The Afro-Semitic ExperienceJune 21, 8 pm 
Reservations suggested. Go online 

Come experience “Art in progress” – This is a WORKSHOP PERFORMANCE
Witness art in the making!

 Warren Byrd Solos + Surprise Friends – Benefit Concert for the Piano Fund

Warren Byrd, Alvin Carter, Jr., David Chevan, Will Bartlett, Stacy Phillips, and Abu Alvin Carter, Sr.

With their highly accessible ethnic world music mix and their ability to get an audience on its feet, The Afro-Semitic Experience is emerging on the festival scene and redefining the jazz concert. This is a band beyond category—a mix of spiritual, world-beat, funk, jazz, cantorial, gospel, salsa, swing . . . soul-driven music. Their concerts are celebrations where they play great music, tell stories, and offer a positive and meaningful message: Unity in the Community.

Pianist / vocalist / composer Warren Byrd is a Hartford native with an international touring schedule after many fruitful years playing Jazz throughout Connecticut, Southern New England, and New York.
Early Years: He’s the youngest in a family of music lovers. Showing talent early on, he was encouraged to perform, singing in the Gospel choir at age 4. He was nurtured to love big band jazz early. He pursued a Theatre career starting at age 14 and had amassed extensive performing credits throughout his teen years. He began composing music at about age 11 and grew into a passion for bebop jazz, especially the music of Charlie Parker, Oscar Peterson. He studied Jazz Piano and Music Theory notably with Thomassina Neely, Music Director of Warburton Community Church and R. Leslie Childs Music Teacher at South Catholic High School.

He was placed in the top 25 of the 1999 Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition. Nominated for Advocate’s Best of Hartford in the Keyboard category 8 times in 1999, David Chevan and he expanded their duo to form the celebrated group the Afro-Semitic Experience and recorded their second CD. This Is the Afro- Semitic Experience(Reckless 2000). Also in 1999, he formed his band The Warren Byrd Group. They would appear in festivals and venues around Southern New England as well as accompanying visiting artists. They also appeared as a guest artist with New Haven Community Symphony conducted by Gordon Emerson in a rendition of Bach Meets Blues, a concerto for piano trio and orchestra. In February 2001, he worked as a sideman for Saskia Laroo, jazz trumpet player from the Netherlands. Impressed by his playing, she requested his services as pianist/keyboardist for her next appearance in Connecticut in June of that year. This began their ten-year and current association.

Current Period: By 2002, he had become an experienced special guest, all-star bandmember, sideman and freelance pianist with a long list of credits. 2002 would also mark the intensifying of Laroo and Byrd’s association. He has become her principal keyboardist and has accompanied her appearances on over 100 international tours in ten years.

He continues to invest in the development of his artistry, compose new works, initiate own performance and recording projects, freelance with many Southern New England jazz and pop music acts as well as other international artists and acts, do educational and consulting work, accompanying dance at the Wesleyan University School of Dance in Middletown, Connecticut(since 2004). He now is promoting as a bandleader “The Byrdspeak Ensemble”, Trio Warren Byrd and Warren Byrd Solo, as a co-bandleader: Duo Laroo/Byrd and The Afro-Semitic Experience. He is preparing a new CD album: “Charms of the Fourth Dimension”.

His deep respect for all arts, his experiences in the theatre as a youth, his work with Dance, his extensive touring schedule, all kinds of gigs and performances of diverse styles, his willingness to absorb old and new, his curiosity of all artifacts of the human spirit may be reflected inversely in his work motto: “… Music speaks free-spirit tongues unleashing grace on souls dancing toward daring peace…”. 

No comments: