Join me as I welcome home to Rogers Park internationally renowned contrabass artist and composer,Stafford James. Mr. James and his Stafford James String Ensemble are performing at the elegant Mayne Stage Theater, 1328 W. Morse, this Thursday, May 17th, 8:00 p.m. (doors open at 7:00 p.m.).
This is the first of a series of concerts of international recording artists presented by the Tophat Music Society. The concert will be recorded live.
Tickets to this unique musical event are $65. To purchase tickets, CLICK HERE, or visit the Mayne Stage box office.
Mr. James, a native of Evanston and a current Rogers Park resident, played with many famous jazz musicians in the late 1960s and early 1970s, including a stint with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. In the mid 1970s, he moved to Paris and served as a musical ambassador, composed film scores and has focused on exploring the intermingling of jazz and classical music for nearly 40 years before settling back in Rogers Park last year.
Thursday night’s musical program will include new arrangements of songs by Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk, as well as Mr. James compositions. The musicians featured include: Stafford James- Contrabass soloist, Sylvia de la Cerna- Violin, Lori Ashikawa- Violin, Lynn La Plante- Viola, Jocelyn Butler- Cello, Scott Hesse- Guitar, Christian Dillingham- Contrabass, Akira Tana- Drums and Percussion, and Ari Brown- Tenor saxophone.
Don’t miss this unique musical event. To purchase tickets, CLICK HERE.
I look forward to seeing you Thursday night!
Mr. James grew up in Evanston, attended the University of Chicago, and moved to New York. He toured worldwide with numerous Jazz giants, including Art Blakey, Betty Carter, Dexter Gordon, Jimmy Heath, Woody Shaw and countless others, as well as numerous tours under three Presidents under the auspices of U.S.I.A. He was also asked to be principal contrabass for the National Ukrainian Orchestra during Perestroika for their “Stravinsky Tour”.
Dexter Gordon, Woody Shaw, Stafford James, Ron Mathews and Louis Hayes are attributed for bringing Jazz back to America in 1976 with Grammy Award winning album on CBS records, entitled “Homecoming” that inspired the film “Round Midnite” which gave Dexter Gordon the Oscar nomination in 1980.
Stafford James was born in Evanston, Illinois where he attended and graduated from Evanston Township High School. He attended Chicago Conservatory College where he studied contrabass with Rudolf Fahsbender of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, then Mannes College of Music in New York City, where he studied contrabass with Julius Levine and in Vienna, Austria where he studied contrabass with Ludwig Streicher.
He taught contrabass at the United Nations International School in New York City; The New School for Social Research; Sydney Conservatory; artist in residence at the Universty of Graz, Austria; Rutgers University; master classes at University of Colorado, Boulder; and the Paris Conservatory.
He was composer at West Deutschland Rundfunk or WDR radio of Cologne, Germany for ten years of multiple projects, during the tenure of Karlheinz Stockhausen. He was awarded the title of “Fellow” for composition by the Civitella Ranieri Foundation of Umbertide, Italy(near to Florence) in 1998.
His compositions can be heard in multiple genres of music, ie; sampling his music for French “House Music”, Jazz musicians have recorded numerous of his compositions and his music has been utilized for radio themes in France, Germany, Japan, Italy and Australia and most recently in the French movie, “Le Grand Restaurant” by Pierre Palmade, starring French icon, Gérard Dépardieue.