John Menegon’s All-Star Quartet Celebrates 100 Years of George Shearing at Jazz At Kitano NYC 1.12.19

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George Shearing: Celebrating 100 Years

John Menegon’s All-Star Quartet Celebrates 100 Years of Sir George Shearing at Kitano Jazz in New York City on Saturday, January 12, 2019. Performances at 8 pm and 10 pm.

George Shearing’s piano and compositions lit up the English and American Jazz scene from the 1940’s to Mr. Shearing’s last performing year, 2004. Most famous for his compositions “Lullaby of Birdland” and “Conception”, George Shearing was knighted in 2007 for his services to music.

Born in Battersea, London, the youngest of nine children, Shearing began playing piano at 3. His earliest influences included Teddy Wilson and Fats Waller. His harmonically complex style mixed swing, bop, and modern classical influences.

His first Quintet, in 1949, was formed with Margie Hyams (vibes), Chuck Wayne (guitar), John Levy (bass) and Denzil Best (drums).

John Menegon’s Quartet features John Di Martino (piano), Steve Nelson (vibes), John Menegon (bass), and Yoron Israel (drums). Also featuring guest vocalist Teri Roiger who will perform music from Sir George Shearing’s collaboration with Nancy Wilson.

Also on the bill will be Shearing’s unique arrangements of well known standard compositions.

Shearing was born on August 13, 1919, and passed away on Valentines Day 2011. His music continues to inspire and inform musicians today and this evening’s tribute will put him back in the spotlight once again. His recordings for Discovery Records, MGM Records and Capitol Records showcase the pianistic style he became known for. His piano technique, “Shearing’s Voicing”, utilize a type of double melody block chord, with an additional fifth part that doubles the melody an octave lower. This style is also know as “locked hands” and the jazz organist Milt Buckner, is credited with inventing it.

The All-Star Quartet features on piano John Di Martino, arranger and producer, based in New York City. Di Martino is on the recent (2018-19) Grammy-nominated recording with renowned vocalist Freddy Cole. John has been described as a "shape-shifter" for his creativity across musical genres. He has performed and recorded with David "Fathead" Newman, Pat Martino, Houston Person and Taj Mahal, and is a sought-after musical director. He has accompanied Jon Hendricks, Keely Smith, Billy Eckstine and Janis Siegel. John's talents as arranger and pianist can be heard on recordings with Gloria Lynn and Grady Tate.

Vibraphonist Steve Nelson began his career during the seventies, in his hometown of Pittsburgh, following the straight ahead path blazed by his first major influence, Milt Jackson. After a year with guitarist Grant Green he was playing and recording with his Rutgers professors James Spaulding and Kenny Barron, before landing a spot in David "Fathead" Newman's quintet. He graduated from Rutgers University with both Master's and Bachelor's degrees in music, and his teaching activities have included a position at Princeton University.

John Menegon, New York City bassist, composer, & arranger, started his career playing bass in Montreal. After having worked for several years on the Canadian jazz scene with the great guitarists Sonny Greenwich, Mike Gauthier & Nelson Simons, and saxophonists Steve Grossman & Pat LaBarbara, he went on to hone his skills in NYC in the mid-80s.

Since moving to New York to study Jazz at Long Island University on a full scholarship, John has performed/recorded with Dewey Redman, David “Fathead” Newman, Matt Wilson, Frank Kimbrough, John Hicks, John Abercrombie, Steve Slagle, Yoron Israel, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Burrell, Joel Frahm, Pat Metheny, Kenny Barron, Paul Bley, Anthony Braxton's Tri-Centric Orchestra, Nick Brignola, Sheila Jordan, Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano, and many others.

Menegon was the bassist for jazz legends Dewey Redman and also David “Fathead” Newman for ten years (1998 ‘til 2009), and recorded five CDs with Newman on High Note Records. John's 2017 recording "Blew By Blues" with his group "Quartet East" features Joel Frahm on saxophones. His 2014 release "I Remember You" includes dedications to some of the musicians who have influenced him musically and creatively over the years.

“Canadian-bred John Menegon is in the line of George Mraz and Michael Moore; a harmonically sophisticated bassist with technical facility who swings hard when it’s called for,” said Downbeat Magazine in a 4-star review.

Yoron Israel, a native Chicagoan, is one of the most gifted and sought-after musicians of his generation. He has been the Co-Chair and a Professor of Percussion at Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA) since 2002.

Yoron’s exciting and tasteful drumming, along with his compositional and arranging talents, are spotlighted on his most recent release “This Moment” as well as the recordings: “Visions”: The Music of Stevie Wonder, “Basic Traneing,” “Live at the Blue Note,” and “A Gift for You.” As co-leader of the Frank Walton/Yoron Israel Sextet, the recordings “Live in Chicago” and “The Back Step” are noteworthy.

Teri Roiger has been making music all her life (since age 5) and over the years her music has taken many exciting twists and turns. Teri is a jazz vocalist, but also plays piano, composes music, writes lyrics, and produces. Ms. Roiger has built a fine reputation as a singer, composer, and lyricist of profound musicality and depth of spirit. Her four recordings, "Ghost of Yesterday: Shades of Lady Day," "Dear Abbey: The Music of Abbey Lincoln," "Still Life," and "Misterioso" have each met with critical acclaim, as have her live performances at festivals and at top New York jazz spots.

“Teri has an intuitive laid back sense of time reminiscent of Abbey Lincoln and Betty Carter but with her own uniqueness,” says Jack DeJohnette, legendary jazz drummer & 2012 NEA Jazz Master.


66 Park Ave (East 38th st.)

NY, NY 10016

Reservations Suggested: 212.885.7119

$34 cover + $20.00 minimum (food and beverage)


White Diamond Media

Catherine Castle

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