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Saturday, July 29th – 7:30-10:00 pm
Caroline Davis Quintet
jazz club! when lights are low…

From NYC: Caroline Davis, alto saxophone and Carmen Staaf, piano, plus local heroes Raffi Garabedian, tenor saxophone; Noah Garabedian, bass; Evan Hughes, drums

Caroline, Carmen and Noah — none of whom have played at Bird & Beckett before — are fitting in this date between sessions teaching at Stanford Jazz Workshop’s Jazz Camp and Jazz Institute, and are joined tonight by Noah’s brother, Raffi, and drummer Evan Hughes, both of whom have been heard here to great effect several times in the past. We’re beyond pleased.

Bios from Stanford Jazz Workshop on Caroline, Carmen and Noah follow:

Mobile since her birth in Singapore, composer, saxophonist, and educator Caroline Davis now lives in Brooklyn, New York. After making her mark on the Chicago jazz community during her 8-year stint there, she moved to New York in 2013, and has proven to be an active leader and sidewoman on the national jazz scene.

She has shared musical moments with a diverse group of musicians, from jazz to mainstream, including Matt Wilson, Ellis Marsalis, Matt Mitchell, Randy Brecker, Bobby Broom, Greg Saunier, Ron Miles, Dennis Carroll, Erin McKeown, Allison Miller, Jenny Owen Youngs, and Billy Kaye. Aside from her own quintet, she collaborates regularly with R&B indie band, Maitri, and has been a regular member of many outfits including Whirlpool, Fatbook, Deep Fayed, Matt Mitchell’s Sprees, Billy Kaye Quintet, Paul Bedal Quintet, Orso, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, Caili O’Doherty Group, Dion Kerr Group, Elliot Ross, and Materials and Their Destiny.

Her debut album, Live Work & Play, was featured on All About Jazz’s best releases, and she was named one of JazzTimes’ Best New Artists in the 2012 Expanded Critics’ Poll. Her second album, Doors: Chicago Storylines, was just released as an audio documentary that uniquely sets stories from Chicago’s jazz scene from the 80s and 90s alongside her original music. Doors has brought her much acclaim in recent issues of DownBeat and JazzTimes.

As an educator, Caroline brings her unique knowledge of music and psychology to her teaching, as she acquired a Ph.D. in Music Cognition at Northwestern University in 2010. She has been on the faculty at Litchfield Jazz Camp for the past 10 years, and has been a guest educator at Northwestern University, University of Colorado at Boulder, St. Xavier University, Columbia College, DePaul University, University of Texas at Arlington, Loyola University, Texas Tech, New Trier High School, Evanston Township High School, Denver School of the Arts, Newman Smith High School, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. She has also participated in several jazz mentorship programs, including IAJE’s Sisters in Jazz and the Kennedy Center’s Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program.

Carmen Staaf: Winner of the 2009 Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Pianist Competition, Carmen Staaf has been called “a new star to discover” (Allmusic.com) and “a most impressive pianist” (Bob Brookmeyer); she was listed as one of Revive Music’s “Six Young Pianists You Should Know About” in 2015. Last year she performed with Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock at the Hollywood Bowl in the Playboy Jazz Festival, along with the Thelonious Monk Institute Ensemble. In December she played solo piano at the Kennedy Center for NPR’s A Jazz Piano Christmas, along with Kenny Barron, Fred Hersch and Joey Alexander. The Monk Institute ensemble also toured Morroco and Paris with Herbie Hancock and Dee Dee Bridgewater (with whom the band later played on the Tavis Smiley show). Carmen has previously been a guest soloist with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra under Wynton Marsalis, and has been featured on NPR’s JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater, a program that included clips of her trio’s 2010 Kennedy Center performance in the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival.

Carmen has performed throughout the United States as well as at numerous festivals and other venues in Europe, Latin America, and India. She played at Carnegie Hall with Lila Downs and at the Village Vanguard with Roberto Rodriguez Octeto Masada (during John Zorn’s Masada residency). Lately she has been part of the SPEAK project featuring tap dancers Michelle Dorrance and Dormeshia Sumbry Edwards, the Chitresh Das Kathak dance company, Hindustani musicians and a jazz trio led by drummer Allison Miller (with whom she also performed in Iceland, NYC and Oakland last year). Carmen is active on the NYC and Los Angeles jazz scenes, playing at venues such as Cornelia St Cafe, Iridium, Zinc Bar, Smalls, the Stone, and the 55 Bar, as well as larger concert halls. She is the pianist in Joseph Phillips, Jr.’s New Music ensemble Numinous, whose monumental “Changing Same” came out last year.

Carmen has also worked with jazz luminaries including Henry Grimes (with whom she performed in duo), Wynton Marsalis, Eddie Gomez, Bob Brookmeyer, Esperanza Spalding, Matt Wilson, George Garzone, Francisco Mela, Anat Cohen, and Avishai Cohen. She joined the piano faculty at Berklee College of Music at age 24, upon graduating from a five-year double degree program at Tufts University (Anthropology) and New England Conservatory, where she studied with Danilo Perez and Bob Brookmeyer. She later taught alongside Dafnis Prieto and Ferenc Nemeth at the Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music in South India, and is currently on faculty at the Litchfield Jazz Camp. Carmen studied and performed classical music for 12 years, and took a year off before college to study music in Cuba. Her upcoming sextet album, featuring music she debuted at the 2014 Litchfield Jazz Festival, is due out this summer.

Noah Garabedian: A native of Berkeley, California, Noah Garabedian holds a BA in Ethnomusicology from the University of California Los Angeles, and a Master’s in Music Performance from New York University. In 2006 he was awarded a John Coltrane National Scholarship, and in 2007 was selected as a finalist for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz graduate program. In March of 2011, Mr. Garabedian was selected to participate in Brad Mehldau’s master class at The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall, and in June of that same year was selected as a finalist in the ISB Double Bass Competition.

In November of 2016, Mr. Garabedian received a Fulbright Specialist Grant to teach jazz music for one month at Silpakorn University, in Bangkok, Thailand. As an educator Mr. Garabedian currently works with the music outreach program at Jazz At Lincoln Center called Jazz For Young People. He is also currently part-time faculty at The New School in New York City and works as a teaching artist with the New York Pops. In the past he has served as adjunct faculty at NYU, taught with The Weil Institute at Carnegie Hall, the Brooklyn Friend’s Summer Jazz Camp, Stanford Jazz Camp, and participated in the music outreach program between UCLA and the Los Angeles Unified School District.

As a sideman, Mr. Garabedian has performed and toured with Ravi Coltrane, Josh Roseman, Ralph Alessi, Andrew D’Angelo, Myron Walden, Nir Felder, Frank LoCrasto, Silver City Bound, Julian Pollack, as well as his own sextet Big Butter And The Egg Men. In March of 2014, Mr. Garabedian represented the US State Department on a seven-week tour of Southeast Asia with Silver City Bound, where they performed for the public, and taught workshops on music in several countries.


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The Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project

Our events are put on under the umbrella of the nonprofit Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project (the "BBCLP"). That's how we fund our ambitious schedule of 300 or so concerts and literary events every year.

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