Steve Carrington Quintet
Eric Kennedy - Drums
Eric Wheeler - Bass
Benito Gonzalez - Piano
Josh Evans - Trumpet/Flugelhorn
Steve Carrington - Tenor Saxophone
Tickets: $12/$10 students
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Dynamic, powerful, and diverse, Steve Carrington's depth in his interpretation and confidence in his approach move the soul.
Born and raised in East Baltimore, Steve Carrington's musical talent and ear for jazz were recognized and developed at an early age. In his early teens he enrolled at Frederick Douglass High in Baltimore, a school with a rich musical legacy that includes alumni such as Cab Calloway and Eubie Blake. While a student at Douglass, Carrington showed an early commitment to and love for jazz. Carrington continued his musical maturation at the Baltimore School for the Arts. Following graduation, he was awarded a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied jazz theory, composition, and performance with saxophonist/teacher, Bill Pierce. Born and raised in East Baltimore, Maryland, Steve CarringtonÆs musical talent and ear for jazz were recognized and developed at an early age. In his early teens he enrolled at Frederick Douglass High in Baltimore, a school with a rich musical legacy that includes alumni such as Cab Calloway and Eubie Blake. While a student at Douglass, Carrington showed an early commitment to and love for jazz. Carrington continued his musical maturation at the Baltimore School for the Arts.
Following graduation, he was awarded a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied jazz theory, composition, and performance with saxophonist/teacher, Bill Pierce. Graduating from Berklee in 1988, Carrington moved to New York where he played with The Charles Mingus Epitaph, trumpeter Roy Hargrove, Milt Hinton, Dizzy Gillespie, and a host of others. During this period he was a fixture on the New York club scene at venues such as Time CafT, VisioneÆs, and the Blue Note.
Changing direction in the mid æ90s, Carrington returned home to direct the Jazz Mentoring Program at the Eubie Blake Center for Cultural Arts in association with Frederick Douglass High School and Coppin State College. During his stint as a jazz educator, Carrington continued to play with Phillip Harper, Theodros Avery, Grady Tate and Cyrus Chestnut. Chestnut featured Carrington on his third Atlantic Records relase, Earth Stories. Carrington has now focused his energy as leader of his own group. In formats ranging from trio to quintet, Carrington has opened for giants such as Abbey Lincoln, Lionel Hampton, and Stanley Turrentine. His first CD as leader, SeasonÆs Change, is now available. Carrington is also a member of the group Modern Concept, and is a featured soloist on a just-released album by the Thad Wilson Big Band.
Eric Kennedy, a Baltimore native, is a drummer, vocalist, percussionist, educator and composer. Eric’s introduction to all styles of music and early music training was initiated by his musical relatives, who also cultivated his love of jazz. Before the age of five, Eric began his development as a percussionist and singer performing with a family/neighborhood band and singing in the Timothy Baptist church choir.
Eric attended the Baltimore City Gifted and Talented Exploratory (G.A.T.E.) Program at Harford Heights Elementary School, where he began formal study of music and art. As a student of the GATE Program, he also co-composed, arranged and performed music for an award winning student short film. Eric continued his arts education at the Baltimore School for the Arts studying classical percussion and voice with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra percussionist John Locke, Donna Di Stefano and the late Dr. Nathan Carter. He later transferred to the Music Careers Programs at Frederick Douglass Sr. High School directed by Ms. Jewel Churn and received extra-curricular instruction from legendary Baltimore drummers Johnny Polite and "Peanut" Saunderlin. After high school, Eric moved to Philadelphia to work with the world music ensemble Our Time Is Now and continue his personal study in ethnomusicology. In Philadelphia, Eric came under the tutelage of Sun Ra and received private instruction from legendary drummer Edgar Bateman.
In 1990, Eric and Our Time Is Now moved to Holland to perform and travel across Europe and record their debut recording, The Pursuit of Happyness. Two years later, he found himself in French Guiana, playing with the Victor Sabas Trio and studying the rhythms of South America, Central America and the Caribbean. During this period, Eric discovered a passion for composition and began writing in myriad styles which reflected his diverse experiences. His current catalog of compositions boasts approximately 500 compositions and sketches of multifarious cultural influences and rhythm styles.
Upon his return to Baltimore, Eric’s career began to blossom. As a freelance drummer he played with Mack Rucks, Moments Notice, the Eubie Blake Sextet and Big Band, Craig Alston, Ruby Glover, Gary Richardson, the Al Maniscalco Quartet, the Steve Carrington Quartet and the Kelly Shepherd Quartet, and co-founded the jazz ensemble Dreamworld. He studied voice with Odell Wilson and Timmy Shepherd, drums with Leroy Williams, fundamental technique with Jamal Wilson, brushes with renowned master Clayton Cameron and attended the jazz workshops of legendary teacher/musician Barry Harris. In the years to follow, Eric played, toured and/or recorded with, among others, Curtis Fuller, Phil Woods, Curtis Lundy, Joe Bonner, Larry Willis, Eddie Gale, Carl Grubbs (2009 Baker Artist Award Winner), John Hicks, Gary Bartz, TK Blue, Richard Wyands, Virgil Jones, Eddie Henderson, Bunky Green, Ronnie Mathews, Yusef Salim, Nnena Freelon, Xavier Davis, Orrin Evans, Charles Davis, Reggie Workman, Keter Betts, Valery Ponomarev, Gary Thomas, Shodekeh, Herman Burney and Cecil McBee. As a vocalist, Eric was runner up in the 2004 Billie Holiday Vocal Competition and showcased at Artscape 2010.
Eric broadened as an entertainer as well. He trained with Quest for Arts, a Maryland based not-for-profit organization whose educational work focuses on the use of visual theatre to enhance literacy. As Quest’s inclusive membership represents a diverse ethnic, cultural, and artistic panorama, Eric accompanied a Deaf dance ensemble led by renowned Deaf choreographer Yola Roznek. He also composed and accompanied the multimedia ensemble piece, I Carry the Flag, performed at Gallaudet University, Towson University and the Baltimore Creative Alliance for a primarily Deaf audience. Eric’s theater credits include a 25th anniversary tour with the cast of the Broadway musical revue Ain’t Misbehavin’ in 2003, a tribute to Billie Holiday "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill" in 2006, Anunsi the Spider with the Sankofa Dance Ensemble, The Women of Brewster's Place and Nnenna Freelon and the Evidence Dance Company’s “ The Blueprint of a Lady” at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem in 2007. His film credits include a composition featured in the independent film "The Big Muddy".
Eric also flourished as an educator. Eric served three years as adjunct faculty in the jazz department at the Peabody Conservatory of Music teaching drum set, voice, jazz combo and jazz history and also taught voice and percussion for the Eubie Blake Cultural Center and the Mount Royal Elementary and Middle Schools. He was invited to Sweden to perform and teach for at the Music School of Malmo with the Gary Thomas Trio. Over the years, Eric developed and presented a catalog of workshops and clinics for community centers, churches, schools and university programs across the United States and abroad. Eric is currently involved in the multifaceted Project AYA, an educational initiative which honors the traditions of the Underground Railroad. A special project of In This Together Development, INC, this project explores coded messages and hidden meanings in the songs and quilts used along the path to freedom through textiles, song, drumming and movement. Dedicated to youth and developing artists, Eric continues to conduct private lessons in drums, percussion, music theory, vocals and primal performance technique.
Nationally, and internationally, Eric leads his own ensembles and performs regularly with the Bobby Watson Quartet, NoMad Stories, the Timmy Shepherd Group, Inside Out (a collective trio with Lafayette Gilchrist and Michael Formanek), the Larry Willis Trio, the Jeff Reed Trio, Todd Marcus Quartet, Joel Holmes Trio, and Kinetic Sounds. Locally, Eric is Artistic Director for In This Together Development, a Baltimore based not-for-profit organization, whose mission is to bring arts as a means of expression to at risk youth, will begin a term as Artist in Residence at An Die Muzik (Central Baltimore) and serves as the project coordinator for the Jazzy Oliver Music Outreach Program in East Baltimore.
Eric released his debut recording of original instrumental musical in 2011, with a vocal recording following later that year.
“Eric Wheeler is a Washington, DC native and has been studying string bass for 17 years. He began studying classical music at the age of nine at the DC Youth Orchestra Program in Washington, DC. At age thirteen he was accepted into the Duke Ellington School for the Arts, where he began to study jazz music. At Ellington, he had the opportunity to travel to places such as Canada, France, England, and Germany. This greatly influenced Eric to pursue a career in music. While attending Howard University as a music major, he worked professionally in the DC metro area as a jazz and classical musician. Eric received both his Bachelor and Master’s degrees from Howard University as of May 2006. Since then he has performed with notable jazz artist such as Stephon Harris, Tim Warfield, Cyrus Chestnut, and Roy Hargrove. He has performed at venues such as the Kennedy Center, Blues Alley, Bohemian Caverns, the Lincoln Theatre, Wolf Trap, and the Strathmore Music Center, all located in the DC area. He also performs quite frequently at Ortleibs Jazz in Philadelphia, PA and the infamous Zinc Bar located New York City, NY. In addition to playing at numerous jazz clubs and performing arts centers on the east coast, Eric has also performed at major jazz festivals in the US and abroad. In September 2007 he performed with famous trumpeter Eddie Henderson at the Jenkintown Jazz Festival in Jenkintown, Pa, and in November of 2007 with Saxophonist Mike Phillips at the Tranqulity Jazz Festival in Anguilla, BWI. In August of 2008 Eric performed with pianist Eric Lewis at the world renown Charlie Parker Festival held in New York, NY. Eric also performs a wide variety of music and has appeared on several R&B, gospel, and classical recordings. Presently Eric works as a full time musician and educator in the DC metro area.”
The fusion of world rhythms and straight-ahead jazz make this passionate performer an
audience favorite all over the world. Benito Gonzalez is being recognized as an exciting pianist
and composer for his well-received debut album, “Starting Point” (Christian McBride, Antonio
Sanchez, Rene McLean, Ron Blake) and as winner of the 2005 Great American Jazz Piano
Presently, Benito is creating a very personal body of work for his sophomore album as a leader
that will feature him as an improviser. After two years touring with jazz master, Kenny Garrett,
he added numerous festivals and international jazz club dates to his credit. Benito has shared
the stage with Curtis Fuller, Pharaoh Sanders, Bobby Hutcherson, Christian McBride, Ignacio
Berroa, Roy Hargrove, Rene McLean, Steve Turre, Hamiet Bluiett, Antonio Sanchez, T.K. Blue,
Nicholas Payton and Jackie Mclean.
His multi-cultural talents have led to frequent recording dates; from American jazz masters to
West African musicians to Latin bands. He has also served as musical director for several
Venezuelan recording artists.
The Benito Gonzalez Trio has appeared at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the
University of Maryland and the Jacksonville Jazz Festival in addition to many other noted jazz
Josh Evans, born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut, started playing the trumpet when he was ten. His musical career was to be shaped by meeting and being mentored by the great Jackie McLean beginning at age 13. Performances with the late, great McLean included venues such as the Blue Note, Iridium, Regattabar, and the Bushnell Theatre. While attending the Greater Hartford Academy of the Performing Arts High School, Josh was selected for the All-American Grammy High School Jazz Band, won the Wynton Kelly Award and an Outstanding Soloist Award from Down Beat magazine. Josh has performed with many notables, including Cedar Walton, Rashied Ali, Benny Golson, Mickey Bass, Terell Stafford, Winard Harper, Shelia Jordan, Steve Davis, and Valery Ponomarev