February 13, 2018 – Bronx, NY – Bronx Arts Ensemble ( BAE ) will celebrate Women’s History Month with a performance by Mimi Jones and her latest project The Black Madonna featuring Jones, Leonor Falcon, Nir Felder, and Darrian Douglas. Almost all of the pieces in this contemporary jazz concert are composed by Jones, whose music is a fusion of styles including jazz, funk, folk, and rock.
“The inspiration for this concert came during my 2017 concert tour of southern Italy. When the promoter said to me, ‘You remind me of images of the Black Madonna,’ I realized that the only images I had seen of Christ and Mary were Caucasian. In Italy, I saw many pictures of black madonnas with a face that could look like mine. Those faces served as my muse, and revealed strength and grace,” said Jones.
The concert will take place on Saturday, March 3rd at 7:30 pm at Lehman College ’s Student Experimental Theatre (S.E.T.) and will feature Mimi Jones, bass/vocalist; Nir Felder, guitar; Darrian Douglas, drums; and Leonor Falcon, viola. Tickets are $15 advance purchase and $25 at the door. For tickets and more information go to bronxartsensemble.org or call (718) 601-7399.
For the more than two decades she’s been on the scene, bassist/vocalist/producer/label owner and now, filmmaker, Mimi Jones has reigned supreme, as a sidewoman to an impressive coterie of musicians and as a leader with three CDs on her own label, (Hot Tone Music) featuring the Mimi Jones Band. Her newest release for the label, Feet in the Mud, is her most powerful, recording to date. “Feet in the Mud refers to being true to one’s own self despite your race, age, gender, size etcetera,” Jones says. Jones is supported by an engaging and ingenious collection of musicians including pianist Jon Cowherd, drummer Jonathan Barber, and saxophonist Samir Zarif. Born in New York City of parents from Barbados, and raised in the Bronx, Jones is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and she has studied with Lisle Atkinson, Ron Carter, Linda McKnight, Milton Hinton and others. She has toured extensively throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, South America, and the Caribbean Islands and is recognized as a U.S. Jazz Ambassador. Her vast work as a sidewoman includes gigs with Kenny Barron, Frank Ocean, Dianne Reeves, Tia Fuller, Ingrid Jensen, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Marc Cary, Toshi Reagon, Rachel Z, Sean Jones, Ravi Coltrane, and Terri Lyne Carrington’s Grammy Award-winning Mosaic Project. Jones also serves as co-director with ArcoIris Sandoval of The D.O.M.E. Experience, a multimedia project created to inspire its audience to become aware of environmental and social issues, within the community and globally through choreography, composition, and cinematography. For more information: mimijonesmusic.com, hottonemusic.com, facebook.com/HotToneMusic, @mimijonesmusic, @HotToneMusic.
A native of Venezuela, violinist and violist Leonor Falcon has a very diverse background in performing music of different genres. As a classical musician, she has appeared as a soloist with Virtuosi de Caracas, was a member of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Venezuela and in Switzerland, she was a co-founder of the chamber orchestra Camerata Candela that focused on Latin American contemporary repertoire and folk music. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from IUDEM (University of Music of Venezuela), studied under Virginie Roibilliard at Mozarteum de Caracas and holds a Master of Music performance degree from the Conservatory of Geneva, Switzerland and a Master of Jazz performance degree from Queens College in New York City. As a violinist and improviser Leonor Falcon has had a truly interesting interdisciplinary career in New York City as a valuable addition in ensembles that are dedicated to Jazz, Avant-garde, Latin and classical music such as Willie Colon’s band, Akua Dixon’s string quartet, Sirius Quartet and Karl Berger improvisers orchestra. She is also one of the founders of the Solar string quartet which has performed on many venues across New York backing some truly exciting performers such as Mario Castro, Joanna Wallfisch, and Julien Hucq among others. This fall of 2017 she’ll be releasing her debut album IMAGA MONDO under her own label Falcon Gumba Records. For more information: leonorfalcon.com, falcongumbarecords.com.
Called “the next big jazz guitarist” by NPR, Nir Felder is a new voice in instrumental music. Equally adept across a wide range of genres, inspired by icons from John Coltrane to voodoo chile Jimi Hendrix, Felder has forged a unique and highly recognizable sound at a young age and quickly become one of the New York City’s most highly sought-after musicians as both a solo artist and as a sideman. He has performed with, among others, Chaka Khan, Diana Krall, John Mayer, Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington (with whom he recorded the Grammy-winning “Money Jungle”), Vijay Iyer, Jack DeJohnette, Meshell Ndegeocello, the New York City Opera, Dianne Reeves, Joe Lovano, Snarky Puppy, Bobby McFerrin and Lizz Wright, at venues including Radio City Music Hall and the Village Vanguard and major national television stations (NBC Christmas Special, etc). He is also a member of the new co-lead all-star band Band of Other Brothers (with Jeff Coffin, Jeff Babko, Will Lee and Keith Carlock). Seeking a more personal creative outlet, Felder first formed his own group in 2010, performing shows throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia. Felder’s critically acclaimed debut “Golden Age” (Sony/OKeh) has been called “absolutely beautiful” by The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, “lyrical and lofty” by The New York Times, “mesmerizing” by The Boston Globe , “a melodic triumph” by the New York City Jazz Record , and “mind-boggling” by All About Jazz. “If the hope, thought, depth and heart displayed on this recording are any indication, Felder sees his own golden age happening right now – and I wholeheartedly agree. A great recording.” – Downbeat Magazine Editor’s Pick. Felder’s next release is slated for 2018. The new album, tentatively titled “Interregnum”, seeks to build on the direction established with “Golden Age” – taking jazz music in a new direction for the 21st century. For more information: nirfelder.com, facebook.com/nirfelder.
Jackson, Mississippi native Darrian Douglas has fashioned a successful music career with jazz groups throughout New Orleans and New York City. In 2008, Douglas moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, where he took over the drum chair in Ellis Marsalis’s quartet. He stated, “I love playing with Mr. Marsalis; he allowed me to grow and explore the music without consequence.” Douglas continued to play with Ellis until his departure from New Orleans in December 2012. His newest role is Executive Director of Second Line Arts Collective. A non-profit organization focused on creating arts education programs that enable young artist to thrive in the modern economy. Douglas now resides in New York City where he is currently pursuing his music career. For more information: darriandouglas.com.
The Bronx Arts Ensemble brings the power of the arts to neighborhoods across the Bronx through its live music and arts education programs. It presents over 50 live concerts annually to more than 35,000 people, featuring diverse cultures, including classical, Latin, Afro-Cuban, and other world music. BAE’s arts education programs have served over 100,000 Bronx students since 1993 through multi-disciplinary artist residencies during school hours, after-school, and through summer activities that culminate in original auditorium programs and in-school gallery exhibits. For more information: bronxartsensemble.org