Part of the 2008 Fresh Fruit Festival (International Festival of LGBT Culture & Art), Neal has rounded up some of the best Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender jazz performers around to pay tribute to the LGBT greats of the jazz world.
The lineup of performers set to play the intimate venue includes pianist/songstress Jacqueline Jonee, neo-jazz artist Nhojj, songstress and storyteller Chaney Sims, Ricky DeMarco, long time jazz great Donald Smith and, of course, Fresh Fruit Award winner Rome Neal himself.
A recent press release provides a rundown of the evening and background information on the talented jazz cats that will grace the stage:
"Sometimes haunted, sometimes closeted, sometimes freely out, these LGBT geniuses told us stories with the notes they hit and brought musical wonder to the world. Rome Neal is the artistic director theater director of the Nuyorican Caf_. This year will include emerging jazz artists and some surprises.
Jacqueline Jon_e, pianist and vocalist made her first Carnegie Hall appearance in 1999. This year she has appeared at Lincoln Center . Jacqueline is featured in Joe E. Jeffreys' Drag Show VideoV_rit_.
Nhojj is an out neo-soul singer and instrumentalist, his music has earned him the #1 position on the Neo-Soul, Fusion, Nu-Jazz, Healing, Easy Listening, and Gospel Myspace Indie NY Charts for a total of 31 weeks, and a mention at the 13th and 14th Annual Billboard Songwriting Competition.
Chaney Sims is a songstress and storyteller from Flushing, Queens. Raised on R&B, Soul, Blues and Worksongs, Chaney's art/words/music is dedicated to sharing the significance of these uniquely American art forms and exploring her experience as a lesbian, feminist coloredgrrl. She has performed at venues throughout NYC including The Bitter End, the Blue Note, The 55 Bar, Rivers of Honey at WOW Caf_ Theatre, BRIC Studios, H.E.R.E. Arts Center, The Brecht Forum and Galapagos.
Donald Smith, a native of Richmond, Virginia, is the son of Lonnie Liston Smith,Sr., who was a member of "Harmonizing Four," the oldest gospel music quartet in the country. Pianist, singer, and flautist, Donald has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan. He has worked with such jazz greats as Art Blakey, Rasahn Roland Kirk, Gloria Lynne, and of course with his brother, Lonnie Liston Smith. This extremely gifted musician can be heard on numerous recordings.
Ricky DeMarco, a singer, songwriter, lyricist has performed with some of NYC's best and has graced some of it's greatest stages - performing at Lincoln Center, the Vangard, Smalls and the Sugar Bar just to name a few. A student of world renowned bebop jazz pianist Barry Harris , DeMarco has been compared to Jazz legend Billy Eckstein and dubbed by some "The male Sarah Vaughn". His voice moves from the full bodied richness of Billy Eckstein to breathy soulfulness of Luther Vandross."
The performance will feature Mary Rodriguez on drums, Debbie Kenndy on bass, Donald Smith on piano, and a special invited guest performance by Mel Greenwich.
Tickets for the 7 PM show are priced at $25 general admission and $20 for seniors and students. $65 VIP tickets may be purchased for prime concert seating and an after-show reception.
Call 212-967-7555 or visit www.joespub.com for tickets. More information may be found at www.freshfruitfestival.com.
Joe's Pub is located within the Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street near Astor Place.