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Jazz In Times Square: Godwin Louis and Jonathan Barber Duo

Jazz In Times Square: Godwin Louis and Jonathan Barber Duo

This Thursdays at 6pm until September 30th at the Broadway Plaza between 43rd and 44th Streets get ready for Jazz In Times Square Concert Series, curated by Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Give your Thursday night a new rhythm. Jazz at Lincoln Center joins us outside again this summer to bring New York City’s hottest young jazz bands to the plaza, creating the feeling of an intimate club amidst the lights and sounds of Times Square.

Godwin Louis, alto saxophonist, was born in Harlem, New York and began playing saxophone at age nine. Godwin grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut and Port au Prince, Haiti. Godwin was a finalist in the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Saxophone Competition. He has performed around the globe including: Mali, Senegal, Togo, France, Finland, Spain, United Kingdom, Italy, Russia, Azerbaijan, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Venezuela, Colombia, South Korea, Indonesia and Australia. Godwin is a graduate of Berklee College of Music and the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute for Jazz Performance. Godwin has studied and performed with Herbie Hancock, Clark Terry, Roger Dickerson, Ron Carter, Al Foster, Jack Dejohnette, Jimmy Heath, Billy Preston, Patti Labelle, Toni Braxton, Babyface, Madonna, Gloria Estefan, Barry Harris, Howard Shore, David Baker, Mulatu Astakte, Mahmoud Ahmed, Wynton Marsalis, and Terence Blanchard just to name a few.

In addition, Godwin has performed as a sideman, guest soloist and has conducted clinics and master classes worldwide. As a composer, Godwin has received the Jerome Foundation Emerging Artist Grant, and the Jazz Gallery’s “New Works Commission”. As an educator, humanitarian and ambassador, Godwin has traveled from Benin to China to help promote cross-cultural understanding and introduce thousands to America’s indigenous art form, through public concerts, master classes, and jam sessions. Godwin is the founder of Experience Ayiti, a nonprofit educational, multidisciplinary arts organization. Godwin’s debut album as a leader, entitled “Global”, was released in February 2019.

New York City-based Jonathan Barber was voted the #1 Up-and-Coming Drummer of 2018 in Modern Drummer. Only 29 years old, he has already recorded and toured worldwide with such artists as Pat Metheny, Nicholas Payton, Buster Williams, Jeremy Pelt, Wallace Roney, Terrace Martin, Jennifer Holiday, Harold Mabern, Steve Davis, Stefon Harris, and many more. Barber has also been called on for such significant performances as Jimmy Greene’s Ana Grace Project (with an all-star band comprised of Greene, Kenny Barron, John Patitucci, and Kurt Elling) and back-to-back sold-out concerts with the Brooklyn Philharmonic and Erykah Badu at the BAM Opera House.

In addition to his first-call status as a sideman, Barber has recently stepped forth as a composer and leader with his Vision Ahead band, featuring saxophonist Godwin Louis, guitarist Andrew Renfroe, bassist Matt Dwonszyk, and pianist Taber Gable. Even with Barber’s history of high-profile gigs and recordings taken into consideration, DownBeat magazine calls Vision Ahead’s self-titled debut album his “greatest accomplishment to date.” Released on Rockwood Music Hall’s largest stage in May 2018, Vision Ahead is a powerful declaration of intent for a band that’s been making waves on the modern jazz scene since its debut performance at Smalls Jazz Club. The group’s blend of classic, swinging jazz with elements of gospel, rock, soul, and fusion is a compelling showcase of Barber’s broad stylistic range as a composer and performer. Jonathan Barber & Vision Ahead was featured and headline the 2018 Rainy Days Jazz Festival held in St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia. 

Born in Hartford, CT, Barber has been playing drums since the age of five, initially falling in love with the instrument through watching his father perform in the family church. Barber’s upbringing in the church instilled within him a deep appreciation of the power, passion, and full sound of the gospel music tradition, and he now brings its infectious energy to the wide range of styles in his musical toolkit. Early influences also includes beginning George Duke, Fred Hammond, Weather Report, Yellowjackets and Commissioned, and classic jazz titans like Miles Davis, Jackie Mclean, Art Blakey, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Tony Williams and Thelonious Monk. With soul, impeccable groove, and explosive chops, Barber has synthesized his favorite traditions into a thoroughly modern and endlessly adaptable musical expression that connects with listeners from across generations.

Music

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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