Hot Jazz — 6 Cool Nites returns to NCC stage
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media July 19, 2012 11:18AM
Hot Jazz — 6 Cool Nites
♦ July 21-27
♦ North Central College’s Meiley-Swallow Hall, 31 S. Ellsworth St., Naperville
♦ Tickets, $15-$20
♦ (630) 637-7469
Updated: July 22, 2012 11:11AM
Jazz fans will have a week of concerts to pick from when Naperville’s North Central College presents “Hot Jazz — 6 Cool Nites.”
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. July 21 and July 23 to 26. Featured vocalists are Janice Borla, Jay Clayton and Suzanne Pittson. The series concludes at 7 p.m. July 27 with a concert featuring student performers from Borla’s annual Vocal Jazz Camp. Tickets are reduced for this concert.
The series opens Saturday with the entire vocal jazz camp artist faculty: Borla, Clayton and Pittson. They will be joined by trumpeter Art Davis, vibraphonist Brad Stirtz, pianist Dan Haerle, bassist Eric Hochberg and drummer Jack Mouse.
Monday to Wednesday, two of the three vocalists will be featured in various combinations, both individually and together, backed by Davis, Stirtz, Haerle, Hochberg and Mouse. On Thursday, all eight artists perform together again.
“Suzanne Pittson is our new entity this year,” Borla said. “Suzanne did the camp about 10 years ago. We haven’t seen her for awhile and we wanted to have her back again.”
Also new this year is a shake-up in instrumentation, she said. Instead of using master guitarist John McClean, they will use Stirtz on vibes.
“We’re very excited to have him on board, because that will bring a new element,” she said. “Vibraphone is very visually fun to watch. It sounds wonderful, but there’s a visual component to it that’s kind of neat.”
Clayton has always been known as a very cutting-edge jazz singer, Borla said.
Pittson, a trained pianist, didn’t become a singer until she was doing her graduate work, Borla said.
“Her mindset is very much instrumental, and she has always been influenced by horn players and the instrumental innovators of jazz,” she said.
At the first concert featuring all three singers, each singer will do two or three tunes apiece, take an intermission, and come back for a second half.
Monday will feature Pittson and Borla; Tuesday, Pittson and Clayton; and Wednesday, Borla and Clayton. Thursday will return with the same format, but different material. Friday’s performance will feature all the jazz vocal campers accompanied by piano, bass and drums.
“This year we have 30 participants, so that means 30 songs,” she said. “It’s always a real cool concert and very exciting.”
Audiences can expect to hear a diverse gamut from American vocal standards to jazz standards, she said, including songs from the 1950s to now.