Tuba Bach Chamber Music Festival

The Tuba Bach Chamber Music Festival is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Big Rapids, Michigan.

Since its inception in 2006, Tuba Bach has brought hundreds of exceptional musicians from around the world, across the United states, and from every corner of our state to present concerts and educational programming in West-Central Michigan, free of charge and available to all.


Past Seasons Archive > 2010 Concert Season > Concert 6

Concert 6
Sunday, October 17, 2010 • 4:00 P.M.

A New Orleans Celebration

MARCUS BELGRAVE AND HIS ALL STAR BAND of jazz musicians join Dr. Edward Mallett in a rousing Dixieland finale to the fifth anniversary 2010 Tuba Bach Festival.

Big Rapids High School Auditorium, Big Rapids, MIarrow Map

This concert is made possible through the generous support of
FSU Williams Auditorium

Barbara Pillsbury & Darrell Corrie

Guest Artists Appearing with Edward Mallett:

Marcus BelgraveMARCUS BELGRAVE, Detroit’s legendary master jazz trumpeter, was born in Chester, PA. He is best known for his longtime association in playing with Ray Charles. More recently, at the request of Wynton Marsalis, and The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, he represented Detroit as part of the Lincoln Center Motor City Jazz Masters tribute which Included Yusef Lateef, Curtis Fuller, Charles McPherson, and Ron Carter.

A true musical Renaissance man, there isn’t much trumpeter, composer, arranger, educator, recording artist and producer, Marcus Belgrave can’t boast is on his curriculum vitae. He is a professor of music at Oberlin University, in Oberlin Ohio, is the co-founder of the Jazz Studies Program at The Detroit Metro Arts Complex and the Jazz Development Workshop in Detroit.

His career as a player has intersected with an unparalleled variety of musicians across several musical generations including Ray Charles, with whom he collaborate extensively, Ella Fitzgerald, Charles Mingus, McCoy Tyner, Dizzy Gillespie, Eric Dolphy, Aretha Franklin, Wynton Marsalis and Joe Henderson. He has mentored and recorded with pianist Geri Allen, bassist Bob Hurst alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett, and percussionist/composer Lawrence Williams. This list of musicians only scratches the surface of his many musical collaborations.

The collective impact of Belgrave’s mind, music and vision is felt across the spectrum of identities for which he has become rightfully recognized both within and outside of the jazz community. His tribute to Louis Armstrong is unparalleled and is enthusiastically received by audiences all over the globe. arrow Website

Vocalist, producer, songwriter, JOAN BOW-BELGRAVE, began her musical career like so many others, singing in the choir of the Baptist church. Her musical education continued while studying classical voice. Her versatility as a musical stylist allowed her to perform as a vocalist in various genres of music from Jazz, Blues, and Gospel to Soul.

Joan arrived in Los Angeles from Michigan in the late 70"s performing primarily as a lead vocalist. With a powerful voice and her own jazzy/blues style, her solo CD ''Variations'' showcases all of this and more. Her latest CD is "You Don't Know Me" Whether she is performing with a traditional big band, or a small ensemble of skilled musicians, listen closely and find yourself transported on a musical journey from the 30's to the present, including sweet love songs, sorrowful blues, and swinging beats. arrow Website

GAYELYNN MCKINNEY's drumming style is electric; transitioning from jazz to Latin to rock to funk, she is a woman with many facets. Her signature style of drumming can be seen through her uncanny improvisation, power, speed and an always-present deliberate control. McKinney is a founding member of the Detroit based, Grammy nominated all female jazz group STRAIGHT AHEAD. McKinney is also a talented saxophonist and singer and a member of a musical dynasty, which helps to explain her powerhouse style! McKinney received much of her musical training on the Detroit Jazz scene, but she also obtained her Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Oakland University. Ms. McKinney is an extraordinary all-around gifted drummer and percussionist. Her lifelong love of music allows her to stir the soul with her broad-based knowledge of music in general. She is an instant showstopper, and is a musician to keep your eye on. arrow Website

BILL MEYER (piano) of Detroit, Mich, is a versatile professional on the Detroit music scene— at home playing a range of music: Latin, Broadway, pop music and all the jazz styles. Bill was the former music director for Ms. Martha Reeves and is an integral part of the Marcus Belgrave ensemble. Well known within the Detroit artistic community as a consummate professional, Bill Meyer has a varied career in conducting, contracting and playing for such acts as George Burns, Smokey Robinson, Cab Calloway, Burt Bacharach, Nipsey Russell, Natalie Cole and Savion Glover; Broadway shows including Guys and Dolls, Forever Plaid, All Night Strut,; The Rockettes, and in producing shows including "The Detroit Tribute to Paul Robeson" and "Barbara Dane Returns.”

He has written and arranged for TV (Babesworld TV50), Radio and TV jingles (Tubby's, The Broadway), show acts (Martha Reeves), industrial shows (Cadillac, Armour); songwriters, and various choreographers (Martha Graham, Paul Taylor, Arthur Mitchell, Savion Glover).

VINCENT YORK is a jazz man. In 1952, in Jacksonville, Florida, Vincent York was born into a family of musicians and a life of music. While he practiced on the school's borrowed clarinet and oboe, he worked multiple jobs to earn a long awaited alto saxophone. That momentous day arrived in ninth grade and coincided with his introduction to Charlie Parker, the master of bebop and the mythical musician who would shape his musicianship from that day forward. In Baton Rouge, York became Southern University's first jazz studies major under Alvin Batiste, a master of the clarinet. After graduate study in saxophone at the University of Michigan, York was invited to join The Duke Ellington Orchestra, led by Mercer Ellington, trumpeter and son of the legendary Duke Ellington. From 1996 to 2000, Vincent York was a Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs Artist-in-Residence at Community High School in Ann Arbor. He formed and taught numerous student jazz combos there and at Washtenaw Community College, including a 21-member jazz orchestra with musicians ranging in age from 17 to 70. During this period, Vincent York discovered the satisfaction in working with young jazz musicians and promoting jazz studies. His own early awakening to jazz and extensive performance experience have schooled him in a mentor role to a new generation of jazz musicians.

CHRIS SMITH (trombone) of Ann Arbor, Mich. plays both traditional and modem jazz with equal seriousness and enjoyment. The eldest of twelve children, Chris was born in New Orleans, and like his father learned the trombone instrument from a true New Orleans perspective. You will hear the full lush sound of Louisiana in his tone. For many years he has performed as a lead and solo trombonist and has composed or arranged music for big band orchestras. He has also been called upon to arrange for the Marcus Belgrave Jazz Ensembles. Chris is a strong leader and as such serves as a manager for his own band (Phil Oglivie's Rhythm Kings).

Chris is one of those rare birds who enjoys playing traditional and modem jazz equally. His ever-growing collection of trombones and mutes has recently expanded to include a slide trumpet, trombonium (valve trombone) and sousaphone, all of which he plays on gigs.

While Chris can be a stone-faced, frighteningly loud trombonist at times, close listeners will notice his penchant for dry-yet-warm humor, both spoken and musical. He maintains a teaching studio for young trombonists.