Jazz Appreciation Month 2021
April is Jazz Appreciation Month and for 2021, it’s about Women’s Impact and Contributions in Jazz. Along with that the industry has decided to feature on this year’s official 2021 poster pianist, singer, songwriter, storyteller and civil rights activist Nina Simone, who was born in 1933. Nina Simone became enamored with music at the early age of three when she learned to play the piano by ear. Throughout the years Simone received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 2000 and was inducted posthumously into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. Nina has had a very interesting career and to learn more about Nina Simone, visit ninasimone.com.
The Fox and Falcon Restaurant
As previously mentioned we are honoring Jazz Appreciation Month here in South Orange with a series of events at the Fox and Falcon restaurant. According to NJ Monthly, “The Fox & Falcon is Part Trattoria, Bistro and Pub and Totally Awesome. The South Orange restaurant and bar is worth the trip for its seasonally inspired menu and signature cocktails.”
It also has some great live music events and now for jazz lovers, these Jazz Appreciation Month events are being sponsored by Gregory Burrus Productions in recognition of the significant contribution that jazz music has made to our area and also pay tribute to jazz for its historic and cultural significance.
Jazzy Afternoons Interviews
In getting ready for this event we conducted an interview with moderator and vocalist Lynette Sheard, band leader Leonieke Scheuble and drummer Nick Scheuble. They spoke on many subjects as the Leonieke Scheuble Jazz trio has members that were born across the generations for 1920s through to the 2000s. Take a listen and you will hear and see how they have performed in all the decades since the the 50’s till today. Which means all those jazz influences are engrained within their performances when ever they perform. Let’s learn a little more about the band.
Pianist Leonieke Scheuble
As Nina Simone learned to play music by ear which is not normally accepted and Nina did not let that hold her back. Our Jazz Across the Generations bandleader is Leonieke Scheuble did not formally learn to play music. As dad recounted, Leonieke (phonetically pronounced “lay-o-nee-ka”)Leonieke Scheuble started to play piano after being inspired by “Ray,” a movie based on the life of Ray Charles. Without any prior musical training, she began to spend great lengths of time at the piano creating pieces that were rhythmically interesting and compositionally balanced. She was 5 or 6.
As she said within her “No Boundaries TEDx Talk when she was 13 and Bill Crow was 88, Jazz is her classroom and learning as you go process is what makes Jazz so special and you learn in the moment. Take a listen its very enlightening, informative and has a wonderful piano performance. The bottom line is Leonieke encourages children and adults alike to think, dream, and achieve without boundaries.
Leonieke was honored to be selected by Carnegie Hall/Weill Music Institute as as alternate musician for their 2018 NYO JAZZ season. She can been seen performing regularly as a featured artist or leading her trio at many of New York and New Jersey’s finest Jazz venues.
Drummer, Percussionist Nick Scheuble
In the middle of the generations of jazz band is the proud dad and musician, drummer Nick Scheuble. Nick Scheuble (b.1960s) is a very versatile, progressive, in demand Jazz drummer and Latin percussionist. Like me Nick was born in the Bronx and his career has enabled him to perform in many noted venues throughout America and in his earlier years, Nick performed extensively in Europe and alternated residence between US and the Netherlands. And of course as mentioned in the interview above we were honored to have him as a performer, a number of times in our South Orange Downtown After Sundown live music concert series as pictured above.
In addition to running his own very successful bands for a number of years\and as bandleader his bands have earned considerable praise from several noted Jazz critics. Nick has performed and/or recorded with jazz luminaries such as Wynton Marsalis, Ray Barretto, Dave Valentin, Chico Mendoza, Peter Bernstein, Bill Crow, Vince Giordano, Mike LeDonne, Wycliffe Gordon, Don Braden and Eric Alexander to name a few.
legendary Bassist Bill Crow
Jazz Loft Project Oral History Interview with Bassist Bill Crow
Bill Crow (b.1920s) when I meant is a funny, affable and storytelling type guy. We are lucky because he distributes history across the generations in a way that makes it real and seeable. In doing research for this article I came across this Jazz Loft Project’s oral history produced by The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University on legendary bassist Bill Crow. Take a listen.
Crow was the long-term bassist in saxophonist Gerry Mulligan’s bands in the 1950s and 1960s. He was in in one of the house bands at the Playboy Club in New York and also worked in theater orchestras for Broadway shows where he sometimes played tuba. His career has taken him all over the world and he has has rubbed elbows with such luminaries as Gerry Mulligan, Marian McPartland, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Clark Terry, Dave Brubeck, JJ Johnson, Benny Goodman, Milt Jackson, Duke Ellington and many more. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Crow
Bill has captured his wonderful life as he has authored two books that he believes you will like called Jazz Anecdotes: Second Time Around (published by Oxford University Press in 1990 and in paperback in 1991) and a second book called From Birdland to Broadway: Scenes from a Jazz Life: (published by Oxford University Press in 1992 and in paperback in 1993) .
I will be booking Leonieke Scheuble Bands throughout the upcoming outdoor season as we all try to find a new normal in this COVID Pandemic drive world. There is no doubt that these guys love to play as throughout the pandemic they held sessions in their backyard where musicians came to play and as Nick Scheuble said it turned in to a “hang” Leonieke is just entering Manhattan School of Music and she has one awesome career in front ort of her.
You can find more about the Trio at :
About the Author and the Leonieke Scheuble Bands
I have been watching, booking and promoting her bands for a number of years. Above was another fabulous concert at Rutgers University Clements Place Jazz location and it was once again one awesome swinging event. The audience absolutely lived it and some have been following her events all over Essex County after that performance.
Gregory Burrus curates and manages the South Orange Village Center Alliance’s Summer Saturdays Live Music Concerts. This SOMA resident arrived in South Orange, 23-year ago and just loves South Orange, NJ. Gregory enjoys all music genres but his first love of jazz began as a boy when his mother and father played jazz on the good old record player at home and took him to clubs all over Manhattan. Gregory is putting his expertise and knowledge gained from his former business environment to work producing music, art and community events across South Orange, Maplewood, Newark and other towns around the JerseyNYC area.