Tim Warfield’s All Star Jazzy Christmas
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— Ben Ratliff, New York Times
Saxophonist Tim Warfield’s All Star Jazzy Christmas show vividly showcases a collection of traditional holiday songs realized from an improvisational perspective. The project, began merely with intention to develop more appropriate material to perform during the holiday season, but as time progressed, he found it necessary to arrange more material in an effort to broaden his presentation, as the holiday events for which he was requested to participate became larger and more specified. The musical program features primarily familiar material such as “The Little Drummer Boy” and “Silent Night” but also includes a few obscure gems like Claude Thornhill’s “Snowfall” and even one Hanukkah song, all in the spirit of the holidays. The arrangements, all by Warfield with the exception of two, are many times quirky, but clearly unique, resourcing as jazz often does with elements from the blues, swing, Latin, African and a host of other traditions. The arrangements juxtapose rhythmic and harmonic devices as a means to create melodic expression.
The musical personnel, all of elite status and several of which have been Grammy nominated, include trumpeter Terell Stafford, pianist Cyrus Chestnut, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, bassist Rodney Whitaker, drummer Clarence Penn and vocalist Joanna Pascale.
About Tim Warfield
Tim Warfield is a native of York, PA. He attended both William Penn Senior School and Howard University in Washington, D.C. He has appeared on nearly 70 recordings and has made several TV appearances, including The Today Show, Bill Cosby’s You Bet Your Life,” (where he was a member of the house band until 1992), and Ted Turner’s Trumpet awards. He’s appeared on stage with such musical legends as Dr. Donald Byrd, Jimmy Smith, Shirley Scott, Dizzy Gillespie and Isaac Hayes. He’s also performed with several of the new generation of giants including bassist Marcus Miller, Stefon Harris, Nicholas Payton, Terell Stafford and Christian McBride. Warfield’s first recording, “A Cool Blue,” was selected as one of the Top 10 recordings of the year in A New York Times Critics Poll, as was his 1998 recording, “Gentle Warrior,” (featuring Cyrus Chestnut, Tarus Mateen, Clarence Penn, Terell Stafford and Nicholas Payton) proclaiming him possibly the most powerful tenor saxophonist of his generation.Tim currently serves as both a board member and music committee chairperson for the long-standing jazz organization, The Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz. Tim is currently an Artist in Residence at Messiah College and an Adjunct professor at Temple University.
In 2011, Tim received the artist award created by Mayor Kim Bracey of York, PA, to honor natives of York, PA who have gone on to personify excellence in the fields of both Performing and the Visual Arts.
Tim Warfield’s All Star Jazzy Christmas Show project, is partially supported by a grant from Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, a program developed and funded by The Heinz Endowments; the William Penn Foundation; the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency; and The Pew Charitable Trusts; and administered by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.
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