Alva Anderson, violist and jazz vocalist, brings her quartet to the Chapel of Our Lady Restoration in a concert celebrating Great Women of Song on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m. The music of such peerless vocalists as Betty Carter, Ella Fitzgerald, Miriam Makeba, Carmen McRae and Sarah Vaughan will serve as a launching pad for Anderson’s “creative journey.” Anderson will be accompanied by Tom DiPietra on guitar, Jesse Crawford, bass and Charlie Taylor, percussion.
Anderson began piano lessons at the age of 10 and viola lessons at 16. The “singer” was revealed when Alva was on tour in Europe playing viola with a chamber music ensemble. Late one night during a jam session in a jazz club in Switzerland, she was invited to sing My Funny Valentine. Alva began to frequent jam sessions in New York City. She attended vocal and instrumental workshops with Barry Harris, Billy Taylor, Sheila Jordan, Jay Clayton, Jimmy Heath and Billy Mitchell, Frank Owens, John Blake, the Turtle Island String Quartet and Jimmy Seigler.
Jesse Crawford was born in Chicago and raised in New York. He studied and performed with Makanda Ken McIntyre and his Contemporary African-American Music Orchestra. He is a longtime member of the Dennis Mitcheltree Trio and has played with Craig Harris, Charlie Persip, Sonny Fortune, Cecil Bridgewater, and Vanessa Rubin. He continues to perform in various New York venues and is a co-founder of the PCK Project.
Tom DiPietra has been performing around the greater New York area since the late 1970s. He holds a Bachelor and a Master’s degree in performance.
He studied with the jazz guitarist Barry Gailbraith and advanced jazz improvisation with saxophonist Jimmy Heath. He was a member of the Jazz Interactions Big Band under the direction of Joe Newman and Frank Foster and played in bands with trumpeters Richard Williams and Tommy Turrentine, drummer Walter Perkins, saxophonists Frank Wess and Percy France, and singer Al Hibbler. He has also toured with local gospel and R&B groups. He is an accomplished mandolin player and performs on a regular basis as the leader of a guitar-mandolin duo which features music from all over the world.
Charlie Taylor was born in Barbados where he was involved in the local music scene. He then moved to Sweden where he played with local and visiting musicians. After several years in Sweden he moved to New York where he played with Makanda Ken McIntyre, Rashad Ali, Cecil Bridgewater and Michael Marcus. In 2006 he was a participant in the Barbados Jazz Festival. Charlie performs with and is co-founder of the JCK Project whose first CD was released in 2007.
The Chapel is located at 45 Market Street, and free parking is available on weekends at the adjacent Metro-North Train Station. Admission is $15 at the door; $10 for seniors and children. The Chapel Restoration gratefully acknowledges the generous contribution of Tom Rolston for this concert.