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Famous American Jazz Quartet to perform in Vietnam
  • | VietNamNet | April 23, 2011 10:37 AM

Air Roland, a Jazz band from New York, will perform in HCM City at 7.30 pm, April 26, at the HCM City Conservatory of Music, 115 Nguyen Du, District 1.

The band’s show in Vietnam is among cultural activities held by the US Embassy to raise the mutual understanding between the Vietnamese and American people.

The band will see students of the HCM City Music Conservatory and students from other universities in HCM City at the US Consulate General at 34 Le Duan, District 1.

They will also talk with Vietnamese artists at the Saturday Café in HCM City, and pay a visit and perform for blind children at the Nhat Hong Charity Center in the Thu Duc District. The quartet’s show will have the participation of some Vietnamese artists, including saxophonist Tran Manh Tuan, dan day (traditional musical instrument of Vietnam) player Anh Tan, and singer Kim Luyen.

After the show in HCM City, which is open for free, the band will perform in Hanoi.

Ari Roland Jazz Quartet is inspired by jazz music from the 1930’s through 1950’s, also known as the “Golden Age of Jazz.” The ensemble’s repertoire includes pieces by jazz legends, such as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Billie Holiday, as well as their own critically acclaimed original compositions.

Ari Roland (Bass) started playing jazz professionally at the age of 16 and also received classical training at The Juilliard School. He has worked with many significant figures in jazz, including Barry Harris, Betty Carter, Lou Donaldson, Wynton Marsalis, Marcus Roberts, and Harry Connick Jr. Roland’s three albums as a bandleader have received critical acclaim in the international jazz press.

Keith Balla (Percussion) was born in Austin, Texas and moved to New York City in 2004. A student of master drummer and teacher Kenny Washington, Balla began working professionally in New York at the age of 17. In addition to national tours, he performs regularly in New York with many of the city\'s dynamic young jazz artists. Recognized for his musical maturity, he is also sought after by renowned musicians for his supportive and interactive accompaniment style. He has presented jazz drum clinics to musicians of all levels in the U.S. and internationally.

Chris Byars (Tenor Saxophone) is equally recognized as an outstanding composer and arranger, who received prestigious awards, grants, and commissions from many organizations, including The Tanne Foundation and Chamber Music America. Byars has been on the faculty of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Middle School Jazz Academy, and in 2009 was awarded a major grant for an 18 part series bringing jazz and the music of Gigi Gryce/Bashir Assim into New York City Public Schools.

Zaid Nasser (Alto Saxophone) was born and raised in New York, and is the son of jazz and bluesmaster, Jamil Nasser. From an early age, he learned directly from the legends of jazz. At 19, he moved to Memphis, the birthplace of the blues, where he spent two years working with many greats of the art form. Upon his return to New York, he became a featured soloist with Panama Frances\' Savoy Sultans, and worked with the pioneering organist Bill Doggett. His albums have been included on many "top ten" lists of music critics, and he performs regularly in New York.

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