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Concerts

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Gregory Groover Jr – Negro Spiritual Songbook

Wednesday, June 19, 2024 —  7:00 pm
Jazz in The Concert Hall

Tickets to Gregory Groover Jr.’s Negro Spiritual Songbook will be available for free at 10am on Wednesday, June 5.

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About the Songbook
Negro Spirituals are at the bedrock of the African American musical experience, providing the foundation upon which many genres that are enjoyed now were built. Although the composers of these spirituals are largely anonymous and nameless, their music named the non-anonymous tragedy of slavery, while also naming a steadfast hope for a better tomorrow — maybe not for them, but for the future generation. The Negro Spiritual Songbook Volume I is a product of that hope from the future generation. It takes the words, melodies, and rhythms of that time and translates it into our current context of the twenty-first century. The result is a soulful celebration of what was, a dynamic presentation of what is, and a warm invitation for what is to come.
Gregory Groover Jr. said, “The passion for this project emanated from the transformative effect Negro Spirituals have had on my life both personally and professionally as a musician. The lyrics and harmonies instilled a deep sense of pride for the music of my heritage, helping me to have a better understanding of the jazz music I love to play. Therefore, this project was accomplished through thorough examination of original scores, deep analyses of historical elements, and honest adaptations of arrangements. The hope is that through touring The Negro Spiritual Songbook at non-conventional jazz venues, such as churches, colleges, and museums, the performances will not only be enjoyable but educational — helping to bridge the gap across the many divides of society.”
Gregory Groover Jr.
New York-born and Boston-bred, emerging saxophonist, composer, and educator Gregory Groover Jr has already left an indelible mark in the jazz world, in a short period. Saxophonist Walter Smith III describes him as  “a thematic musician, who’s playing very much relates to the song. He plays with a lot of energy, and he leads with that. The heart is the most important thing – the direction and motion of what he plays is where he really feels.” Raised with a devotion for music, Groover’s artistry seamlessly marries genres as he continues to push the boundaries of jazz while honoring its deep legacy.

Groover’s dedication to his craft and unwavering commitment to excellence have solidified his position as a prominent figure in the contemporary jazz scene. As a bandleader, Groover has released two albums (Negro Spiritual Songbook, Vol 1 & 2) and will be making his Criss Cross Records debut in April 2024 with his record, Lovabye. In addition to being a bandleader, Groover is a highly sought-after collaborator having performed in music festivals in the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Africa.

As an educator, Gregory has served as the co-chair of music at his alma mater, the Boston Arts Academy where he provided instruction in Jazz studies to the next generation of artists and scholars. Gregory currently serves as the Assistant Chair of Ensemble at the world-renowned Berklee College of Music. His dedication to uplifting the next generation of artists underscores his belief in the transformative power of music. 

Gregory Groover Jr.’s band includes:
Jesse Taitt  Piano
Max Ridley  Bass
Tyson Jackson  Drums
Special Guest: Alexandria DeWalt Voice

Video

Website

https://www.gregorygrooverjr.com/

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