Jazz vocalist Michele Thomas will present a concert of music exploring the lyric writing of the late great Jon Hendricks. The performance will reflect on the history of jazz vocalese and Mr. Hendricks’ elevation of the art form as well as fresh arrangements of some of his most classic pieces and some of his lesser known compositions. Joining Michele will also be special guests vocalists Alyssa Allgood and Jeff Hedberg of the C'11 Dek-tette lending their voices to a harmonious and scat filled evening! The audience will also be provided with an interactive program of the concert music online where they can further discover the melange of composers, improvisers and recordings that Jon Hendricks drew his inspiration from.
Hendricks, who is famous for perfecting the art of "vocalese", is known for his extended lyrical contributions to a plethora of jazz classics such as “Summertime”, “Centerpiece” & “Moanin'’” as well as the songs that are so regularly performed in the jazz idiom like "Social Call" and "One Note Samba" - not to mention some of his lesser known originals like "Minor Catastrophe" and the uplifting, "Love Makes the World Go Round".
From Jon Hendricks biography...
"Jon Hendricks is not only one of the world's favorite jazz vocalists, but is widely considered to be the "Father of Vocalese", the greatest innovator of the art form. Vocalese is the art of setting lyrics to recorded jazz instrumental standards (such as the big band arrangements of Duke Ellington and Count Basie), then arranging voices to sing the parts of the instruments. Thus is created an entirely new form of the work, one that tells a lyrically interesting story while retaining the integrity of the music. Hendricks is the only person many jazz greats have allowed to lyricize their music, for no one writes hipper, wittier, or more touching words, while extracting from a tune the emotions intended by the composer, more sympathetically than Hendricks. For his work as a lyricist, jazz critic and historian Leonard Feather called him the "Poet Laureate of Jazz" while Time dubbed him the "James Joyce of Jive.""