The scene was set at the Nichols Flickinger Performing Arts Center and the excitement permeated the befitting venue shining a light on next-generation jazz stars. The Emmet Cohen Trio, featuring Emmet Cohen on piano, Yasushi Nakamura on bass, and Bryan Carter on drums riveted the audience to its seats in a rousing opening number. Putting on display why Cohen is the recent winner of the 2019 Cole Porter Fellowship Award presented by the American Pianists Association. While Nakamura and Carter served up an exquisite demonstration of stellar jazz artistry.
Veronica Swift, the rising star jazz vocalist, made a grand entrance from the rear of the theater. Singing “Stairway To Paradise”, composed by George Gershwin. Descending the stairs to the stage in elegant style and grace, Swift resounding voice set the tone for an evening of excellence in jazz vocals and trio accompaniment.
Veronica Swift launched into “I Get A Kick Out Of You” afterward. Swift’s uptempo version has become a viral trademark and an audience favorite. Throughout the performance, Swift selected a range of songs from the Great American Songbook and dove into the songbooks of recent musical theater.
The evening was an astonishing night of seeing and hearing a next-generation of jazz stars produce two standing-ovations from an appreciative audience. An audience bearing witness to the future of jazz in the hands of gifted and talented musicianship.
It was a historic first night of jazz for JazzBuffalo and the Nichols Flickinger Performing Arts Center. Holding promise that future high-quality jazz concerts featuring international jazz artists will make their way to Buffalo. Continuing the mission to make our great city a must-stop performance destination for jazz stars.
(JazzBuffalo thanks the Nichols School staff, in particular Jeff Ryan and Curt Steinzor, for their tremendous participation in making the partnership and evening happen. Many thanks to Justin Sircus for high-quality sound production. To Bill Bates for setting up magnificent drums for Bryan Carter. Thank you to Jim Colemon, Buffalo’s great jazz bassist, for providing his upright bass for use by Yasushi Nakamura. A thank you to jazz photographer Jack Zuff, who once again captured special moments for us all to enjoy in the gallery below. Thank you to a group of volunteers – Nicole, Nicole, Emily, Matt, Erika, Cindy, Donald, and Cathy. Many thanks to the Terrace at Delaware Park for sponsoring fantastic dinners for the jazz artists. And, for the gracious hospitality of the Hotel Henry. Last but not least, a warm heartfelt thank you to the tremendous audience who took time to purchase tickets, attend, and support the endeavors of this historic night of jazz in Buffalo. Without such people, creating memorable occasions of jazz like we experienced last night is next to impossible!)