The Peabody Post

Jazz Studies Welcomes Phillips, Stevens, Wade, and Brown

Phillips_Stevens_Wade_BrownWith the appointment of four additional teaching artists to its Jazz Studies faculty, the Peabody Conservatory has solidified its commitment to providing a first-class education in jazz, one which reflects both the profound history of jazz in Baltimore and Peabody’s reputation as a premier conservatory.  Beginning in Fall 2018, trumpeter and Richard and Elizabeth Case Chair in Jazz Studies Sean Jones welcomes percussionist Quincy Phillips, guitarist Matthew Stevens, and vocalist Charenée Wade to the Peabody jazz faculty. In addition, pianist Alex Brown will serve as a Visiting Artist in Jazz Studies.

Quincy Phillips is a drummer, pianist, and organist at his home church, East Baltimore Deliverance, who holds his B.A. in music from Howard University in Washington, D.C. No stranger to the music industry, Phillips has spent more than 30 years cultivating his passion as a musician. He had the great honor to perform for the President of the United States Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for “Smithsonian Salutes Ray Charles: In Performance at the White House,” which included performances by the Christian McBride Big Band, Yolanda Adams, Leon Bridges, Andra Day, Anthony Hamilton, Demi Lovato, Sam Moore, and The Band Perry, with Rickey Minor as executive music director. Phillips won 1st place for Jazz Composition for his arrangement of “Alone Together” at the IAJE conference in New York City and is a member of the Grammy-award-winning Christian McBride Big Band. He is currently touring with the world renowned musicians and composers Roy Hargrove and Christian McBride.

Toronto native Matthew Stevens began studying piano at age 7 and switched to the guitar at age 11. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Stevens has been an essential contributor to new work by artists including Christian Scott, Terri Lyne Carrington, Harvey Mason, ERIMAJ, Sean Jones, Walter Smith III, Linda Oh, NEXT Collective and Esperanza Spalding, for whom he played key roles on both the Emily’s D+Evolution and Exposure projects. Downbeat Magazine named Stevens among their 25 For the Future in 2016 and have placed him in their Annual Critics Poll Rising Star Guitar Category for the past two years. His performances have been consistently lauded in Billboard, DownBeat, The Fader, The Guardian, Guitar Player, Jazz Times, The New York Times and more. LA Weekly described his debut album as a bandleader, Woodwork (Whirlwind Recordings/Crystal Math), as “an amalgamation of modern jazz and neo-fusion elements which showcase…sonic versatility and savvy producing chops.” Stevens’ 2017 release, Preverbal (Ropeadope/Crystal Math), is acclaimed for “honest and soulful” music (Pitchfork) which “advances the ideals of modern jazz” (NPR).

First Runner-Up in the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Vocal Competition, Charenée Wade is a singer, composer, arranger, and educator who received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in jazz performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Her accolades include Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead Program where she performed her original music at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC; selection for the Dianne Reeves Young Artist Workshop at Carnegie Hall; 1st Runner-Up in the Jazzmobile Vocal Competition; and being selected for the JAS Academy Summer Sessions, 2007-09, directed by Christian McBride. Wade is currently a professor at the Aaron Copland School of Music, City College, and with the Jazzmobile Workshop program. She teaches various workshops and clinics and was a judge for the 2010 Jazzmobile Vocal Competition, alongside Dr. Billy Taylor and Grady Tate. Wade performs internationally and graces the stages of the Jazz Gallery, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy Coca Cola’s, the legendary Smalls and the Zinc Bar in NYC. Her debut CD, Love Walked In, was released in July 2010.

Hailed by The New York Times for playing “with a crystalline touch and a worldly approach,” Grammy-nominated pianist and composer Alex Brown has been a member of Paquito D’Rivera’s ensemble since 2007, performing on and contributing arrangements to their Latin Grammy award-winning album Jazz Meets the Classics. He also performed on and was the principal arranger for their recently released album Paquito and Manzanero. Brown frequently performs with his own group, and collaborates with vibraphonist Warren Wolf, steel pan virtuoso Victor Provost, and the classical wind quintet Imani Winds. In 2016 he performed Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue as a soloist with the Orquesta Symphonica de Mineria and conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto. Brown has performed in many of the world’s greatest venues including Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Downbeat Magazine described his 2010 album Pianist as “a really fine record that leaves you wanting more.” A YAMAHA artist, Brown earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory.

Phillips, Stevens, Wade, and Brown join a roster of renowned performers and esteemed teachers on the faculty at the Peabody Conservatory. In addition to Jones, the Conservatory has also recently announced the appointments of bassist Kristopher Funn, saxophonist Tim Green, and vibraphone specialist Warren Wolf to the Jazz Studies faculty. Under the Conservatory’s new Breakthrough Curriculum – designed to help students develop skills in performance excellence, career development, and citizen artistry to meet the demands of today’s ever-changing musical landscape – Jazz Studies is becoming increasingly integrated with other programs across the Conservatory, and expanding its connections to communities across the region.

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