posted on Sept. 7: McMaster’s first jazz concert series kicks off tonight


You could say we're a hotbed of jazz.

Not that there's anything evil about the Ladies of Jazz series that kicks off tonight with vocalist Salome Bey performing at the duMaurier Ltd. Centre in downtown Hamilton beginning at 8 p.m. (Some tickets are available.)

Wicked, maybe.

Wicked sound will be the order of the day as each of the four performers — Bey, Shirley Eikhard, Emilie-Clair Barlow and Jeri Brown — takes to the stage this fall as part of the first-ever jazz series sponsored by the School of the Arts.

The series emerged out of an observation by the school's Rose Riopelle, administrative and concert co-ordinator.

“We always knew that the one jazz concert in our annual concert series was enthusiastically received and it would almost always sell out,” said Riopelle. “I thought, 'Wouldn't it be nice if we could have a jazz series'.”

Riopelle then discussed the idea with people at the radio station Wave 94.7 fm Smooth Jazz who were interested in co-sponsoring a series.

The Ladies of Jazz series was born.

“We think it's wonderful that we can present such prestigious performers,” Riopelle said. “We think jazz has a great future and jazz in Hamilton and at McMaster has been very popular.”

Single tickets are $32 for Salome Bey and $20 for the three remaining concerts. Call ext. 23333 or Wave 94.7 fm at 905-388-08911 for more information.

Salome Bey, (jazz vocalist), Sept. 7, duMaurier Ltd. Centre

Bey has made her mark as a vocalist, composer and recording artist during the last three decades. She has performed in every type of musical venue, from the Montreux Jazz Festival to Broadway shows and royal command performances. She has made numerous recordings and is a Grammy Award nominee.

Shirley Eikhard, (jazz vocalist), Nov. 16, Convocation Hall

Eikhard has an international reputation as a songwriter and jazz singer. She has written songs for Anne Murray, Bonnie Raitt, Rita Coolidge and Ginette Reno. As well, she is a writer, composer, producer and arranger who produces most of her own albums.

The Barlow Group: Emilie-Clair Barlow, (jazz vocalist), Feb. 1, Convocation Hall

Barlow is the vocalist in the Barlow Group and has received outstanding reviews wherever she performs. At 23, she is an established vocalist who is backed by studio veterans such as her father, drummer-percussionist Brian Barlow, formerly a member of the Boss Brass.

Jeri Brown, (jazz vocalist), March 15, Convocation Hall

Brown combines classic jazz standards with her work as an accomplished lyricist, recitalist, concert soloist and recording artist. A familiar figure in Europe, Brown performs classic selections, including those of Ellington, Gershwin, Legrand and Porter. She has been nominated for an ECMA and a Juno Award.