The Harlem Nutcracker @ 2PM & 7PM
Terell Stafford, Artistic Director for Jazz READ BIO
Terell Stafford, acclaimed trumpet player based in New York, has been hailed as “one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player” by piano legend McCoy Tyner. Stafford is recognized as an incredibly gifted and versatile player, he combines a deep love of melody with his own brand of spirited and adventurous lyricism. Stafford’s exceptionally expressive and well defined musical talent allows him to dance in and around the rich trumpet tradition of his predecessors while making his own inroads.
Since the mid-1990s, Stafford has performed with groups such as Benny Golson’s Sextet, McCoy Tyner’s Sextet, Kenny Barron Quintet, Frank Wess Quintet, Jimmy Heath Quintet and Big Band, Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Alumni Band. Stafford with the HamiltonClayton Jazz Orchestra, performed on Diana Krall’s Grammy-nominated From this Moment On (2006). John Clayton invited Stafford to perform with the Clayton Brothers Quintet and Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. Stafford is a member of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and they were awarded a Grammy in 2009 for Best Large Ensemble, Live at the Village Vanguard.
Stafford can be heard on over 130 albums. His latest recording This Side of Strayhorn has been hailed as “the first must have album of 2011” and “genius.” Stafford is the Director of Jazz Studies and Chair of Instrumental Studies at Temple University, founder and band leader of the Terell Stafford Quintet, and Managing and Artistic Director of the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia (JOP). Stafford is renowned in the jazz world as an educator, performer and leader and has received countless award nominations and accolades.
Stafford was born in Miami and raised in Chicago, Illinois and Silver Spring, Maryland. He received a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Maryland in 1988 and a Masters of Music from Rutgers University in 1993.
The Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia READ BIO
The Philly POPS Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia is an 18–piece ensemble dedicated to the presentation and exploration of America’s Art Form: jazz.
Under the direction of Artistic Director for Jazz, Terell Stafford, The Philly POPS Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia features an orchestra of accomplished Philadelphia jazz artists alongside some of the most prominent contemporary jazz musicians and luminaries.
Bruce Barth, Guest Artist READ BIO
Jazz pianist and composer Bruce Barth has been sharing his music with listeners the world over for more than thirty years. In addition to traveling widely performing his own music, he has also performed with revered jazz masters, and has collaborated with leading musicians of his own generation. Zan Stewart of the Newark Star-Ledger writes: “No one sounds quite like Barth. His solos are characterized by robust swing, his ability to tell a story, and by his rich, beguiling sound.”
Bruce has performed on over 135 recordings and movie soundtracks, including fifteen as a leader. He is equally at home playing solo piano (American Landscape on Satchmo Jazz Records), leading an all-star septet (East and West on MaxJazz), and composing for a variety of ensembles. His trio has recorded live at the legendary Village Vanguard in New York City.
Originally from Pasadena, California, Bruce arrived on the New York jazz scene in 1988, and soon started working in the bands of Stanley Turrentine and Terence Blanchard. Bruce’s first two CD’s as a leader, In Focus and Morning Call, were chosen for the New York Times’ top ten lists. These recordings displayed not only his powerfully fluent piano playing, but also the scope of his own compositions and his imaginative arrangements of jazz standards.
As a leader of his trio and larger ensembles, Bruce has performed at major venues
in the United States, Europe, and Japan; he has led bands at many major
venues in New York, The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and major festivals in
UK, Spain, Sweden, and Portugal.
Bruce has been a member of the Terell Stafford Quartet for more than fifteen years,
recording and performing extensively with this dynamic group. He has also had extended collaborations with Steve Wilson, Luciana Souza, Steve Nelson, and Tony
Bennett; and has performed with James Moody, Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, Karrin Allyson, Tom Harrell, Carla Cook, Rene Marie, Branford Marsalis, Art Farmer, Audrey Silver, Adam Kolker, and Luis Bonilla.
His new trio recording, “Dedication,” due in fall of 2022 on Origin Records, features a program of all original compositions. Several are dedicated to musicians and to important people in Bruce’s life.
Finally, Bruce is a dedicated teacher. He has been on the faculty of Temple University for more than twenty-five years, and has penned original compositions
and arrangements for the faculty sextet and student groups. He also teaches at Columbia University, and has given master classes around the globe.
Cyrus Chestnut, Guest Artist READ BIO
Born in 1963, Chestnut started his musical career at the age of three, playing piano at the Mount Calvary Star Baptist Church at the age of six in his hometown of Baltimore, MD. By age nine, he was studying classical music at the Peabody Preparatory Institute inBaltimore. In the fall of 1981, Cyrus began jazz education in Boston, MA at the Berklee College of Music. In 1985, he earned a degree in jazz composition and arranging. While at Berklee, Chestnut was awarded the Eubie Blake Fellowship, the Oscar Peterson, Quincy Jones, and Count Basie awards for exceptional performance standards at the college. After Berklee, Cyrus began further honing his craft as a sideman with some of the legendary and leading musicians in the business. Some of these great people include; Jon Hendricks, Michael Carvin, Donald Harrison, Terence Blanchard, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson, Curtis Fuller, Regina Cater, Chick Corea, Jimmy Heath, James Moody, Joe Williams, Isaac Hayes, Kathleen Battle, Betty Carter, and Dizzy Gillespie just to name a few. His association with Betty Carter, which began in 1991 significantly affected his outlook and approach to music, confirming his already iconoclastic instincts. Carter advised him to “take chances” and play things I’ve never heard,” Chestnut says.
As Cyrus was absorbing experiences as a sideman, he was also developing as a leader, recording and playing live around the world. There’s a Brighter Day Coming was his first self-released album, followed by The Nutman Speaks (1992), The Nutman Speaks Again (1992), Another Direction (1993). The records received the prestigious Gold Disk award from Japan’s leading jazz publication, Swing Journal.
The Philly POPS Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia returns to the stage with its annual holiday tradition—The Philly POPS Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia’s The Harlem Nutcracker. Legendary jazz innovators Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn famously premiered the suite in 1960.
The Harlem Nutcracker infuses the music of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite with vivacious, jazzy energy, featuring song names like “Peanut Brittle Brigade” (based on the “March”) and “Sugar Rum Cherry” (based on the “Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy”). The suite shows off Ellington and Strayhorn’s versatility as composers and arrangers—with the pieces covering a wide range of musical sounds, emotions and locales. This is the JOP’s eighth presentation of the The Harlem Nutcracker, a tradition started to honor the great jazz saxophonist, Jimmy Heath.
The second half of the program presents The Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia’s pandemic-delayed tribute to Philadelphia native and jazz piano legend McCoy Tyner who passed away in 2020. The set will highlight eight of Tyner’s incredible jazz compositions and will feature guest pianists Bruce Barth and Cyrus Chestnut.
“The Harlem Nutcracker is an important tradition for The Philly POPS Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, and for me as well,” said Artistic Director for Jazz Terell Stafford. “It takes all of those holiday Nutcracker favorites and makes them swing—each in their own interesting way. I’m glad to welcome guest artists Bruce Barth and Cyrus Chestnut on the piano for our tribute to the late great McCoy Tyner. It is sure to be a night of fantastic music and great musicians.”
This year’s Harlem Nutcracker rendition will be performed in an intimate setting at World Café Live. The program continues JOP’s ongoing exploration of local jazz history and its luminaries by honoring Philadelphia jazz musicians Jimmy Heath and McCoy Tyner.
Harlem Nutcracker Suite comp. Tchaikovsky arr. Ellington, Strayhorn
- Toot Toot Tootie Toot (Dance of the Reed-Pipes)
- Peanut Brittle Brigade (March)
- Sugar Rum Cherry (Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy)
- Volga Vouty (Russian Dance)
- Chinoiserie (Chinese Dance)
- Danse of the Floreadores (Waltz of the Flowers)
- Arabesque Cookie (Arabian Dance)
Tribute to McCoy Tyner
- Passion Dance – Arr. Dennis Mackrel
- Blue on the Corner – Arr. Dennis Mackrel
- Update – Arr. Dennis Mackrel
- Naima – Arr. Jack Saint Clair
- Fly With the Wind – Arr. Danny Jonokuchi
- You Taught My Heart to Sing – Arr. Jack Saint Clair
- Man from Tanganikya – Arr. Bill Cunliffe
- Mode to John – Arr. Bill Cunliffe