78.5 F
Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, May 28, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesBLACK DIAMOND QUINTET SET FOR JAZZ VESPERS

BLACK DIAMOND QUINTET SET FOR JAZZ VESPERS

Oct. 29, 2001 – "Committed to You" is the theme of November's Jazz Vespers concert at the St. Croix Reformed Church. It's on Sunday at 5:30 p.m., showcasing the artistry of the Black Diamond Quintet. Admission is free, although a free-will offering is taken.
"Black Diamond" is vocalist Julia Lowe, a resident since 1977 of St. Croix, where she met sax man Rudy Shulterbrandt, who inspired her to start singing as a jazz soloist. Performing with her will be Benjamin Jacobs-el on piano, Neil Simon on bass, Ken Afra Dailey on drums and Teddy Blackwood on percussion.
Lowe, who was born in Alabama, grew up in New York and got her first formal voice training with The Featherbed Lane Freedom Community Choir, which was known for performing jazz masses. Lowe was reared by her grandmother, a classmate of Sarah Vaughn, another formative influence in Julia's life. Lowe performed with Shulterbrandt at the first St. Croix jazz festival and has many theatrical appearances to her credit, too, including "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "The Wiz."
Jacobs-El, who is from Brooklyn and has lived on St. Croix since 1974, was a trombonist with the Newport Youth Band, and then with a spin-off, The New York Jazz Septet. In 1958, after three years at the Juilliard School of Music, he went on the road with Slide Hampton and Lloyd Price, then found a slot in the Coker Camble Band, which backed such Motown stars as Stevie Wonder, The Supremes and The Temptations. Only after settling on St. Croix did he make the transition from trombone to piano.
Simon, who played guitar before he took up the bass, played in Frederiksted's Seventh-day Adventist Church as a teen-ager, and at 18 played his first gig with Jacobs-El. Simon earned a degree in architectural engineering from New York University and while in New York toured with Freddie Jackson and Billy Ocean. Since returning to St. Croix in 1988, he has collaborated with trumpeter Duke Jones from Kid Creole and the Coconuts and is currently working with X-itement.
Dailey played flute and clarinet before making the move to drums. He was practicing the drums at his mother's home when the producer for the Modern Ink Spots walked by, listened, knocked on the door and asked his mom if he could join the group. He has worked at Philadelphia's Sigma Sound Studios, where the "Philly" sound originated, and has toured with Grover Washington Jr., Betty Carter and The Dells. He's currently a member of the Roy Davis Trio.
Blackwood was born in New York to Virgin Islander parents. His mother taught him drumming on their kitchen table. He went on to study with master West African drummers Chief Bey and Babatunde Olatunji. He has worked with Ohaldo Williams, Herbie Mann and Jimmy Hamilton and has toured with the Mighty Sparrow and recorded with Jamaican band leader Ron Barrige.
Jazz Vespers starts at 5:30 p.m. Seating is unreserved. Willard John will record the live performance for the congregation.
"Since Jazz Vespers is not held in a bar or restaurant, the concerts afford families a chance to spend a cozy evening out together in a smoke-free environment," promotional material notes. And young people with an interest in music will be able to interact with the artists after the performance. Refreshments will follow the program, which is made possible in part through sponsorship by Beeston Hill Clinical Laboratory, Carringtons Inn St. Croix and Owen Johnson Electric.
The church is located in Estate La Reine on the hill above the Kingshill Post Office. For additional information, call Willard Fields at 719-3672 or Pastor Rod Koopmans at 778-0520, or e-mail to Jazz Vespers.
Meantime, fans can mark their calendars now for upcoming Jazz Vespers programs: The Elvis Pedro Quartet on Dec. 6, Horace Clark and Out of Nowhere on Jan. 6 and the Eddie Russell Sextet on Feb. 3.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

STAY CONNECTED

20,771FansLike
4,728FollowersFollow

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more
Oct. 29, 2001 - "Committed to You" is the theme of November's Jazz Vespers concert at the St. Croix Reformed Church. It's on Sunday at 5:30 p.m., showcasing the artistry of the Black Diamond Quintet. Admission is free, although a free-will offering is taken.
"Black Diamond" is vocalist Julia Lowe, a resident since 1977 of St. Croix, where she met sax man Rudy Shulterbrandt, who inspired her to start singing as a jazz soloist. Performing with her will be Benjamin Jacobs-el on piano, Neil Simon on bass, Ken Afra Dailey on drums and Teddy Blackwood on percussion.
Lowe, who was born in Alabama, grew up in New York and got her first formal voice training with The Featherbed Lane Freedom Community Choir, which was known for performing jazz masses. Lowe was reared by her grandmother, a classmate of Sarah Vaughn, another formative influence in Julia's life. Lowe performed with Shulterbrandt at the first St. Croix jazz festival and has many theatrical appearances to her credit, too, including "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "The Wiz."
Jacobs-El, who is from Brooklyn and has lived on St. Croix since 1974, was a trombonist with the Newport Youth Band, and then with a spin-off, The New York Jazz Septet. In 1958, after three years at the Juilliard School of Music, he went on the road with Slide Hampton and Lloyd Price, then found a slot in the Coker Camble Band, which backed such Motown stars as Stevie Wonder, The Supremes and The Temptations. Only after settling on St. Croix did he make the transition from trombone to piano.
Simon, who played guitar before he took up the bass, played in Frederiksted's Seventh-day Adventist Church as a teen-ager, and at 18 played his first gig with Jacobs-El. Simon earned a degree in architectural engineering from New York University and while in New York toured with Freddie Jackson and Billy Ocean. Since returning to St. Croix in 1988, he has collaborated with trumpeter Duke Jones from Kid Creole and the Coconuts and is currently working with X-itement.
Dailey played flute and clarinet before making the move to drums. He was practicing the drums at his mother's home when the producer for the Modern Ink Spots walked by, listened, knocked on the door and asked his mom if he could join the group. He has worked at Philadelphia's Sigma Sound Studios, where the "Philly" sound originated, and has toured with Grover Washington Jr., Betty Carter and The Dells. He's currently a member of the Roy Davis Trio.
Blackwood was born in New York to Virgin Islander parents. His mother taught him drumming on their kitchen table. He went on to study with master West African drummers Chief Bey and Babatunde Olatunji. He has worked with Ohaldo Williams, Herbie Mann and Jimmy Hamilton and has toured with the Mighty Sparrow and recorded with Jamaican band leader Ron Barrige.
Jazz Vespers starts at 5:30 p.m. Seating is unreserved. Willard John will record the live performance for the congregation.
"Since Jazz Vespers is not held in a bar or restaurant, the concerts afford families a chance to spend a cozy evening out together in a smoke-free environment," promotional material notes. And young people with an interest in music will be able to interact with the artists after the performance. Refreshments will follow the program, which is made possible in part through sponsorship by Beeston Hill Clinical Laboratory, Carringtons Inn St. Croix and Owen Johnson Electric.
The church is located in Estate La Reine on the hill above the Kingshill Post Office. For additional information, call Willard Fields at 719-3672 or Pastor Rod Koopmans at 778-0520, or e-mail to Jazz Vespers.
Meantime, fans can mark their calendars now for upcoming Jazz Vespers programs: The Elvis Pedro Quartet on Dec. 6, Horace Clark and Out of Nowhere on Jan. 6 and the Eddie Russell Sextet on Feb. 3.