The New Growth Jazz Quartet begins the second half of the Performing Arts Studio's 2010-2011 Jazz Concert Series taking place at 7:30 p.m. on March 13, 2011 at the historic Santa Fe Depot at 200 South Jones Avenue. Admission to the concert is free but voluntary donations by attendees are accepted and encouraged. Refreshments will be provided.
The New Growth Jazz Quartet (NGJQ) was founded in the summer of 2010. Dedicated to swinging, organic structures and a deep appreciation for a wide variety of musical idioms both within the jazz context and without, this quartet's output has been one of the more original to come from Oklahoma City's local scene. The NGJQ consists of Adam Ledbetter (pianist, composer), Grant Goldstein (guitarist, composer), Aaron Tomasko (bassist), and Jemar Poteat (drummer).
These musicians’ paths inevitably crossed while hustling jazz gigs in and around town and also from each of them having secured a spot in the University of Central Oklahoma's heralded top big band rhythm section. While NGJQ has played in every imaginable venue, situation and musical style locally its members have also been afforded the opportunity to play alongside such musical luminaries as Roy Hargrove, Peter Bernstein, Robert Randolph, Diane Schuur, Joshua Redman, and many others. Having spent considerable time in the proverbial "shed," NGJQ hopes to soon release the fruits of their labors in the form of an all original first opus.
Adam Ledbetter began studying piano at ten years of age taking formal classical lessons as well as learning to play by ear and improvise in church. At the age of twelve he became an award winning composer. The son of a jazz drummer, he eventually discovered jazz and has been studying that language ever since and performing everywhere from Brazil to Rome.
Grant Goldstein became fascinated with classical guitar while in high school and soon found his way into the great jazz masters. He has studied with the top practitioners in his field and has been a celebrated student and composer as well. He is currently on faculty at The Academy of Contemporary Music's Oklahoma City campus.
“I think of Grant as the yin to my yang,” says Adam. “I have never been more inspired by playing with anyone than him. He is nothing short of a genius and his playing is well beyond his years. To look at him play is one thing but to consider the depth of what comes out of his instrument is surreal. He is without a doubt the most underrated musician in Oklahoma.”
Jemar Poteat began playing drums in church and over time became adept in every style of music from country to jazz to R&B and beyond. In addition to playing and performing across the country he has dedicated a lot of time to passing on his unique set of skills to the next generation. Jemar is also an accomplished bass player.
Adam says he loves “odd meters and superimposed meters—not contrived but presented in an organic way—and Jemar is brilliant with all of that. He can superimpose anything on anything else and always find his way back to 1. It’s a beautiful thing.”
Aaron Tomasko began on bass at age twelve playing blues and rock music. He moved on the upright bass while in high school and soon became well-versed in both the classical and jazz canons. In addition to logging countless hours filling the role of Oklahoma City's top jazz bassist he has also performed bass duties at Carnegie Hall.
According to Adam, “Aaron is another woefully underappreciated musical talent although I think people are finally starting to recognize what he has to offer. He is a great thinker and is able to process and synthesize complicated information on the fly in an amazing way. Aside from that he is our sound and technical guru. Given any problems with amps, cords or the like Aaron has been our resident handyman as well.”
The band will be performing mostly original music composed by Adam and Grant. Adam says their compositional approaches offer a nice contrast, with Adam writing mostly tunes that swing while Grant writes introspective, sound-based music.
“The group in general is really a brotherhood,” says Adam. “We shed together, we eat burritos together. We've even played pickup tennis together. So that's really what it is about for us: brotherhood, joy and worship.”
Sunday Night Jazz Concerts are made possible by a grant from the Oklahoma Arts Council, as well as the generous support of many local businesses, organizations and individuals.
For more information about Sunday Night Jazz Concerts or other PAS programs, call 307-9320.