February 1 – February 4
Jazz St. Louis
3536 Washington Ave
St. Louis, MO 63103 United States
Born in Los Angeles in 1957, Childs was already proficient at the piano by age 6; he was accepted in USC’s Community School For The Performing Arts at age 16, studying music theory and piano with some of the world’s most renowned musical scholars. He graduated from USC in 1979 with a degree in composition. Among Childs’ early influences: Herbie Hancock, Keith Emerson, Chick Corea and others. He credits classical composers such as Paul Hindemith, Maurice Ravel, and Igor Stravinsky for also influencing his love of composition. Childs’ performing career was also enriched with early-career apprenticeships with legendary jazz trombonist J.J. Johnson, and trumpet great Freddie Hubbard, in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Since then, Mr. Childs has received a number of orchestral and chamber commissions from, among others: Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, The Kronos Quartet, the Dorian Wind Quintet, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the American Brass Quintet, the Ying Quartet, the Lyris Quartet, Anne Akiko Meyers, Rachel Barton Pine, and Inna Faliks. Thus far, in his career, Childs has garnered sixteen Grammy nominations and five Grammy awards. Childs has also served as president of Chamber Music America from 2016 to 2022.
Music and spirituality have always been fully intertwined in the artistic vision of trumpeter, bandleader, composer, educator and activist Sean Jones. Singing and performing as a child with the church choir in his hometown of Warren, Ohio, Sean switched from the drums to the trumpet at the age of 10. Sean is a musical chameleon and is comfortable in any musical setting no matter what the role or the genre. He is equally adept in being a member of an ensemble as he is at being a bandleader. Sean turned a 6-month stint with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra into an offer from Wynton Marsalis for a permanent position as lead trumpeter, a post he held from 2004 until 2010. In 2015 Jones was tapped to become a member of the SFJAZZ Collective. During this time, Sean has managed to keep a core group of talented musicians together under his leadership forming the foundation for his groups that have produced and released eight recordings on the Mack Avenue Records, the latest is his 2017 release Sean Jones: Live from Jazz at the Bistro.
Praised in The New York Times as “a singer with a strong and luscious tone,” vocalist, composer and arranger Alicia Olatuja (A-LEE-see-ah Oh-la-TU-ja) combines the earthy with the sublime, bringing a grounded relatability to genres as lofty as classical, as venerated as jazz, and as gritty as R&B. On her stunning Resilience Music Alliance debut, Intuition: Songs From The Minds Of Women, Olatuja lends her distinctive approach to celebrating the artistic output of noted female composers. Olatuja’s vocal excellence stunned a global audience of millions during the second inauguration ceremony for President Barack Obama in 2013 with a soaring featured solo during the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir’s rendition of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Her pristine voice and poise made a visible impact on the dignitaries in attendance, with reporters and social media lavishing her with praise. “
❝ As a pianist, he possesses the improvisatory skills and powerful sense of swing one associates with world-class artists… Childs is an inventive composer and arranger whose effort in those areas consistently expand the dimensions of the jazz genre – and beyond. ❞
— The Los Angeles Times
❝ Sean Jones embodies the 21st century jazz musician, an experimental, supremely talented type whose vision and sensibility encourages inclusion rather than separation. ❞
❝ Olatuja possesses a special instrument: a full-bodied tone, precise pitch and personal engagement at the lowest whisper or highest wail. ❞