The Alexis Lombre Quintet to perform at the 2015 Hyde Park Jazz Festival, Saturday, Sept 26th at 3pm at the Hyde Park Union Church, 5600 S. Woodlawn, Chicago! The Alexis Lombre Quintet will feature Joshua Ramos on bass; Justin Copeland on trumpet; Irvin Pierce on sax, Xavier Breaker on drums and Alexis Lombre on piano.
Jazz is America’s most recognized indigenous art form and the jazz ensemble undoubtedly serves as the perfect model for how well the democratic process can work. The Jazz and Democracy Project® (J&D), based in Oakland, California and founded by Dr. Wesley Watkins IV, Ph.D., is committed to demonstrating how the jazz process can inform us about the intention and execution of American democratic ideals. The Jazz and Democracy Project® does this by providing workshops and professional development training locally, nationally and internationally to school age children and teachers, respectively.
Representing the voice of younger, aspiring jazz musicians, Chicago based jazz pianist and band leader, Alexis Lombre met with The Jazz and Democracy® Project Founder, Dr. Wes Watkins to discuss the parallels between jazz and democracy as it relates to young people on the bandstand. Her recorded interview has now been incorporated into the J&D Think Tank Curriculum for Teacher Professional Development, along with the interviews of well-established jazz musicians from around the world, such as Wayne Shorter, Christian McBride, Joshua Redman, Layla Hathaway, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Rachelle Farrell, Jacky Terrasson, Marcus Miller, and Terence Blanchard.
The City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events teamed up with The Recording Academy® – Chicago Chapter and the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival (CIMMfest) to present the inaugural Lake FX Chicago, music and artistic showcases across Chicago, April 16th– 19th, 2015. On Thursday, April 16th, Lake FX Chicago’s opening night event held at the club, The Mid, was kicked-off with performances showcasing some of Chicago’s up-and-coming jazz talents which included young jazz pianist, Alexis Lombre. Alexis, along with her frequent bandmates, Isaiah Collier (Saxophone), Jeremiah Collier (Drums), and James Wenzel (Bass) formed one of the featured groups “Next Generation”. Next Generation opened the night with a high energy performance of their own arrangements of jazz standards and original compositions. Other artists featured opening night were “The Fox and the Hounds” (Jazz/Rock) and “Lili K” (Jazz/R&B).
The Chicago International Movies & Music Festival coincided with Lake FX Chicago during April 16–19, 2015, to showcase outstanding films, energetic concerts, visually stunning VJ/DJ sets and other programs showing what movies and music mean to each other. The Recording Academy®, internationally known for the GRAMMY® Awards, provided its support as an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. The Academy’s Chicago Chapter works closely with many established music and arts organizations and has become an integral partner in the Chicago and Midwestern cultural communities. The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy.
On Tuesday, April 14, 2015, the Highland Park High School opened its 25th “Focus on the Arts” festival with an evening tribute to jazz pianist and composer, Ramsey Lewis, and a concert performance by the Ramsey Lewis Quartet. The Ravinia Festival sponsored the opening night concert as one of several special events this year to celebrate Lewis’ 80th birthday. Lewis serves as Ravinia’s Artistic Director of Jazz. Pianist/composer Paul Johnston, an alumnus of Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute, performed his new tribute to Ramsey Lewis with pianist Alexis Lombre, an alumna of the Ravinia Jazz Scholars program. Also as part of the tribute, the Highland Park High School Jazz Ensemble and Chamber Orchestra premiered a new orchestration of Lewis’ greatest hits arranged by Andrew Chukerman and commissioned by Ravinia Festival.
This is the second tribute to Ramsey Lewis held in recent months that Alexis Lombre has participated in. On September 17, 2014, the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs held the inaugural “Fifth Star Awards” ceremony, a free public celebration at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park honoring exemplary Chicago artists and arts institutions who have made significant contributions in arts and culture. Along with Ravinia Festival CEO and President, Welz Kauffman and Jazz Vocalist, Kurt Elling, Alexis was selected to be a part of the tribute to Ramsey Lewis who was an inaugural Fifth Star honoree. She performed a piano duet, “Ramsey Lewis Medley” with Welz Kauffman, which was followed by Kurt Elling’s performance of his arrangement of “In Crowd”, one of Lewis’ most popular hits.
Alexis Lombre will also perform in the upcoming “Tribute to Frank Sinatra & Ramsey Lewis” on Saturday, May 16, 2015 in the Ravinia Festival’s Bennett-Gordon Hall in Highland Park, IL. This event, which is sold out, will honor Lewis’ 80th birthday and what would have been Sinatra’s 100th.