News Release: Arts and Humanities, Events

Feb. 2,  2011

Jazz Trumpeter Nicholas Payton Headlines Emory Jazz Fest

News Article ImageJazz trumpeter and Grammy winner Nicholas Payton. Photo by Michael Wilson.

Acclaimed jazz trumpeter and Grammy winner Nicholas Payton performs Fri., Feb. 18, 8 p.m., at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. Joining Payton will be pianist Gary Motley, Emory University's Director of Jazz Studies, along with bassist Paul Keller and drummer Pete Siers.

Hailed as a virtuoso before he was even out of high school, Payton’s maturation as a prodigious talent has earned him praise as one of the most important artists of our time. Growing up in New Orleans, he received his first trumpet at age four; by age nine, he was sitting in with local bands; and by twelve, was a member of the All Star Brass Band. He later studied with Clyde Kerr Jr. and Ellis Marsalis. 

Payton has toured with scores of musicians including Clark Terry, Marcus Roberts, Ray Brown, Elvin Jones, Roy Haynes and more. He has also performed and recorded with musicians representing genres from jazz, R&B and hip-hop, and is credited on more than 120 recordings. Payton has recorded eight albums under his own name including Doc Cheatham and Nicholas Payton—a 1997 Grammy-award-winning collaboration with the legendary trumpeter. His latest album is Into the Blue (2008) and he recently completed his 9th recording, a bold autobiographical solo masterwork titled Bitches. Payton explains the album's concept: "The idea was to express how mature men feel in a relationship when things don't work out. It's actually a very vulnerable record...  a love record essentially. The title might suggest something else to people, but none of the lyrical content is derogatory."

Payton performs as part of the Emory Jazz Fest, Feb. 17-19 at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. The festival features an improv class with the Gary Motley Trio and a master class with Nicholas Payton on Thurs., Feb. 17.  Payton’s performance on Friday evening is preceded by an open rehearsal from 2-3 p.m. Gary Motley will lead the Big Band Night, Sat., Feb. 19. For details, visit www.arts.emory.edu or call the Emory Arts box office at 404-727-5050.

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