An Evening of Jazz Song, coming up on Jan. 15 at the Park Theatre, features both past and present members of the University of Manitoba Jazz program. Included among the performers are Amber Epp and Heitha Forsyth, both graduates of the program and renowned Winnipeg vocalists.
The two graduates will be performing alongside other U of M talents. Quincy Davis (drums), Jimmy Greene (saxophone) and the Director of Jazz Studies, Steve Kirby (bass). Anna-Lisa Kirby (vocals) and Dave Restivo (piano) will join them.
Both Forsyth and Epp have performed in Winnipeg with groups and other artists such as Papa Mambo, Ron Paley, Steve Kirby’s Oceanic Jazz Orchestra and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. The upcoming concert will feature the music of Joni Mitchell, Glen Campbell and Steve Bell, as well as a preview of other recording projects.
Amber Epp has been singing since childhood. She travelled the world with her family as a child and shares her love of life and adventure in each of her performances. Epp uncovered her Latin sound after she moved to Cuba, and found a true love for jazz after experiences in New York City. Epp performs in numerous languages and styles, enchanting audiences in cities around the world. She recently received the Western Canadian Music Award for “World Recording of the Year” with her group Trio Bembe, a division of Winnipeg’s Papa Mambo, with whom she has also performed. Epp plans to record her debut solo album in 2012.
Heitha Forsyth is a member of Steve Kirby’s Oceanic Jazz Orchestra, and has been featured by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the University of Manitoba Jazz Orchestra and Papa Mambo, among others. Forsyth performed at the 2007, 2008, and 2009 Winnipeg Jazz Festivals as a late-night headliner, and was a resounding success. She has also opened for many international jazz musicians such as Cedar Walton, Kenny Barron, Christian McBride and Houston Person through the Izzy Asper Jazz Performances series. She plans to release a country project under her alias “Sol James” in 2012.
Steve Kirby is currently the director of the Jazz Studies program at the University of Manitoba. He earned his master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music and has since performed with artists such as Lester Bowie, James Carter, Wes Anderson, Wallace Roney, Oliver Lake and Slide Hampton, among many others.
The individual reputations of each of these artists alone are impressive. The combined performance of such unique talents, the weaving together of such a diverse palate of sounds, is not a show to miss.
Tickets are $20 general and $10 for students, and can be bought at the Park Theatre Cafe at 698 Osborne St. S.