Grammy-nominated musician, producer and world-renowned drummer Quentin E. Baxter presents another amazing three-concert series at the Legends Room – Turtle Point Clubhouse on Kiawah Island. Each individual concert is $25 general admission and starts at 7:30pm. A three-concert package is available for a limited time, for $60. Tickets are available at www.baxtermusic.com or 843-766-8814. The concert series is sponsored by the Town of Kiawah Island Cultural Events Fund.
The first featured artist of the series is bassist/educator/composer Rodney Jordan. This concert kicks off a CD release tour of Jordan’s debut album as a bandleader, Playing Jazz Vol. 1. Accompanying Jordan for the show will be trumpeter Melvin Jones, saxophonist Mark Sterbank, pianist Louis Heriveaux, and drummer Quentin E. Baxter. Playing Jazz Vol. 1 features Stephen Riley on tenor saxophone, Alphonso Horne on trumpet, Marcus Roberts on piano and Jason Marsalis on drums.
Jordan is certainly no stranger to the Lowcountry audiences, having facilitated the bass chair in performances with world-renowned artists such as vocalist René Marie and pianist Marcus Roberts. Jordan can be heard on numerous recording, including the Marcus Roberts Trio, Marcus Roberts Nonet, Béla Fleck & the Marcus Roberts Trio, René Marie, Russell Gunn, Curtis Fuller, Bill Anschell, Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Melvin Jones, and Scotty Barnhart.
A native of Memphis, TN, Jordan grew up playing the bass in church and his high school orchestra. He later studied music with Dr. London Branch, Alvin Fielder, and Andy Hardwick at Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi.
During his college years, Jordan joined the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, where he served as Assistant Principal Bassist. Teaching has always been a passion for Jordan. After receiving a B.M. in Music Education from Jackson State University, Jordan relocated to Georgia and became Chair of the String Department at the Dougherty County Public School while serving as Principal Bassist with the Albany Symphony Orchestra in Albany, GA. Jordan also taught in the DeKalb County School Systems and served as a bass instructor at both Darton College (part of the University System of Georgia) in Albany and at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
In 2001, Jordan joined the faculty in the School of Music at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL as Associate Professor of Jazz Studies where he teaches jazz bass, jazz combo playing, music education classes, and a jazz styles class. It was here at FSU that Jordan and pianist Marcus Roberts first met and played together. The two instantly formed a very close musical bond, playing and teaching together on many occasions.
“One of the first things that I noticed about Rodney was his dedicated work ethic,” says Marcus Roberts. “When I observed students around him, I noticed that they became more serious just from working with him. His example inspires and leads them to greater commitment to learning how to play this music. Students respect him because he practices what he preaches. He also spends a lot of extra time with the students, and is never too busy to answer their questions.”
Jordan joined the Marcus Roberts Trio in 2009. It was evident during that first official performance of the newly-formed trio at the prestigious Wigmore Hall in London that Jordan thoroughly understood Roberts’ unique trio concept.
Rodney Jordan is one of the most versatile jazz bassists on the scene today. His tone is rich and soulful when he plays hauntingly beautiful phrases with the bow. Just as readily, he plays fast virtuosic passages with apparent effortless skill. Jordan’s knowledge of harmony from his classical bass training combined with the relentless feeling of swing in his playing is a perfect fit for the powerful melodic, blues-based, syncopated improvisational sound of the Marcus Roberts Trio.
Rodney Jordan’s passion and dedication to the music is evident in every note that he plays. There is little doubt that he will make a lasting contribution to his instrument and to jazz music.