Jazz in Jordan


Location: Terra Sancta School Auditorium, Tala Bay Aqaba
City/Town: Amman, Jordan

Amman – In celebration of 60 years of Jordanian-American friendship, the American Embassy in Amman is hosting the Chris Byars Quartet for a series of live jazz performances in Amman and Aqaba April 7-10. The performances are co-produced by the U.S. Department of State and Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York as part of “The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad” program. The public concert in Amman is sponsored locally by Mood FM.

During their visit to Jordan, the New York-based Chris Byars Quartet will entertain audiences with rhythms that evoke Manhattan’s bustling Times Square in its heyday and generate new music inspired by the 1950s Bop tradition. The Quartet, composed of Chris Byars, Ari Roland, John Mosca, and Stefan Schatz, is scheduled to perform in Amman at the Terra Sancta Auditorium in Jabal Weibdeh on April 8 at 7:00 p.m. and in Aqaba at Tala Bay resort on April 10.

The Quartet will also take part in a live jam session with several prominent Jordanian musicians, perform for university and area school children, and conduct workshops to share their musical talent and experience with students of the National Music Conservatory.

Admission is free

THE CHRIS BYARS QUARTET plays original music based on a lifelong study of great jazz masters. The members of the band have been performing together for two decades, most frequently at the New York City jazz club, Smalls. The quartet has also toured extensively, most recently to Russia and Central Asia as part of the U.S. State Department and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad Program in 2006-2007. Their newly released CD is on Smalls Records entitled Photos in Black, White and Gray.

Chris Byars (saxophone) is a native New Yorker who began playing saxophone at age 12. He has toured Europe, Asia and South America and has performed as a featured soloist with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Harry James Big Band, Glenn Miller Orchestra and Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. Also a noted arranger, Byars has written for the bands of John Pizzarelli and Jerry Dodgion. He and Ari Roland co-lead the group Across 7th Street, which brings jazz into the New York City public schools. Byars graduated from the Manhattan School of Music with master’s and bachelor’s degrees in music.

John Mosca (trombone), a native New Yorker and The Juilliard School graduate, has performed with Pierre Boulez and the Metropolitan Opera, as well as Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, Joe Williams and Stan Getz. In 1975 he joined the Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Orchestra which won a GRAMMY® the following year for the Live in Munich album. Mosca currently co-leads The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, whose latest release, Up From the Skies, received two 2007 GRAMMY® nominations. Mosca has been actively involved in jazz education for over twenty years, having served on the faculty of numerous university jazz programs, most recently as Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Connecticut.

Ari Roland (bass) was born and raised in New York City. He began playing bass at the age of 12 and was working professionally by age 16. He studied at The Juilliard School and has played in the bands of jazz legends such as Lou Donaldson, Barry Harris and Betty Carter. Sketches From a Bassist’s Album, his recent CD on Smalls Records, has received widespread critical acclaim. In 2008, Roland performed in Cyprus, India, Montenegro, Saudi Arabia and Slovenia as part of the U.S. State Department and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s The Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad Program. .

Stefan Schatz (drums) was born in New York City. Trained as a classical percussionist at Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan and Manhattan School of Music Prep, Schatz continued his jazz studies at The New School in New York. Since graduating in 1995, Schatz has worked with many notable artists, including Jon Hendricks, the Glenn Miller Orchestra and the Mark Morris Dance Group, among others. Active in education, Schatz has been involved in arts outreach programs for the Mark Morris Dance School, Bronx Jazz Series, Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Lincoln Center Institute.