By Brittany Ward
Photos by Joe Aguirre and Kayla Solorzano
Video by Joe Aguirre, Kayla Solorzano and Steffan Decker
June 7, 2018
Can’t make it to Jazz in June? Tune in KZUM every Tuesday from 7 to 9 p.m. for a special live broadcast of each week’s Jazz in June.
Summer has officially started and there’s one thing that comes to mind in Lincoln when June rolls around: Jazz in June.
The first talented artist kicking of Jazz in June was Jamison Ross. Known for being a master on the drums, Ross is also an outstanding composer, bandleader and vocalist. With a B.A. and Master’s Degree in jazz studies, it comes as no surprise that he won the 2012 Thelonious Monk International Drums Competition. Following the competition, Ross went on to tour and recorded with acclaimed artists such as Jonathan Batiste, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Christian McBride and many more as well as continuing to work with Carmen Lundy.
Before the music started at 7 p.m. Tuesday, people explored the Jazz in June market, which opens at 5 p.m. every week. Located at 12th and R Street, the market is full of local food vendors, businesses and community organizations.
Ross and the band take the stage for the second time at Jazz in June as the sun was still high in the sky There was little sitting room left, as people were claiming any and every free spot to hear Ross and the band. With Cory Irvin on the organ, Rick Lollar on guitar, Chris Pattishall on the keys and Barry Stephenson on bass, the band was ready to start.
The first set started off with “A Mellow Good Time,” an Allen Toussaint song on Ross’s most recent album, All For One. Next, the band played a favorite that Ross said hasn’t been played in awhile and was one of the first he wrote, “Emotions,” which is on Jamison. Also on the Jamison album, a cover of a jazz favorite, Donny Hathaway’s, “Sack Full of Dreams.”
The second set started with a sample of Ross’s chops on the drums with a drum solo before the band joined him to play “All For One, which was recently included alongside many modern pop megastars on a New York Times playlist.
Next upwas an important one to Ross’s heart. While thinking of his young daughter and missing those important moments while he’s on the road, Ross wrote the touching “Away.”
Before starting the Etta Jones classic, “Don’t Go To Strangers,” Ross set the scene, saying, “this is a song you stand up and dance to. It’s 1960 something, white tux, red dress at New York’s Cotton Club.”
By the end of the set, Ross and his band received a well-deserved standing ovation from an appreciative crowd at what was a great start to this month’s season.
Next week at Jazz in June is 2015 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Vocals Competition winner and Grammy nominee Jazzmeia Horn.
Brittany Ward, Joe Aguirre and Kayla Solorzano are multimedia interns with KZUM. Steffan Decker is KZUM’s multimedia specialist.