Steve Colson on piano, Iqua Colson vocals, Dushun Mosley on drums, and Darius Savage on bass.
STEVE COLSON – aka ADEGOKE – pianist and composer, has performed internationally as a leader of jazz ensembles ranging from trios to orchestras. Born in Newark and raised in East Orange, NJ, he received his degree from Northwestern University School of Music and lived in Chicago for a decade before returning to reside on the East Coast. A critically acclaimed figure in modern jazz, Steve’s compositions are finding their way into the “jazz standard” repertoire and are being performed and recorded by some of today’s jazz greats as well as by his own group. He became a member of The Association for Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in the early 70s, a musicians’ collective that has influenced music internationally in the 20th and 21st Century. Steve’s music has been compared to that of Monk, Mingus, and Ellington as well as Ives, Berio, and Stravinsky. He has composed for theater, dance and multi media presentations and has received several commissions, including the first original jazz orchestral work performed at New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Steve is a noted educator who has lectured and taught internationally. He has been a pioneer in arts education, having been one of the 26 artists selected nationwide (1981), by The National Endowment for the Arts, to develop the concept of Artist Residencies here in the U.S. Steve has taught music courses at Bloomfield College for 25 years and joined the faculty several years ago at Montclair State’s Cali School of Music. He is recognized for his work as a pianist and has traveled throughout the world with his groups and other leading artists performing in the U.S., Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. His latest CD as a leader “The Untarnished Dream” features jazz masters Andrew Cyrille and Reggie Workman with his wife and collaborator Iqua Colson appearing on select tracks. This CD, released on the Colson’s label Silver Sphinx, received international airplay and rave reviews and was voted by the International Jazz Journalists as one of the best Jazz CDs of 2010. His early band The Unity Troupe was included in the prestigious Freedom, Rhythm and Sound Book / CD-LP compilation from Soul Jazz Records, London, UK. This collection/retrospective looked at the influential and independent musicians who took control of their music in the late 60s and early 70s – early roots of the “indie” movement. Steve’s work can also be found on American, European and Japanese record labels including Columbia/Sony, Evidence, and Black Saint.
IQUA COLSON has been praised internationally by the media and placed in the company of some of our finest known vocal innovators including Betty Carter, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Abbey Lincoln, Iqua’s work has been discussed in countless periodicals and books including a chapter in “Black Women & Music, More than the Blues” – which also features the great Leontyne Price. Her industry accolades include Vocal Talent Deserving Wider Recognition by Downbeat Magazine and Distinguished Achievement as a lyricist by Billboard. A native of Chicago, Iqua was accepted to Northwestern University School of Music as a pianist after three years of high school. She was voted into The Association for Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in the early 70s, the influential musicians’ collective acknowledged worldwide as a primary influence in 20th and 21st Century music. She has recorded and performed in the U.S. and overseas collaborating with great artists, most frequently with her husband decorated pianist/composer Steve Colson. In addition to recognition as a performer/composer, Iqua has been the architect of several projects successfully initiating and/or producing concerts, festivals and arts projects in various U.S. cities and Europe. After moving to New Jersey Iqua worked with colleagues in the East Orange Public Schools to bring an impressive, innovative and challenging arts education curriculum and recognition to the district including the awarding of a Demonstration Project Grant to build The Cicely L. Tyson Community School of Performing & Fine Arts; a K-12 campus and Performing Arts Center. She has a Masters of Public Administration and often works as a consultant on projects that use arts as a catalyst for educational and/or social change. These projects include everything from neighborhood planning and arts venue design to arts curriculum. She has worked on three initiatives for the NJ Department of Education. Iqua’s 2004 CD Hope for Love with husband Steve was nominated for a Grammy. Her early band The Unity Troupe was included in the prestigious Freedom, Rhythm and Sound Book / CD-LP compilation from Soul Jazz Records, London, UK. This collection/retrospective looks at the influential and independent musicians who took control of their music in the late 60s and early 70s – early the roots of the “indie” movement. Her last CD The Untarnished Dream received critical acclaim and was voted by the International Jazz Journalists as one of the best Jazz CDs of 2010.
Time: 8 PM (first set at 8 PM, second set at 9:30PM)