Taking the stage before a jam-packed concert hall is one thing. Being joined by a seasoned professional jazz artist is another (especially when you’re still in high school!)
But that’s exactly what happened on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at The Henderson Theatre. The Academy men of the CBA Jazz Ensemble joined jazz guitarist, recording artist and former 18-year bandleader of “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, Mr. Kevin Eubanks, for an evening of top-level jazz.
“We are thrilled to have signed Kevin Eubanks for this year’s event at CBA,” says CBA Jazz Series founder and organizer Joe Tort of Rumson.
“To have a jazz artist who has performed with jazz legends such Art Blakey, Roy Haynes, and Sam Rivers, and became the go-to guitarist in the New York jazz scene, is truly special. His quartet is stacked with talent who will certainly deliver another great performance at The CBA Jazz Series.”
CBA Jazz got the evening rolling as the opening act before being joined by the headliner for several well-rounded numbers. Afterwards, Eubanks was joined on stage by Bill Pierce on sax, Rene Camacho on bass and Marvin “Smitty” Smith on drums.
The mission of The CBA Jazz Series is twofold: experiencing legendary jazz sound in an up-close-and-personal venue and raising funds for the Performing Arts at CBA. Eubanks joins the growing list of jazz talent that as performed for the annual Series, which includes David Benoit, Terence Blanchard, Ravi Coltrane, Yellowjackets and Max Weinberg.
Since leaving “The Tonight Show,” Eubanks has released three albums with Mack Avenue Records: Zen Food, The Messenger and Duets (with Stanley Jordan) and East West Time Line (due out April 2017.) Along with his quartet, Eubanks is sure to thrill the audience with energetic jazz fusion and the engaging personality of a masterful guitarist.
The 2016 Series featured the illustrious E Street Band drummer, Max Weinberg, performing before a sold-out crowd. “I want to tell you what a pleasure it is for me to be here tonight,” said Weinberg during last year’s event. “Also to say, witnessing the great music program CBA has in this era of cutbacks and funding for music programs — arts programs in general — it’s really wonderful that you have a great crowd to come out and support this type of endeavor.”
The CBA Jazz Series was created by Tort to give CBA musicians a unique and heightened stage experience as they perform as the opening act for the artists before a sold out crowd. The artist also joins the ensemble for a couple of songs, which is always the highlight of the evening. This year will be no exception. Tort proudly describes this experience as an example of the Academy’s differentiated offerings for its students and its commitment to the performing arts.
About Christian Brothers Academy:
Christian Brothers Academy (CBA) is a private, Catholic, academic preparatory school for boys located in Lincroft, New Jersey. Over $23.5 million in merit-based scholarships was awarded to the Class of 2017. Learn more at CBA At-A-Glance.