Central State collaboration presents a Master Class with Grammy-nominated Jazz Artist

Updated: 2/20/2014 11:30 AM CST BY TOM JOYNER FOUNDATION

Bob Baldwin

The community is invited to join a Master Class with Grammy-nominated Jazz Artist Bob Baldwin, Thursday, February 27 at 3 p.m., at the Paul Cultural & Performing Arts Center, Recital Hall sponsored by Public Media WCSU-FM 88.9, in collaboration with Central State University Performing Arts presents a Master Class with Grammy-nominated Jazz Artist Bob Baldwin on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 3 p.m., at Paul Robeson Performing Arts Recital Hall on campus.

ABOUT BOB BALDWIN                                                   

Baldwin is a five-time Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC) Jazz Winner and five time Grammy-nominated Jazz Artist who hails from Mount Vernon, NY.   He is an unsung hero when it comes to the Contemporary/Smooth Jazz genre.

“Being independent means better equity opportunities long-term, something I can pass on to my family when it is all said and done”, says Baldwin. “It’s not a new concept, but this is something I wish more artists took ownership of as I think its key developing a CAREER in the business.”

His recordings have included such greats as Grover Washington, Jr. Phil Perry, Will Downing, Chuck Loeb, Marion Meadows and Noel Pointer, to name a select few. His distributors are well respected in the business including Atlantic Records, WEA, Ryker, Sony Red and EMI, so he suggests that you don’t take the ‘independent’ tag too lightly.

TAKING TIME TO HELP

In between time, with a vision to take his gift of music to bless those less fortunate, and raise funds for organizations in need of help, he has produced such events as 2010’s “Jazz for Haiti”, and “Music For Dave” (For flautist Dave Valentin) in 2013. Baldwin continues to blaze trails on the musical humanitarian front with his return to the Arts Westchester for a fifth season as Curator of the NewUrbanJazz Series.  The series will feature extraordinary artists from Westchester County, Hiroshi Yamazaki Quartet (Pianist Extraordinaire), Vaneese Thomas (Legendary Vocalist), The Tony Jefferson Quartet (Jazz Vocal Standards), and The John Patitucci Trio (Award-Winning Bassist). The program was developed with the goal to showcase Westchester’s great talent pool, using artists that tour the world as soloist, or with other great artists like Chick Corea or the Queen of Soul, Ms. Aretha Franklin…in other words, famous by association, and highly regarded by the best in the industry.

His latest release, simply titled, “Twenty” marks his 20th release as a solo artist, which began in 1988 with the clever title, “I’ve Got a Long Way to Go” on Malaco Jazz.  Before he retires, he’d like to record as many as 40 discs. The album (released 08/20/13) features classics by Herbie Hancock and Freddie Hubbard and has debuted at #13 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz and has supplanted itself in the top 5 at Amazon Smooth Jazz since its release.

BRINGING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY

Baldwin was the Curator of the NewUrbanJazz @ the Arts Exchange in White Plains, NY, with the blessings of ArtsWestchester, with the hopes that it will continue.  “We had an incredible lineup of people, and the response from the community has been wonderful.  It was a nice shot in the arm for Westchester residents.”

The commitment to use his gift to help others led Bob Baldwin to take on the role of educator to present workshops that would pair young musicians with the pros.  Collaborating with ArtsWestchester and the White Plains Youth Bureau, Baldwin presented a workshop that would prepare young people for a career in music.  Baldwin stated “What we wanted to do is create a music theater piece that also featured a workshop element,” he said, “so that the people that were on stage were allowed to share their experiences on the road in terms of the music business and musical experience with some young kids and try to implant some new seeds so that the torch can be passed.”

2010 also brought forth the desire to produce two shows on behalf of Haiti.  Westchester Musicians for Haiti was able to bring together some of the cream of the Westchester crop under one musical umbrella to raise some funds for the Arthur Schweitzer Hospital in Deshapeles, Haiti.  He also produced the Jazz for Haiti, which featured a different blend of Contemporary and Latin Jazz at the Newark Symphony Hall (Chieli Minucci, Dave Valentin, Ruben Rodriguez, Chembo Corniel, and up and coming shining stars like Ragan Whiteside, to name a few), raising awareness of the tragedies of Haiti and shining some light on the American Red Cross, who has assisted tremendously in that region.  His Jazz for Haiti program raised over $60,000.00 for the American Red Cross of Northern New Jersey.

Although he has been running his production company since 1997, Baldwin has released 5 records on 5 different labels since 2000.  With labels collapsing and going out of business more now than ever, his last 5 discs have managed to make the Billboard top 10 Contemporary Jazz.

The pianist tries to never allow his business acumen go to waste.  He independently produced his CD (distributed through the powerful Virgin/EMI Network) Bobbaldwin.com, which sold an impressive 60,000 units.  He also used his business skills to develop and negotiate his recording deals with upstart labels 215 Records, NuGroove Records as well as Narada Jazz, all of which have since gone under.

His radio program NewUrbanJazz Lounge with Bob Baldwin is changing the sound of Contemporary Jazz in the midst of the debilitating hierarchy that is Smooth Jazz, which has lost over 18 stations in the last 20 months.  The radio show covers Contemporary Jazz going back to the 70’s, which helps secure its legacy, but also brings to light new artists and fuses Urban and Brazilian flavors.  It’s the perfect fix for Contemporary Jazz fans from all walks of life, and later this year, look for an all-out Internet blitz for the new programming.

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