Saturday, June 3, 2017
THE JOE GRANSDEN BIG BAND
featuring guest vocalist ANNIE SELLICK
THE ARTS COUNCIL SMITHGALL ARTS CENTER LAWN
8:00PM (doors open at 6:00PM for seating)
Joe Gransden Performance Ticket:
Senior (65+) $25;
Table for 8 $274.
(7% tax added to all ticket sales)
The Joe Gransden Big Band is a seventeen-piece ensemble that harkens back to an era when the Great American Songbook, swing music and the big band sound was all the rage. In this time of digital overload, where music is often formulaically produced by synthesized sounds, Gransden and his band have challenged convention and found an audience that still appreciates the powerful sound that can only come from a finely tuned big band in a live setting.
At 38 years old, Joe Gransden has already performed worldwide and released eight
CDs under his own name. Renowned first for the hard bop approach of his trumpet,
Gransden’s singing voice has been compared to that of Chet Baker and Frank Sinatra.
“Joe is a young man w/an old soul and a classic voice. He is a great talent, with a wonderful sense of humor to boot. And don’t forget, he plays a hell of a trumpet!”
Clint Eastwood, Actor/Director
“Joe has an innate ability to connect with an audience. His singing and trumpet playing are world class. Throw in his 16 piece big band and you have something very special!”
Smokey Robinson, Grammy Winning Singer, Song Writer and Producer
“… Joe Gransden is one of those rare musicians that has it all. He is an incredible instrumentalist with the technique of a virtuoso. His imagination lets him improvise as well as anyone on the planet and yet he retains a sense of melody that lets listeners of all musical tastes enjoy his wonderful playing. That should be enough, but for Joe, it’s just the beginning. Add to this a beautiful singing voice that lets him do all of the above with words!!! As I said, Joe really does have it all.”
Kenny G – Grammy winning saxophonist
Featured Vocalist Annie Sellick, who hails from Nashville, is a Gainesville favorite, having performed at The Arts Council’s Evenings of Intimate Jazz series for several years. “Annie Sellick may be compared to the greats – Ella’s playfulness, Carmen’s attitude, Betty’s instincts and Anita’s flair…” (Greg Lee, WMOT jazz radio). But, she is unequivocally and undeniably an original.
Today, Annie is a mainstay at the major jazz venues in Nashville, where she has performed with all of Music City’s jazz artists, including Beegie Adair, Jeff Coffin, Rod McGaha and Bela Fleck. She has won a large, devoted following in her home town that has garnered five consecutive “Best Jazz Artist” awards from the Nashville media and the #1 best-selling local artist for two years at Tower Records Nashville.
Read more about Joe Gransden and Annie Sellick…
“When I first heard Joe nine years ago, I immediately thought of Chet,” says Jazziz magazine critic James Rozzi, “but lately his voice has taken on its own style with a deeper resonance. His trumpet has always alternated lyricism with an aggressive, angular approach. He has the ability to cover the gamut of emotions.”
Joe is from just north of Manhattan, New York. Coming from a familyof musicians,
Joe’s introduction to music came early on through his father, a gifted singer and pianist.
His grandfather was a trumpeter of merit, playing professionally his whole life throughout New York. On his mother’s side of the family was the piano virtuoso
Not long after high school, Joe was on the road as a sideman with the big bands of
Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. A number of A.F.M. contracted sideman gigs include
Barry White, The Moody Blues, Kenny Rogers, The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, The
Whispers, etc. Eventually moving to New York City, he performed with numerous groups, including sub work with Toshiko Akiyoshi and Chico O’Farrill at the famous
Birdland Jazz Club. Meanwhile, Joe formed his own group, which performed in
Brooklyn each week and included the venerable guitarist Joe Cohn and ex-Betty Carter bassist, Matt Hughes. “Having my own group and being fortunate enough to travel, play, and record has been a dream come true,” says Joe. “Exploring the music with a steady group of great players has enabled me to continually grow.”
Like many developing jazzmen, Gransden’s early influences, which include Kenny
Dorham and Miles Davis, were easily recognizable in his playing throughout his formative years. “Emulating the jazz greats is always the very first step,” says Gransden. “But obviously, in order to be true to myself—who I am, what I believe in, my family background—I need to have a sound that’s my own. It’s taken me until recently to hone in on that voice and explore its potential. One of the truly enjoyable things about my career has been finding that my audience appreciates my individual talents.”
A growing schedule has found Joe performing in Atlanta with his16 Piece Big Band, The Jazz Corner in Hilton Head, S.C., The Ritz-Carlton at Reynolds Plantation with Michael Fienstein, The Museum of Art and Design in midtown Manhattan, Spivey Hall in Atlanta, and Tehema Golf Club in Carmel, California (where Joe regularly plays events for Clint Eastwood). Joe also just released his new cd “Close To My Heart” produced by saxophone great Kenny G. The cd is a collection of smooth jazz covers and originals written by Joe and Kenny.
“Joe is an extraordinary musician and on top of that, a wonderful person and that ain’t no lie! With Joe singin’ and the band swingin’…It’s A Beautiful Thing!”
Freddy Cole, Grammy Nominated singer and vocalist
“Joe, with his talent, smoothness, precision and humor, puts the ‘class’ in ‘classic jazz vocals’. He is sure to ignite a whole new generation of jazz fans.”
Dina Eastwood, Actor/Producer
It’s quite obvious she is totally at home as a live performer, immediately engaging her audiences with an innate ability to make everyone in the room feel like she is performing just for them. But these special gifts aside, it’s Annie’s pure talent as a musician that is earning her rave reviews and a growing fan base around the world.
Annie lives in Nashville, Tennessee; however, she is quick to tell you “growing up in ‘Music City’ I hated country music.” But Nashville is home base for some of the finest musicians in the world playing every genre of music. “I have had the opportunity to play with a very talented pool of Nashville-based jazz players, and it has been a great place to cut my teeth and learn. These days I am learning from Nashville musicians of all styles. There is such a high level of musicianship here, and the support of the community is unparalleled.”
At first, Annie had no intention of pursuing a career as a performer, which would likely have led to “a roller coaster life and living in her parents’ basement at 30!” Then one evening in a “dive bar” near the college she attended in Middle Tennessee, Annie sat in with guitarist Roland Gresham. “The only standards I knew were ‘Fever’ and ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” she remembers, laughing. “I sang ‘Fever’ and everybody went berserk. “The band hired her then and there. She recalls getting the names of jazz singers from a friend, tracking down their albums, learning the tunes a few at a time and then returning to the club to sing them.
Annie’s career had a fairytale beginning – not unlike Lana Turner wearing the right sweater into Schwab’s Drugstore in Hollywood. But there is nothing make-believe about her talent. Her obvious ease in front of an audience, the naturalness of her voice, her sense of timing and interpretation of lyrics, her feel for the music – these elements all came together during this time. While performing gigs at night, she studied her craft at the Nashville Jazz Workshop and was offered their first work/study opportunity. The Nashville jazz community and its fans spread the word about this young pixie-faced singer with the long dreads whose voice denied both her youth and looks – adding to her charm and appeal.