Tag Archives: Karrin Allyson

Oh what a beautiful . . . duo: Allyson and Cardenas


KarinAllyson2015_Ingrid_Hertfelder_7I’ve never been a groupie but am learning to be one for Karrin Allyson, who sang and played a Steinway on September 20 at TCNJ. For those who had not seen her, it was an eye/ear popper.

Even for those of us who had been at last year’s benefit concert, Chansons pour le Congo, it was a revelation to have an additional voice on stage — Allyson’s plus the blues of Steve Cardenas’ bass guitar, cradling the tones between the notes in a heart-twanging response.

The brand new CD, Many a New Day, with Rodgers & Hammerstein tunes and Kenny Barron and John Pattitucci on bass, was similar to the concert but I’m sorry to say for those who weren’t there, the concert was way better. At least for me. Partly because you could see Allyson really ‘getting into it,’ standing slim and strong, sparkly bracelet on her wrist, shakin’ her shaker, red stiletto shoes tapping back and forth, crooning and belting in that Midwestern girl-next-door accent with the sexy under-breath. Or at the Steinway, inhabiting that piano, in control, red shoes planted wide, playing that piano like a cello, sole of one red shoe keeping the beat, into it.

For “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” on the CD, Allyson sets up the dawn version of a stride piano  — delicate octaves like bird calls — and lights into the tune that recalls a cowboy riding past corn ‘as high as an elephants eye.‘ But this is no cowboy song. Oh no. And at the concert it was even more intimate, a sleepy-eyed aubade, S. O’Hara waking up on a beautiful morning after a beautiful night. And then Cardenas took that tune, caught it, and caressed those descending half-tones on ‘mor…n…ing,‘ a lover’s response.

What makes me a groupie — I want to hear it again on stage, because — good as Kenny Barron is on the piano — that song on the CD doesn’t evoke the heat of the live performance with Allyson playing as well as singing. I want to hear Cardenas and Allyson sing it again, live. Put me on the list!

Allyson will intro her album at Birdland, October 6-10. Kenny Barron’s show tours to McCarter on October 23. Allyson will be back in NYC in April at the Greene Space and Birdland.

Disclosure: I wrote some pro bono press releases for this concert, to benefit Congolese charities UFAR and FEBA

Many a New Day Will Shine — to benefit Congolese charities: Karrin Allyson

KarinAllyson2015_Ingrid_Hertfelder_7Now is the perfect time, says jazz artist Karrin Allyson, to revisit the Rodgers & Hammerstein songbook. Listen to her new album, Many A New Day, click her for a preview video.

See Allyson in person at a benefit concert “Chansons pour le Congo III” at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ),  . The concert, which benefits two Congo-based charities, will be Sunday, September 20, at 3 p.m. at the Mildred & Ernest E. Mayo Concert Hall, 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing.

“These songs are innocent yet wise, hopeful yet nobody’s fool, calling us ever forward to be decent human beings,” says Allyson, who features Kenny Barron and John Patitucci on “Many a New Day” on the Motema label. “Sadly, the song ‘You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught,’  from ‘South Pacific’  (a musical that was written with the intention to fight racism) still resonates all too well today.”

The event is presented by the College of New Jersey, Women and Gender Studies Program, Women in Learning and Leadership and Office of the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences.  Allyson will be accompanied by bass guitarist Ed Howard. A reception to meet the artists will follow the performance.

Tickets (available online here) are $70 for adults, $50 for seniors, and $30 for students, with a discount for TCNJ students.  Sponsorships range from Patron  at $240, including three tickets. to Karrin’s Circle for $1,000 with six tickets. For information  call 609-688-9979.

This will be the third concert that Allyson, a four-time Grammy nominee, has given to benefit the two charities. Founded  by an ecumenical group of Congolese women, Woman, Cradle of Abundance (FEBA) supports a sewing school for girls, medical care for women and children living with HIV/AIDS, counseling for survivors of rape and forced prostitution, and school fees for orphans .

UFAR, founded by PUMC member Dr. Daniel Shungu, is an African-inspired, Lawrenceville-based nonprofit charitable organization that aims, in partnership with other organizations, to eradicate onchocerciasis, a major public health problem in the Kasongo region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“Women of the Congo have amazing strength,” says Allyson, “and I only want to help with their goals of a safe and healthy society, freed from diseases like AIDS and riverblindness, and to help the world see that they are FIRST class citizens.”

Songs for the Congo: Sunday, Nov. 9

2014 a Karrin_Allyson_2LEnjoy a terrific jazz afternoon and support United Front Against Riverblindness. Together with another worthy charity for Congo, Woman Cradle of Abundance, UFAR presents its second annual benefit concert with 4-Time Grammy Nominee Karrin Allyson.

When: Sunday, November 9 at 3:00 PM
Reception with the artist will follow. Doors open at 2:30 PM.

Where: Solley Theatre, Arts Council of Princeton
Corner of Paul Robeson Place and Witherspoon St. in Princeton

Tickets are $70, $30 for students. Click here or call 609-924-2613.

UFAR, founded by Daniel Shungu of Lawrenceville, works to stamp out riverblindness in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where one-third of the 60 million people are at risk for getting it. It starts with a rash and leads to sight loss, forcing children to leave school to care for parents.

Woman, Cradle of Abundance, also known as FEBA, aims to change the dismal future for many women in the DRC, known as one of the world’s most dangerous places to be a woman. Founded in 1999 by an ecumenical group of Congolese women, it supports a sewing school where girls learn a marketable trade. It also provides medical care and support for women and children living with HIV / AIDS, counseling for survivors of rape and forced prostitution, and school fees for orphans. The US partner is raising funds to help the Congo project build a Women’s Center.

Karrin and BillHelp both causes by enjoing a jazz afternoon with Karrin (shown here with her partner Bill McLaughlin). She is described as “always globetrotting and delighting audiences all over the world with her unique and personal style — straight from the heart.”

Jazz for Congo Charities

karrin AllisonThe Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the worst places in the world to be a woman. But as peace talks begin there, a concert in Princeton offers a glimmer of hope to women in the DRC. Karrin Allyson, a Grammy award-nominated artist, presents jazz ranging from John Coltrane to Elton John in “A Song for Congo” on Thursday, November 14, at 7 p.m. The concert, which takes place at a private Princeton clubhouse, benefits charities in the DRC, including Women, Cradle of Abundance, and UFAR, United Front Against Riverblindness. Refreshments will be served. Tickets are $60, $30 for students, and $250 for sponsors and may be reserved at http://www.womancradleofabundance.org/getinvolved.

Based in the capital city of Kinshasa, Woman, Cradle of Abundance provides a community where women gather to share their stories and envision breaking the cycle of poverty and violence. Founded in 1999 by an ecumenical group of Congolese women. it supports a sewing school where girls learn a marketable trade, enabling them to earn a living wage, support a family, and educate their children. Other projects include education in reading and writing as well as economic literacy, micro-finance opportunities for women, school uniforms and tuition fees for destitute children. medical care and support for women and children living with HIV / AIDS, and counseling for survivors of rape and forced prostitution.

Founded by Lawrenceville resident Daniel Shungu, UFAR is the African-inspired, nonprofit charitable organization that aims – in partnership with other organizations — to eradicate onchocerciasis, a major public health problem in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Though the medicine for riverblindness is provided free by Merck & Co., distributing it to remote villages costs 58 cents per person per year for 10 years. One-third of the 60 million people in that country are at risk for getting riverblindness, which starts with a rash and leads to sight loss, forcing children to leave school to care for parents.

It’s a rare opportunity to hear the Karrin Allyson, whose latest album, Yuletide Hideway, was just released. The New York Times said she was “a complete artist — one of the jazz world’s finest.”