JusticeAid Celebrates New Orleans @ 300: A Benefit Concert featuring Dr. Michael White's Liberty Jazz Band w/ special guest Topsy Chapman - 11/13Tuesday, November 13 2018 6:30pm Doors / 7:00pm Start / Ends 10:00pm
JusticeAid Celebrates New Orleans @ 300: A Benefit Concert featuring Dr. Michael White's Liberty Jazz Band w/ special guest Topsy Chapman - 11/13
at City Winery New York City
Limited general admission tickets will be sold for this private benefit! Food and beverage will be available for purchase.
This benefit will feature music by Dr. Michael White’s Original Liberty Jazz Band with special guest Topsy Chapman.
Dr. Michael White’s Original Liberty Jazz Band
with special guest Topsy Chapman
Dr. Michael White - clarinet
Greg Stafford - trumpet, vocals
David L. Harris, Jr. – trombone
Seva Venet - banjo
Herman LeBeaux - percussion
Mark Brooks - bass
Steve Pistorius - piano
Topsy Chapman – guest vocalist
Dr. Michael White is an accomplished, multi-faceted New Orleans-based clarinetist, bandleader, composer, musicologist, jazz historian, and educator widely regarded as one of the leading authorities and culture-bearers of traditional New Orleans jazz music. He has performed in over two dozen countries, played on over 50 recordings, received countless awards, made multiple national television appearances, and been featured in major media publications.
He formed his first group, the Original Liberty Jazz Band, in 1981. A band that regularly performs in New Orleans, and that held a weeklong annual residency around New Years Eve at The Village Vanguard in New York City for many years. He continues to lead that band as well as two smaller groups, the Liberty Brass Band and the Michael White Quartet. Since 1979 he has also played in the Young Tuxedo Brass Band, founded by clarinetist John Casimir in the 1940s. During this early part of his career, he had the opportunity to play alongside more than three-dozen traditional jazz musicians born between 1890 and 1910.
It is White’s crystal-clear clarinet that can be heard on Wynton Marsalis’ critically hailed 1989 release, The Majesty of the Blues (Columbia Records).
White’s home was flooded with 7-feet of water from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and his entire collection of invaluable historical musical memorabilia and music was destroyed. He managed to cope with the loss through an artists’ retreat where he generated material for Blue Crescent (2008), an album that received praise from John Swenson of Offbeat Magazine, “Dr. Michael White has produced what must surely be one of the greatest examples of New Orleans traditional jazz ever recorded.”
In 1980 White began teaching Spanish at Xavier University, while he maintained a career as a gigging musician. His relationship with the university would grow over the years, and led him to being awarded the Rosa and Charles Keller Jr. Endowed Chair in the Humanities, under which he currently teaches African American Music. Dr. White does extensive work hosting workshops and teaching about New Orleans music, including guest coaching at Julliard School of Music. Since 1995 he has served as the main consultant for traditional jazz for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. In 2002 he began producing the Culture of New Orleans Series at Xavier University, a highly successful program of over two-dozen lectures, concerts, and film presentations featuring the authentic traditions and people of New Orleans.
Michael White continues an active career in a variety of capacities, and his collection of awards, accolades, and accomplishments is ever growing. These include receiving the rank of Chevalier of Arts & Letters from the French government in 1995, being awarded the 2008 Heritage Fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts (the nation’s highest award in the traditional and folk arts), and being named the 2010 Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Humanist of the Year. He has been awarded Clarinetist of the Year by Offbeat Magazine in 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, in addition to winning Best Traditional Jazz Artist of the Year from Gambit Magazine’s Big Easy Awards in 2010.
With a career now spanning over three decades, Michael White continues to grow his musical legacy as one of the authoritative figures on New Orleans Jazz Music, and one of the finest clarinetists to walk the streets of the Crescent City.
Gladys “Topsy” Chapman hails from Kentwood, LA and moved to New Orleans after high school, where she sang gospel, blues and numerous other styles of music.
Topsy gained national and international recognition as one of the original cast members of the off Broadway hit One Mo’ Time. She created the vocal harmony arrangements for the show and it went on to play New York’s Village Gate, London’s West End and throughout Europe. The cast album was nominated for a Grammy Award. She was also cast as Elenora in the production of Staggerlee, which played at the New Orleans’ Toulouse Street Theatre.
Topsy has toured throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia and she has performed for the Queen of England and the Duke of Edinburgh.
She was recently featured in the major motion picture, 12 Years a Slave, singing “Roll Jordon Roll.”