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Will Smith, W.E.S Group

Will Smith, W.E.S Group

W.E.S Group, David Murray & The Gwo-Ka Masters.
@ Pigeon Island, St. Lucia Jazz Festival
10 May 2007

Click an image to enlarge.

The beauty and charm of Pigeon Island during the day, or night, never fails to excite the senses. With the Atlantic Ocean on one side, the Caribbean Sea on the other, delicately lit palm trees gently kissing the sky, combined with the anticipation of a tremendous musical experience is surely enough to warm the coolest hearts.

W.E.S Group biography

Saxophonist/composer, W. E. S. (William E. Smith, Ph.D.) has sought to enrich the lives of others through sound. His family roots go deep into the history of jazz and the African-American experience. W.E.S.’s grandfather and great-uncle, owned a music publishing company in the 1920s and published music that was performed by the great King Oliver as well as Noble Sissle. Many musicians used to come by the family home on the south side of Chicago including Art Tatum. W.E.S.’s cousin Warren Smith Jr. played percussion with the Miles Davis, Gil Evans orchestra and many other notable performers.

In the spirit of this legacy, W.E.S. himself has performed nationally and internationally with his group and with jazz greats such as James Moody, Donald Byrd, Kenny Burrell, Wynton Marsalis, and Jon Hendricks.

W.E.S. is currently an Assistant Professor and the Jazz Ensemble Director at American University and gives lectures on jazz and hip hop at the University of Maryland, University of Delaware, and Howard University.

David Murray biography

David Murray was born in Oakland, California in 1955. He grew up in Berkeley and studied with Catherine Murray (organist and David’s mother), Bobby Bradford, Arthur Blythe, Stanley Crouch, Margaret Kohn and many others before he left Pomona College (Los Angeles) for New York where he moved in 1975. In New York he met and played with Cecil Taylor, who along with Dewey Redman gave the young musician the encouragement he needed. The city would again be a source of new encounters, with people and music from all horizons: Sunny Murray, Tony Braxton, Oliver Lake, Don Cherry. In Ted Daniel’s Energy Band he worked with Hamiet Bluiett, Lester Bowie and Frank Lowe.

In 1976, after a European tour, David Murray set up the first of his mythic groups, the World Saxophone Quartet, with Oliver Lake, Hamiet Bluiett and Julius Hemphill. This marked the beginning of an intensely creative time, when one recording led to another, with an endless permutation of formations from Jerry Garcia to Max Roach and from Randy Weston to Elvin Jones. Murray worked as widely as possible until 1978, when he set up his own quartet, then octet and finally his quintet. From this time on his focus has been more on his own formations, although he frequently works with other musicians, drawing in a whole range of different sounds, from strings (the 1982 concert at the Public Theatre in New York), to Ka drums from Guadeloupe (Créole in 1998 and Yonn Dé in 2002) and South African dancers and musicians (Mbizo, 1998), just some of the treasures he has discovered on his journey David Murray’s awards include : a Grammy and several nominations; a Guggenheim Fellowship; the Bird Award; the Danish Jazzpar Prize; Village Voice musician of the decade (1980s); Newsday musician of the year (1993); personality of the Guinness Jazz festival (Ireland, 1994); the Ralph J. Simon Rex Award (1995).

Two documentaries have been made about David Murray’s life: ‘Speaking in Tongues’ (1982) and ‘Jazzman,’ nominated at the Baltimore Film Festival (1999).

Musicians:
W.E.S Group
Dr. William E Smith (a.k.a WES) - saxophone
Nathan Jolley - drums
Noble Jolley Jr. - piano
Corcoran Holt - bass

David Murray & The Gwo-Ka Masters

David Murray & The Gwo-Ka Masters David Murray & The Gwo-Ka Masters

David Murray & The Gwo-Ka Masters

David Murray & The Gwo-Ka Masters David Murray & The Gwo-Ka Masters

Will Smith, W.E.S Group

Will Smith, W.E.S Group

Corcoran Holt

Corcoran Holt

Corcoran Holt

Noble Jolley Jr.

Nathan Jolley

David Murray & The Gwo-Ka Masters

David Murray & The Gwo-Ka Masters

David Murray & The Gwo-Ka Masters

David Murray & The Gwo-Ka Masters


Recommended
Listening

 

The W.E.S Group The W.E.S Group - Ancestors Wilber Morris / David Murray / Dennis Charles - Wilber Force David Murray Quartet - A Sanctuary Within
David Murray - Ballads David Murray - Ballads For Bass Clarinet Aki Takase / David Murray - Blue Monk take a look
I've Got Love On My Mind Snowfall On Sahara Natalie Cole with the London Symphony Orchestra - Magic Of Christmas David Murray - Creole
Davis Murray Octet - Home David Murray Octet - Hope Scope David Murray - The Kiss That Never Ends David Murray Quartet - Long Goodbye
David Murray Octet - Ming David Murray Octet Murray's Steps David Murray Octet - New Life David Murray Latin Big Band - Now Is Another Time
David Murray - Octet Plays Trane David Murray - Picasso The David Murray Quartet - Seasons David Murray Big Band - Shakill's Warrior
David Murray Big Band - South Of The Border David Murray - Special Quartet David Murray - Spirituals David Murray and Randy Weston - The Healers

 

Further
Recommended
Listening

Click Macy Gray's image below to see her with the David Murray Big Band in London 2012...

Macy Gray & the David Murray Big Band (click to go to this page)

Go back to the St. Lucia Jazz Festival 2007 home page.

 Go back to the jazz gallery.

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