Jazz Masterworks Ensemble for season finale June 24

Capping off the season for the South Carolina Jazz Masterworks Ensemble, “An Evening with Kurt Elling” answers the group’s theme of the season, “What is jazz?”

Known for his combination of robust swing and poetic insights, Elling has secured his place among the world’s foremost jazz vocalists, said Dr. Robert Gardiner, founder and director of the ensemble and president of the SC Jazz Foundation.

At the concert June 24, at 7:30 pm, Elling will bring his award-winning vocals accompanied by jazz musicians, soloists, and bandleaders from across the Carolinas.

Over his 25-year career of touring and recording, he has won 12 Jazz Journalists Awards, 15 Grammy nominations, and other recognitions in the U.S., France, Germany, Italy, Scotland, Poland, and the Netherlands. Elling is recognized for his rich baritone and amazing four-octave range, often writing his own lyrics for the compositions of such jazz greats as John Coltrane, Pat Metheny, and Keith Jarrett, and bringing to life the words to rock classics like Where the Streets Have No Name by the Irish rock band U-2.

Tickets are $55 to $65 and may be bought at scjazz.org or by calling the box office at 803-407-5011. A pre-concert starting at 6:30 pm in the lobby will feature live music and complimentary beverages.

Gardiner challenges those not familiar with jazz to consider giving this ensemble and performance an opportunity to demonstrate how enjoyable and varied this musical form can be.

“Our music is fun, accessible to everyone, easy on the ears, and I think we put on a great show,” he said. “We have enjoyed a sellout season attended by jazz newcomers as well as longtime jazz fans.”

Gardiner has been teaching, playing, promoting, and advocating for jazz for three decades. He has created and directed jazz ensembles at the middle school, high school, collegiate, community, and professional level. Gardiner is a professor of music at Lander University and has served as the director of the Lander University Jazz Ensemble for the past 20 years. He is also currently leading the Capitol City Big Band and the Robert Gardiner Jazz Quartet.

For more information, visit scjazz.org or contact Robert Gardiner, [email protected] or 803-238-7944.