Oxford American Events

No Tears Suite [Jazz Series]

FREE TO THE PUBLIC

SATURDAY, SEPT. 23, 2017 | CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL [Magnolia Mobil Station, Little Rock]

6:00 PM—The Oxford American is excited to present No Tears Suite at Central High School in Little Rock! This is a special addition to our 2017-18 Jazz Series. The event begins at 6:00 PM, and it is free and open to the public. No Tears Suite is in partnership with UCA College of Fine Arts & Communication; Central High School National Historic Site; Stella Boyle Smith TrustACANSA; and Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.


No Tears Suite is a new jazz composition, which will premier in honor of unity on the 60th anniversary of the Little Rock Crisis at historic Central High School. The composition is written by Chris Parker, and is featuring Brian Blade, Bill Huntington, and Kelley Hurt.

Chris Parker is a native Little Rock jazz pianist and composer. He holds a Master’s in Jazz Performance from the University of Memphis. He’s played and recorded internationally with a range of artists including John Stubblefield, Rodney Jordon, Benny Powell, and many others. He’s been a leader in the Arkansas jazz community for years and teaches music in the LRSD. Parker will serve as music director and composer of the No Tears Suite.

Brian Blade is a renowned jazz drummer and composer born in Shreveport, Louisiana. He leads the acclaimed Brian Blade & the Fellowship Band and has been in Wayne Shorter’s Quartet since 2000. He’s a multiple GRAMMY nominee, and winner, including the 2015 win with the Chick Corea Trio. In sessions, he’s worked with everyone from Herbie Hancock to Bob Dylan. In 2013, he won an ECHO Jazz Award for “International Artist of the Year Drums/Percussion.” He’ll be leading the workshop for student ensembles.

Bill Huntington is a highly respected jazz bassist born in New Orleans. Beginning in the 1950s, he learned to play from several first generation jazz-musicians, including banjoist Lawrence Marrero and bassist Albert Glenny. Huntington’s recording and performing credits number in the hundreds; he’s worked with a range of artists from Doc Cheatham to Ellis Marsalis. He was a charter member of the Loyola University Jazz Department, and through his work there has mentored many now-renowned musicians. Huntington has lived in Little Rock since 2005.