Mosesian Center for the ArtsJazz at the Mosesian (formerly Arsenal) Featuring Berklee Faculty Artists Maggie Scott and Friends
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In a career that has spanned seven decades, jazz vocalist and pianist Maggie Scott still draws inspiration from the music she grew up with, in an era when the big bands were in full swing. The smoky piano lounges and full jazz orchestras may be long gone, but Scott, who still performs regularly in the Boston area, has done her part to introduce the canon of standards to a new generation. At Berklee College of Music, where she has taught since 1978, Scott is something of a legend. Her own story lends an illuminating dimension to the course she teaches: The Great American Songbook. She draws on her experiences to help students develop phrasing, tempos, style, and artful presentation. She is a purist who urges students to learn as many jazz standards as possible: a solid repertoire of Gershwin, Porter, Rodgers and Hart, Berlin, and Mercer. Vocalists who had a strong influence on her development included Peggy Lee, Julie London, Chris Connor, June Christy, and Jo Stafford. Classical training came later, in 1950, when she auditioned for Arthur Fiedler. After nearly three years of practice and a second audition, she earned a solo with the Boston Pops, playing Gershwin’s “Concerto in F.” Her job now, as she sees it, is to educate a new generation of Songbook devotees. “The lyricists were unbeatable. Students should know the music, become familiar with it because it may influence what they may want to pursue as part of their music education,” she says. Given the scores of young stars and high-profile students—Lalah Hathaway, Antonia Bennett, Lauren Kinhan, and Robin McKelle—who have all crooned their way through her classes, there is no doubt of her success.
Joining Scott for the concert will be John Baboian on guitar, Jeff Stout on trumpet, Marty Ballou on bass, and Bob Gullotti on drums.