Lady Day Ensemble Print E-mail

 

WFIT (NPR Radio, Melbourne, Fla)

August 19, 2017

Get ready to raise the roof. The bright, brash, and sassy sounds of the Jarred Armstrong Quartet and the remarkable vocalist Kristen Warren are headed to the Henegar Center performing as the Lady Day Ensemble on Saturday, August 19. The jazz quartet is led by Jarred Armstrong on piano with Ethan Bailey-Gould on bass and Ashton Bailey-Gould on drums.Armstrong Warren

The concert in some ways is a reprise of Melbourne director Pam Harbaugh's production Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill at the Henegar last February. The show experienced a sold-out run with an additional show selling out immediately. Rather than a musical, it is a one-woman play with music. Written by Lanie Robertson, the play is set in the historic Emerson’s Tavern in Philadelphia where legendary jazz singer Billie “Lady Day” Holiday (Warren) performed shortly before her death at age 44. In the play, Billie sings and tells stories of her life, which was rife with challenges born out of racism.

"It was a very successful production, catching the hearts and minds of the region's jazz lovers," Harbaugh related. "We created the atmosphere of a legendary jazz club and told the story of the amazing challenges in Billie Holliday's life and how she rose about them and society at that time. People were blown away by it. Couldn't get enough of it. If we would revive the show, it would sell out in a day."

Armstrong, 23, is a multi-instrumentalist and soul singer who hails from Daytona Beach. He has been performing professionally since the age of 16 making his debut with his own band at the 2010 Clearwater Jazz Holiday. With a synergy of soulfulness and hipster cool, Jarred has also shared stages with the likes of Bloodstone, Peaches & Herb, the Delfonics, Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes and many more.

Warren is a singer and songwriter who has been performing for audiences since the age of seven. Dabbling in a number of genres from musical theatre to neo-soul and opera, Warren feels most at home singing jazz. She has performed twice at the Florida Music Festival, at the Festival of Light and Sound and she sang background for American Idol contestant Robbie Carico.

"I've known her for many years going back to when she studied children's theater with me at Satellite Beach," Harbaugh noted. "She has a very diverse background in life as well as music. I saw her in Rent, not a major role, but she stole the show with her singing ability and energy on stage. She's got it all-- emotions, sensitivity and humor. The audience laughed and cried and went crazy for her singing."

Part of the Henegar's Jazz Legends Series, Per and Tami Danielson who have performed throughout the world in notable clubs and festivals will appear after the Lady Day Ensemble intermission along with local jazz trumpeter Winston Scott, a distinguished musician and notable NASA astronaut who has also performed in outer space missions.

 

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