The Attucks Jazz Club is back for the first time since 2019! Presented by the Virginia Arts Festival and SevenVenues, the Attucks Jazz Club transforms an intimate, upstairs space at the historic Attucks Theatre and brings some of the genre’s most talented players to Norfolk. With comfortable open table seating, and the Club bar, the Attucks Jazz Club is the perfect way to enjoy a Saturday night – it’s the way jazz was meant to be heard!
The series is curated by pianist and educator John Toomey, a legend among local jazz fans, whose namesake trio performs with the featured artist in each Attucks Jazz Club show. When he’s not making history himself, Toomey teaches Jazz History and Jazz Improvisation at Old Dominion University, where he also directs the Jazz Combo and Jazz Choir. Before settling down at ODU, Toomey toured with jazz trumpet legend Maynard Ferguson as well as vocalists Mark Murphy and Rene Marie. Regular players in the trio include bassist Jimmy Masters, who has enlivened the region’s jazz scene for more than three decades, and drummer Tony Martucci out of Washington D.C.
All performances begin at 7:30 pm. The Attucks Theatre is located at 1010 Church St., Norfolk; lot parking is available behind the venue ($5). For more information and to buy tickets visit www.vafest.org.
Tickets for Attucks Jazz Club are just $25 and may be purchased online at www.vafest.org, by phone at 757-282-2822 or by visiting the Virginia Arts Festival box office located at 440 Bank Street in Norfolk between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday-Friday; also available at Ticketmaster.com.
Additional Attucks Jazz Club performances for 2023 will be announced soon. The 2022 Attucks Jazz Club line-up includes:
ALLAN HARRIS, VOCALSJohn Toomey, piano; Jimmy Masters, bass; Tony Martucci, drumsSaturday, September 17, 2022, 7:30 pm“A protean talent.” –The New York Times Singer, composer and guitarist Allan Harris weaves mood-soaked, evocative stories in song, from his acclaimed recording Cross That River, which chronicled runaway slaves who chased America’s western dream, to his latest release, Kate’s Soulfood, in which he captures his childhood memories hanging out at his Aunt’s diner in Harlem. NPR calls this beguiling singer “velvet-voiced” and The New York Times praises Harris’s “formidable baritone, with its husky edges and deep, resonant low notes.” Harris joins the John Toomey Trio at the long-awaited reopening of the beloved Attucks Jazz Club. Tickets are limited – get yours now.
HOWARD CURTIS, DRUMSJohn Toomey, piano; Jimmy Masters, bass; Eddie Williams, saxophone Saturday, October 22, 2022, 7:30 pm Howard Curtis first knew he wanted to be a drummer when he heard a high school drum line. “It was the most powerful sound I’d ever heard,” he said. Born in Williamsburg, he made a career in music right here in Virginia—despite years of professional urging that he make the New York jazz scene. A sought-after player up and down the East Coast, he has played at major jazz festivals across the U.S. and around the world, and has performed and/or recorded with such great artists as Lionel Hampton, Rosemary Clooney, Amiri Baraka, Rene Marie, Jon Faddis, Ellis Marsalis, and many more. A veteran educator at several Virginia universities, Curtis is now a full professor at Kunst University in Graz, Austria. He returns to Hampton Roads for this Attucks Jazz Club performance, and a reunion with the jazz artists and fans he has made great music with in the past.
MICHAEL PEDICIN, SAXOPHONEJohn Toomey, piano; Jimmy Masters, bass; Tony Martucci, drums“Big, luscious tenor sound…with a beautiful warm tone and great creativity. Pedicin is a joy.”-AllAboutJazz.com. This Philadelphia-based player fell in love with jazz listening to his father, Mike Pedicin, a sought-after player who recorded prolifically with RCA Victor, 20th Century, ABC-Paramount and other major labels in the 1950s and ‘60s. Michael Pedicin’s own career has spanned decades of performance with such icons as Dave Brubeck, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett (as well as soul and rock stars The O’Jays, Stevie Wonder and David Bowie). A soulful player whose lyrical style invites reveries, Pedicin is also a licensed psychologist who believes passionately in the power of music to unite and heal. Saturday, November 12, 2022, 7:30 pm
About the PresentersSince 1997, the Virginia Arts Festival has transformed the cultural scene in southeastern Virginia, presenting great performers from around the world to local audiences and making this historic, recreation-rich region a cultural destination for visitors from across the United States and around the world. The Festival has presented numerous U.S. and regional premieres, and regularly commissions new works of music, dance, and theater from some of today’s most influential composers, choreographers and playwrights. The Festival’s arts education programs reach tens of thousands of area schoolchildren each year through student matinees, in-school performances, artists’ residencies, master classes and demonstrations.
The City of Norfolk’s SevenVenues serves to link Norfolk’s residents, visitors and tourists to Norfolk’s rich cultural arts and entertainment community. Besides providing entertainment services, the City of Norfolk’s Department of Cultural Facilities, Arts and Entertainment is also responsible for the maintenance, repair, management and operation of the City’s seven public assembly facilities which include: Scope Arena, Chrysler Hall, the Attucks Theatre, the Wells Theatre, Harrison Opera House, Harbor Park, and Open Air Events.