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Blue Notes

What’s up with jazz and blues

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Kristin Callahan

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Unified Jazz Ensemble

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Nico Sarbanes


Head downtown to Peace and a Cup of Joe the evening of Aug. 29, where vocalist Kristin Callahan will be the featured artist of the week, accompanied by pianist Vince Evans. Callahan, who just left Baltimore for Columbia, Md., released her second album, One Magic Day, this summer. It features several top-notch musicians, including Evans and Baltimore-bred Warren Wolf on vibes, as well as Callahan’s soulful, thoughtful voice on 14 jazz standards. Callahan, 32, says she has a third release in the works, one that will include original compositions, for release summer 2015.

Elsewhere in the album-release world: Unified Jazz Ensemble, the artists-in-residence at the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion in Mount Vernon, finished its 10th album, It’s Not Rocket Science, in March. The official release party is Aug. 27 at 49 West Coffeehouse and Winebar in Annapolis. According to vibraphonist Mike Noonan, who’s been with the quartet since its inception 21 years ago, UJE plays some standards, but this new album is all original compositions. UJE will also perform at the Center Club on Light Street on Aug. 31, but tough luck for us peons—it’s for Center Club members only.

Sept. 29 marks the first Baltimore Jazz Composers’ Showcase, sponsored by the Baltimore Jazz Alliance. It’ll be the premiere of original compositions by four different jazz musicians, including young Nico Sarbanes—the son of Maryland representative John Sarbanes. A junior at McGill University in Montreal, Sarbanes is already a perspicacious and savvy trumpet player (disclosure: this writer, as an undergraduate at Loyola University Maryland, played drums with a high school-age Sarbanes in the college’s jazz ensemble). The Composers’ Showcase is at Loyola, and starts at 5 p.m. inside McManus Theatre on campus.

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