Levitt Shell and Memphis Library Foundation Present

5 FRIDAYS OF FREE JAZZ

All shows will be held at Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library

3030 Poplar Avenue Memphis, TN 38111 

All concerts are free. Food trucks and bars will be onsite with items for purchase. Donations are always appreciated but not mandatory.

Friday, March 8th

Friday, March 8th

Lisa Nobumoto and her Sizzling Six

March 8th, 6:30PM

Vocalist Lisa Nobumoto, combining the musical influences of her mentor, the late Be-Bop Tenor Saxophone Pioneer Teddy Edwards, introduces her Sextet with Memphis’ finest! Tenor Saxophone-Mike Krepper, Trombone-Howard Lamb, Trumpet-Nathan Wilensky, Piano-Dominic Fosco, Bass-Lance Williams and on Drums, Jim Pettit . Formidably, “Lisa Nobumoto And Her Sizzling Six”. Nobumoto was the featured singer on the Polygram CD by Teddy Edwards’ 17 piece Brasstring Ensemble called ”Blue Saxophone”. After performing over 10,000 shows, Lisa Nobumoto  now brings to Memphis’ “Women In Jazz Series” an exciting evening of her own recording material intertwined with unprecedented arrangements of  the performances and written works of Jazz Music’ renown best vocal legends! Nobumoto will perform a wide range of material celebrating songs by Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, Ruth Brown, Shirley Horn, Abbey Lincoln, and Peggy Lee, “The Women of Jazz”, respectively!

Friday, March 22nd

Friday, March 22nd

HOPE CLAYBURN AND SOUL SCRIMMAGE

March 22nd, 6:30PM

Clayburn's funky saxophone, flute chops, and soulful vocals have given her the opportunity to play with prestigious musicians such as James Brown, The Allman Brothers Band, Maceo Parker, and the North Mississippi Allstars. She came back to Memphis after European tour in 2009 with The Dynamites.

Her band Soul Scrimmage mixes soul and funk tunes with afrobeat and reggae, which is intended to create an energetic and uplifting atmosphere. The band features Hope on sax and flute. She also provides vocals and serves as composer. Robert Allen Parker Jr., creator of the The Broken String Collective, plays on the guitar. Public Enemy's lead guitarist Khari Wynn is on bass.

Friday, April 5th

Friday, April 5th

Rhodes Jazz Night featuring Joyce Cobb
with the Rhodes Jazz Band
and Faculty Jazz Players  

April 5th, 6:30PM

Born in Okmulgee, Oklahoma and reared in Nashville, Joyce Cobb first sang in her grandmother’s church. Joyce’s career spans from live orchestrations for Nashville’s WSM radio and television stations, to live performances in Europe.  She landed a record deal with a subsidiary of Stax Records just before the label folded, but continued her recording career with West Coast-based Cream Records.  Under the direction of Wayne Crook of Shoe Productions, she wrote, sang, and performed the single "Dig the Gold" that earned her a NO.42 spot in Billboard Magazine. Maestro Alan Balter, conductor of the Memphis Symphony, heard her sing at the Peabody Hotel in 1990 and Cobb has since been invited to perform with the symphony on numerous occasions.

Friday, April 26th

Friday, April 26th

Paul McKinney and the Knights of Jazz with special guests Stax Music Academy

April 26th, 6:30PM

When you meet Paul McKinney the first thing you will notice is what an easy-going, straightforward person he is and you'll be drawn in by his warm, welcoming smile. His smooth jazz approach hints at legends like Miles Davis, George Duke and Kirk Whalum.  “Paul’s Memphis, Tennessee roots lend a spiritual and a bluesiness that quickly draws you in. You will feel something when Brother Paul plays that trumpet. You don't have to waste time analyzing it technically, harmonically, arrangements, production, blablabla. It's all good, trust me. But do yourself a favor and close your eyes and... listen to Brother Paul play that horn... There's a message in it.”-Kirk Whalum; Saxophonist

LevittShell-logo(WHITE).png
Friday, May 3rd

Friday, May 3rd

THE MAGUIRE TWINS

May 3rd, 6:30PM

Carl Seitaro Maguire & Alan Shutaro Maguire, were born in Tokyo on March 19, 1996.  They grew up in Hong Kong going to a British international school.  

At age 15, they moved to Memphis.  There they joined Stax Music Academy, found jazz and met Kirk Whalum, a Grammy winning saxophonist. They also met Donald Brown, who later became their teacher, mentor and producer.  At age 18, they recorded their first album, ‘The Sound of Music’ produced by Brown and Whalum as a guest artist. 

Their passionate playing style has been capturing the attention of many listeners of music including those who have no prior knowledge of jazz.