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Gift of Jazz Reviews

The Gift of Jazz is an experience that perfectly captures the eclectic journey in North American musical evolution.

“The Gift of Jazz is an experience that perfectly captures the eclectic journey in North American musical evolution. The diverse team are professionals dedicated to disseminating the immense beauty and joy that jazz offers the spirit! It is a privilege to create with this production, and I anticipate to every stage that we have the opportunity to share the story and wonder of jazz.”
 Jamall Jackson Rogers (Just Jamaal)
About Jamaal : Jamaal Jackson Rogers is an award winning poet, hiphop artists, arts educator, and creative entrepreneur. He is currently Ottawa’s English Poet Laureate and has brought his work to audiences nationally and abroad. His defining moments are when he makes intimate connections with his participants during his performances and workshop exchanges.
 
His topics range from emotional maturity to social justice, from the struggles of everyday living to the human condition. He is a father of five and resides in Ottawa, Canada, using the nation’s capital and his performance studio, THE ORIGIN ARTS & COMMUNITY CENTRE, as his launch pad to practice, teach, mentor and advocate for the arts.
Jamaal Jackson Rogers

It is always wonderful to witness tribute to an American art form because doing so tips a hat to all of the diversity that contributes to its creation.

It is always wonderful to witness tribute to an American art form because doing so tips a hat to all of the diversity that contributes to its creation. The American experiment, at its very core is a testament to the involvement of so many cultures and backgrounds and the blessings that emerge.

Jazz is an American treasure, a Gift given by its people to the world, musically and rhythmically depicting its pain, joy, energy, youthfulness, recklessness and wonder. This is clearly seen in the presentation by Deborah Davis’ Gift of Jazz, chronicling the birth, resurrection and deployment of this art form on the world stage.

At the core of this performance we see and feel the soul of the African Diaspora.  We hear the agony of the middle passage and hope of a people newly freed from bondage.  As the scenery and century turns and America begins to flex we witness the influences of the European classics and modernity on the presentation of jazz into the mainstream of culture. The ‘Gift’ presentation gives homage to the great performers of Bessie Smith, Louis ‘Satchmo‘ Armstrong, Fats Waller and many more.

All of the ‘Gift’ performers and musicians are dedicated artisans and lovers of both the arts and their professionalism is evident in this performance.

It is very clear the Deborah Davis and Segue to Jazz has a winner in the ‘Gift of Jazz’ as she continues to share this with the Greater Ottawa Community.  When presented again it is a must see.”

Michael Curtis Hanna
About Michael: Michael was blessed with the unique life experience of living in a community with Sarah Vaughn, Al Hibler, Thad Jones, Nat Adderly and a host of noted musicians around the corner from his home. Born in Detroit, Michigan and raised in Teaneck, New Jersey he was immersed in much of the changing musical landscape of the past 50 years.

Finding Jesus and Gospel music Michael sang in church choirs from Detroit to Ottawa. As a solo vocalist, Michael toured with and for his father, the late Sir Roland Hanna in the United States and Japan. Having a fondness for male vocal harmony, Michael nurtured this love of singing with male a cappella groups including the Canadian Men’s Chorus of Toronto.

Michael currently manages Rahanna Music Inc., and has developed over 300 compositions of Sir Roland Hanna. He can also be found on several CD’s in addition to performing in Ottawa and abroad.

Michael Curtis Hanna

Odyssey Showcases Ultimate Valentine to Jazz

Jazz music has certainly created enough romantic standards to slip into when making a Valentine’s Day playlist for that candle lit dinner with your sweetheart. Ella and Louis singing “Cheek to Cheek”, Miles soothing horn on “Stella by Starlight”, the sensual crooning of Holiday singing “Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall In Love)” and, of course, sorrowful Chet and his funny Valentine.

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Earth to Andre

As a 6th grade teacher, I see The Gift of Jazz” as an educational “gift” for all junior-senior level students

“The Gift of Jazz celebrates the profound impact and diversity of black culture and history and portrays a musical story-telling of the contributions of African Americans in the development of music. The Gift of Jazz is engaging, dynamic….and a must see for both families and school groups. As a parent of an 9 year old and 14 year old, I can honestly say they were both fascinated by the production. Afterwards we engaged in wonderful discussions about the lives of African Americans, civil rights, and how mood and experience contributed to the development of different genres of jazz.  As a 6th grade teacher, I see The Gift of Jazz” as an educational “gift” for all junior-senior level students. With the wealth of social justice and curricular connections the production provides, it’s the perfect support addition to support Black History Month.

Naomi Ventura
Hazel McCallion Sr. P.S.

My guests and I enjoyed every song, the singers, the dancers, the actors and speaking notes that framed and contextualized the songs

“…My guests and I enjoyed every song, the singers, the dancers, the actors and speaking notes that framed and contextualized the songs. . . . the backdrops and slides, the Band, lighting, choreography, sound levels – all fabulous! A Terrific show. . . . . it should be repeated each year, and on more than one evening. . . with students invited from every high school in town, to learn something about Black music and history…”

Floralove Katz

The music lively, the band flawless and the performers kept the audience entertained throughout.

“This is our second year attending performances by Deborah Davis and Odyssey Showcase, and we loved every minute of it. The music lively, the band flawless and the performers kept the audience entertained throughout. This year’s “Gift of Jazz” featured a wonderful selection of amazing songs from the greatest jazz singers of the past century….Deborah, Stefan Keyes, Michael C. Hanna and tap dancer Darin Kyle kept the energy level high, with the audience bouncing to the beat of their songs throughout. There wasn’t a lull in the performance from start to finish. The quality of the music, the dancing and the singing were inspirational.”

Anna Rubinstein

Spectacular show!

”Spectacular show! We were treated to an absolutely stunning evening – both visually and musically, from period costumes to amazing, strong, powerful vocals from Deborah, Michael, and Stefan!!! ….From Africa to present day….a story well told through music. Congratulations to TD and all the members of The Gift of Jazz.”

Raffi Marks