Roberta on the Arts
"Oh Happy Day" with Edwin Hawkins and Eric Reed at Rose Theater
Home
Contact Roberta
Jazz and Cabaret Corner
On Location with Roberta
In the Galleries: Artists and Photographers
Backstage with the Playwrights and Filmmakers
Classical and Cultural Connections
New CDs
Arts and Education
Onstage with the Dancers
Offstage with the Dancers
Upcoming Events
Special Events
Memorable Misadventures
Mailbag
Our Sponsors

"Oh Happy Day" with Edwin Hawkins and Eric Reed at Rose Theater

- Jazz and Cabaret Corner

Joseph Patelson Music House


160 West 56th Street
New York, NY 10019
212-582-5840
www.patelson.com

Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents:
Oh Happy Day:
Edwin Hawkins & Eric Reed
(Hawkins Website)
(Reed Website)
At
The Allen Room
Frederick P. Rose Hall
www.jalc.org
Broadway at 60th Street
NY, NY
212.258.9595
Scott Thompson and Zooey Tidal: Press


Featuring:
Edwin Hawkins on Vocals
Eric Reed on Piano
Stacy Dillard on Saxophone
Willie Jones III on Drums
Ben Williams on Bass
Lawrence Johnson on Keyboard

With Special Guest Vocalists:
Melanie Daniel
Stephanie Oplacio
Michael Pugh

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 11, 2008


With a combination of soul, gospel, rock, and straight, swinging jazz, Edwin Hawkins and Eric Reed led a band of four and a trio of vocalists for one of the most spiritually inspired music events I’ve ever seen. Although I was familiar with the famed pianist, Eric Reed, this was my first experience with the soul vocalist, Edwin Hawkins, and I and the audience were on our feet, clapping and swaying to the rhythmic refrains. “Oh Happy Day” was saved for the finale, and the audience rose in unison with reverence and enthusiasm. Both Reed and Hawkins performed with a sense of maturity and magnetism to make this event a huge success.

“Testify” opened the program, with Hawkins’ gospel styled solos. The audience was encouraged to participate vocally and physically, as they moved their heads and shoulders to the vibrant phrases. “Jesus is Calling” was played by the ensemble, while Hawkins took the echoing refrains. His vocals were nurturing, and Ben Williams, on bass, added melodic depth. The band was smooth, syncopated, and unobtrusive, as Reed and Hawkins conversed musically and emotionally.
Soon the guest vocalists joined onstage, and Melanie Daniel took a full-throated solo with stylistic authority. Eric Reed was featured in “Prayer”, composed for George Cable. It was melancholy, and Stacy Dillard took the theme on sax, before Reed built keyboard momentum with eloquent chords. The saxophone returned for an unusually soft finish. One of my favorite pieces tonight was “Autumn Leaves”, with its own gospel introduction, infused with bass tempo and Willie Jones III’s smoky percussion. In stark contrast, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands’, which I used to sing daily in early childhood programs, featured Lawrence Johnson on keyboard. The audience responded just like the kids used to do, and they stood and joined in with fervor.

Edwin Hawkins later treated his fans to a solo, “Somewhere”, with long, breathy notes, so appreciated, that he followed this with “Funny Valentine”. This was an eclectic evening, so a gospel woven with “God will take care of you” changed the energy level considerably. Encores were abundant. Kudos to Jazz at Lincoln Center for this soulful spring event. Check www.jalc.org for their current and upcoming jazz calendars.



Edwin Hawkins and Eric Reed Lead "Oh, Happy Day!"
Courtesy of Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center




Edwin Hawkins and Eric Reed Lead "Oh, Happy Day!"
Courtesy of Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center




Edwin Hawkins and Eric Reed Lead "Oh, Happy Day!"
Courtesy of Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center




Edwin Hawkins and Eric Reed Lead "Oh, Happy Day!"
Courtesy of Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center




For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net