A Magnificent Night of Jazz for Cancer Research, as it was billed, the Chords for Chordoma Jazz at the Lyric Pan-American Jazz event was the culmination of a wonderful awareness and fundraising campaign. Chordoma is a very rare form of cancer, and funding is greatly needed to develop new therapies to treat this illness. Steven Golick, CEO & Co-Founder of the Canadian Chordoma Network, successfully surpassed the fundraising goal set by his organization for this musical event. Mr Gorlick was diagnosed with chordoma in 2012 and has been fighting his cancer with positive results. He combined his professional working experience in the field of financial insolvency and restructuring, his lifelong passion for jazz and his belief that we all need to support cancer research, in order to make a reality the Chords for Chordoma Jazz at the Lyric event.
Acting as Music Producers, Howie Silverman and Memo Acevedo were in charge of putting together a terrific program, as well as a Jazz All-Stars Canadian Band with some very special Brasilian guests. Performers included: Memo Acevedo, Pat LaBarbera, André Mehmari, Chico Pinheiro, Dave Restivo, Jackie Richardson, Liz Rosa, Reg Schwager, Howie Silverman, Kevin Turcotte, and Dave Young. The first set of the program was opened with two of Howie Silverman’s compositions: Altercation, and Maine Island Strut, which set up the mood for the night. Silverman is a well sought after musician and touring drummer who performed, toured and recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Williams, Hagood Hardy, Moe Koffman and many legends of jazz. Acevedo is a veteran of the Latin/Jazz music scene in Toronto, where he lived for many years. He’s a percussionist, drummer and educator now based in New York, where he leads his band, Manhattan Bridges.
Continuing with the program, we were introduced to Chico Pinheiro, a young guitarist from Brasil, rightfully considered as one of the major creative forces in Contemporary Brasilian Music and Jazz. He interpreted a medley of songs composed by the late Bossa Nova Maestro, Antonio Carlos Jobim, accompanied by the great André Mehmari on piano. Then it came on stage another Brasilian artist now based in New York, wonderful vocalist Liz Rosa, who interpreted a composition of Roberto Taufic, De Cabo a Rabo. Another Woman of Jazz, Jackie Richardson made her presence felt, with imposing vocalastics, singing a terrific rendition of Come Back to Me. And then it was André Mehmari’s turn to shine. Mehmari is considered one of Brasil’s most talented and active musicians, as a pianist, composer and arranger, in Popular, Jazz and Classical music. He interpreted a mesmerizing Ernesto Nazareth Medley, classical compositions of the Brasilian songbook. The first part of the show closed with Memo Acevedo’s composition Building Bridges, which gave its name to the highly-praised Latin jazz album that Acevedo released back in 1993. Acevedo dedicated that song to the late Master Timbalero, one of the forefathers of Latin jazz and one of the most influential Latin music artists of all time, legendary Tito Puente.