Washington has performed extensively throughout the National Capital region singing jazz, blues, R&B, and gospel. In addition to Billie Holiday, she has drawn influence from renowned jazz vocalists Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Carmen McRae. Her 2019 album Shades of Shirley Horn debuted on the Top 50 Jazz Album Charts, Roots Music Report’s Top 30 and North American College & Community Chart. The album received numerous positive reviews from Midwest Records, Jazz Weekly, Bebop Spoken Here (UK), and other media.
The program features classic jazz standards made famous by Billie Holiday, several written or co-written by her. Highlights include popular blues tune “Fine and Mellow” recorded in 1939 and “God Bless the Child” recorded in 1941 and co-written by Arthur Herzog, Jr. The haunting protest song “Strange Fruit,” written by Abel Meeropol in 1937 and dubbed “Song of the Century” by Time Magazine in 1999, will also be performed. Washington will share the stage with some of the region’s finest artists.
Now based in the DC area, Trumpeter Thad Wilson is a distinguished bandleader, composer and arranger who has performed in many countries. He has worked with Charlie Persip, James Moody, Benny Golson, Steve Turre, Cecil Bridgewater, Andrew White, Buck Hill, Keter Betts, Johnny O’Neal, Russell Malone, Roy Hargrove and Wynton Marsalis. He has led ensembles of all sizes, most notably the 16-piece Thad Wilson Jazz Orchestra, and performs with R&B and jazz-funk fusion group The Blackbyrds. He also composes film scores and travels widely performing them for live audiences.
Pianist Pete Frassrand is an active performer, composer and producer in the D.C. jazz scene. He has played the DC Jazz Festival, the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, the National Cherry Blossom Festival and the Bluebird Blues Festival and appeared on television and radio.
Bassist David Marsh’s prowess shines through in multiple genres: jazz, R&B, blues, pop, rock, world music, classical, funk, reggae and gospel. He has toured widely with the DC Youth Orchestra, St. Augustine’s Gospel Choir, and recording artists Nestor Torres and Gil Scott-Heron.
Drummer Nick Costa is a sought-after sideman who has played the Baltimore-Washington-Annapolis triangle for over 20 years. He plays jazz, gospel, rock, reggae and R&B, and has worked with prominent area musicians, including Clarence Ward III, Rodney Kelley and Ursula Ricks.
Guest Vocalist Marcia Baird Burns has performed in the US and abroad. Besides Holiday, her influences include Carmen McRae, Betty Carter, Nancy Wilson, Cole Porter, Al Jarreau, Abbey Lincoln, Mighty Sparrow and Phyliss Hyman, and reflects her Caribbean heritage.
Early in his life, Poet Seth Washington was influenced by radio and magazines. His works are journalistic in nature and invoke a documentary style of spoken word. One of his original poems is featured on the opening track of Washington’s Shades of Shirley Horn.
Streaming cost is $10
Donations are welcomed.
CONIECE WASHINGTON PAYS TRIBUTE TO BALTIMORE’S BILLIE HOLIDAY ON HER BIRTHDAY
Pete Frassrand, piano
Thad Wilson, trumpet
Nick Costa, drums
David Marsh, bass
Marcia Baird Burris, vocals
Seth Washington, poet
Jazz Appreciation Month begins with a performance honoring Billie Holliday by vocalist Coniece Washington - who shares her birthdate!