Grammy award winning cellist Mark Summer and six-time Grammy nominee vocalist Tierney Sutton will perform an evening of chamber jazz celebrating the music of Joni Mitchell. They will be joined by Parisian guitarist Serge Merlaud, performing selections from Tierney’s Grammy nominated release “AfterBlue” as well as jazz standards from the Great American Songbook, and Mark’s celebrated solo cello repetoire. This evening is presented under the auspices of Cello: An American Experience, a summer music program for young cellists where Mark has been an instructor for the past 3 years.
Listen to the interview with Mark Summer and Anna Clift, founder of Cello: An American Experience on MPR, and check out the exchange between Alison and Tierney.
About Mark Summer
Mark Summer is a founding member of the two time Grammy winning Turtle Island Quartet and is widely regarded, thanks not least to his phenomenal percussion and pizzicato techniques, as one of the outstanding cellists of our time.
A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, and a recipient of their 2008 Distinguished Alumnae award, Summer was a tenured member of the Winnipeg Symphony for three years, before leaving the orchestra to perform in several Canadian contemporary and Baroque ensembles, as well as his own group, The West-End String Band. Asked to perform at the Winnipeg Folk Festival in 1985, the group went on to record Summer’s original music for CBC Radio. That same year, Summer visited the Bay Area where he was invited by David Balakrishnan to help form the quartet.
He continued to touch base with his classical roots, performing with the Chamber Symphony of San Francisco, the Oakland Symphony, Oakland Ballet, and the contemporary music ensemble, Earplay. In the 23 years since embarking on an improvisational musical odyssey, Summer has continued to develop a unique and multi-timbered style, which incorporates virtuoso jazz soloing, distinctive bass lines, and extensive percussive techniques adapted from the guitar, bass and drums.
He has been the subject of feature articles in Strings and Bass Player magazines, and has published two pieces for solo cello, one of which, “Julie-O,” has been performed by cellists all over the world. In addition to composing and performing with Turtle Island Quartet, Summer performed for several years in a trio with clarinet virtuoso Paquito D’Rivera, participating in the trio’s 2005 Grammy-nominated recording The Jazz Chamber Trio. He has been recorded for numerous motion picture soundtracks and performed and appeared on albums with singers Linda Ronstadt, Toni Childs, guitarist Jeff Tamelier of Tower of Power, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, and guitarist Will Ackerman. His more notable cello exploits include performing the Brahms Clarinet Trio in a sandstone grotto by the banks of the Colorado River in Moab, Utah, and a performance on Taos Mountain at 11,000 feet on a cello made of ice.
About Tierney Sutton
A six-time Grammy nominee, Tierney Sutton is often described as “a singer’s singer”, but just as often, she is described as a “musician’s singer”, who uses her voice like an instrument. She has fronted the Tierney Sutton Band, which includes stellar partners, pianist Christian Jacob, drummer Ray Brinker and bassists Kevin Axt and Trey Henry, for over 20 years. Both the band’s music and it’s business style make it stand out in the crowd: the band’s members are incorporated partners and make all musical and business decisions as such. Their CDs have consistently topped the US jazz radio charts and their 9th release as a unit, “American Road” was released in Sept 2011. Tierney has been Jazzweek’s Vocalist of the Year, has received the LA Jazz Society’s Vocalist award, and has been at the top of critics and listener’s polls.
In addition to her work with the Tierney Sutton Band, Tierney currently performs in an intimate trio format with jazz flute legend Hubert Laws and guitar virtuoso Larry Koonse and a recording is in the works. She has also begun a collaboration with the award-winning Turtle Island Quartet and will be touring and recording with them in the next several years.
In addition to these collaborations, Tierney has appeared in recent years as a guest vocalist on Cds by composer Johnny Mandel , trumpeter Wayne Bergeron, pianist Shelly Berg, The Frank Macchia Bigband, and The Chris Walden Bigband.Tierney tours extensively in the US and throughout the world and has headlined in recent years at Carnegie Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, The Kennedy Center and Jazz At Lincoln Center. She is currently serving as “Jazz Artist in Residence” at The Historic Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara, CA., where she will be doing a variety of performances and educational community outreach.
What Other People Have Been Saying...
A serious jazz artist who takes the whole enterprise to another level” -The New York Times