DSO Paradise Jazz Series Double Bill: The Music of Louis Armstrong & Camila Meza Quartet + DSO String Quartet at Orchestra Hall, January 24

- The Music of Louis Armstrong honors Orchestra Hall’s history as Paradise Theatre (1941-1951)

- Camila Meza Quartet performs original music with DSO string quartet

Detroit, (January 13, 2020) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s (DSO) 2019-2020 Paradise Jazz Series continues with a one-night-only performance featuring The Music of Louis Armstrong and Camila Meza Quartet with a DSO string quartet.

Bassist Rodney Whitaker—who performed on the inaugural Paradise Jazz Series concert in 1999—leads an all-star group featuring Marcus Printup, Eric Reed, Carl Allen, Victor Goines, Vincent Gardner, Rockelle Fortin, and Chris McDole in this homage to music icon Louis Armstrong. Armstrong himself performed at the Paradise Theatre’s first concert in 1941.

Also on the bill, Camila Meza and her band join forces with a DSO string quartet featuring Hae Jeong Heidi Han, Mingzhao Zhou, Han Zheng, and David LeDoux to perform original music by the Chilean-born singer, guitarist, and composer.

The concert takes place Friday, January 24 at 8 p.m. at Orchestra Hall, within Midtown Detroit’s Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit).

All season long, the DSO celebrates Orchestra Hall’s centennial year and the 20th anniversary of the Paradise Jazz Series. The Series is named for and honors the legacy of the Paradise Theatre, the jazz and blues venue that took over Orchestra Hall from 1941-1951 as the DSO moved elsewhere. Learn more about the Series at dso.org/jazz.

After the double bill concert, the Kris Johnson Quartet will perform a post-concert set in The Cube, also located within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center.

The Paradise Jazz Series is made possible with support from Cadillac, TCF Bank, and MGM Grand Detroit. The Kris Johnson Quartet performance is constructed and curated with support from Peter D. & Julie F. Cummings and sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, with additional support from Quicken Loans and The Boston Consulting Group.

Please note: the DSO does not appear on these performances.

About Rodney Whitaker

Rodney T. Whitaker, University Distinguished Professor of Jazz Bass, is an internationally renowned recording artist, jazz bassist, and professor of jazz double bass. He is the director of Jazz Studies in the College of Music and the artistic director for the Professors of Jazz at Michigan State University where he has built one of the most distinguished jazz degree programs and performing faculty groups in the United States of America. He is also the artistic director for the East Lansing Summer Solstice Jazz Festival, the Dr. Phillips Center Jazz Orchestra in Orlando, Florida, and the Gathering Orchestra in Detroit.

A Mack Avenue recording artist originally from Detroit, Whitaker’s playing is known as having one of the most undeniably distinctive bear-sized bass tones. He is considered one of the leading bass performers and teachers of the jazz double bass in the nation. After first receiving recognition with the Harrison/Blanchard Quintet, completed a seven-year tenure as bassist with Wynton Marsalis’ Septet and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. He has toured the world over the last thirty years, collaborating and performing with a long list of legendary jazz artists such as Jimmy Heath, Cyrus Chestnut, Shirley Caesar, Kathleen Battle, Dianne Reeves, Regina Carter, Pat Metheny, Marcus Belgrave, Chick Corea, and countless others. He has also performed with leading symphony orchestras world-wide. Whitaker’s works have been featured on more than one hundred recordings including two film scores. His own releases have included Get Ready and Work to Do with Carl Allen and When We Find Ourselves Alone with Soul-R Energy, among several others.

About Camila Meza

Equally prized as a vocalist, guitarist, and composer, Camila Meza uplifts audiences worldwide with assured vocals, advanced guitar (both self-accompaniment and blistering solo work), and vivid, melodic songwriting that reveals complex layers with every listen. She has been hailed by The New York Times as “a bright young singer and guitarist with an ear for music of both folkloric and pop intention.” Her self-produced fifth album, Ambar, out now on Sony Music Masterworks, proudly unveils the Nectar Orchestra—a collaboration with bassist and arranger Noam Wiesenberg.

Hailing from Santiago, Chile, Meza moved to New York at age 23, graduating in 2013 from The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, where she studied with Peter Bernstein, Vic Juris, Sam Yahel, Steve Cardenas, and Gil Goldstein, among others. Bringing a sound full of warmth and clarity to the New York jazz scene ever since, she has distinguished herself as a member of Ryan Keberle’s Catharsis and Fabian Almazan’s Rhizome, and has worked with Paquito D’Rivera, Aaron Goldberg, Sachal Vasandani, and many more.

She has appeared at festivals worldwide as well as NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series and WBGO’s The Checkout, garnering praise from outlets including The Village Voice and The Wall Street Journal. In 2018, Pat Metheny enlisted her to perform and act as musical director for his NEA Jazz Masters induction ceremony at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Ticket Information

Double Bill: The Music of Louis Armstrong & Camila Meza Quartet + DSO String Quartet
Friday, January 24 at 8 p.m. – Orchestra Hall
Tickets begin at $19

Kris Johnson Quartet
Friday, January 24 at 10 p.m. – The Cube
$39 – VIP Experience (includes admission, reserved cabaret seat, and 1 FREE Drink) 
$12 – General Admission Seating (in advance) 
$8 – General Admission with ticket to Double Bill concert 

Tickets for both events can be purchased at dso.org, by calling (313) 576-5111, or in-person at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center Box Office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit).

Groups of 10 or more can save up to 30% on the price of a single ticket for most DSO concerts. For more information, contact Group Sales Manager Jim Sabatella at (313) 576-5130 or jsabatella@dso.org.

About the DSO

The most accessible orchestra on the planet, the acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and a deep connection to its city. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the institution. Conductor Leonard Slatkin, who recently concluded an acclaimed decade-long tenure at the helm, now serves as the DSO’s Music Director Laureate, endowed by the Kresge Foundation. Celebrated conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik is the orchestra’s Principal Pops Conductor, while the outstanding trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, the DSO offers a performance schedule that features Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series. One of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, Orchestra Hall will celebrate its centennial in 2019-2020. In addition, the DSO presents the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series in seven metro area venues, as well as a robust schedule of eclectic multi-genre performances in its mid-size venue The Cube, constructed and curated with support from Peter D. & Julie F. Cummings. A dedication to broadcast innovation began in 1922, when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a radio broadcast and continues today with the free Live from Orchestra Hall webcast series, which also reaches tens of thousands of children with the Classroom Edition expansion. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the people of Detroit, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.