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Soka International Jazz Fest: Jackie Ryan sings, Tamir Hendelman Trio plays

The 2013 DownBeat Critics Poll “Rising Star,” Jackie Ryan, and award-winning, international pianist Tamir Hendelman combine their tremendous forces for a show September 26, 8 p.m.-10 p.m., in Orange County, CA’s Soka Performing Arts Center, as a part of the Soka International Jazz Fest Series. Frequent partners in the art of swinging jazz, Ryan and Hendelman will do it again, with special guest, saxophonist Rickey Woodard (Ray Charles Band).

Take a “DownBeat” Critics Poll “Rising Star” and an ASCAP-award-winning, in-demand accompanist, put them onstage, and enjoy a superlative jazz show, c/o the Soka International Jazz Festival Series.
Photo courtesy of artists

Ryan is a favorite of many established jazz musicians for her feel and her daring behind the mic. Not content to simply croon standards sweetly like some passive, dainty flower, the Irish-Mexican daughter of an opera singer can really elaborate every dramatic point home when called for, and isn’t afraid to enact emotional scenes from the theatrical portion of the Great American Songbook.

Her last two solo albums, Doozy — studded with award-winning virtuoso players, like pianist Cyrus Chestnut — and Listen Here — produced/arranged by the Grammy-winning John Clayton — charted extremely well and received much critical notice. The last album, Listen Here, showcased Ryan’s startling ability to disappear into the material, whether it’s a Spanish ballad, a samba, a Gershwin standard, or a blues-tinged torch song. She tears through every imaginable style, embedding her own exotically fluid rhythms in that throaty contralto, with a three-and-a-half-octave range.

Hendelman will show with his trio. Originally from Tel Aviv, the young prodigy honed his skills on keys at six years old, picking up the Yamaha National Keyboard award at 14. As a grown-up, Hendelman quickly gained notice from other musicians and critics, picking up gigs and tours, and more awards, from ASCAP and the National Foundation For Advancement in the Arts. Hendelman’s worked with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Jeff Clayton, John Clayton, Gladys Knight, Barbra Streisand, Natalie Cole, Diana Krall, John Pizzarelli, and the Jeff Hamilton Trio, as well as served as a guest soloist with the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra.

The big, Jackie Ryan connection is through her chart-topping, 2007 album, You And The Night And The Music, which he played on and arranged. Like her, he easily traverses from style to style. With his trio, Hendelman’s played the hell out of music from his Israeli origins, Brazilian, the blues, and standards of course.

Tickets to attend cost $29/$25 for students and seniors. Call (949) 480-4278 for more info. The Soka University of America is located on 1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo, CA.