Renowned jazz performer to perform at Daniel Pearl World Music Days at Temple B'nai Shalom
Free annual concert in East Brunswick to honor slain Wall Street Journal reporter's commitment to understanding and community.
The free-flowing melodies and rhythms of modern jazz, courtesy of renowned area jazz artists Leslie Ford & Group, will fill the air at Temple B'nai Shalom in East Brunswick on Thursday, Oct. 27 as part of the Daniel Pearl World Music Days global celebration. The 8 p.m. concert is free to the community.
Ford's performance will represent the eighth consecutive year that the Daniel Pearl Education Center has hosted an event to commemorate Daniel Pearl World Music Days, an international celebration marking the contributions to community and understanding of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was murdered by extremists while researching a story in Pakistan in 2002.
“Daniel Pearl World Music Days is a great time for us to remember the universal message of community that is the legacy of the late Daniel Pearl,” said Dr. Andrew Boyarsky, chairman of the center's committee. "Through his journalism and his love for music, Daniel saw opportunities to bring cultures and people together. The great thing about jazz is that talented musicians, like Leslie Ford, can bring multiple instruments together to create wonderful, inspiring music."
Leslie Ford & Group is led by Ford, founder and president of The Jazz Institute of New Jersey, Inc. and co-founder of The New Brunswick Jazz Collective. He is a self-taught musician, as well as a prolific composer and arranger, and has performed with Joe Thomas and with Frank Foster’s Big Band, rehearsed with Horace Silver, and played with jazz notables like the Zahir Batins Ensemble and with Stave Torra, Hilton Rauz, Tommy Gryce, Tony Hurdle and Phil Bowler. Ford has also performed with the New Jersey State Orchestra under the direction of Duke Anderson, as well as many pit orchestras. Ford has served as an assistant music director for the off-off Broadway musical, “A Different Kind of Blues,” and for the Miss Black America Pageant.
Locally, Ford started to bring jazz to the New Brunswick Area with the creation of Leslie Ford Inc. in 1981. A year later he selected a group of musicians for recording and performances, and out of that organization he became co-founder of the New Brunswick Jazz Collective. In 1989, Ford founded his dream, the Jazz Institute of New Brunswick, Inc. (now the Jazz Institute of New Jersey) to teach inner-city youths and to keep the legacy of the music of jazz alive through today’s youths. In addition to its focus on jazz, the school emphasizes, for its students, self-esteem, creativity and individuality.
"The school's principles are very consistent with Daniel Pearl's vision of music as a way to teach and to heal," Boyarsky said. "We are very excited that Leslie will be joining us to celebrate Daniel Pearl World Music Days."
In recent years, the Daniel Pearl Education Center has brought a variety of musical styles to East Brunswick, including rock, Brazilian jazz, classical music and klezmer. Last year's concert featured two well-known area pianists, Paul Kimmel and Jim Lapidus.
The Daniel Pearl Education Center is a non-profit, charitable organization committed to the ideals of community and understanding – principles that are part of the legacy of the late Daniel Pearl. Pearl, the Southeast Asia bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, was kidnapped and murdered by extremists in Pakistan in October 2002. The DPEC sponsors a broad spectrum of community-wide, interfaith programming, highlighted by its annual teen bus trip, with St. Bartholomew’s School and other houses of worship and youth groups, to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
The concert is free, and light refreshments will be served. More information is available by contacting the Temple B'nai Shalom office at 732-251-4300.