SUMMIT, NJ - Jazz singer-pianist-composer Karrin Allyson will open the the 2018 season of "Afternoon Music" at Summit's Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation (Beacon UU) perform at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 14.

A five-time Grammy nominee, Allyson makes a return trip to Afternoon Music after performing to a packed house in 2011. This time, she will be backed by two up-and-coming sidemen, Miro Sprague on piano and Marty Jaffe on bass.  After the performance, the audience is invited to meet the performers at a reception.

Allyson, a Kansas native who now lives in New York, has spent the last 15 years carving out an impressive career as a singer, songwriter, pianist, composer and bandleader. Her latest CD “Many a New Day” featured 15 songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein and made best of the year lists at Downbeat, Jazz Times and iTunes.

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The album also won praise from USA Today’s Elysa Gardner who tweeted that Allyson’s singing “as warm, cool and beautifully nuanced as you’d expect.“ The New York Times’ Nate Chinen wrote, “She aces the tightrope walk of songbook reverence and jazz-vocal breeziness that often proves elusive on such an album.”

Allyson tours widely, currently on the road two-thirds of the time to perform at the major jazz festivals, concert venues and clubs of the U.S. She has made repeated tours overseas. Ten days after playing Summit, she will take her show to Melbourne, Australia.           

Besides his work as a jazz pianist, Miro Sprague is a composer and bandleader known for his dynamic performance style and artistic versatility. He works with singers, leads his own trio and quintet and frequently performs solo piano concerts. He was a semifinalist in the 2015 Montreux Jazz Festival Piano Competition.

Bassist Marty Jaffe grew up in Conway, Massachusetts, graduated from Columbia University and studied at Juilliard, where he earned a Master’s degree in jazz. He has performed with artists across many disciplines, including choreographers Bill T. Jones and Debbie Allen. His original compositions and arrangements have been performed at the Kennedy Center, the New World Center for the Arts and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Afternoon Music’s next concert, on March 4, will feature mezzo soprano Helen Karloski, flutist Bart Feller and pianist Mitchell Vines. Vines is also Afternoon Music’s artistic director. Virtuoso marimba player Makoto Nakura will solo at the concert on April 29.

Afternoon Music tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors.  Students are welcome free.  Subscriptions for all three concerts are being offered at $65 for adults and $50 for seniors.

Afternoon Music is funded in part by a grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through a grant administered by the Union County Division of Cultural & Heritage Affairs.

For advance tickets, send a check made out to Afternoon Music to Beacon UU at 4 Waldron Avenue, Summit, NJ, 07901. 

For further information, call 908-273-2899 or contact summitbeacon.org.