Press Release OLIVER NELSON ST. LOUIS MEMORIAL JUNETEENTH JAZZ & HERITAGE EVENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (5/29/12)

Contact: Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Founder & Chairman
             National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF)
             662-392-2016    662-247-1471
             e-mail: JuneteenthDOC@yahoo.com
             web site: www.NationalJuneteenth.com
             web site: www.JuneteenthJazz.com

             Rev. William Gwynn, Secretary
             National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC)
             314-956-7049
             e-mail: dapreach2000@yahoo.com
             web sites: www.njclc.com


2012 Oliver Nelson St. Louis Memorial Juneteenth Jazz & Heritage Event

2012 Black Music Month Juneteenth Jazz &
Heritage Event Features Ron Myers


Horn In The Corn Oliver Nelson
Ron Myers                                        Oliver Nelson


(St. Louis, Missouri) - St. Louis rich African American jazz heritage and legacy will be celebrated during the Oliver Nelson St. Louis Memorial Juneteenth Jazz & Heritage Event. The event is hosted by Hope of Glory Christian Assembly, Rev. William Gwynn, Pastor, on Monday, June 4, 2012, 2416 N. Newstead Avenue, at 7:00pm.

Juneteenth is officially recognized as a state holiday observance in Missouri, joining a total of 41 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Congress in the recognition of America's 2nd Independence Day. The event is sponsored by the National Association of Juneteenth Jazz Presenters (NAJJP) and is a part of the "June is Black Music Month!" - CELEBRATING JUNETEENTH JAZZ - "Preserving Our African American Jazz Legacy!" national concert series.

Juneteenth commemorates the day when slaves in the last geographic area in America where slavery existed learned of their freedom. This took place on June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, when Union General Gordon Granger read General Order #3, announcing that "all slaves are free" by Proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln. The Emancipation Proclamation was signed by President Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1862, and issued on January 1, 1863. It took over two and a half years for the news to travel to southwest Texas. The National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign continues to work to establish Juneteenth as a National Holiday Observance in America.

The festival is in honor of the late legendary jazz St. Louis native jazz composer, arranger and saxophonist, Oliver Nelson.

Oliver Nelson was born June 4, 1932 in St. Louis, Missouri. He began playing piano at age six and picked up the saxophone when he was eleven. Later he continued his musical education at Washington University in St. Louis, as well as studying with composer Elliott Carter.

Nelson gained practical experience by playing in bands with Erskine Hawkins, Louie Bellson, Quincy Jones and Duke Ellington. In the late 1950s he began recording with his own ensemble and earned attention as a promising jazz artist with the release of LPs like "The Blues and the Abstract Truth" (1961).

It might be difficult to compile a complete list of the films and TV shows Nelson contributed to, since it's common for arrangers and orchestrators to work without credit in Hollywood. One of his better-known efforts is the score for Alfie (1966), where he collaborated with sax man Sonny Rollins. Nelson's arrangements provide a buoyant, swinging backdrop for Rollins' assured playing. However, he is also sensitive to the film's quieter moments.

The breadth of Nelson's ability as an arranger/orchestrator is demonstrated by his contribution to Last Tango in Paris (1972). In his work with Gato Barbieri on this film, Nelson moves from the melancholy ruminations of the opening cue to the brittle elegance of the tango to the driving sound of a large ensemble. The score for Zig Zag (1970) is an example of Nelson's work as a composer. In this soundtrack he creates tension by combining dense harmonies and aggressive percussion.

It has been suggested that Nelson's hectic schedule, which included work as composer, arranger, performer and teacher, may have helped to bring about his early death. He suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 43.

The event's featured artist will be accomplished jazz pianist and trumpeter, National Juneteenth Jazz Artist, Ron Myers. Myers was the guest artist at the 2006 Lifting the Legacy: MO' Music & Juneteenth Jazz Concert, honoring jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, in East St. Louis, IL. Myers has also performed and recorded with the late legendary Kansas City native jazz drummer "Delightful Dee" Al Bartee.

Information about the event can be found at www.JazzMissouri.com or www.JuneteenthJazz.com. Also contact Rev. William Gwynn at 314-956-7049, Dr. Ron Myers at 662-392-2016, e-mail: JuneteenthDOC@yahoo.com or web site: www.NationalJuneteenth.com.

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