Weissman School of Arts and Sciences

Grammy-nominated Vocalist Carla Cook Performs as Part of Baruch College’s 13th Annual Milt Hinton Jazz Perspectives Concert Series, February 10, 2005, at 1 pm

New York City: Baruch College (The City University of New York) will host Grammy-nominated vocalist Carla Cook and her trio February 10, 2005, as part of the Milt Hinton Jazz Perspectives concert series, now in its 13th season. To hear selections from Carla Cook's CD's, select "Music," or click on the Music tab on her web site.

Carla Cook

The performance will take place in Engelman Recital Hall, in Baruch’s Vertical Campus at 55 Lexington Avenue. The concert begins at 1 p.m. It is free and open to the general public and Baruch students, faculty and administration.

This concert—organized by thhe Milt Hinton Jazz Perspectives Committee—is funded by the Baruch College Performing Arts Center and The Baruch College Fund.

Carla Cook Background

While some jazz vocalists limit their repertoire of popular music to the swing of the 20’s and 30’s, Tin Pan Alley composers and the bebop of the 40’s, Ms. Carla Cook goes beyond the American Jazz Standard Repertoire. She reinterprets songs from the rock and R&B worlds—giving a jazz flavor to such pop classics as Simon & Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair,” Marvin Gaye’s “Inner City Blues,” Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe,” and Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold.”

In her native Detroit, Cook started singing when she was a young child. Growing up, the Midwesterner sang in the Methodist Church. The secular music she enjoyed ranged from R&B, rock, country and European classical. Though jazz has always been Cook’s primary focus, she has been quoted as saying that her favorite artists range from Miles Davis to Chaka Khan to Johann Sebastian Bach.

During her formative years, Cook studied privately voice, piano and string bass, the latter of which she played in her high school orchestra. After leaving the Motor City, Cook moved to Boston to attend Northeastern University and earned a degree in Speech Communication. While in Boston, she formed the first of several jazz ensembles and set about the business of her trade. Then in 1990, she moved to New York, where she became active on the Manhattan club scene but paid her bills with various “day gigs” that concluded with her teaching social studies in a junior high school.

By the mid 90s, however, she was singing on a full-time basis and had given up her day gigs. It was in 1998 that Cook signed with MAXJAZZ, a small independent jazz label based in St. Louis that has a reputation for being singer-friendly. In 1999, Cook recorded her debut album; It’s All About Love. The CD enjoyed favorable reviews and received a Grammy nomination in the Best Jazz Vocal Performance category and was awarded the AFIM Indie Award for Best Jazz Vocal in 2000. In 2000, Cook recorded her second album, Dem Bones, and in 2002, she recorded Simply Natural, both for MAXJAZZ. Her albums continue to receive critical acclaim.

The Hinton Series

The inaugural Milt Hinton Jazz Perspectives concert in 1992 starred jazz bassist Milt Hinton himself together with his picks for an “All-Star” ensemble: Seldon Powell (saxophonist), Bob Rosengarden (Drums), Mike Walters (saxophone and woodwinds), Derek Smith (piano), Jay D’Amico (piano), Mike Grey (trombone), and John “Bucky” Pizzarelli (guitar). This magical first concert saw famed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis join the group during the second half.

The following year Tito Puente and his big band also played to a full house with some students and faculty dancing in the aisles. In 1994 the concert was billed as a “Tribute to Women in Jazz” and featured a performance by singer Ruth Brown and Friends and the group Straight Ahead. In 1995 trombonist extraordinaire Slide Hampton and the Big Band Bird filled the bill for the fourth annual concert.

In 1996 America’s jazz statesman Dr. Billy Taylor and the Billy Taylor Trio graced the Baruch College stage. In 1997 Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band gave a performance that offered a unique blend of Latin and jazz traditions. The 1998 concert presented virtuoso drummer Sherrie Maricle and the Diva Big Band.

The world famous Mingus Big Band played at the 8th annual concert in 1999. The Bronx Horns, consisting of Tito Puente’s brass section, together with Dave Valentin (flute) and Randy Brecker (trumpet), performed at the 9th annual concert in 2000. In 2001, The Heath Brothers (Percy, Jimmy, and Tootie) with special guest Jimmy Owens, performed at the 10th annual concert.

In 2002 (season #11) the Hinton Committee expanded its offerings with a series of concerts, including a November 6, 2002 concert featuring The Latin-Jazz All Stars with several world-renown Latin-jazz musicians: trumpeter/leader Michael Mossman, tenor saxophonist David Sanchez, trombonist Steve Turre, pianist Arturo O’Farrill, alto saxophonist Antonio Hart, bassist Andy Gonzalez, and percussionist Phoenix Rivera. The 2002-2003 season also featured the Marty Sheller Big Band, Chris Washburne’s SYOTOS Latin-Jazz ensemble, and Rumbamerica, an Afro-Cuban ensemble made up of some of New York’s top Afro-Cuban drummers, singers, and dancers.

The 2003-2004 season featured the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Sax in the City quartet, the Ted Piltzecker Septet, and the Roberta Piket Trio.

As in the last two years, for the 2004-2005 season the Hinton committee has organized a series of concerts starting with the November 4, 2004 performance of the Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Arturo O’Farrill. Dikki Du and the Zydeco Crew performed in the lobby of the vertical campus in early December 2004.

In addition to the February 10, 2005 Carla Cook concert, pianist/composer Andy Laverne and his trio will perform on March 10, 2005, also in the Engelman Recital Hall.

For further information contact:
Eugene Marlow, Baruch College
646-312-3924

The City University of New York