The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) is thrilled to announce Jazz at the Kramer! A new music series in partnership with Paul Carr’s Jazz Academy of Music presenting a free evening of jazz at the Betty Mae Kramer Gallery & Music Room on the second Wednesday of every month.
Admission is FREE but advanced registration is required due to limited capacity.
** Masks are required for all guests, regardless of vaccination status. Food and beverages are not permitted in the gallery. **
Second Wednesdays: Jazz at the Kramer featuring Chris Grasso on Piano and Zack Pride on bass.
Jazz at the Kramer
Wednesday, June 8, 2022
6 p.m. at the Betty Mae Kramer Gallery and Music Room
Join us for a night of jazz featuring Allyn Johnson on piano and Amy Shook on bass!
Native Washingtonian, ALLYN JOHNSON, is a multi-talented musician, composer, arranger and producer whose trademark sound gives brilliance and fortitude to the art of jazz improvisation. Allyn, a prodigy who began playing piano at the tender age of five, got his start playing piano for the youth choir in his uncle’s church. There he honed his inner musical gift.
While a student at the University of the District of Columbia, Allyn was mentored by the late great jazz legend Calvin Jones, a venerable figure in the international jazz community. At UDC, Allyn was the first recipient of the Felix. E Grant Scholarship Award in jazz performance. He graduated magna cum laude from UDC in 1997 with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Jazz Studies. Now Allyn has served for more than six years as an adjunct professor of music and assistant director of the Jazz Studies program before succeeding Jones as the director in 2005.
Allyn hopes to continue Jones’ rich legacy of service, musicianship and academic excellence. Allyn is one of the nation’s most sought after musicians in the jazz community. He is revered by musical giants as well as the “young lions” of his generation. He was chosen for the highly competitive Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program in 2001 and returned to teach in the program in 2002. in 2005 Allyn started an ensemble combining Gospel, Jazz and Classical music called Divine Order. He also has a group called Sonic Sanctuary which may be heard as his trio or small ensemble which ranges from acoustic straight ahead jazz to jazz fusion and funk.
In 2012 Allyn wrote the score for 3 local films. The first being a short film with the company Young Film Makers of Tomorrow entitled “Broken Records”. Also a short film by Cheryl Hawkins entitles “Sister Anna” and documentary film by Ada Babino entitled “Snakeskin”.
Allyn has been working for many years as a producer and audio engineer and decided to go back to school in April 2017 to get certification as an audio engineer from Omega Studios School of Applied Recording Arts and Sciences. He now runs his own commercial studio in Bowie Md. called Divine Order Studios.
In the Fall of 2018 Allyn was awarded the DC Mayor Arts Award for his work as a Distinguished Artist in the DC area. Allyn makes it a his mantra to never rest on his laurels. He continues to push himself as a composer, arranger, artist, engineer and bandleader. Allyn has a growing library of works for ensembles of varying sizes and instrumentation. No matter what configuration Allyn may see or hear him in, you can best believe it will be just “good music for the soul”.
Amy Shook is one of the most in-demand acoustic bassists in the mid-Atlantic, coveted for her huge sound and infectious, driving groove. In addition to being a premier performing and recording artist, and a multi-instrumentalist (acoustic bass, electric bass, violin, viola, and cello), she is an accomplished composer, and her personality truly comes through in her writing.
Amy co-leads the all-women powerhouse trio the 3D Jazz Trio (3Divas), with drummer Sherrie Maricle and pianist Jackie Warren. 3D is the super-swingin’ trio that sparked the fire that ignited the award-winning show Maurice Hines is Tappin’ Thru Life, described by the New York Times as “blistering hot.” In 2017, 3D’s eagerly awaited debut CD, simply titled 3Divas, was met with widespread critical acclaim. Both of 3D’s 2020 recordings, I Love To See You Smile, (released in April 2020), and Christmas in 3D (released October 2020) were recorded at Red Rock Recording Studio in Saylorsburg, PA. Both albums received widespread critical acclaim, with I Love To See You Smile landing a four-star review in Downbeat Magazine and inclusion on Downbeat’s year end “Best of 2020 albums,” and a ranking of #10 overall on RMR’s “Top Jazz Album Chart 2020,” as well as in the top 50 of “Top Albums of 2020” on the NACC year end chart. Christmas in 3D was featured first in line in the New York Times “20 Albums That Put a New Spin on the Holidays,” and Ranked #4 overall with Christmas in 3D on RMR’s Top Holiday Album Chart for the Year of 2020, peaking at #1. All of their recordings can be purchased directly through their website, Amazon, downloaded from Bandcamp and iTunes, and streamed on your favorite service. 3D is also featured on baritone saxophonist Leigh Pilzer’s debut CD Strunkin’, recorded live at the Washington Women in Jazz Festival in March 2016, and released in October 2016. The 3D Jazz Trio’s most prestigious honor to date was being invited to perform at legendary music icon Nancy Wilson’s 80th Birthday Party, held on February 20, 2017 at the Taglyan Complex in Los Angeles, CA, performing at the request of Ms. Wilson herself. 3D was also featured on The Kate TV’s “live” music series with Maurice Hines (on PBS), and twice on WVIA radio’s Homegrown Music Series, the first performance having been recorded and released as 3D’s debut album 3Divas. For more info about the 3D Jazz Trio, please visit their website www.3djazztrio.com.
In addition to the 3D Jazz Trio, Amy’s most recent musical collaboration is The Sholbertshire Swingtet, which features a quartet of the mid-Atlantic’s favorite voices in jazz – Amy Shook on bass, Joe Holt on piano, Scott Silbert on tenor saxophone, and Steve Abshire on guitar. These four joined forces in 2020 to celebrate the music of the Great American Songbook, as well as write their own original music and arrangements of popular song, and in their unique, joyous way pay tribute to the swingin’ ensemble sound of the Oscar Peterson Trio featuring Stan Getz. Follow them and stay updated via their Facebook page www.facebook.com/Sholbertshires.
Amy also co-leads the Shook/Russo 4tet, a band she started in 2004 with her husband, tenor saxophonist Pat Shook, and drummer Frank Russo. Along with their guitarist Jonathan Epley, the SR4tet’s focus has always been to compose and perform their own original music within the jazz idiom, honoring the masters by carrying on the tradition. The result is an incredible and unique sound, and a whirlwind of grooves, melodies, and diverse textures that are a true delight to hear. In 2017, Amy (with the SR5tet, which included trumpeter Tim Leahey) was a featured artist for the D.C. Jazz Festival’s “Bass-ically Yours” series at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, celebrating D.C.’s premier jazz bassists. The SR4tet currently has two CDs on Summit Records featuring Greg Gisbert.
In the spring of 2021, Amy had the honor of playing bass as well as serve as executive co-producer with Scott Silbert on his eagerly awaited recording, Introducing the Scott Silbert Big Band: Jump Children, released in October of 2021. It features some lesser known big band gems from the 1930s and 1940s performed by a premiere collection of world-class musicians in the Washington, D.C. area. This incredibly swinging album can be purchased at scottsilbertmusic.bandcamp.com/.
Additionally, Amy can be heard on three critically acclaimed albums with the Fred Hughes Trio (Love Letters, I’ll Be Home For Christmas, and Matrix). In addition to her jazz bass discography, Amy can be heard on various recordings playing auxiliary string parts, many that she both wrote and arranged, for various indie rock and blues artists such as Future Islands, Mary Prankster and the Kelly Bell Band. Amy holds two bachelor’s degrees (performance and composition) and a master’s degree (performance) from the University of Idaho in Moscow, ID.
Amy has performed with Maurice Hines in Maurice Hines’ Tappin Thru Life, Sherrie Maricle and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, Lionel Hampton, Larry Willis, Greg Gisbert, George Mesterhazy, Wessell Anderson, Ali Ryerson, Walt Weiskopf, Tim Warfield, Wycliffe Gordon, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, Hubert Laws, Kurt Elling, Steve Nelson and Lewis Nash, to name a few. She has performed at the Kennedy Center, Blues Alley, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, the Blue Note NY, the Blue Note Beijing, Lincoln Center Damrosch Park, The International Forum (Tokyo, Japan), the Freespace Jazz Festival Hong Kong, The Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, The Jazz Kitchen, the Birchmere, Arena Stage, the Cleveland Playhouse, The Tri-C Jazz Festival, the Delaware Theater Company, off-Broadway at New World Stages in NYC, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, the Mid Atlantic Jazz Festival, Washington Women in Jazz Festival, and the Cape May Jazz Festival, and performed with the Eli Yamin Quintet at the White House twice in 2009 by special invitation.