Jazz Master Wendell Harrison is a saxophonist, clarinetist, composer, educator, and jazz entrepreneur. Wendell is the last living jazz artist from my generation in the Detroit area who is still making a living performing, recording and teaching jazz music internationally.
Over the years he has recorded over 30 albums for record companies and has authored two jazz improvisation method books entitled “The Be-Boppers Method Books I & II which is a valuable aid in assisting others seeking to learn jazz improvisation. He is co-founder of the legendary Tribe record label and collective in the 1970's, and has established Rebirth Inc., a non-profit jazz performance and education organization in the 80's which is still providing jazz concerts and educational programs today. Numerous well-known jazz artists, including Detroit’s beloved pianist Gerri Allen, saxophonist James Carter, Eddie Harris, vocalist Leon Thomas and trumpeter Woody Shaw, just to name a few, have participated in Rebirth's programs. Wendell’s solo work on the clarinet and composing as well as the founder of the Mama's Licking Stick Clarinet Ensemble, has gained more widespread respect for the clarinet, this often neglected, yet versatile instrument.
In 2018 Wendell received the prestigious 2018 Kresge Eminent Artist Award for his contributions to the Detroit jazz community and beyond. In recent years he garnered a Bachelors of Science Degree in 2014 from Spring Arbor University, majoring in Organizational Management. Also, in 2017 he received a Masters in Communications Degree from Spring Arbor University.
Today Wendell is active as a musician, educator and entrepreneur, creating new and innovative projects such as: composing new music for the clarinet ensemble, teaching young jazz lions, producing and recording. The Detroit Jazz Foundation is an organization that produces a jazz study program in the Detroit Public Schools, has employed Wendell as a jazz educator to teach jazz ensembles, jazz improvisation, and performance development for the last ten years. Currently he is a jazz educator in residence at Detroit School Of Performing Arts. The organization produces the largest free jazz festival in the USA, which he has been invited to perform quite often. he also holds weekly jazz improvisation master classes in his home studio (THE UPPER ROOM series) so musicians can come together and learn to play jazz.
His motivation is to create jazz music with eclectic sounds from various cultures influences such Latin, African, Blues, Rock, and European Classical. “Learning is a constant reality that makes life worth living for me. Teaching the youth and students to explore new ways to compose and express creative ideas as it relates to jazz is my objective. I am also honored to create and have music for my students to play”.
Pamela Wise is an accomplished jazz pianist and composer. She has successfully directed and implemented several youth music programs at YouthVille Detroit (2005-2008) involving 50 youth participants, City of Detroit Summer Youth Arts Employment Program (1989-1996), Shrine of the Black Madonna Church (2010-present) and for Rebirth Inc. (1983- present)
Pamela has also been managing the organization’s project budget for designated programs to be implemented each year such as jazz residency programs, concerts,workshops, seminars, audio and DVD recordings, preparing grant proposals, implementing fundraising activities, implementation of promotional
activities, jazz educational programs and marketing products for Rebirth.
Pamela garnered her education at Kent State University and the University of Steubenville in Humanities.
Pamela Wise was born and raised in Steubenville, Oh and later migrated to Detroit. With 4 CDs in her own name, she is also featured on many others such as Wendell Harrison, Naima Shamborguer and the ensemble Tribe. Her compositions have been featured on numerous recordings with saxophonist Dave McMurray, violinist Regina Carter, saxophonist Wendell Harrison and the ensemble Musique Noire to name a few. Pamela has been awarded several grants for her compositions from the Michigan Council for the Arts, Arts Serve Michigan and 2016 Kresge Fellowship Artists Award. She is also a piano teacher and the music minister at her church, Shrine Of The Black Madonna Pan African Christian Church in Detroit. Her current CD A NEW MESSAGE FROM THE TRIBE was released in 2017. All of her releases are available on itunes, amazon.com and streaming live on Applemusic.
Dawud Muhammad was born in the city of Detroit. It was at Lincoln University that he encountered Minister Louis Farrakhan (1981) and joined the Nation of Islam a few months later. In September 1995 David X was named Dawud Muhammad by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan before capacity crowd at New Bethel Baptist Church.
In that same year (1995) Dawud along with black men and women of every religious, political and organizational affiliation was instrumental mobilizing one of the largest contingents of black men to the historic Million Man March (October 7, 1995). In addition to speaking at colleges and universities, Dawud has been a noted commentator on WJLB FM 98. In the spring of 2007 Dawud hosted the Nation of Islam’s annual Saviour's Day Convention.
His involvement with Rebirth has been 1993, when he was managing Rebirth's marketing and sales.
Currently, Dawud is director of programs at WCCC. He has successfully raised 10 children. He enjoys his 18 grandchildren and also is a noted visual artist and loves jazz music.
WENDELL HARRISON RECEIVES 2018 KRESGE EMINENT ARTIST AWARD.
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