Javors/Bays: Mantra

Keith Javors: Mantra
Title: Mantra
Label: CD Baby

This is the debut 1997 CD by Keith Javors and Dane Bays. Dr. Keith Javors is a founding member and Artistic Director of the BR Alliance for American Music, a 501-c non-profit arts and service organization in Philadelphia dedicated to the advance of American Music. With almost 20 years professional experience as in a wide array of contexts, he shares the distinction of personifying excellence not only as a creative artist but also as a superb music educator. The 'Free Project' (artistShare 0011) is Keith's fourth recording as a leader and his most visceral and unique statement to date, drawing from R and B, Rap, and World Music genres as well as jazz ones. Featuring Detroit's American Music Project and expanded instrumentations, the result is the creation of a powerful and positive collage. A consummate composer, 'Free' is one of several releases that include his original music. In 2004, he released 'Mo' City Jungle' on the Zoho label to rave reviews, an acoustic set that draws from Detroit influences ranging from Kenny Garrett to Motown and it's soul derivatives. Regarding MCJ, AllAboutJazz.com says "Not since Kenny Garrett's Standard of Language and Terence Blanchard's Bounce has there been a post bop album this exciting. Mo' City Jungle is not for the faint-at-heart; this is vital, energized music that is captivating from start to finish." Born in Carbondale, Illinois on October 15, 1971, Keith began picking out television themes by ear on his family's defunct player piano as early as 3 and started lessons at 8. His affinity for jazz was sparked at 13 by two records: John Coltrane's 'My Favorite Things' and Dave Brubeck's 'Plays Cole Porter'. Attending the University of North Texas on scholarship at 17, Keith gained his professional tutelage through gigging as an in-demand pianist in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex and later the Chicago area, working as a regular member of groups such as the Dallas Jazz Orchestra and the Brad Turner Quartet. Keith was active in the Southeast jazz scene between 2000-2005, both leading groups and working as a sideman, including playing and recording with legendary alto saxophonist Bunky Green. Now at 34, Keith has recorded or performed with an expansive list of artists including George Coleman, Bunky Green, Conrad Herwig, Joe Lovano, Bob Mintzer, Gerry Mulligan, Bucky Pizzerelli, Chris Potter, Arturo Sandoval, Terell Stafford, Ira Sullivan, Bill Watrous, and Steve Wilson. His groups have performed by invitation at some of the most prestigious venues in the world; from the Rockefeller Center to major European and Asian jazz festivals to notable metropolitan clubs in NYC and throughout the United States. As a producer and bandleader, Keith's efforts center on imagination and dynamic sensitivity, consistently earning rave reviews. Bands he's directed have performed with a "who's who" of jazz music, including Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, Terence Blanchard, Dave Brubeck, Jon Faddis, Kenny Garrett, Antonio Hart, Slide Hampton, Jimmy Heath, Conrad Herwig, Dave Holland, Pat Martino, Mulgrew Miller, James Moody, Eddie Palmieri, Sam Rivers, Maria Schneider, Ira Sullivan, and Clark Terry. As an award-winning teacher at UNT, the University of Illinois, and, most notably, the University of North Florida, Keith brings a charisma and passion to the music that has inspired countless students. The energetic and professional nature of his school ensembles are often acknowledged by DownBeat, Jazz Times, and the Jazz Educators Journal as amongst the best. Keith was named to the highest percentile of those included on the "Incomplete List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students" five times in a row. Keith's albums as leader of the UNF Jazz Ensemble 1 ('Things To Come', 'Second Thoughts', 'Through His Eyes: For Bunky Green', 'And the Melody Still Lingers On') resulted in multiple consecutive national DownBeat Student Music Awards from 2001-2005, including the sole winner of Best College Big Band in 2003: "The ensemble never misses a cue or misreads a note, enabling Keith Javors to score a bulls-eye on his second album as director...University-level ensembles simply don't get much better than this." Keith holds B.M. and M.M degrees in Jazz Piano Performance (with distinction) from the University of North Texas, where he was pianist in the One O'Clock Lab Band, and a Doctorate degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His thesis is a vibrant evaluation and critique of jazz performance programs, and is available through University Microfilms International. In addition to his teaching committments in Philly, Keith continues to serve as a guest artist/clinician at numerous festivals and universities across the United States and abroad, publishing in leading jazz journals, and receiving numerous honors.

1.1 Nick's Song
1.2 Black Kettle
1.3 Mantra
1.4 What Might Have Been
1.5 Circle of Friends
1.6 Why Me
1.7 Hometown (Live)
1.8 Tyler Door (Live)

Javors/Bays: Mantra

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