Jazz Trio Performs Hymns for Huntingdon Concert Series
Montgomery, Ala.—Favorite hymns like "The Old Rugged Cross" and "His Eye is on the Sparrow" are seldom performed by chamber music trios—and even less often by contemporary jazz artists. But next week those familiar tunes will be enjoyed in a new way when the contemporary jazz trio made up of Huntingdon College alumnus Pedro Luis Mayor, on piano, and friends Matthew DeVine, drums, and Rob Alley, trumpet, perform classic hymns for Huntingdon's Elizabeth Belcher Cheek Concert Series, Tuesday, March 8, at 7:00 p.m. in the College's Ligon Chapel, Flowers Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.
"We intentionally wanted to mix the elements of jazz with elements of 20th century chamber music to perform hymns that are familiar and well-loved," says Mayor. "These are songs that meant so much to me as I grew up." The concert will feature hymns written by John Wesley, Charles Wesley, and other Protestant composers.
Mayor, a native of Cuba, attended the Ignacio Cervantes Conservatory and graduated with a degree in flute performance. While attending the conservatory, he began working in Havana as a flutist, keyboardist, and choral singer. In the latter role, he toured the United States and Brazil. Mayor came to Huntingdon in 1992 and graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts in music with a concentration in composition. After teaching at a Montgomery private school, he completed his master's degree in jazz performance at the Manhattan School of Music, New York, returning to Alabama in 2005. Since his arrival in the United States more than 10 years ago, Mayor has been active in the local jazz scene, hosting jam sessions and performing throughout the States. An adjunct music instructor at Huntingdon, he lives in Birmingham with his wife and two young children.
Alley, one of the most in-demand trumpeters in the southeastern United States, is also an award-winning composer/arranger and educator. Performing in nearly every musical genre from symphony orchestras and brass quintets to big bands, jazz ensembles, rhythm and blues, soul, rock, and Broadway musicals, Alley has shared the stage with international artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Patti Austin, Byron Stripling, Diane Schuur, The Temptations, The Four Tops, the O'Jays, and Frankie Valli. He was the 2007 recipient of the Arkansas Arts Council's Individual Artist Fellowship Grant for his jazz composition, "12 for 3." Alley holds a Master of Music from the University of Alabama, where he is a member of the faculty in the Jazz Department.
Multi-instrumentalist Matthew DeVine earned his master's degree in music composition from the University of Alabama and then embarked on a career as a freelance composer, musician, and bandleader performing throughout the United States. He recently completed a five-year run as the regular solo pianist and jazz band drummer at the Renaissance Ross Bridge Resort. In addition to a career as a professional musician, DeVine runs a private teaching studio in Birmingham.
Huntingdon College, grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition of the United Methodist Church, is committed to nurturing growth in faith, wisdom, and service and to graduating individuals prepared to succeed in a rapidly changing world. The Department of Music offers degrees in music education and in music with concentrations in performance and worship leadership. For more information, contact the Huntingdon College Office of Communications at (334) 833-4515.