Keith Javors   "The Free Project"

Keith Javors "The Free Project"

BandJazzR&B

Critically-acclaimed producer and pianist Dr. Keith Javors combines reflective solo piano performances with fiery rap, R & B, jazz, and world music vignettes from the A.M.P. in this powerful and moving project.

Biography

Philadelphia pianist/composer Keith Javors shares the rare distinction of personifying excellence not only as a creative artist but also as a renowned educator. "Free" (ArtistShare) is Keith's fourth recording as a leader and his most visceral and personal statement to date, drawing from jazz genres as well as R and B, rap, and world music influences. The result is the creation of a powerful and positive collage.

A consummate composer, "Free" is one of several CDs that include his original music. In 2004, he released "Mo’ City Jungle" on the Zoho label, an acoustic set that draws from Detroit influences ranging from Kenny Garrett to Motown and its 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.

Through impressive teaching stints at UNT, the University of Illinois, and, most notably, the University of North Florida and maintaining an active performance career throughout, he is no stranger to the pitfalls of learning and teaching jazz in school. He says, “The strength of school jazz programs is in great teachers, motivated students, and resources to facilitate. It’s probably inconsequential in most cases. The real learning takes place through playing with great and passionate musicians, whether they're at school or not.”

Now at 33, 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; the Rockefeller Center, the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Vienne Jazz Festival, several International Association for Jazz Education Annual Conferences, and the Midwest Clinic: An International Band and Orchestra Conference, in addition to notable metropolitan clubs throughout the United States.

As a producer and bandleader, Keith's work centers 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, the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Jon Faddis, Kenny Garrett, Antonio Hart, Slide Hampton, Jimmy Heath, Conrad Herwig, the Dave Holland Quintet, Pat Martino, Mulgrew Miller, James Moody, Eddie Palmieri, Sam Rivers, Maria Schneider, Ira Sullivan, and Clark Terry.

In the classroom, Keith is charismatic and gifted, bringing a hard-nosed passion and honesty to the music that has inspired countless students. The energetic and professional nature of his school ensembles are often acknowledged by major jazz journals 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 four 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, 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 earned Bachelors and Masters 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 doctoral thesis, “An Appraisal of Collegiate Jazz Performance Programs in the Teaching of Jazz Music" is a vibrant and controversial critique of modern jazz education, and is available through University Microfilms International.

Presently, Keith is the newly appointed Artistic Director for the Brendan Romaneck Alliance for American Music, Inc. based out of Philadelphia. He is active as a performer and composer, teaching at several music schools and

Lyrics

Spring Is Here

Written By: Dejuan "D Priest" Everett

I remember this thing called Spring
When man was king and woman was queen
Writing verses like yours and mine
And people would sing
Sitting at the table
Sharing a bottle of wine
Now I find that April, May and June
We don’t consume
I guess life’s a pen and I’m the balloon
I assume that Spring is Here
Why doesn’t my heart dance in here?
No desire,
No ambition leads me, feed me
Is it because nobody needs me?
Spring is Here
Why doesn’t life awake me
Stars appear
Why doesn’t night invite me
Is it because nobody loves me
Spring is Here
Can you hear?

B (A Gentle Soul)

Written By: Dejuan "D Priest" Everett

A gentle soul he was
With music his love
It’s now for angels he play
Don’t cry for me he say
For now I play for God
Jazz, my love, never a job
Remember my name
Picture me playing with Miles and Coltrane
Under green apple trees, never rain
It’s the music that feeds my spirit and soul
Forever you I shall hold

Discography

As a Leader/Producer:
On The Bright Side (2008)
Coming Together: A Tribute To B (2008)
The Free Project (2007)
And The Melody Still Lingers On (2005)
Bunky Green - Ballads (2004)
Mo' City Jungle (2004)
Through His Eyes: For Bunky Green (2003), UNF
Second Thoughts (2002)
Things To Come (2001)
From Here To The Street (2000)
Mantra (1998)

Set List

1. Free
2. The Journey
3. Spring Is Here
4. Places
5. B (A Gentle Soul)
6. How Deep Is Your Love
7. Choose Love
8. A Question of When
9. I Need You Now
10. The Philosophy of Bill Brown
11. Free (Reprise)

Repertoire includes standards
Lists by request