O.Henry Jazz Series

Select Saturdays in the O.Henry Hotel Social Lobby
6:30 – 9:30 PM
| Never a cover! Arrive early for a seat!

About O.Henry Jazz Series


Cocktails and Jazz at the O.Henry is so much fun that we asked the amazing Victoria and Neill Clegg to curate an expansion of the O.Henry Jazz scene. On select Saturdays you can enjoy vintage craft cocktails and delightful seasonal tapas (see the menu) along with an eclectic array of jazz artists performing in the varied styles of contemporary jazz. Select Saturdays from 6:30-9:30 PM.

This is NOT the same experience as Thursday Night Cocktails & Jazz with Neill Clegg and Dave Fox. You can still enjoy their talents — along with those of a rotating roster of extraordinary Jazz vocalists — as they focus on the great American Songbook and beyond, Thursday nights from 5:30 – 8:30 PM.

O.HENRY JAZZ SERIES PACKAGE

Take advantage of our O.Henry Jazz Series Package, which includes one night’s gracious accommodations, preferred seating at our O.Henry jazz in the social lobby, $30 amenity voucher, a Southern-style breakfast for two and a late checkout. Package available select Saturdays. Some blackout dates apply, including December 31.

Upcoming Performers

O.Henry Jazz Series

November 25 | Angela Bingham, Edmund Paolantonio, Scott Sawyer and Ron Brendle

December 2 | Ariel Pocock, Steve Haines and Brandon Lee

December 9 | Brenda Morie, Nate Scott, Roberto Orihuela and Dave Fox

December 16 | Melva Houston, Roberto Orihuela, Drorester Alexander and Matt Kendrick 

December 23 | Lynne Goodwin, John Trotta, Neill Clegg and Charlton Provatas

December 24 | Sheila Duell, Randy Craven, Neill Clegg and Aaron Gross

December 30 | The Zen Poets featuring Annalise Stalls, Aaron Gross,
Ariel Pocock, Russell Favret & Nishah DiMeo

O.Henry Jazz Series December 31 Early Show featuring Jessica Mashburn and Dave Fox

December 31 | Early Show 5:30-8:30 PM
Jessica Mashburn, Dave Fox and Steve Haines

December 31 | Late Show 9 PM – 12 AM
Anne-Claire Niver, Charles Cleaver, Genevieve Palmer and Dan Hitchcock

Artist Bios

Angela Bingham

Angela Bingham is an American jazz vocalist who has been a singer her entire life. She began studying piano and performing from the American songbook at age 5 in her home of the San Francisco Bay Area. She studied jazz in her teens and early 20s, and began working professionally as a solo artist in 2000 while living in Salt Lake City. Her singing is characterized by the qualities of honest expression, solid swinging and an emphasis on the blues. With a clear, steady tone and a penchant for improvisation, she communicates a song’s lyric honestly – “as if she were speaking to you directly, over cocktails or supper.” (David R. Halliday, former jazz radio DJ)

Edmund Paolontonio

Edmund Paolantonio, pianist, is from New York City but lives now in Durham, NC. In addition to earning a BS in Music Education from SUNY and an MM in performance from UNC-Chapel Hill, he studied 3 1/2 years with world famous jazz pianist, teacher and composer Lennie Tristano. He has been composing, arranging and performing jazz professionally since 1971 and has accompanied many jazz giants including Dizzie Gillespie, Slide Hampton, Clark Terry, Lee Konitz, Curtis Fuller, Jimmy Heath, and Emily Remler. Mr. Paolantonio has been described as an “all consuming musician..(whose) solo struck sparks around the room.”–Owen Cardle (News and Observer, Raleigh, NC) “He’s outstanding,… talented and prolific”, said R.C. Smith (Durham Morning Herald). Joe Vanderford (Spectator, Raleigh, NC) wrote of “Paolantonionio’s sound…(as) full of arpeggios, utilizing every one of the eighty-eights”. Paolantonio has toured with North Carolina drummer Max Roach. As an artist in the NC Touring Program, he performed with his much acclaimed vocal group, String of Pearls. He toured the Middle East for USIA with vibraphonist, Jon Metzger, and has receivd North Carolina Jazz Fellowship Awards as well as the Durham Emerging Artist Grant. An excellent clinician, Paolantonio has served in schools and colleges in and out of state. He was NC Artist in Residence for three years and has taught jazz improvisation and history at U.N.C.-Chapel Hill, Duke University, North Carolina State University and Elon College. As an accompanist, Paolantonio’s recording credits include 2 cd’s with the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra. One consisted of Benny Goodman’s arrangements and one of Duke Ellington’s compositions. His credits also include Scott Sawyer’s CD “In the Stream”; Group Sax’s three recordings, “A New Level”, “All’s Well” and “Prime Time”; Karen Love’s CD “I Believe in Little Things”; and Dan Axelrod’s LP “New Axe” distributed on the Phoenix record label. “Dedications”, Paolantonio’s first CD, showcases his superb talent as a composer and arranger, and demonstrates his outstanding ability as a jazz improviser. “Dad’s Blues” is Mr. Paolantonio second CD as a leader. Like “Dedications”, his CD is the result of a fellowship award from the N.C. Arts Council. It explores extensive improvisations on both original material and jazz standards and captures the essence of what jazz is all about.

Scott Sawyer

“It’s perfectly understandable why connoisseurs of fine music often refer to Scott Sawyer as a jazz guitarist. It’s because he does the jazz thing so well. He’s an expert at breathing new life into that old graveyard of American Popular Song. By artfully re-investigating this body of familiar melodies and picking through the harmonic bones, Dr. Scott has resuscitated many a standard. Jazz, however, is merely one of the many tools within his gig bag. He fingers the blues electric with the authenticity of someone who has lived them. That’s not all. With country-boy affability, he strums and twangs. Chicken-picks. Shucks. Jives. Funks it up. And then breaks your heart with that one poignant love note that’s soft as an angel’s wing. Like his better-known contemporaries John Scofield & Bill Frisell, Sawyer was weaned on the Beatles, the blues & ‘Bird’. You can hear it in everything he plays, a new kind of guitarspeak comprised of pop, improv and sounds never before heard. It is a language Sawyer uses with authority.” – Joe Vanderford

Ron Brendle

Brendle was drawn to jazz by songs he heard from several sources when he was growing up. There were songs from Edison’s one-sided 78 RPM discs he found in his grandmother’s attic and played on an old wind-up phonograph. Others from his father were from musical comedies, the big bands, and the movies of the 1930s and 1940s. There were songs he heard performed by the great singers of the day: Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Margaret Whiting, and Jo Stafford, among others. Songs were his heritage which propelled Brendle into a life of jazz. Given who he has performed with, Brendle is very flexible when it comes to the type of jazz he plays. But based on those recordings he has been in charge of, he favors a modern improvisional style which allows him and his cohorts to fully develop ideas about the music and the way these ideas are to be fulfilled. Brendle is also a real, live example of a musician who doesn’t need to work in a major city to be recognized as one of the tops in his trade. He has received three awards as Jazz Artist of the Year by Creative Loafing Magazine and is the recipient of the North Carolina Arts Council Jazz Composer Fellowship Grant, which helped to produce his CD Hypermobility. Brendle is first-call bass player in a fairly vibrant Charlotte jazz scene.

Ariel Pocock

25-year-old Ariel Pocock has received international acclaim as an equally captivating jazz pianist, vocalist, and composer. Ariel’s notable performances as a headline act include the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, the Rochester International Jazz Festival, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, the 2014 Jazz Cruise, the Tokyo Jazz Festival, the Quebec City International Jazz Festival, the Stanford Jazz Workshop, and many more. Ariel’s original compositions and songs draw inspiration from a wide array of sources: Cuban and Brazilian folk music, the Great American Songbook, modern jazz composers such as Chick Corea and Brad Mehldau, and songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman, and Paul Simon.

Steve Haines

Steve Haines, double bass, has played with Wycliffe Gordon, Paul Bollenback, Joel Frahm, Ralph Bowen, Joe Chambers, Dick Oatts, Fred Wesley, Adam Nussbaum, Bob Berg, and Joe Williams. His first album as a leader The Steve Haines Quintet: Beginner’s Mind (Artist’s House Records) received international critical acclaim and was hailed as “one of the best inside/outside records of the year.” His newest album as a leader, The Steve Haines Quintet with Jimmy Cobb: Stickadiboom (Zoho records) is available at www.amazon.com, or iTunes. His most recent recording as a sideman is Chad Eby’s Broken Shadows (Cellar Live records), with Doug Wamble, and Jason and Branford Marsalis. He is an associate professor and directs the Miles Davis Program in Jazz Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Haines holds a B.M. in Jazz Performance from St. Francis Xavier University in Canada and a M.M. in Music (Jazz Studies) from the University of North Texas. Haines’ music is published at the University of Northern Colorado Press. Steve orchestrated and arranged the musical Ella: The Life and Music of Ella Fitzgerald. Most recently, he orchestrated Chopin’s piano Mazurka in A minor for full orchestra and jazz quartet. He is a recipient of the North Carolina Jazz Fellowship and is a semi finalist for the 2010 Jazz Knights Commission.

Branon Lee

Jazz trumpeter Brandon Lee was born and raised in Houston, Texas. Growing up in a musical family, Brandon began playing piano at an early age and by age 9 he started his formal training on the trumpet. Brandon excelled on the trumpet throughout his schooling and during his senior year at the Houston High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Brandon was selected by Wynton Marsalis to perform with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra for a Louis Armstrong PBS special. In 2001, Brandon would become one of 18 students selected to become a part of the inaugural class of the Jazz Studies program at the Juilliard School. While at Juilliard, Brandon performed with many of the jazz giants including Benny Golson, Kenny Barron, Ray Brown, Clark Terry and Hank Jones, just to name a few. Brandon represented the jazz program as he has traveled to Ireland, England, Italy, Japan, and Costa Rica, and El Salvador. On many occasions, he taught master classes and performed in major concert halls with the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra. In 2005 Brandon completed his Bachelors of Music degree and in 2007 he completed his Masters of Music degree at The Juilliard School. Brandon plays frequently with his own group and as a sideman in several other groups. Some of the more recent groups include; Tommy Igoe and the Birdland Big Band, The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Kenny Barron Quintet, Kurt Elling, Christian McBride Big Band, David Berger Big Band, Fat Cat Big Band, Alon Yavnai and Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra.

Brenda Morie

“If you like jazz with a contemporary flair and a bit of something extra (it’s a wonderful departure to hear a flute featured predominantly on a jazz record), this will fit your jazz hankerings quite well.”
Allison King of Go Triad

Brenda Morie is Canadian born and from Edmonton, Alberta. As a child music was always important to her and by 18 she joined The Spirit River String Band, touring western Canada, playing banjo, pennywhistles and guitar. At 21, she was leading the popular jazz-rock fusion band, Terra. Soon Brenda became known with numerous television and radio appearances and specials; these included the internationally syndicated The Tommy Banks Show, as well as the national Sun Country Show hosted by Ian Tyson. She also hosted two internationally distributed Brenda Morie CFCN television specials. She frequently performed with guitarist Amos Garrett, known for his unique and infamous style on Maria Muldar’s Midnight At The Oasis. Brenda’s career soon brought her to Southern California where she found herself playing in the company of some of Los Angeles’ top musicians. Co-writing, recording and performing with jazz artist and Doobie Brother’s drummer; Chet McCracken, they reached the jazz chart’s with After the Rain and the appropriately named Through Brenda’s Eyes.