CelebratingMaya@96 Presents: Benefit Jazz Brunch

CelebratingMaya@96 is thrilled to announce the launch of its month-long series of events with the highly anticipated CelebratingMaya@96 Benefit Jazz Brunch, set to take place on April 6, 2024. This dynamic celebration of legacy and community will unfold at the elegant Chenal Venue, located at 21 Rahling Cir, Little Rock, AR 72223, promising attendees an immersive experience filled with delectable cuisine, soulful music, and heartfelt camaraderie.

Headlining the Jazz Brunch will be the talented Curtis JJ Adams. Backed by the acclaimed Sounds So Good Jazz Quartet, transporting guests on a journey through the rich traditions of jazz and gospel music.

Beyond the enchanting musical entertainment, the Jazz Brunch will also serve as a fundraiser for CelebratingMaya@96’s ambitious initiative to renovate a historic 100-year-old home in the Little Rock Central High School district. This transformative project aims to preserve a vital piece of local history and create a vibrant community space that honors Maya Angelou’s enduring legacy of resilience, creativity, and social justice.

Tickets for the CelebratingMaya@96 Benefit Jazz Brunch are available for purchase, with proceeds directly benefiting the organization’s renovation efforts. Attendees can anticipate a sumptuous brunch spread, live entertainment by Curtis JJ Adams and the Sounds So Good Jazz Quartet, and the chance to connect with fellow supporters who share a passion for honoring Maya Angelou’s enduring legacy.

Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity to be a part of a celebration that honors the past, celebrates the present, and inspires the future. Join us at the Chenal Venue on April 6th for an unforgettable afternoon filled with music, community, and goodwill.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit our Eventbrite.

Curtis Adams Bio

Curtis JJ Adams is a native of North Pulaski County, being raised in the Rixey Community on the outskirts of North Little Rock Arkansas. His musical platform started with his father, jazz bassist and valve trombonist, Albert Jamaica Jive Adams, in Rochester New York. Albert played with countless jazz icons, including bassist Ron Carter, Horace Silvers, Archie Shepp, etc. Curtis was back and forth between Arkansas and Rochester, New York during the summers . His father instilled in I’m his love for jazz. 

Curtis was taught formal music at the age of 5 years old. He started playing organ and piano for his home church, St Luke Bapt Church in the Rixey community, outside of North Little Rock Arkansas. He played organ while traveling with the famous North Little Rock based gospel quartet , the Famed Spiritual Harmonizers. He was tutored via private formal piano lessons by his grandparents , Horace and Clara Lewis and music teacher Mrs Doris Norman at Pulaski County/Harris High school in Mcalmont Arkansas. He was privately tutored on piano by renown West Coast pianist Mrs. Bethel Mayfield. 

Curtis’s first love was the Hammond B3 organ . He started playing organ in his early teens and was quickly hired by several recording groups around the Little Rock Arkansas music scene. His idols were jazz organists Jimmy Smith, Joey Defrancisco, Jimmy Mcgriff and Brother Jack Mcduff. 

Curtis attended Shorter College in North Little Rock Arkansas in 1965, where he majored in Music under the auspices of Mrs Ruell Cone. While attending Shorter College, Curtis played for the Shorter College Choir. Curtis formed a jazz trio, sponsored by then college president , Dr Reginald Jeffery Hampton. Lee Anthony, a local record shop owner, heard Curtis play the Hammond B3 Organ at an event and asked Curtis to come to his studio , True Soul Records in Little Rock and lay some musical tracks . 

Then began a musical relationship where Anthony introduced Curtis to several local musicians and the music scene was on. Curtis has played with several jazz, gospel, R&B groups and has opened for many bands in his musical career. He organized the Jamaica Jive trio in honor of his father, Albert Jamaica Jive Adams in 1970. Albert was a jazz double bass player and valve trombonist in Rochester, New York. Curtis was motivated by bassist and pianist Thomas East, a local Little Rock musician. He played with the Little Rock based rock group, Black Sunshine , R&B group Joy. , and Lorenzo Smith and Classic Funk. 

He also played with the Little Rock based gospel group , The Porter Singers, the Famous Spiritual Harmonizers, Kings Highway and others. His groups have opened for several renown artists of various genres. Some are Mahalia Jackson, Andrae Crouch , Blind Boys, Canton Spirituals, Chaka Khan, the London Band, War, the Bar Kays, Art Porter Jr, Cameron Ross, Pharaoh Sanders, Kirk Whalum and many more. Curtis also played with the Original AfterThought Band . 

He also managed the modern jazz quintet Sounds So Good and presently performs with the Little Rock based jazz band the “Modern Jazz Collective”. He also is a piano instructor, having taught at Adams Music School and at R and R Music Studio in Sherwood Arkansas for Rod Romes, owner and piano teacher . He presently resides in Sherwood Arkansas.

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