Bleu Orleans | New Orleans Jazz with a contemporary twist
There are few places more fertile or nurturing for young musicians than New Orleans. For trumpeter Edward Anderson and pianist Darrell Lavigne growing up in the birthplace of jazz provided a banquet of musical experiences where they formally studied and casually interacted with generations of elder musicians including such legends as Ellis Marsalis, Kid Jordan, Alvin Batiste and Harold Battiste. It has been 20 years since Edward and Darrell first professionally crossed paths ensuing a musical brotherhood that has continued to evolve driven by a shared passion and vision to create music reflective of the “here and now”. Fast forward to today, with 3 CD’s to their credit, the group Bleu Orleans continues to produce and perform masterful music that simultaneously gives homage to the past while remaining forward thinking and inspired by an ever evolving world.
Transformation, Bleu Orleans’ latest effort is described by Anderson as an artistic expression of optimism, steadfast, and resilience in a rapidly evolving world full of challenges. Consisting as a mixture of uplifting and emotionally stirring arrangements the group maneuvers and improvises confidently within a convergence of Caribbean, urban, and New Orleans grooves enhanced with classical influences. Transformation features noteworthy guest stars including keyboard icon Patrice Rushen, the legendary percussionist Bill Summers of Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters, Grammy nominated drummer Terence Higgins, drummer Mark Simmons from the Al Jarreau group, and string members from the Louisiana Philharmonic Symphony.
Edward Anderson, Ph.D. / Trumpet
Dr. Edward Anderson holds a broad range of professional experience as a musician. Trained in both jazz performance and classical composition he studied with diverse masters most notably Ellis Marsalis, Victor Goines, Maria Schneider, and classical composer Dinos Constantinides. Awarded modern trumpeter of the year in New Orleans Magazine he has performed nationally and internationally and has written and arranged music for New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and the LSU Symphonic Orchestra. Most recently he has worked closely with award winning author-playwright Jackie Alexander. With Darrell Lavigne as his creative team member, they have written the score for Alexanders highly acclaimed plays Brothers from the Bottom starring Wendell Pierce, The High Priestess of Dark Alley and Anderson will perform in Alexander’s upcoming reboot production of Jelly’s Last Jam in early 2017.
Darrell Lavigne/ Pianist
Darrell Lavigne has performed on stages around the world. As a developing musician his jazz focus materialized under the tutelage of composer Roger Dickerson whom he credits along with his father a non-musician for introducing him a wide range of musical influences including Monk, Bud Powell, Ahmad Jamal, Hancock and Corea, Charlie Parker, Trane, Miles, Ellington, Basie and Stan Kenton”.
Darrell’s has become one of the most sought after pianist in the South where he resides between New Orleans and Houston Texas.. In 2015 Lavigne served as keyboardist in the B.B. King Tribute Band closing out the festival in an epic performance featuring Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt, and Dr. John, Over the years he has performed with other notable legends including Bill Summers, Hugh Masekela, Kirk Whalum, and Oleta Adams, Donald Harrison, and Chuck Loeb. In 2002 he was selected the best contemporary pianist and jazz all-star, an award given annually by New Orleans Magazine. He also continues to produce and write for artists like Marion Meadows, Michael Ward, Kyle Turner amongst others. He has been a faculty member of the Louis Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp since 2000 and has performed numerous jazz awareness and Arts in Education Workshops.