The Kennedy Center

Victor Provost Synthesis Quartet



Biography

Victor Provost; Steel Pan
Victor Provost is one of those rare musicians that can transcend the expectations of instrument and genre. With appearances at the DC Jazz Festival, The Kennedy Center, Dizzy's Club Coca Cola (Jazz at Lincoln Center), the Umbria Jazz Festival, Pure Jazz Den Haag, and at major venues throughout North America, the Caribbean, and Europe, he has been meticulously solidifying his reputation as a master of the Steel Pan and crafting an improvisational voice and style to be reckoned with. Provost's ability to extemporaneously weave through chord changes and tonalities with accuracy and conviction, while being thoughtful and creative, often elicits the statement "I didn't know a steel pan could do that". He is one of a handful of pan players in the world who have incorporated a Bebop foundation into his playing, and arguably, the only one who has expounded on that vocabulary with a modern sensibility and style.

In 1998, Provost became the first steel pan player to be featured as a solo artist at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy. The experience boosted both his confidence in the craft and his musical concept. Since his move to the United States in 1999, Provost has had the fortune of studying with juazz Guru Charlie Banacos, as well as shared the stage with the likes of Jazz super stars Bobby Thomas Jr., Dwayne Dolphin, Lafayette Harris Jr., Tarus Mateen, Etienne Charles, Terrell Stafford, Essiet Essiet, Wycliffe Gordon, Reginald Cyntje, Rashawn Ross, Reuben Rogers, Dion Parson, Ron Blake, Warren Wolf, and Nicholas Payton to name a few.

Along with a demanding performance schedule, Provost also works with the Cultural Academy For Excellence, the premier steel pan music education program in the eastern U.S. and teaches private lessons. Victor's first CD as a band leader, Her Favorite Shade of Yellow, will be released this summer.

Victor Provost endorses Innovative Percussion Steel Pan mallets.

Noble Jolley; Piano
Jazz pianist, composer, producer and arranger from Washington, DC., exhibited musical ability at a young age. Noble received his B.M. in Jazz Studies from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University with a 3.8 GPA. An inquisitive child, Noble taught himself to play harmonica when he was 3, followed shortly with the accordion. His formal music training began at the age of 5 when he studied viola at the renowned DC Youth Orchestra Program, and where he be gan studying trumpet at the age of 8. During this time, Noble would sit at the piano creating what his mother called "Gershwin-like melodies." Noble fell in love with the piano, and eventually began taking formal piano lessons, while receiving theory lessons from his father. Noble's father was the late jazz guitarist, Noble Jolley, Sr., who earned the first degree in Jazz Studies from Howard University in 1977. Noble has performed with the Peabody Conservatory Jazz Lab Band, the Peabody Conservatory Latin Jazz Band, the Peabody Jazz Orchestra, and the Washington Jazz Arts Institute Orchestra. Noble performs with his own jazz group, the Noble Jolley Group, with his twin brother, Nathan Jolley, jazz percussionist, as the Jolley Twins, and with his sister, R&B harpist/singer Rashida Jolley. He has opened in concerts that featured Ron Carter, James Moody, John Legend, and Gary Bartz, to name a few. Noble was selected by Rufus Reid to be a participant in the Ravinia Jazz Festival in Chicago, IL in June 2006. He has performed at the BET Jazz Festival in Antigua, St. Lucia, Anguilla, and Bonaire. Noble recently released a CD with drummer and twin brother Nate Jolley entitled Memoirs Between Brothers

Herman Burney; Bass
Born in Washington, D.C. and raised in North Carolina, Herman was initiated into "Jazz" by Bill Bright in Winston-Salem, whose musical legacy lives through the many people he helped during his physical life here on earth. "Bill Bright personally took me under his wing, made me practice, allowed me (with my incredibly sad bass playing) to join the Bill Bright Quintet, gave me my first gigs on acoustic bass, taught me about chord changes, and loaned me Charles Mingus and Thelonius Monk albums to check out so we could play it together!! Make no mistake ... Bill Bright single-handedly started me on my Jazz journey ... A true student and fan of jazz music, Herman often gives his time and effort to the support of future jazz musicians. “Milt Hinton, John Clayton, Bob Cranshaw, Ray Brown, Victor Gaskin, John Heard, Keter Betts, Freddy Cole, George Duvivier, Percy Heath, and Rufus Reid have shared so much with me that it is incumbent upon me to pass it along to others … I just can't keep this information to myself.” To this end, and when his schedule permits, Herman enjoys working at music camps, presenting workshops, teaching private students, and educating audiences. “Jazz audiences are generally well informed people who MUST be considered at all times; playing in Freddy Cole’s band for over 4yrs really taught me this lesson. (Freddy) Cole taught me to assemble the musical presentation based on audience demographics, NOT necessarily what I want to play. Therefore, as a musician, I am responsible for learning as much music as possible in order to choose songs carefully that positively impact an audience." Herman has traveled all over the world establishing his impressive list of performance credentials as bassist with Nnenna Freelon, Marcus Roberts, Freddy Cole, Wynton Marsalis, Sonny Fortune, Harry Pickens, Eric Alexander, Wycliffe Gordon, Rene Marie, Monty Alexander, Etta Jones, Oscar Brown, Red Holloway, Natalie Cole, Cedar Walton, and Eric Reed. Herman has also played with Hank Jones, Milt Hinton, Ellis Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Terrell Stafford, Frank Wess, Carl Allen, and Etta Jones, and many, many others. Herman recently released his first CD entitled "Offering"

Amin Gumbs; Drums
A native of St. Thomas, VI, Amin Gumbs studied with John Ramsey and Johnny Le Lane while earning a Bachelor of Music degree from Easter Illinois University. He then taught and performed for two years in St. Thomas with local greats Carl Powell, Joe Ramsey, Jerry Harris, Luis Taylor and Roan Creque. Amin has performed with a wide range of artists. He has shared the stage with Jazz greats Ron Blake, Reginald Cyntje, Herman Burney, and Reuben Rogers. At twelve years of age he performed with Gospel great Bobby Jones. Mr. Gumbs orchestral resume includes the Danville (IL) Orchestra, and the Annapolis (MD) Symphony Orchestra as well as the Bay Street Brassworks brass quintet. As a soloist, Amin has given clinics at the United States (IL) Percussion Camp, and the Encore (VI) Music Camp. He won several solo competitions including the Vitelco Classical Music Competition. As a composer Amin Gumbs has had his works performed by the Eastern Illinois Percussion Ensemble and the Towson University Percussion Ensemble. Gumbs is also an in-demand session drummer and producer.

Watch Past Performances

Video 6/2/2015: Victor Provost Quartet

The D.C.-based steelpan player and his quartet perform music from his soon-to-be-recorded project Bright Eyes.

Victor Provost