News & Updates


The Chicago Tribune - Best jazz recordings of 2018: Virelles, Harris and Owens make charismatic sounds

Ulysses Owens, Jr.: “Songs of Freedom” (Somethin’ Cool). Last spring, drummer Owens brought his ambitious “Songs of Freedom” suite to the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts, the work emerging as a potent reflection on music of the 1960s – and its message of civil rights.

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The Roanoke Times - In 'Songs of Freedom,' jazzer Rene Marie helps celebrate classic jazz vocalists

The songbooks for three great singers who emerged in the 1960s — Nina Simone, Abbey Lincoln and Joni Mitchell — are too vast to be easily corralled. Read more here >

wjct - Don’t Miss A Beat Aims To Fight Youth Violence With Help From City Grant Money

The City of Jacksonville’s Kids Hope Alliance is offering mini grants for programs designed to fight youth violence, and organizations like Don’t Miss a Beat are benefiting from those dollars.

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The Florida Times - UNF music mentors strike a cord with Jacksonville kids

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DownBeat Magazine -

Designing Your Career — The Missing Link in Jazz Education

by Ulysses Owens Jr.

Thats Mag - 5 Best Live Music Shows in Beijing This Week

Blue Note Beijing hosts multi award-winning drummer and percussionist for an unforgettable two-night performance. Read more here >

Jacksonville Free Press - Youth Camp “Doesn’t Miss a Beat” Highlighting Campers Artistic and Creative Talents

This past weekend Don’t Miss a Beat (DMAB) nonprofit held their third annual summer camp finale performance in front of hundreds of family, friends and staff members. One hundred and twenty five campers participated in the “FAME” themed finale. Read more here >

DownBeat Magazine Feature - Songs of Freedom

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Rochester City Newspaper - Jazz Fest 2018, Day 6: Daniel reviews ‘Songs of Freedom,’ Shake Stew, and Ghost-Note with MonoNeon

Drummer Ulysses Owens Jr.’s “Songs of Freedom” was a different kind of American Songbook concert. For this performance, Owens and his band looked no further than a trio of powerhouse singer-songwriters from the 1960’s — Nina Simone, Abbey Lincoln, and Joni Mitchell — to conjure up the sounds of liberation. Read more here >

WXIINEWS - Jazz Fest Day 6: Songs of Freedom

“Songs of Freedom” is entertaining, if that’s what you wanted. Provocative, if that’s what you’re searching for. Read more here >

WXIINEWS - Spevak's Preview: The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival

The press releases have grown so familiar in the past few years, they could almost be a chanted mantra as the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival draws nearer. Read more here >

Manchester Journal - Pipeline Series to feature Williams, Oscar-winner Parsons

DORSET — Academy Award-winning actor Estelle Parsons and local favorite Treat Williams are among the cast members for the Dorset Theatre Festival's "Pipeline Series," each one-night only productions to be staged at the Dorset Playhouse this summer. Read more here >

2 Posters Unveiled For 2018 Jacksonville Jazz Festival 

Unique art has been a part of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival since 1980 with an official event poster unveiled each year.This year the festival is featuring two poster designs created by local artist Jeff Whipple. Read more here >

Jacksonville Free Press - Celebrity Chef Brings ‘Harlem Down South’ with Food for the Soul

Celebrity Chef Alexander Smalls headlined the “Harlem Down South,” brunch and book signing event benefitting Don’t Miss a Beat (DMAB), a local non-profit with a mission to blend music, art, academic achievement and civic engagement to inspire youth in the Riverside, Brooklyn and Woodstock communities. Read more here >

The Chicago Tribune - 'Songs of Freedom' digs into bracing music of the 1960s

The transcendent moment in “Songs of Freedom,” drummer Ulysses Owens Jr.’s reflection on music of the turbulent 1960s, sneaked up on listeners. Read more here > 

The Mercury News - 2 jazz shows for the Black Lives Matter era come to SF Bay Area this weekend

From Louis Armstrong’s 1929 recording of “(What Did I Do to Be So) Black and Blue” and the clarion 1960 project “We Insist! (Max Roach’s Freedom Now Suite)” through pianist Glenn Horiuchi’s 1989 album “Manzanar Voices,” jazz has long been in the vanguard of the struggle for freedom and racial justice. Read more here >

New York Times - Conquering High-Priced Shanghai, From Dumplings to Modern Art

The music in Shanghai is as compelling as its art, and I saw a number of live music shows over the course of my stay. Jazz is one popular import, and I headed out one night to watch the smoking-hot Ulysses Owens Jr. Quartet at Jazz at Lincoln Center Shanghai. Read more here >

Jazz in Europe - Ulysses Owens Jr. Takes Swing Collective to Jazz at Lincoln Center

Representing five different countries of origin, the Swing Collective brought its hard-swinging sound to The Appel Room on March 23–24. This spectacular gathering of talent included Chilean saxophonist Melissa Adana, Trinidadian trumpeter Etienne Charles, Cuban pianist Elio Villafranca, Japanese bassist Yasushi Nakaumra, and Jacksonville, Florida drummer Ulysses Owens. Read more here >

The Exponent - Convocations performance to explore the meaning of freedom

The music of three unlikely jazz artists combines in Purdue Convocations' Thursday performance of "Songs of Freedom." Read more here >

 

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The Tri State Defender - Memphis Jazz Workshop rolls on with Ulysses Owens Jr. 

Ulysses Owens Jr. is more than just some (Grammy winning) jazz dude. Sure, his music is great and all but he truly thinks – and lives – beyond the art. He is the embodiment of “doing well by doing good.” Read more here >

Just My Memphis-

Multi-GRAMMY Award Winner, Ulysses Owens Jr., Talks of Jazz and Students. Read more here>

Modern Drummer - Must have Gear with Ulysses Owens Jr. 

During his long tenures with the jazz stars Christian McBride and Kurt Elling, Ulysses Owens Jr. aspired to build his own standing as a leader. Read more here > 

Connect Savannah - Coastal Jazz's Monthly Concert with Ulysses Owens, Jr. @Ben Tucker Pavilion at Westin Savannah Golf Resort & Spa read more here >

Fascinating rhythm - Grammy winner mentors Clay band students

It’s not every day that students get to learn from someone who has earned one of the top honors in their field, but that’s what happened Monday at Oakleaf Junior High.
Jacksonville native and two-time Grammy award winning jazz drummer Ulysses Owens Jr. held a clinic for the Oakleaf Junior High School Jazz Band. Read more here >

Jazz Corner - Pianist Ryan Slatko Releases Debut Album "First Impressions" That Features Original Works And Line-Up Of Leading Artists read more here >

New York Times-

The Playlist: Gregory Porter Celebrates Nat King Cole and 8 More New Songs

Gregory Porter’s new album “Nat King Cole and Me” pays tribute to one of his strongest influences. Read more here >

Falling Forward with Ulysses Owens Jr.

Ulysses Owens Jr.'s recent release "Falling Forward" is a wonderful vibraphone trio exploration, following the spirit of other great vibe trio albums such as Gary Burton's "New Vibe Man in Town" and Victor Feldman's "The Arrival of Victor Feldman". Read more here >

Top 20 NJ Arts Events of the Week

People want music: Ulysses Owens Speaks / Jazz Speaks

Ulysses Owens Jr. is indisputably one of the most sought-after drummers and producers of his generation. Longtime sideman for Christian McBride and Kurt Elling, Owens breathes air and life into the drums, with crisp, decisive strokes. Read more here >

Ulysses Owens Jr. In Conversation With Ruth Fish Listen Here>

The New York City Jazz Record Reviews Falling Forward

On his latest album, Ulysses Owens, Jr. eschews the usual prerogatives of the drummer as leader, forgoing bombastic showcases for his prowess and not showcasing his own compositions, although his astute arranging chops are amply demonstrated. Read more here >

Pop, Rock and Jazz in NYC This Week

When not working as a sideman for the bassist Christian McBride, Mr. Owens, a drummer, has been quietly compiling an impressive catalog of recordings as a leader. Read more here >

Ulysses Owens Jr. and New Century Jazz Quintet Celebrate Many Things At Jazz Standard (Show Review)

Led by the Grammy-winning drummer Ulysses Owens Jr. and the pianist Takeshi Ohbayashi, the Quintet allowed few rests, save for the occasional audience interaction. “We are celebrating many things,” Owens said, after opening with the album’s joyous up-tempo title track. “I love these guys very deeply.” Read More >

Jazz 90.1 with Ulysses Owens Jr.

Derrick had a thoughtful conversation with Ulysses Owens Jr. outside Christ Church at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival! Watch here >

And on Drums, Jazzmen Who Take The Lead

His background explains why he might need to stress that idea. At 31, he has been heard backing the singer Kurt Elling and others, but his flagship affiliation is with the bassist Christian McBride, in a trio and big band that both stand on a bedrock of tradition. Read More >

New Group Dont Miss A Beat to Release New Album "My Destiny" on July 28th, 2017

The debut album comprises twelve original compositions written and recorded by the center’s production team, and performance troupe called the “Don’t Miss A Beat All Stars”; it was produced this past April in Manhattan, NY. Read More >

Owens and Friends Honor Ellington at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola

In a celebration of “Ellington And Beyond,” the immensely talented drummer Ulysses Owens Jr. and his equally brilliant quartet brought a bold, endearing vision of the Duke’s music to Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in Manhattan on April 29–30 as part of the International Jazz Day festivities. Read More >

Ulysses Owens Jr.: Onward and Upward

There’s such a sense of ease to Ulysses Owens’ third album as a leader, you know the 31-year-old drummer has strongly benefited from his work as a sideman with such high-profile artists as Christian McBride, Kurt Elling and Mulgrew Miller. A collection of relaxed-in-the-groove numbers including three pop-soul covers, Onward and Upward invests heavily in airy melodies even as Owens asserts himself rhythmically. Read More >