Saturday, April 30, 2016

Jazz guitarist Howard Alden returns to Rim Country

2 pm Sunday, May 22nd, jazz guitarist Howard Alden makes a return visit to the Payson Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St., to perform in a quartet

Joining him will be Devon Bridgewater on violin and trumpet, Steve Douglas on upright string bass, and Gerry Reynolds on the drums. All have had extensive experience playing jazz in the west. The Church and the Payson Friends of Jazz are hosting the event.  A $5 or greater donation is requested.

Downbeat Magazine has recognized Alden’s talents seven times. Music critics have hailed him as possibly the very best jazz guitarist working today. The New Yorker magazine said about Alden “…utter assurance … crystalline sound … each note articulate and complete. His solos are succinct orderly, and swinging.” 

The Jazz Times said “Howard Alden may be the best of his generation” and the Newark Star Ledger proclaimed he is “the most impressive and creative member of a new generation of jazz artists.”  Alden has worked with some of the best in jazz, but perhaps the most significant person in shaping his music career was his mentor, the all-time great guitarist, George Van Eps. Besides the long line of appearances he makes each year, including Brazil and Europe more recently, and working and living in New York City for most of his career, Alden found the time to record more than three dozen albums for Concord Records over a span of 15 years.

In what was the most significant event in the history of the Payson jazz program, which began in 2002, Howard Alden appeared in Payson last November. It was thought that performance would be the series finale, because future support was uncertain. But he gave new life to the series, and so the series continues with his return on May 22nd.

It is very important for those who love live jazz programming that the Church is again filled on May 22nd. Jazz still lives, and hopefully it will continue to live in Payson.

An RSVP to, or a telephone message to 602-619-3355 with name and the number of those attending will be very helpful. However, the Church doors will remain pen to anyone who wants to attend.

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