August 2009 Convention
New York, NY

Billy Kerr in Concert

Billy Kerr

Billy Kerr

For his debut NFA concert, LA-based jazz flutist Billy Kerr teamed up with his long-time friend, a Connecticut-based jazz dynamo, pianist Joyce DiCamillo, and her first-rate, New York-based bassist Yoshi Waki. The trio presented a well-balanced, exciting program that featured three original compositions written and arranged by Kerr; two jazz standards, “Anthropology” by C. Parker and “Moment’s Notice” by Coltrane; and a haunting jazz arrangement of Bach’s Siciliano, which began with Kerr’s faithful performance of the second movement of J. S. Bach’s Flute Sonata No. 2 in Eb Major and followed with a more creative, improvised section over a very hip set of changes à la Kerr. From his original samba “Northern Samba,” to standard bebop repertoire, to Bach, Kerr comfortably switched among piccolo and C and alto flutes during the set. The audience was treated to the real thing when it comes to both jazz flute and jazz tradition, as both DiCamillo and Waki were heavily featured in the program.

Kerr’s second NFA performance of the week was as a member of the NFA Jazz Flute Big Band on Saturday night. Kerr conducted and soloed on one of the two original pieces he wrote and arranged for the JFBB ensemble. His playing, conducting, composing, and arranging skills were all welcome additions to the JFBB Cabaret performance as well as the NFA. I look forward to seeing and hearing more of Billy Kerr at future conventions!

—Ali Ryerson