VICTOR 'RED' ATKINS
The Sound Wall Jazz Series
World-class Performance, Arts Education, and Community Enrichment
AMERICAN ART MUSIC
“Victor Atkins has an arranger’s sense of how music should move.” – Zoe Anglesey, DownBeat Magazine
We are thrilled to welcome renowned New Orleans pianist VICTOR “RED” ATKINS and his band to Opelika as the fourth installment of The Sound Wall Jazz Series, March 21-23, 2024. Performing the music of New Orleans’ Modern Masters, he will bring with him some of the city’s top players, namely Derek Douget on saxophones, Adonis Rose on drums, and Jason Stewart on bass.
Atkins spent 20 years as pianist and staff arranger for the Grammy Award winning New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO). He has toured the world with artists such as the Elvin Jones Jazz Machine, Mark Whitfield, and Nnenna Freelon, among others, and has shared the stage with luminaries including Freddie Hubbard, Jimmie Heath, and Nicholas Payton.
Atkins’ playing has been featured on television and movie soundtracks including The Green Book, NCIS: New Orleans, Treme, The Tonight Show, and Good Morning America among others. His arrangements can be heard on The Songs of Allen Toussaint featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater and Dr. John, Petit Fleur featuring Cyrille Aimée, and “Great Jazz,” a Kultura-TV jazz competition television series in Russia as well as albums by Wynton Marsalis and Ellis Marsalis, Aaron Neville, and the ABC-TV show Moon Over Miami. His compositions can be heard on releases by the Headhunters and the Billboard and Downbeat Award-winning, Grammy-nominated Los Hombres Calientes.
Organizations such as the New Orleans Jazz Institute, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University have commissioned Atkins to create original compositions and arrangements commemorating dignitaries and events. His music appears in Per(Sister): Incarcerated Women of Louisiana, a traveling exhibition that has resided at museums and venues including the Ford Foundation Gallery in NYC.
Currently, Atkins is working with NOJO on Sacred Spaces, a commission by Jacqueline Lyle of Performing Arts Serving Acadiana in Louisiana for a collaboration between Cleo Parker Robinson Dance and Adonis Rose to create a large-scale production inspired by recent church burnings in Louisiana. He teaches music at the University of New Orleans where he holds the Danny Barker Endowed Professorship.
SCHEDULE AND TICKET INFORMATION
THURSDAY MARCH 21 – Dinner & Jazz Show
Ticket includes New Orleans-Inspired small plate dinner by Chef Chris Wilton
6:30pm – Dinner
7:30pm – Jazz Show with Victor ‘Red’ Atkins
ABOUT THE JAZZ SERIES
The Sound Wall Jazz Series presents throughout the year a collection of weekend jazz residencies where world-class artists come to share their music’s vibrant energy. Audiences experience sensitive and spontaneous performances in the listening room of The Sound Wall, an intimate music venue and former historic home repurposed in historic downtown Opelika, AL.
Each show is paired with a master class the following day where visiting artists offer insights into the creative process.
ABOUT THE MASTER CLASS
The Saturday morning master class features our guest artists making some amazing music while creating space for an interactive experience with participants. Those who want to play should ideally be teenage and adult musicians with at least one-year of experience performing on their instrument or voice. But playing or not, ALL ARE INVITED to learn about improvisation, composition, and performance technique and generally join in on in-depth discussions about music and the creative practice. Coffee is provided by Boonie Hat Coffee Company, and we’ll have delicious muffins or pastries for everyone.