MAM After Hours: Art Meets Jazz

03/07/2019 07:00 PM - 09:00 PM ET


Special Events


An Evening with the Steve Turre Quintet

Presented in partnership with MAM’s African American Cultural Committee.

Art Meets Jazz promises to wow you with a jazz performance unlike any other! Featuring jazz innovator, trombonist, and seashellist Steve Turre, this unbelievable set will include an introduction with Newark’s first lady of jazz, Dorthaan Kirk.

Steve Turre is one of the world’s preeminent jazz innovators; a trombonist and seashellist who has consistently won both the Readers’ and Critics’ polls in JazzTimesDownbeat, and Jazziz for Best Trombone and for Best Miscellaneous Instrumentalist (shells).

Born to Mexican-American parents, he grew up in the San Francisco Bay area where he absorbed a wide array of sounds including daily doses of mariachi, blues, and jazz. That background would turn out to be influential for his career that has included collaborations with Ray CharlesArt Blakely’s Jazz Messengers, and the Escovedo Brothers, and a spot in the house band for Saturday Night Live since 1984. 

Turre has a strong command of all musical genres and when it comes to his distinct brand of jazz, he always keeps one foot in the past and one in the future.

“Few artists own their instrument to the degree that trombonist Steve Turre does. Whether playing the music of Rahsaan Roland Kirk, performing as a member of the “Saturday Night Live” house band or with one of his own units, his voice is distinctive and memorable.”

–James Hale, Downbeat, September 2018


Online ticket sales are closed. A limited number of tickets will be sold at the door.

$20 Members / $25 Nonmembers

Bar service—cash and credit card accepted!

Proceeds support enhanced educational outreach and accessible programs for children



And image of Steve Turre playing a seashellAbout Steve Turre

While attending Sacramento State University, Turre joined the Escovedo Brothers salsa band, which began his career-long involvement with that genre. In 1972 Steve Turre’s career picked up momentum when Ray Charles hired him to go on tour. A year later Turre’s mentor Woody Shaw brought him into Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. After his tenure with Blakey, Turre went on to work with a diverse list of musicians from the jazz, Latin, and pop worlds, including Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, J.J. Johnson, Herbie Hancock, Lester Bowie, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Van Morrison, Pharoah Sanders, Horace Silver, Max Roach, and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. The latter introduced him to the seashell as an instrument. While touring in Mexico City with Woody Shaw, Turre’s relatives informed him that his ancestors similarly played the shells. Since then, Turre has incorporated seashells into his diverse musical style.


In addition to performing as a member of the Saturday Night Live Band since 1984, Turre leads several different ensembles. Sanctified Shells utilizes the seashell in a larger context, transforming his horn section into a “shell choir”. Turre’s Spring 1999 Verve release, Lotus Flower, showcases his Sextet With Strings. The recording explores many great standards and original compositions arranged by Turre fora unique instrumentation of trombone and shells, violin, cello, piano, bass and drums. Turre’s quartet and quintet provide a setting based in tradition and stretching the limits conceptually and stylistically. In the Summer of 2000, Telarc released In The Spur of the Moment. This recording features Steve with three different quartets, each with a different and distinct master pianist: Ray Charles, Chucho Valdes, and Stephen Scott.


Turre’s self-titled Verve release pioneers a unique artistic vision, drawing upon jazz, Afro-Cuban, and Brazilian sources. This innovative recording also features Cassandra Wilson, Randy Brecker, Graciela, Mongo Santamariaand J.J. Johnson. Previously Turre recorded Right There and Rhythm Within, featuring Herbie Hancock, Jon Faddis, Pharoah Sanders, and Sanctified Shells, on Verve’s subsidiary label, Antilles.

For more information, please contact Christine Walia, Assistant Director, Special Events, at 973-259-5143 or