THE SERIOUS YOUNG Musicians lived up to their advance billing, as they put on an exciting and impressive concert recently before an appreciative crowd at the Martin Luther King Complex. The concert was a fund-raiser for the re-election campaign of Senate Minority Leader Ben Espy (D- Columbus).
“I told you this group was great,” Espy told the crowd at the conclusion of the concert. “They are geniuses, and I cannot wait to have them come back.”
Espy said he was hopeful he would be able to arrange another local concert for the group soon. A concert in conjunction with a Martin Luther King Jr. celebration in January was mentioned as a possibility.
If you would have listened to the concert from backstage, you would assume that you were listening to jazz musicians with decades of experience each. However, each of the Serious Young Musicians were born just over a decade ago.
The featured musicians are each 12 years old, with just a few years of musical experience. The group includes 12-year-olds Brittany Cole on flute, Andrew Allison on tenor sax, Chris McMahon on (standup) trumpet, Donte Grier on drums, Aaron Holbrook on alto sax and Devon Newsome on trumpet. Their adult manager and composer is Tumust Allison, who also plays keyboards.
SYM’s 90-minute set included several original songs. Each original song allowed the individual members to showcase their talents through instrumental solos. They also played an impressive set of covers. These songs included ”Take the ‘A’ Train” by Duke Ellington, “Cantelope Island” by Herbie Hancock, Thelonius Monk’s “I Wish,” and “Killer Joe” by Quincy Jones.
“More than a few people came up to me after the concert and told me that they played a musical instrument when they were 12 years old,” Espy said. “But they said they couldn’t even comprehend having reached the level of Serious Young Musicians.”
Espy said the SYM concert made his fundraising event a success.
“Everyone enjoyed the sow, and I’m sure many of them will attend the next local concert by the Serious Young Musicians,” Espy said. SYM made their professional debut two years ago, opening for Pieces of a Dream.
They have appeared on the “CBS Morning News,” “Jazz from the City,” “Promising Young Stars” and “Tribute to Miles Davis.”
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