Nine-year-old jazz drum prodigy, Isaiah Williams and his Washington DC-based band, The Isaiah Williams Project will host their first solo billing event ever, A Memorial Day Jazz Concert to be held on Saturday May 29, 2004 at 6:00 P.M. and Sunday, May 30, 2004 at 7:00 p.m. at the Nannie J. Lee Center, 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria, VA.
Isaiah, who has been tapping out beats and picking up drumsticks since before he could walk and can be seen on home video playing his drum set at age 1, began performing publicly at age 2. The diminutive Little Drummer Boy®, while dwarfed by his drum kit, is a giant talent. Often compared to a young Tony Williams, Isaiah already has 11 professional endorsements including Vater Percussion sticks engraved with his name, Sabian cymbals and a custom DW drum kit, painted bright yellow with green trim and red accents in honor of the late Tony Williams, that has become Isaiah’s trademark.
As impressive as his endorsements is this the young jazz percussionist’s extensive resume. He won "Apollo Kids" at 5 and appeared on "Jenny Jones "that week, headlined at the Lincoln Theater in Washington DC at 6 and performed at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame at 7. At 8, he recorded his first CD, a rhythm and jazz album entitled "Let the Kid Play"
, after being discovered by Drumitarist, Roy "Futureman" Wooten of multiple Grammy winner, "Bela Fleck & the Flecktones", at the Summer NAMM show in July 2003 where he first saw Isaiah play in 2002. Says Wooten, himself a three-time Grammy winner, "What struck me the most was that at the tender age of only 8 years, Isaiah could consistently play with a group and was playing at a level ready to record."
Adds "Dave Matthews Band" drummer, Carter Beauford of the little kid who has jammed with Stanley Clarke, "I wish I had the facilities at 8 years old that this kid here did. He’s already inside the music-taking it to different places and different levels-makin’ it work, makin’ it talk, makin’ it breathe-that’s the key. He’s way on his way to becoming one of the greatest musicians ever."
"Flecktones" saxophonist, Jeff Coffin and bassist, Victor Wooten perform on the CD produced by Isaiah’s father, Drue Williams, and co-produced by Roy Wooten who also plays on the album. Isaiah’s own composition, "Feel’n Good" is featured on his freshman effort, which was recorded in Victor Wooten’s Nashville, TN studio. Isaiah also did his first East Coast tour earlier this year with Futureman and will continue that tour, appearing with Wooten at the Richmond Jazz Society’s "Pocahontas Premieres!" Series at Pocohontas State Park on June 12, 2004.
The other members of "The Isaiah Williams Project" are equally talented and accomplished, including, Drue Williams, the group’s manager and bass guitarist, himself a child prodigy whose professional career began at 11 years old in his father’s gospel quartet, The Ohio Silvertones. Williams, a songwriter, has seven of his own professional endorsements including his Conklin bass guitar. On keyboard will be James Dudley, a professional musician since age 15 who recorded a CD and toured with the "Washington Fellowship Mass Choir". He has held positions as music director and organist/keyboardist for some of the Washington DC area’s largest churches, including Jericho City of Praise in Landover, MD, where he met Williams and young Isaiah.
Also, for the first time, the group will feature a singer, Washington DC’s Reginald Baker, host of "It’s About Time" a weekly show that airs on cable stations in Prince George’s and Montgomery County, MD and Richmond, VA and features local talent in all musical genres. Baker, who has opened for greats like "Alexander O’Neal", "Pieces of a Dream", "Mint Condition", and "The Manhattans" started his first band in fifth grade with "Gil Scott Heron’s" Ed Brady, has appeared in a movie, recorded several albums and performs with local R&B band, Style. Baker also will play the keyboard in the concert.
Finally, appearing in the show is Gospel Comedian, Sean Sarvis, former BET Comicview star and Washington DC Comedian of the Year. Sarvis is currently touring with "Gospel Comedy Explosion" starring Christian comics, Jonathan Slocum, "Clyde" on "The Steve Harvey Show" as well as "Chocolate" and "Small Frye". The show’s dance performance by "2Getha Az One Dance Troupe" will feature Isaiah’s talented 15-year-old sister, Jalisa Williams, who has been dancing since age 6 and won a spot in this year’s Alvin Ailey summer program.
For photos and additional biographical information on Isaiah Williams, including a full list of endorsers as well as performances over the past several years, visit www.isaiahwilliams.com or call 240-295-0912.
Ticket info: tickets are $12 and $7/kids under 13. They can be purchased online using your credit card at www.isaiahwilliams.com or by calling (301) 343-4918. The web site also provides ticket purchase locations.