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Faces the Band is known for zany stuff on stage, from playing Dominoes, to this clip at the Bass Hall in Fort Worth.  Ever see someone get a hair cut while a saxophonist player is holding a note?

Faces The Band - One LONG note

Dallas Black Story on Faces The Band 

The many faces of Faces by Angela D. Jones

Talk about a total package - they sing, they rap, they make beautiful music, and they’re not bad on the eyes either! They are Faces.

Saxophonist Dewayne Washington, Trumpeter Marcus Rockwell and Saxophonist Ahmad Johnson, make up the dynamic jazz trio of Faces. A local group, hailing mostly from Fort Worth, Faces performed this past Saturday at Fort Worth’s Bass Hall in the Van Cliburn Recital Hall. Among the highlights of the evening was a sax note by Dewayne Washington that lasted long enough for Johnson and Rockwell to break out the dominoes (literally) to keep themselves occupied. And in a moving spiritual tribute to his father, who was in the house along with many of the group’s family and friends, Marcus Rockwell played his frugal horn and publicly thanked his father for giving him the instrument 20 years ago. They label themselves as an interactive band and interact they did, as they performed to songs such as Will Smith’s “Nod Your Head,” “Amazing” and gospel favorite, “No Weapon Formed Against Me.” To close the evening, Faces did a little “free styling” with a piece that they spontaneously composed called “Van Clibin.’”

“There is a lot in store for Faces,” says member Dewayne Johnson. “We are currently working on a Faces video and documentary. We have also written 3 plays for the band and are looking into a few overseas opportunities, with emphasis on Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia.”

In addition, Faces currently has a Christmas CD, entitled “A Very Jazzy Christmas,” and the group is currently in the studio working on a gospel Jazz CD. With an upcoming performance in which they will share the stage with Jazz greats Gerald Albright and Will Downing (November 16th), you can definitely look for great things from this group!

Faces the Band and the Late Wayman Tisdal 

I decided to forego my usual MLK commemorative activities this year and instead spent a night of jazz with a "king" in his own right, Mr. Wayman Tisdale. The beautiful Bass Performance Hall was the venue for the event, honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and benefiting the National Cowboys of Color Museum and Hall of Fame.

Presented by Texas Bank and hosted by radio personality Lynn Briggs of 107.5 FM The Oasis, the show kicked off with an energetic performance by the baddest band on the planet (yes, I’m a little biased), Fort Worth’s own "Faces." Performing such signature favorites as Johnny Gill’s "My, My, My," Janet Jackson’s "I Get So Lonely," and Luther Vandross’ "So Amazing," saxophonists Dewayne Washington, Ahmad Johnson and Marcus Rockwell (trumpeter) put on their usual "amazing" performance and got the crowd involved with their signature antics and something new -- a Samba number, complete with professional Samba dancers and all! The group, which is currently in the studio, anticipates the release of its new CD, along with the production of a gospel play -- both in May of this year.

While I had heard his music before, I had never seen saxophonist/flutist Joseph Vincelli perform. Needless to say, I was very pleasantly surprised and impressed! A native of New Jersey, Vincelli is a self-proclaimed Texan and currently resides right here in the Metroplex. Performing hits from his latest CD, "This Life," Vincelli added his own personal flare by descending from the stage into the audience during his memorable performance of "Let’s Stay Together." Other hits Vincelli performed included "The Arrival," "Always Ready," and "Night Beat." And in a tribute to Fort Worth, Vincelli performed a song he affectionately named "Stop Six," bringing the house down in a crescendo of handclaps and finger snaps.

Only one word comes to mind to describe the performance by pianist and vocalist, Joe McBride and his band – WOW!!! This was my first time seeing and hearing McBride perform and I honestly can’t believe I waited so long to witness his raw talent! With a slight resemblance to Ray Charles and a vocal sound like Al Jarreau, McBride re-energized the crowd with hits from his CD, "Keepin’ It Real." Hailing from St. Louis, McBride finished his musical studies at Denton’s University of North Texas, and now makes Dallas his home. He says about his music, "We’re special because we’re not really West Coast or East Coast, but we can only be described ad the third coast…. The jazz here is influenced by the blues in Chicago which isn’t that far, as well as the rich zydeco heritage of New Orleans…."

Last, but most definitely not least, Mr. Wayman Tisdale took to the stage. Who, but Mr. Tisdale himself, could make tunes from television shows like The Brady Bunch and Sanford and Son, sound good? Proof positive of Tisdale’s phenomenal musical and vocal talent – I still can’t get the "shubee dubee doo doo doo" out of my head! Tisdale, who spent 12 years of his life as a professional basketball player, landed on the music scene in the 1990’s with his debut album "Power Forward." Since then, the bass player has been delighting audiences with his distinctive sound and look. In addition to his performance of a medley including The S.O.S. Band’s "Tell Me If You Still Care," and "Yearning For Your Love," (The Gap Band), Tisdale performed an energetic piece called "Brazilia," along with a touching musical tribute to his daughter, entitled "Gabrielle" – both from his latest "Face to Face" album. And in a beautiful spiritual finale to close the evening, Tisdale performed the title track to the album (Face to Face) with his daughter Danielle, who he proudly announced attends The University of Oklahoma (his alma mater). Gospel sensation, Cassandra Robertson, also lent her vocal talents to the song. Tisdale’s latest album and first gospel production, "21 Days" is set to be released in April or May.

Event organizers, including "Stop Six’s" own Rick Rigsby of Rigsby Entertainment, plan to make the Evening of Jazz event an annual one, in an effort to commemorate the birth, life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. So if you didn’t attend this year, you definitely won’t want to miss next year’s stellar event! Corporate sponsors of the event included Texas Bank, the National Cowboy of Color Museum and Hall of Fame, Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital, Coca-Cola, Fort Worth Business Press and the Renaissance Cultural Center.

SABlack on Faces the Band (San Antonio) 

Houston saxophonist, Shaakir, opened the show, followed by Fort Worth, Texas natives, Faces, who tore on the stage with soaring synchronized sounds. Dewayne Washington and Ahmad Johnson, saxophonist along with trumpeter Marcus Rockwell are a brutal combination. Their moving melodies made you wanna move your romp. Faces delivered a host of jazz favorites including "Shake It Up" by Rick Braun and Boney James, as well as gospel hit "No Weapon". They also debuted "30 Seconds," a new song. This was our first opportunity to hear Faces, and believe me, they serve it up quite well.

Faces, Will Downing and Gerald Albright 

It was a head-bobbin’, foot-stompin’, finger-snappin’ night of jazz as three headliners took to the stage at the University of Texas at Arlington’s historic Texas Hall this past weekend.

After a fantastic opening performance by Houston saxophonist, Shakkir, local "Funkytown" (Fort Worth) favorites, Faces, took the stage -- dishing out an energetic and charismatic performance, in true Faces tradition. Continue to look for great things from this trio as saxophonists Dewayne Washington and Ahmad Johnson, along with trumpeter Marcus Rockwell prepare to host and perform at an upcoming New Year’s Eve event on December 31st. They will also perform with Wayman Tisdale and Joe McBride at the Bass Hall in January, and play in February at a Valentine’s Day extravaganza.

In addition to a host of jazz favorites including "Shake It Up" (compilation by Boney James and Rick Braun) and gospel hit "No Weapon", Faces debuted a new song at the show entitled "30 Seconds."

"We named it ’30 Seconds’ because it took 30 seconds to write," says saxophonist Dewayne Washington. "We were in rehearsal thinking - ‘we need another song for the show,’ so I said ‘ok,’ thought about it for a second and came back with the song, ’30 seconds.’"

Among the night’s highlights, Washington adds, was the opportunity to share the stage with a man he refers to as his idol -- the one and only Gerald Albright.

Speaking of Mr. Albright, the jazz great put on an electrifying performance himself (to match his electric blue outfit), that managed to dazzle the audience and bring the overflowing crowd, including yours truly, to its feet. Hailing from South Central Los Angeles, Albright began his legendary career in the late 80’s and was largely influenced by saxophonists John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley. From his latest CD entitled "Groovology," Albright performed "Don’t Hold Back," and "Ain’t No Stoppin’" and from his 1990 album, "Dream Come True," he performed my all-time Albright favorite, an instrumental of Johnny Gill’s "My, My, My." Also on the menu were Albright’s versions of Tony Toni Tone’s "Anniversary," and the 1987 single that put him on the map -- Luther Vandross’ "So Amazing."

To conclude the evening, a sultry, sexy and beautifully bald Will Downing took us on a Sensual Journey -- which just happens to be the title of his latest album. With new tracks like "I Can’t Help It" and "Don’t Talk to Me Like That," Downing captivated the crowd with his smooth and distinctive R&B sound.

Known to his fans as the "Master of Soulful Seduction," Downing, like Albright, rose to stardom in the late 1980’s and was also largely influenced by such jazz greats as John Coltrane. He previously sang with Anita Baker’s "Wally Jump Junior" group and later employed Baker as a producer on his album. And while Downing is known to be a huge hit abroad in England, he proved to be just as big right here in lil’ ol’ Arlington, Texas! Throughout the evening, Downing was serenaded by a swarm of ladies who seemed impressed by his vocal range but especially mesmerized by his sensual aura. "I Go Crazy," "Wishing on a Star," "Is This Love?" and "Sorry I" were among the Downing’s musical highlights. By the way, my hat goes off to the lovely lady in red, Tann, who undoubtedly made Ms. Farrell very proud with her comparable rendition of my all-time Downing favorite, "Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This (duet with Rachelle Farrell).

My hat goes off to K.P. Entertainment for putting on a wonderful show, chock-full of stellar performances!

Fort Worth’s Favorite Jazz & Gospel Band 

Fort Worth Black News

There are Jazz Bands, and then there's Faces The Band, and if you think they're the same, you've obviously never been to a Faces show. When the incredibly likable personalities of Faces plays it's more than your typical Jazz performance. It's energetic, unpredictable, classy, and fun all at the same time. As saxophonist Dewayne Washington leader of Faces puts it, "Faces is more than just music."

"It's an Experience; it's more than just a tag line," Washington said. "We try to get the audience more than they can experience in a short period of time. We've had tap dancers; little kids and even massage therapists in our shows. You just never know what we are going to do!"

When Dewayne isn't filling up seats at the Bass Hall and traveling all over the country, he's a married father of four, with his latest addition being announced from the Bass Hall Stage last year. This well-rounded performer is actually known to many as "Pastor Washington," serving as youth Pastor of Charity Church and was originally trained as a computer programmer.

Washington is in good company among fellow Faces members. Brains run in the band; Dale Turner, Bass Player for Faces, is actually an aerospace engineer, Nick Hubbard, the Drummer, is on his way to law school and trumpet master Marcus Rockwell once served as the CEO of the American Red Cross. Other members of Faces include the infamous saxophonist Ahmad Johnson. His off-shoe antics are enough to laugh you to your knees. Ahmad, playfully nicknamed "the off one" ironically enough, is a schoolteacher... for troubled kids. The band also includes Daymond Callahan who has been called the greatest keyboard player in the state of Texas.

The best way to describe Faces is with a new word, because they've created a new form of music, "Jospel." A perfect blend of Jazz and Gospel, and you truly have to SEE them to appreciate this show.

You can catch Faces at the historic Scott Theatre in Fort Worth on Sept 1, 2007 at 7 p.m. The show will also feature Phase 2 Dance Ensemble from Fort Worth and Houston. This upcoming concert is sponsored by Ovation Dining & Entertainment. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 1-877-725-8849 , by visiting www.ticketalternative.com or by email info@facestheband.com

To read more about Faces the Band visit their web sites

Faces Turned Towards Heaven - Star Telegram 

Star Telegram
Fort Worth band takes an inspired approach to jazz...

By Malcolm Mayhew

Star-Telegram Staff Writer

There is jazz music, gospel music and, Dewayne Washington says, "jospel," his band's unique combination of the two.

He's often asked how they can do both, says Washington, leader of the Fort Worth-based, eight-piece ensemble Faces. "Jazz is a form of music. Gospel is a way of life. We intertwine the two and make music that is not traditional in any way."

They've been at it for 13 years, making a name for themselves both locally and nationally. Faces have shared the stage with top-drawer jazz/smooth jazz/gospel acts such as Norman Brown, Stanley Clark, Yolanda Adams and, among others, Gerald Albright, and have released five CDs, the most recent of which is 2003's Speak to My Heart; in May, they'll have a new CD.

Though the faces in Faces have changed over time, the core of the band -- as well as their jospel philosophy -- has remained Washington, who also plays flute, and Marcus Rockwell, a trumpet and fluegelhorn player.

The two shared similar ideas about music and faith, Washington says, and decided to work together. The other members of Faces -- saxist Ahmad Johnson, drummer Curtis Tucker, percussionist Otis "Big O" Tarkington, bassist Dale Turner and guitarist Travis Moore -- also are of like minds, theologically as well as musically.

"We all have similar backgrounds. That's why we fit together so well," says Washington, who is also one of the youth ministers at Charity Church in Fort Worth. "What you hear is a testament to our backgrounds -- straight-ahead jazz, some smooth jazz and gospel. We all grew up listening to and appreciating the same kinds of music."

There's a heavy visual aspect to their live show; it's not just eight people standing there playing music.

"It's an experience," Washington says. "Our last show was opened up by four spoken-word poets. This show, we're gonna have tap dancers; you might see poets and comedians. You might see mimes. It's never the same. We did a show once where I was holding a single note while there was a domino game going on. If I could, I'd bring an elephant onstage. We definitely give people their money's worth."