Intimate video performances of original music, created for Arts at the Palace by some of Central New York’s favorite jazz musicians

Arts at the Palace is delighted to present James, Mason, and Taylor McDowell, and Dianne Adams McDowell, performing two original compositions as part of our Jazz at Noon ORIGINALS video series. We know you will enjoy listening to these beautiful and inspiring pieces.

We wish to thank Jim for serving as Music Director of the Jazz at Noon ORIGINALS series, and to thank both Jim and Dianne for serving as executive producers. 

More about the artists

Dianne Adams & James McDowell: A chance meeting in NYC, over 40 years ago, led to a life-long collaboration of music and lyrics, playwriting, and theatre arts. Adams & McDowell, also husband and wife, have collectively created a myriad of works, ranging from pop songs, plays, and jingles, to art songs, masses, and musicals. Their highly-acclaimed version of Kenneth Grahame’s classic, The Wind in the Willows, originally developed at Syracuse Stage with collaborator Dr. Gerardine Clark, had it’s NYC premiere at The New Victory Theatre on 42nd Street. Presented at New Jersey Repertory Company and The York Theatre, their musical, Bookends (co-authored with Katharine Houghton), was the subject of a feature article in The New York Times. Other collective credits include vocal arrangements for Broadway’s Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder (winner of 2014 Tony for Best Musical), Disney productions, Radio City Music Hall’s Magnificent Christmas Spectacular, Broadway’s Tony-Nominated Starmites, The Actor’s Playhouse (off-B’way) production of Rapunzel & the Dragons, and the Arena Stage production of Tazewell Thompson’s Jubilee. Awards and honors include the Helen Hayes Award (Nomination, Washington, D.C.), The Barrymore Award (Recipient, Philadelphia), The Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Award (Recipient), Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Artist-in-Residence for Spring 2013 (Colgate University), as well as numerous ASCAP Composer Awards. Their original shows performed at the Palace Theater include: Very Badly Killed, In Good Company, Blood, Bath & Beyond, and Holy Cow, It’s Here. For the first Arts at the Palace Gala, they created a mini-musical, Breathing Art Into Life, and, more recently, for AATP’s play development series, From Script to Stage, the couple presented a fully-staged reading of their musical mockumentary, Perry Paree. Adams & McDowell can often be seen (occasionally joined by their musical sons, Taylor and Mason) at the Palace Underground’s popular series, Jazz at Noon. They live on five acres near Eaton, NY, where they enjoy the rural life of picturesque Central New York.

Mason McDowell: is a versatile singer-songwriter with influences in everything from R&B to Broadway. The genuine messages embedded in his songs are carried by an inventive musical sensibility, and delivered by a rich and rangeful voice. Composer, Pianist, Writer, and Lecturer Stuart Isacoff commented about Mason, “Mason McDowell is a big talent whose songs reflect a beautiful sense of musical narrative along with wit and gracefulness. Mason’s uncommon musical skills, applied to a pop music sensibility, produce compositions that are easily accessible yet filled with sophisticated harmonic motion, smoothly worked-out transitions, and unexpected twists and turns. His voice and piano arrangements are consistently lovely, conveying a real depth of emotion. The result is thoroughly enjoyable, and never less than captivating.” Mason’s most recent album Looking Glass can be streamed here.

Taylor McDowell’s first love is drumming—on anything and everything! Despite a severe hearing-impairment, he has become an instructor, a pit musician, and a well-known street performer, busking throughout the Utica area and even NYC. He studied privately for many years with Syracuse-area percussionist, Jimmy Johns. Taylor served as the drummer for RENT at Catherine Cummings Theatre, as assistant percussionist for Syracuse Stage, and has performed at a myriad of CNY events. He’s a three-time first-place winner at MSC Talent Competitions and was a finalist at the Guitar Center’s “Drum-Off.”

By day, Taylor is a bit of a techno-geek. He earned an Associates Degree in Computer Information Systems and a Bachelors of Technology in Application Software Development at Morrisville State College. During his years at MSC, he was (and remains) the only Global Game Jam participant to solely create a video game containing original music, artwork, and code. Taylor was also a member of Omnicron Delta Kappa and Phi Beta Lambda, and graduated with honors. Post graduation, he worked for many years as a Programmer Analyst for PAR Technology, and is currently employed as a Web Developer for Digital Scholarship and Digital Media Collections at Hamilton College.

In an attempt to combine his love of drumming and affinity for technology, Taylor created GeekSalad—an informative and entertaining YouTube channel. You can also find him on Facebook (Taylor-The Frontman Drummer) and Instagram (@taylormcdowelldrums).

VIDEO CREDITS

“Your Love Shines On Me”
Music and lyrics by James McDowell

“Pathways”
Music and lyrics by Mason McDowell

Both songs performed by The Adams/McDowell Family
Jim, Mason, and Tayor McDowell, Dianne Adams McDowell

Video and Audio by The Adams/McDowell Family

EDITING
Michael Sunderlin

JAZZ AT NOON ORIGINALS team:

MUSIC DIRECTOR
James McDowell

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
Ruth Berry, Elizabeth Douglas, Dianne Adams McDowell, James McDowell

MARKETING
Lauren Marshall

Jazz at Noon is an eight-month jazz series (September-April) that brings together a diverse group of artists—from the seasoned pro to the newly-emerging—to collaborate, entertain, and inspire in the intimate setting of the Palace Underground. Due to current COVID-19 guidelines, we’ve reimagined the series in a virtual format. 

JAZZ AT NOON ORIGINALS video series home page

Jazz at Noon ORIGINALS is made possible in part from a grant from the Central New York Community Foundation.