As pre-packaged, cookie-cutter music continues to proliferate on he airwaves and dull the senses, and as a loss of real musicianship seems almost imminent, there are few beacons that remain, Dorsey Summerfield is one of them.
The Shreveport, Louisiana-based musician began his musical quest over 40 years ago, having practiced and perfected his craft with some of the biggest names in contemporary jazz and R&B, the legendary Ray Charles being among them.
When Ray Charles needed a replacement for his band leader (the late Hank Crawford)in his legendary Ray Charles Orchestra, it was Dorsey Summerfield that he chose. When performers-such as Bobby “Blue” Bland, Percy Sledge and Martha and the Vandellas needed a helping hand, it was Dorsey Summerfield who came to the rescue. It is his prowess in arranging, composing and orchestrating that puts Dorsey on par with the other great musicians of his era.
When not working with the Polyphonics, Mr. Summerfield works diligently on paying homage to those musical greats who have come before him with his “Cotton Club Returns” tribute show. Previous tributes have been made to Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles and Duke Ellington” Dorsey’s most recent project is a tribute to the incomparable Nat Kind Cole.
In addition to “Cotton Club Returns”, Mr. Summerfield presently works as a Professor of Music at Southern University - Shreveport, LA, serving as the Director of the Music Technology Certificate Program, Department Head for Music, Dance & Visual Arts , and Coordinator of the Tipitinas Music Internship Program in hopes of inspiring a new generation of musicians. It is in fussing the lessons of the past with the technology of the present that Dorsey Summerfield is creating a new era in contemporary jazz and R&B.