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Doris Spears

November 26, 2017 @ 3:00 pm

Doris Spears

Preservation New Jersey and the New Jersey Jazz Society are pleased to welcome Doris Spears and her jazz trio to the 1867 Sanctuary, featuring Doris Spears (Vocals), Peter Inverso, (Drums), Peter Lauffer, (Piano), and Jerry D’Anna (Bass).

“I rarely miss a Doris Spears concert,” said the late Fritz Marston of Princeton’s (NJ) Town Topics newspaper, “and here’s why. Yes, the lyrics may be familiar, but suddenly the song is new. Doris has an incomparable way of getting inside a song, inhabiting it, reinterpreting it, and delivering something all her own—fresh and original. It’s no wonder her smiling sidemen are having as much fun as her audience.”

Doris Spears was born in the Mississippi Delta and partially raised in Gary Indiana and Chicago IL, where as a teen-ager she immersed herself in the music of Jazz, Blues and R & B. By the time, she was 17 she was already singing professionally in Chicago Jazz clubs and concert halls, with musicians such as Von Freeman, Lefty Bates, and Vernell Fournier. Gradually word about Doris’ voice spread from Chicago to St. Louis and New York and points in between. Then in the 80’s Lionel Hampton met Doris at the New York Public Library in Bryant Park, invited her to audition, and immediately asked her to tour with him. The rest, as they say, is history.

Beginning that fall and throughout the decade Doris would tour parts of Europe, the Middle East and the United States; gigs would follow with a veritable who’s who of Jazz up to and including Jack MacDuff, Clark Terry, Egil Kapstad, Grady Tate, David Braham, Radam Scwartz, Pam Morita, Rune Nicolaysen, Paul Weeden, Charles Earland, Thilo Berg, Jack Von Poll, Eddie Green, Big John Patton, Tony Williams, Don Wilner etc, etc. Eight years later, after two highly celebrated CD’s, “The Duchess: Jazz & Juke Joints”, arguably, her most seminal CD was released and greeted with even greater critical acclaim; we are additionally treated to her magnificent gifts as a songwriter and lyricist. “A Tribute to Billie Holiday” was performed in a concert at Trenton’s Fabled Ellarslie Mansion on May 18th 2007. Her regular trio consisting of Master Pianist/Organist David Braham, Drummer Payton Crossley of Ahmad Jamal fame, and Broadway/Jazz Bassist Roy Cummings, backed her superbly. The audience that night gave Doris a standing “O” and lingered after the instruments were packed up to enjoy her conversation. Doris Spears is the mother of Shahran Spears, an Education Administrator in IL and Aries Spears, Comedian and Actor living in CA.

Peter Lauffer
Peter Lauffer

Peter Lauffer began his piano studies at the age of five with his father, James, and continued with William and Louise Cheadle of Westminster Choir College. He was awarded the title of the Lawrence Township Scholar in 1969 and was granted a full scholarship to the Lawrenceville School where, upon graduation, he was given the class award for “consistent and significant contributions to the music program”. During this time he was a regular finalist in the Anna B. Stokes and Mary Simon Gindhart Competitions. He received the Stokes first prize in both the piano and voice categories, and was granted an appearance with the Trenton Symphony for winning the Gindhart Competition.
He continued his studies at Indiana University with Dr. Karen Shaw and Dr. David Baker where he earned the Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance. He migrated to New York City where he studied with German Diez for eight years. Later studies were in choral conducting with Doctor Michael Mendoza at The College of New Jersey where he received the Master of Arts Degree focused on vocal music.

Mr. Lauffer has been the Director of Music at The Peddie School and an adjunct instructor of piano at The Lawrenceville School. At The College of New Jersey, he was staff accompanist, head of the piano proficiency program, and Assistant Choral Director for the New Jersey Governor’s School. Mr. Lauffer was Director of the Hopewell Valley Community Chorus, and Director of Choral Activities at Mercer County Community College. From 1990 to 2005, Mr. Lauffer served as Director of Music at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton.

Mr. Lauffer is currently teaching jazz improvisation at the Westminster College of the Arts of Rider University. He maintains his private studio of 30 years in Trenton where he teaches with his wife and duo-piano partner, Marianne. Mr. Lauffer is well known as a jazz pianist and performs prolifically throughout the tri-state area. He is currently focusing on this aspect of his career developing performing and recording venues.

Peter Inverso
Peter Inverso

Peter L. Inverso has established a reputation as both a progressive and versatile drummer in the Metropolitan area. By the age of 15, he became a professional and was able to perform in front of large audiences.

He has performed with many talented musicians such as recording artist Doris Spears. Citing Max Roach, Joe Morello, and Buddy Rich as major influences on his drumming, he studied with renown drummer Tony DeNicola who was associated with big band leaders such as: Freddy Martin, Charlie Ventura and Harry James. As such, his drumming is both compositional and melodic and comes from a strong rhythmic and conceptual foundation.

Jerry D'Anna
Jerry D’Anna

Jazz at the 1867 Sanctuary and throughout the Trenton/Princeton area is featured on trenton.jazznearyou.com. Download their app for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire!

New Jersey Jazz Society
New Jersey Jazz Society

Preservation New Jersey is pleased that the New Jersey Jazz Society (NJJS) is co-sponsoring jazz events at the 1867 Sanctuary. We encourage fans of our jazz concerts and jazz musicians to join NJJS at www.njjs.org so they receive their award-winning Jersey Jazz journal 11 times a year and other special benefits, including a $5 discount on tickets to Jazz Music Series concerts at the 1867 Sanctuary at Ewing!

To Purchase Tickets

  • $20 for General Admission
  • $15 for Members of the New Jersey Jazz Society
  • $15 for Friends of the Sanctuary
  • $5 for School and College students with ID
  • $15 per person for Groups of 10 or more**

Tickets can be purchased online or reserved at the box office for payment by cash, check or credit card by calling 609-392-6409 or emailing 1867sanctuary@preservationnj.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the door as space allows.

For online purchases, PLEASE PRINT AND KEEP YOUR RECEIPT emailed from PayPal. You will not be mailed tickets. While our notification from PayPal is usually sufficient, the receipt will provide your proof of purchase, particularly for same-day purchases.

**GROUP RATES (10 or more people). Group rates apply only to advance online sales and must be purchased in quantities of 10 or more within a single purchase. Group rate tickets cannot be purchased at the box office prior to the concert.

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Become a Friend of the Sanctuary and Save $5 per Ticket!

For only $30.00 per year ($50.00 for families), members of the Friends of the 1867 Sanctuary receive  $5 off our General Admission concert tickets for the rest of 2017 and ALL of 2018 (renew now)!

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November 26, 2017
3:00 pm
Event Category:


1867 Sanctuary at Ewing
101 Scotch Road + Google Map