Badin native to perform at Albemarle Neighborhood Theatre

The New York based award-winning Jazz ensemble Sounds of A&R will present a free concert at The Albemarle Neighborhood Theatre, 219 E. North St., Albemarle, at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The concerts are produced by Lewis and Kirk Music and sponsored by a grant through South Arts Jazz Road Tours.

Sheila Kirk-Baptista, CEO of Lewis and Kirk Music, is a native of Badin and a Shaw University graduate.

She is delighted to bring this ensemble to her home state and the communities that helped shape her passion and commitment to the arts as a singer, writer and producer.

“From the moment I heard S.O.A.R., I was convinced about their creativity and virtuosity!” she said. “The sound of April’s stellar soprano voice, juxtaposed to Randall’s bright trumpet and soothing flugelhorn melodies, offered a beautiful vibration unlike any other I have experienced. Add to that, they are always adorned in the best attire fit for a newsworthy magazine cover.”

The band is configured as a quintet for this tour. The quintet features Jacob Webb on bass, Nathan Webb on drums, brothers of April May and Ryan Tomski on keyboard.

S.O.A.R. is the brainchild of vocalist April May Webb and trumpeter Randall Haywood. Partners in music and life, April May and Randall have come together to create a distinct sound blending trumpet and voice in perfect rapturous harmonies.

April May received her bachelor’s degree at William Paterson University studying under the late Mulgrew Miller.

Randall received his master’s degree at The Juilliard School in New York City.

This past spring the band toured Fiji, Tonga and the South Pacific, having been selected to serve as U.S. Cultural Ambassadors for the American Music Abroad initiative (2022 and 2023).

More on S.O.A.R. is available at