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festivals

Drummer/pianist Jack DeJohnette launches aggressive international schedule

Jack DeJohnette

Following the launch of his latest critically acclaimed album, Sound Travels (released January 17 on Golden Beams/eOne), as well as being named a 2012 NEA Jazz Master in January, drummer/pianist Jack DeJohnette will continue to celebrate his landmark 70th birthday year with high profile performances, festival appearances, among other activities. 

DeJohnette recently participated in the International Jazz Day inauguration at the United Nations in New York City on April 30 with Herbie Hancock (in his role as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador), UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, among other internationally recognized artists



“It was a great honor to be part of this extraordinary event. An amazing feeling to play in the UN General Assembly with my friends Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and Ron Carter honoring Miles Davis, and also playing with some of my other friends,” reflects DeJohnette in a news release. “As UNESCO ambassador, Herbie has created a historic event here and is expanding the awareness of  this great art form.”

On May 9, DeJohnette will begin a West Coast tour at The Shedd in Eugene, Ore., with a trio consisting of Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke. Billed as DeJohnette’s 70th Birthday Tour, the tour serves as this trio’s debut and will also headline Jazz Alley in Seattle (May 10-13) and Catalina’s in Los Angeles (May 15-20). The same trio will return to the West Coast in September, with performances at Yoshi’s San Francisco (September 5-8), The Opera House in Napa Valley, Calif. (September 9), and The Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz, Calif. (September 10).

DeJohnette has scheduled performances at several renowned festivals in North America this summer and fall, including appearances at two of the most prominent U.S. jazz festivals. On June 28, The Jack DeJohnette Group (featuring saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, guitarist Dave “Fuze” Fiuczynski, pianist George Colligan and bassist Jerome Harris) – his working ensemble – will headline the Ottawa International Jazz Festival. On August 4, DeJohnette will headline the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival presented by Natixis Global Asset Management, performing in three different settings: with his working ensemble, his All-Star group (featuring guitarist Lionel Loueke, pianist George Colligan, bassist Christian McBride, saxophonist Tim Ries, percussionist Luisito Quintero, and trumpeter Jason Palmer) as well as a duo performance with Jason Moran. In September, DeJohnette will serve as the 55th annual Monterey Jazz Festival’s 2012 showcase artist, and will perform three times throughout the weekend (September 21-23), with his working ensemble, his Special Trio (with Pat Metheny and Christian McBride), and in duo with Bill Frisell.

Other notable appearances for DeJohnette throughout the year include participation in Pat Metheny’s five-day Summer Music Workshop beginning on August 20 as well as two European tours (in July with The Keith Jarrett Trio and in late September with his own group).

DeJohnette’s 2012 festivities will culminate with two performances: the long-awaited reunion of “The Gateway Trio,” featuring John Abercrombie and Dave Holland, at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall (a hometown performance for DeJohnette) on November 2, and a Keith Jarrett Trio performance at NJPAC in Newark, NJ on December 1.

Rev. Dr. A. Cortes Rex Jr. featured in Charlie Christian International Music Festival in June

Rev. Dr. A. Cortes Rex Jr.

The Rev. Dr. A. Cortes Rex Jr. of Los Angeles is scheduled to appear in Oklahoma City on June 3, 2012, during the 27th annual Charlie Christian International Music Festival. The gospel concert, a tribute to the late Rev. James Cleveland, founder of the Gospel Music Workshops of America, will be held at 5 p.m. at Frederick A.Douglass Auditorium.


Rex, a friend of Cleveland, said in a recent news release, he recalled that during the formative years of his singing ministry, he was influenced by Cleveland, Clara Ward and Allie B. Anderson (his grandfather), Aretha Franklin and many others. Rex never dreamed that he would meet Rev. Cleveland and someday do a show in tribute to a man whose songs touched him and many others.


Born in Wichita, Kan., Rex grew up in Tulsa, OK, where he attended Booker T. Washington High School. Following graduation, he attended Langston University, where he graduated in 1980 with honors and was voted the Most Talented Male in his senior year. He later pursued a Masters of Administration Degree at California State University at Dominguez Hills in Long Beach, Calif.


He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and is the president and producer of Signs
and Wonders Inc. Rex sang background for live performances and recording sessions with well-known gospel and secular artists. He received the City of Los Angeles Motown Award in  April 2008. He was nominated to the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in 2009.


 Rex will perform the show, “A Tribute to Rev. James Cleveland” and will be joined by Gospel Music Workshops of Oklahoma musicians and other special guests. Tickets are $10 and $15 for VIP seats. For more information, call Black Liberated Arts Center Inc. at (405) 524-3800.


The Charlie Christian International Music Festival is sponsored by BLAC Inc., Friends of the Oklahoma City/County Historical Society and Oklahoma Arts Council and Integris Health.

K.D. Lang, the Dukes of September, and others to headline Jazz Aaspen Snowmass June Festival

k.d. lang
The Dukes of September
It has been announced in a recent news release that The Jazz Aspen Snowmass (JAS) June Festival returns to the Benedict Music Tent with a line-up including new faces and old favorites, an expanded JAS Café Downstairs at the Nell series, and the addition of a nightly pre-concert Lawn Party prior to the headline concerts.
           
The festival kicks off on Friday, June 22, 2012, with three of the biggest names in jazz-rock and soul, The Dukes of September, featuring Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs.  Saturday, June 23 brings the iconic blues-rocker, Joe Cocker, to the stage, who last played at JAS in June 2003.  The first weekend concludes on Sunday, June 24 with pop/country singer/songwriter k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang in her first ever JAS appearance.    
The following two weeks will feature an array of eclectic performances at the JAS Café Downstairs at the Little Nell: on Friday, June 29 the French/Brazilian magic of vocalist Cyrille Aimee and guitar virtuoso Diego Figueiredo returns after wowing audiences with their January performances; Saturday, June 30 will feature the Gypsy Jazz of the Hot Club of Detroit; Thursday, July 5 the 14-piece Cuban Band Wil Campa Y su Gran Union takes the stage; and on Friday, July 6 New Orleans trombonist, and 21-year head horn playing in Harry Connick’s Big Band, Lucien Barbarin and the New Orleans Rhythm Revue will close out the Nell shows.  On August 10-11 singer/songwriter/guitarist Raul Midon will be featured at the JAS Café with more summer acts still to be announced.  Each evening will feature performances at 7:30 and 9:15pm.  Tickets are $32/each in advance, $40 at the door.

The June Festival concludes with jazz trumpeter Chris Botti and special guest Caroline Campbell on violin, Saturday July 7 at the Benedict Music Tent, presented in association with the Aspen Music Festival and School.  Botti tickets are available now at 970-925-9042 or aspenmusicfestival.com.

New this year is a nightly JAS pre-concert Lawn Party on the Benedict Music Tent grounds (June 22-24).  Live music and multiple food and beverage vendors will be available from 6pm nightly for the public to enjoy.

June Festival Host Sponsors include The Town of Snowmass Village and The Denver Post.  Other sponsors include CME, Coors Light, Alpine Bank, Patron Tequila, KSPN, The Myers Roberts Collective and Aspen Sojourner. 

Tickets for the June 22-24 shows are on sale now.  They can be purchased at 866-JAS-TIXX (527-8499), jazzaspensnowmass.org, or the Belly Up Box Office (544-9800).  For information on festival patron (VIP) tickets please contact the JAS office at 970-920-4996 or visit  jazzaspensnowmass.org

JAS Café tickets are available at 866-JAS-TIXX or jazzaspensnowmass.org In addition to the June Festival Café shows, additional Café performances will take place July 27-28 (acts tba) and August 10-11 (featuring singer/songwriter/guitarist Raul Midon & an additional act to be announced).

Esperanza Spalding, Diana Krall & Trombone Shorty to perform at the 35th annual Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival

Esperanza Spalding,
Credit: Carlos Pericás

Esperanza Spalding, Diana Krall and Trombone Shorty will be performing at the 35th annual Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, scheduled on Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July 1, 2012, at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, 108 Avenue of the Pines in Saratoga Springs, NY.

ESPERANZA SPALDING – Just one year after taking home a Grammy Award in the Best New Artist category, the bassist/vocalist performed a beautiful rendition of “What a Wonderful World” alongside the Southern California Children’s Choir at the 2012 84th Oscar Academy Awards in Los Angeles on February 26. She will perform on June 30.
 Diana Krall,
Credit: Courtesy of Artist
DIANA KRALL – The world-renowned artist and and one of the best-selling jazz vocalists of all time recently appeared with Paul McCartney on the 2012 Grammy Awards telecast in Los Angeles on February 12.  She will perform on July 1.
TROMBONE SHORTY – The New Orleans native trombone/trumpet phenomenon recently participated in a PBS televised performance at The White House as a part of the Black History Month celebration in Washington, D.C., on February 21.  Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue will perform on July 1.


Trombone Shorty,
 Credit: Jane Richey
For more information on the 35th annual Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival, go to http://www.spac.org/jazzfest/.

Festival headliner Charlie Hunter, others to perform for the “PDX Afrobeat Breakdown”

PDX Jazz and the 2012 U.S. Bank Portland Jazz Festival, presented by Alaska Airlines, announce Charlie Hunter and the “PDX Afrobeat Breakdown” at the Crystal Ballroom at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012. The guitar phenom’s Solo Jam opens the night followed by performances from Portland artists Scott Pemberton with a surprise special guest, Ben Darwish’s COMMOTION, and Jujuba. The program will explore and “breakdown” the historical Afrobeat discipline as a pivotal root in the modern funk and jam band experience which combines the improvisational character of jazz with the raunchiness of funk and flavor mixture of African tradition (BBC).

“This marathon program is unprecedented in the festival’s history, whereby three local bands are sharing the stage with a headline artist,” said Don Lucoff, PDX Jazz managing director in a  recent news release. “What better showplace than the Crystal Ballroom to present Hunter and three of Portland’s most funky and groove oriented bands than the storied venue that served as one of the Grateful Dead’s favorite performance spaces outside of The Bay Area.”
  
Charlie Hunter has established himself as one of the premier modern fusion/jazz-rock artists. Hunter will often find a funk groove and turn it into an amplified, wah-wah pedal induced free jam that competes with saxophones, keyboards and even violins. Since the early 1990s, Hunter has released 17 acclaimed albums featuring his dizzying technical and virtuosic 8-string guitar playing. Hunter has collaborated with preeminent names such as Christian McBride, Michael Franti, Norah Jones, Kurt Elling, Mos Def and even took lessons from master guitarist Joe Satriani.

Detroit Jazz Festival announces addition of Karriem Riggins, Common to 2011 festival lineup

Common

In a recent news release, organizers of the Detroit Jazz Festival are pleased to announce an exciting addition to the festival lineup-a special collaboration with Detroit native drummer Karriem Riggins and hip hop artist Common on Monday, Sept. 5, 2011.

“This extraordinary presentation of jazz and hip hop gives the festival an opportunity to step out of the box and attract a new audience while maintaining the connection to the festival’s artistic core – jazz,” said Terri Pontremoli, festival artistic director. “The connections and gaps between the two genres will be celebrated on Labor Day on the JPMorgan Chase Stage.”
This kind of project is not unusual for Riggins, who has spent the better part of his career successfully straddling the two worlds of jazz and hip-hop. The Detroit native established his jazz chops under the tutelage of Betty Carter, Ray Brown, Oscar Peterson, Mulgrew Miller and Kenny Burrell. In addition to being a mainstay in Diana Krall’s quartet, he has made a name for himself in hip hop circles as a producer and collaborator with the likes of Common, Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli, The Roots, Slum Village and Kanye West.
Common rose to prominence as one of hip hop’s most poetic and respected lyricists, having recorded over eight albums and garnering multiple Grammy Awards. The album Be with Kanye West garnered four Grammy nominations, and the Grammy award-winning Finding Forever debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 Album Chart. His ninth album, The Believer, The Dreamer, will be released in November 2011.
Other special guests joining Common and Riggins will be announced at a later date. For more information on Karriem Riggins, go to www.karriemriggins.com.
For the full 2011 Detroit Jazz Festival artist roster, visit detroitjazzfest.com.

Michael Franti and Spearhead replace Lenny Kravitz at JAS Labor Day Weekend Festival

Michael Franti

According to a recent news release, organizers of the JAS Labor Day weekend festival announced today that Michael Franti & Spearhead will replace Lenny Kravitz, for his previously announced performance on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011, at the JAS festival. Michael Franti & Spearhead will co-headline and perform prior to the Zac Brown Band, winner of the Best New Artist award at the 2011 Grammys, in Franti’s only scheduled 2011 appearance in Colorado.

Representatives of Kravitz explained to JAS that the release of his new record, previously scheduled for early spring 2011, had been pushed back to fall 2011, and thus his scheduled summer 2011 tour had been postponed.  Festival organizers and representatives of the artist are looking to potentially reschedule the performance for 2012, pending artist availability, but no commitment has been made yet.
Michael Franti & Spearhead have previously performed at the JAS festival in two acclaimed shows, including a single day attendance record set in 2007 in a co-bill with the Allman Brothers Band.    
Individuals who have purchased tickets to the Lenny Kravitz show on Sept 4, 2011, may get a refund if processed by May 1, 2011Previously announced artists at the Sept. 2-4, 2011, festival include Steely Dan, Zac Brown Band, Girl Talk, Thievery Corporation, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Fitz & the Tantrums and the Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses.

Timeless Music Festival features Robert Wilson of GAP Band, saxophonist Mike Phillips and comedian Melanie Comarcho on Saturday, Aug. 28, 2010 in Oklahoma

EDITOR’S NOTE: SINCE THIS POSTED, HAVE SAD NEWS: ROBERT WILSON DIED ON AUG. 15, 2010. MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS GO OUT TO HIS FAMILY, FRIENDS AND MANY FANS. READ STORY HERE: http://www.tulsaworld.com/scene/article.aspx?subjectid=269&articleid=20100816_269_A12_CUTLIN206688&rss_lnk=4


Robert Wilson of the legendary GAP Band will headline the Timeless Music Festival, an exciting new Jazz, Jokes and Funk Jam event, at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, 2010, at the Rose Bowl Event Center419 E. 11th St. in Tulsa, OK.
The lineup also includes the popular comedian Melanie Comarcho, best known for her performances on HBOs Shaquille O’Neal AllStar Comedy Jam, the Katt Williams Tour and the Martin Lawrence 1st  Amendment Tour; and Hidden Beach recording artist, saxophonist Mike Phillips, who has toured with Stevie  Wonder and Prince and dedicates his just released third album M.P.3. to the late great Wayman Tisdale, the Tulsa native NBA AllStar and popular contemporary jazz bassist who helped Phillips sign his original deal with Hidden Beach.
The festival, the kickoff date of the Timeless Music U.S. tour that continues in late September, begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20, VIP (including reserved table seating) $30.
While the GAP Band featuring Robert and his brothers Charlie and Ronnie Wilson were named after Greenwood, Archer and Pine Streets in Tulsa, the group broke through to its biggest success after they moved to Los Angeles and hooked up with producer Lonnie Simmons. 1979s Shake was the first of several highenergy, synth- and bassheavy party anthems, followed by Burn Rubber (Why You Wanna Hurt Me Bad) and the oftsampled “You Dropped a Bomb on Me.” Today the Gap Band still brings the party to packed houses worldwide, and the group was recently honored with this year’s BMI Icon Award for their “enduring influence on generations of music makers.” At the root of the groups influential style lies Roberts vivacious bass work, which anchors the bands groove and provides the foundation for his Charlie’s synth- bass parts.
Camarchos TV appearances include The Brian McKnight Show on CW, The Sarah Silverman Project on Comedy Central, Comics Unleashed on CW, One Mic Stand” on BET, The New Def Comedy Jam  on HBO, The Jamie Foxx Show (Warner Bros.), The Chris Rock Show (HBO) and The Tom Joyner Show on ABC.
A native of Mount Vernon, N.Y., Phillips made his NYC debut at Wilsons Nightclub in  1993, which led to a series of session and sideman jobs in jazz, R&B and rap. Eventually, he attracted the  attention of Hidden Beach, which signed him and put him on the road in 2001 opening for Jill Scott. His debut  album You Have Reached Mike Phillips, was released in 2002, followed by Uncommon Denominator in 2005.
For more information and VIP tickets, call (918) 2950066.





Tuscia in Jazz Festival 2010 expands programming

Organizers announce in a news release, in the Viterbo region of Italy (about 43 miles from Rome), the countryside town of Soriano nel Cimino and city of Nepi will host the ninth edition of the Tuscia in Jazz Festival from July 8 through Aug. 14, 2010.
For the past eight years, Tuscia in Jazz has been considered one of the most important international jazz festivals, as well as an important vehicle to promote the beautiful region with its Etruscan roots, Roman history, medieval hill towns and unspoiled lakes and forests. Tuscia in Jazz has extended its branches significantly: with a record label to release recordings of its unique live performances, by adding workshops with world-renown pianist Kenny Barron and rising-star drummer Francisco Mela, and incorporating the annual Jimmy Woode Award for bass playing.
The festival has been strongly supported by the local administration of Soriano and it now returns to the squares of the centro storico and thanks to their continued support, all the concerts are free.
The Tuscia in Jazz Masterclass workshops provide an opportunity for young musicians to learn from the masters. This year’s teachers-in-residence include: Dave Liebman, Flavio Boltro, Antonio Sanchez, Shawnn Monteiro, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Eddie Gomez, Tony Monaco, Dado Moroni, Giorgio Rosciglione, Gege Munari, and Karl Potter.
Aside from the townspeople, who volunteer their time and energy, a number of sponsors have lent their financial support to keep every performance at Tuscia in Jazz free. Festival sponsors include Ministero dei Bene Culturali Regione Lazio, Fondazione Carivit, Provincia di Viterbo, and Camera di Commercio e Comunità Montana dei Cimini, and international sponsors MSC Crociere, Warsteiner Beer, and finance organizations like Carivit.
For more information, go to http://www.tusciainjazz.it.

31st Annual Detroit International Jazz Festival adds more artists to its lineup

 Photo: Take 6.





Festival organizers for the 31st Detroit International Jazz Festival recently announced artist additions to the 2010 lineup on Friday, Sept. 3, 2010, through Monday, Sept.6, 2010, in downtown Detroit. The newly added artists further underscore an already existing diversity of musical genres, including funk, gospel and R&B.
Yellowjackets, Salim Washington and the Harlem Arts Ensemble, Jason D. Williams, and gospel sensation James Fortune and FIYA will join the previously announced roster featuring Mulgrew Miller, Take 6, Branford Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, Manhattan Transfer, Roy Haynes and Allen Toussaint.
“Soul” is the theme of the opening night, Friday Sept. 3.  Performances by Take 6 and the Mulgrew Miller Trio will be followed by the urban soul music of Tower of Power.  For over 40 years, this group has thrilled audiences all over the world with their unique brand of music.
The Yellowjackets have been cutting-edge purveyors of innovative, eclectic jazz for nearly 30 years. With every recording since their 1981 debut album, the Yellowjackets have pushed the boundaries of improvisational jazz and have been leaders in the music’s inescapable evolution. Hailed as the “most adventurous quartet in contemporary jazz music” by All Music Guide, this multi-Grammy Award-winning group features Russell Ferrante, Will Kennedy, Jimmy Haslip and Bob Mintzer. 
Jason D. Williams has the same musical innovation and on-the-edge attitude as Jerry Lee Lewis.  The fiery Memphis-born pianist covers boogie-woogie rock & roll, classical, country and jazz, in what has been described as an “enthusiastic, reckless and stormy” way. 
ASCAP Award winner and Stellar Award nominee James Fortune and FIYA will headline the festival’s “Come MONday” gospel celebration on Sept. 6. The Houston artist made music history with “I Trust You” – the longest running #1 single in gospel music. The group’s rapid success in the gospel music industry has garnered international acclaim and opened the door to their sharing the stage opening for distinguished artists Stevie Wonder, Kirk Franklin, Kim Burrell, Fred Hammond, Smokie Norful and Donald Lawrence. Fortune was a featured guest judge for the 2009 Verizon Wireless How Sweet the Sound Competition
The “Come MONday” gospel celebration will also feature Detroit’s own Second Ebenezer and Triumph Church choirs.
For the full 2010 artist roster, visit detroitjazzfest.com. The lineup of Detroit-based jazz musicians playing at the festival will be announced in mid-June.