Thursday, December 12, 2013


Karrin Allison, Clarenece Penn, Larry Grenadier, Anat Cohen, Mark Whitfield, Randy Brecker, and Peter Martin (Photo Credit: Jimmy Katz)
In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the world-renowned Newport Jazz Festival® (August 1-3, 2014), clarinetist/saxophonist Anat Cohen, vocalist/pianist Karrin Allyson, bassists Larry Grenadier and Ben Allison, pianist Peter Martin, guitarist Mark Whitfield, trumpeter Randy Brecker, and drummer Clarence Penn embark on the 17-city "Newport Jazz Festival®: Now 60" Tour, February 8 - March 30, 2014, with more dates during June, July and August in North America and Europe.

This multi-gender, multi-national and multi-generational group of musicians was especially selected by festival founder/producer George Wein, in conjunction with his long-time associates and the tour's producers, Danny Melnick of Absolutely Live Entertainment, LLC and Darlene Chan of FestivalWest, Inc., to represent the incredible diversity of talent that the Newport Jazz Festival® has presented over the last six decades. (Melnick is also the associate producer of the Newport Jazz Festival®.)  

"I've put together some excellent all-star ensembles in the past, but this group is really special to me," says Wein. "These musicians come from different parts of the country, different parts of the world and from different eras of jazz and they offer an excellent census of where the music has been, where it is and where it's going. Together, they represent the festival's 60-year goal: to bring the best and brightest jazz musicians to present musical experiences that fans will remember for a lifetime."

The tour venues include Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, Emerson Concert Hall, Emory University, Atlanta, GA; Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA; the Merriam Theater, Philadelphia, PA; Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA; Old Town School Of Folk Music, Chicago, Il; and the Jazz Standard, New York, NY (See full schedule below)


Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, clarinet/tenor saxophonist Anat Cohen, comes from a musical family that includes her brothers, saxophonist Yuval and trumpeter Avishai. She studied clarinet at the age of 12, and attended the Tel Aviv School for the Arts, the "Thelma Yellin" High School for the Arts and the Jaffa Music Conservatory. She played tenor saxophone in the Israeli Air Force Band, from 1993 to 1995, enrolled at the Berklee School of Music, and moved to New York City in 1999, where she worked with a number of bands including the Diva Jazz Orchestra, drummer Dudu Da Fonseca's Samba Jazz Quintet and the Choro Ensemble. In 2005, she created her own label, Anzic Records, and released Noir and Poetica (2007), Notes from the Village (2008), and Clarinetwork: Live at the Village Vanguard(2010). Hailed by Nat Hentoff as a musician who "...tells stories from her own experiences that are so deeply felt that they are very likely to connect listeners to their own dreams, desires and longings," Cohen's latest CDs, Claroscuro(2012), brilliantly blends jazz with New Orleans, African and Brazilian genres, and Tightrope (2013), her fourth release with her two brothers, together called the 3 Cohens.

The Philadelphia-born Randy Brecker - who constituted one-half of the famed Brecker Brothers Band with his saxophonist brother, Michael - has  been one of the most diverse and in-demand trumpeters of the last four decades. He grew up playing in R&B, soul and rock bands in Philadelphia, and was influenced by Lee Morgan, Clifford Brown, Sonny Rollins and Miles Davis. He attended Indiana University from 1963 to 1965, where he played with Booker T. and The MG's and IU Big Band. He moved to New York City the next year, and worked with Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, the Duke Pearson Big Band, recorded two albums with Blood, Sweat and Tears, and worked in Horace Silver's quintet. Brecker was also a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and co-founded the seminal jazz fusion group, Dreams.  With over 20 recordings as a leader to his credit, Brecker's latest CDs include Randy Brecker Plays Wlodek Pawlik's Night in Calisia (2013) and Brecker Brothers Band Reunion (2013).

Known as "The Marksman" when he burst on the scene during the  "Young Lions" decade of the nineties, guitarist Mark Whitfield takes the approaches of George Benson, Grant Green and Kenny Burrell to a whole new level. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Whitfield has worked with a wide variety of musicians, from Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock and Carmen McRae, to Wynton Marsalis, Ray Charles and Betty Carter. He's also worked with many pop stars including Sting, Jill Scott, and Mary J. Blige.  He released his debut CD, The Marksman in 1990, and has recorded over 11 releases as a leader, including his latest, Songs of Wonder(2009), a tribute to Stevie Wonder. He toured with the band Jazz Futures, which was created in 1991 by George Wein to celebrate the next generation of jazz.

Born in Great Bend, Kansas, raised in Omaha, Nebraska and Northern California, Karrin Allyson, "... brings a timbre that is part ice and part grain - incisive, original, and emotionally convincing" according to critic Gary Giddins. After graduating from the University of Nebraska in 1987 with a degree in classical piano and a minor in French, Allyson, gigged at a Kansas City nightclub, and signed with Concord Records in 1992, which released her debut recording, I Didn't Know About You. She has since recorded over 10 CDs as a leader including Footprints (2006), Imagina: Songs of Brazil (2008), Round Midnight (2011) and a holiday pleaser, Yuletide Hideaway (2013).

Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, pianist Peter Martin is one of the most rooted and revelatory musicians on the scene. The son of parents who were classical musicians, Martin studied the violin and the piano at the age of three. After he graduated from high school, he received the Presidential Scholar in the Arts award from President Reagan, attended The Juilliard School in New York on scholarship, where he studied with Martin Canin, and moved  to New Orleans in 1990, where he has worked with Nicholas Payton, Germaine Bazzle, Chris Thomas, Alvin Batiste, Brian Blade and Victor Goines.  Martin toured and recorded with artists such as Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Chris Botti, Joshua Redman, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.  He also performed with the Berlin Philharmonic with Simon Rattle, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the Sydney Symphony. With over five CDs as a leader, his latest record, Set of Five (2009), is a solo piano tour de force.

Born in San Francisco, bassist Larry Grenadier took up the trumpet at the age of 10 before switching to the bass at 12.  Four years later, he was playing at various gigs around his hometown, and sat in with Joe Henderson, Eddie Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, and George Cables. Grenadier earned a Bachelor's Degree from Stanford University in 1989, and worked with Stan Getz, who was Artist-in-Residence at the University. Grenadier moved to Boston and worked with Gary Burton, and later moved to New York City in 1991, where his work as a sideman included gigs with his wife, Rebecca Martin, Joshua Redman, John Scofield, Charles Lloyd, Mark Turner and Pat Metheny. He's been a member of pianist Brad Mehldau's trio since 2004. His CDs as a co-leader include Year of the Snake (w/Mark Turner and Jeff Ballard, 2012) and Costumes are Mandatory (w/Ethan Iverson, Lee Konitz and Jorge Rossy, 2013).

A native of Detroit, Michigan, and a graduate of Interlochen Academy, Clarence Penn attended the University of Miami and Virginia Commonwealth University, where Ellis Marsalis was a faculty member. He moved to New York City in 1991 and was hired by Betty Carter. Penn has worked with Stanley Clarke. Christian McBride, Michael Brecker, Dizzy Gillespie, Luciana Souza, Gary Burton, Joshua Redman, Richard Galliano, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Charlie Haden, Makoto Ozone and Maria Schneider. His CDs as a leader include Penn's Landing (1997), Play-Penn(2001), Saomaye(2002), A Master's Diary (2012) and Dali in Cobble Hill (2012).

Hailed by the Boston Globe as one of "... today's best young jazz musicians," bassist Ben Allison is one of the most ubiquitous bassists on the scene. The New Haven, Connecticut native has worked with an impressive and diverse array of artists, from Lee Konitz and Joe Lovano, to performance artist Joey Arias and US Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky. Allison's 10 CDs as a leader include Seven Arrows (1996), Medicine Wheel (1998), Third Eye (1999), Riding the Nuclear Tiger (2001), Peace Pipe (2002),Buzz (2004), Cowboy Justice (2006), Little Things Run the World (2008), Think Free(2009), and Action-Refraction (2011).  Allison's The Stars Look Very Different Today,is scheduled for release in December.

Featuring a diverse  group of improvisers brought together to celebrate the anniversary of a legendary festival, these dates will no doubt present jazz with one foot in its proud past, and another pointing toward its bright future.


February 8 / Emory University, Atlanta, GA
February 13 / Berklee Performance Center, Boston, MA
February 15 / Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, Pittsburgh, PA
February 16 /Music Center at Strathmore, N. Bethesda, MD
March 4 / Jazz Standard, NYC, NY
March 5 / Jazz Standard. NYC, NY
March 6 / Jazz Standard, NYC, NY
March 7 / Jazz Standard, NYC, NY
March 8 / Jazz Standard, NYC, NY
March 9 / Merriam Theater, Philadelphia, PA
March 14 / Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara, CA  
March 15 / Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA  
March 20 / Missouri Theatre, Columbia, MO 
March 21 / SW Missouri State, Springfield, MO
March 22 / Gem Theater, Kansas City 
March 23 / Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL
March 26 / Lake Michigan College, Benton Harbor, MI 
March 27 / Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
March 28 / Capitol Center, Madison, WI 
March 29 / Harris Theatre, Brookfield, WI 
March 30 / Sheldon Concert Hall, 

Anat Cohen - musical director, clarinet, tenor saxophone
Karrin Allyson - vocals, piano
Randy Brecker - trumpet
Mark Whitfield - guitar   
Peter Martin - piano (all dates except February 15)
Clarence Penn - drums
Larry Grenadier - bass (all dates except March 4-15)
Bruce Barth - piano (February 15 only)
Ben Allison - bass (March 4-15 only)

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