New York, NY– City Parks Foundation is proud to announce the 2016 Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. The festival is New York City's annual salute to the legendary saxophonist, featuring contemporaries of Charlie Parker as well as young jazz musicians that continue to shape and drive the art form.
In a world of modern music - not just jazz - few figures loom as large or cast as long a shadow as saxophonist Charlie Parker, best known as "Bird" (short for "Yardbird") to generations of musicians. He was born in 1920 and almost sixty years since his death in 1955, he is universally celebrated for single-handedly inventing bebop and bringing jazz into the modern era.
The festival is particularly significant this year given the upcoming centennial of the musical dawning of the term “jazz,” as well as what would have been the 100th birthdays of late jazz greats including Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and Ella Fitzgerald. This year’s festival will feature performances on August 26 and 27 in Marcus Garvey Park, Harlem and August 28 in Tompkins Square Park in the East Village.
On the 26th, audiences can enjoy performances from Jason Lindner: Breeding Ground, the electrifying 11-piece band led by keyboardist Jason Lindner and jazz vocalist Antoinette Montague, accompanied by Jazzmobile friends.
Randy Weston African Rhythms Sextet will play jazz infused with influences of African culture, while jazz pianist and gospel musician Cory Henry will wow audiences with his full band sound on the 27th.
August 28th, audiences will be introduced to DeJohnette - Moran - Holland, the first-time collaboration of influential jazz drummer Jack DeJohnette, innovative pianist Jason Moran, and prolific double bassist Dave Holland. Listeners will be delighted by performances from award winning jazz vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter Allan Harris and acclaimed saxophonist Donny McCaslin, who will perform his newest album accompanied by his group.
New this year, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival will feature film screenings at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music’s Jazz Performance Space. “The Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story,” will show on August 24th and feature a post-film discussion with alto sax star and Frank’s protege Grace Kelly, and Frank’s manager Reggie Marshall. “Bill Evans: Time Remembered” will be screened on the 25th,featuring a post-film discussion with the producer Bruce Spiegel.
The complete Charlie Parker Jazz Festival schedule follows or can be found on the City Parks Foundation website here: Charlie Parker Jazz Festival
Wednesday, August 24
Screening: The Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story
The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music’s Jazz Performance Space, MN
7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Post-film discussion alto sax star and Frank’s protege Grace Kelly, and Frank’s manager Reggie Marshall.
In the new documentary, SOUND OF REDEMPTION: THE FRANK MORGAN STORY, director NC Heikin recreates the life of Frank Morgan in concert form, tracing his progress from teenage musical prodigy to hardcore junkie and, finally, to one of the music world’s most remarkable comeback stories. A one-night-only, all-star musical tribute filmed live at San Quentin forms the backbone of a film that brings together the past, present and future of Morgan’s musical legacy. Moving seamlessly between the thrilling live performance and the riveting true story of a musician whose talent first destroyed and then redeemed him, the award-winning filmmaker paints a searingly honest portrait of a prodigiously gifted, tragically flawed musical genius. RSVP Required, CharlieParker@CityParksFoundation.org.
Thursday, August 25
Screening: Bill Evans: Time Remembered
The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music’s Jazz Performance Space, MN
7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Post-film discussion with the producer Bruce Spiegel.
Bruce Spiegel has produced a complete documentary giving you insights into Bill Evans; not just the musician, but also the person. The film moves chronologically starting with Bill’s childhood in New Jersey and culminating with details about his death. “The film Bill Evans, Time Remembered took me 8 years to make. Eight years of tracking down anybody who knew Bill and who played with him, to try and find out as much as I could about the illusive and not easy to understand Bill Evans. I feel very honored to have had the chance to interview and get to know good guys that spent a lot of time with Bill: Billy Taylor, Gene Lees, Tony Bennett, Jack DeJohnette, Jon Hendricks, Jim Hall, Bobby Brookmeyer, Chuck Israels, Paul Motian, Gary Peacock, Joe LaBarbera. It was a once in a life time experience talking to these gifted talented guys about their time in jazz music, about their “Time Remembered“ with Bill Evans. – Bruce Spiegel” RSVP Required, CharlieParker@CityParksFoundation.org.
Friday, August 26
Jason Lindner: Breeding Ground / Antoinette Montague and Jazzmobile Friends / DJ Greg Caz
Marcus Garvey Park, MN
6:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Breeding Ground combines the two most successful projects of New York-bred pianist Jason Lindner: Now Vs. Now, his propulsive groove trio with bassist Panagiotis Andreou and drummer Mark Guiliana; and his big band, which started at the Greenwich Village basement club Smalls twenty years ago. Created in 2009 by a commission from the Jazz Gallery and the Jerome Foundation, the 11-piece Breeding Ground ensemble finds Andreou and Guiliana in the engine room, with Lindner on more piano than synths, leaving room for a string section, a horn section, and singer-songwriter Jeff Taylor as the featured vocalist. Electro-acoustic, poly-rhythmic, cross-pollinated, dirty and mixed up, improvised and composed, multi-formatted and ever shifting, Breeding Ground is the epitome of liquid modernity. Their debut full-length album will be released in 2016.
Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, Antoinette Montague grew up listening to Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan. “I was singing and humming from an early age. It was how I created my own private, comforting world.” Early in her career she was mentored by vocalists Etta Jones and Carrie Smith, and you can often hear their influences when she takes to the bandstand. Montague has performed onstage with many top jazz and blues musicians including Red Holloway, Benny Powell, Earl May, Winard Harper, Wycliffe Gordon, Stan Hope, John di Martino, Bernard Purdy, Victor Jones, Tootsie Bean, Zeke Mullins, Paul Bollenback, Frank Wess, and others. Headlining her own gigs, Antoinette has performed on the Jazzmobile stage in Harlem, Birdland, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Dizzy’s Club-Coca Cola, Kitano Jazz, the Blue Note, Jazz Standard clubs and concert halls in Russia and more. Antoinette’s album, Behind The Smile features a diverse repertoire of standards and originals including “What’s Going On,” “The Song Is You,” “Get Ready,” “Somewhere In The Night” as well the vocalist/composer’s original title song “Behind The Smile.” Her latest album is World Peace in the Key of Jazz!
DJ Greg Caz has been spinning around New York since the early 1990s. He made a name for himself during his long stint at Black Betty (R.I.P.) in Williamsburg, where he co-hosted Brazilian Beat Sundays – a raucous DJ night of 1970s Brazilian dance music that inspired two mix CDs, Baile Funk, Vols. 1 & 2. Caz caught the "sweet sickness” of record collecting at a young age and owns crates and crates of funk, soul, rare grooves, reggae, jazz, golden-era hip hop, Latin music, ’70s soft rock and African music. He has long been a resident DJ at Nublu in the East Village, and recently provided lyric translations for the reissue of four Marcos Valle albums on Light in the Attic records. He has appeared in London, Brazil, Germany, Austria, Scotland, Ireland, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC, Chicago, Montreal and elsewhere.
Saturday, August 27
Randy Weston African Rhythms Sextet / Cory Henry & The Funk Apostles / The Artistry of
Jazzmeia Horn / Charles Turner III / Master Class: Samuel Coleman
Marcus Garvey Park, MN
3:00 PM – 7:00 PM
2:00 PM - Master Class
Randy Weston received a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship for Music Composition that enabled him to compose An African Nubian Suite, a major new work for jazz orchestra. The piece is based on his lifelong research on and interest in the culture, heritage and music of Africa. Weston notes: " An African Nubian Suite is a testament to the profound effect my African heritage has had on my life. I hope it will also be my message to others to help them know and feel proud of this heritage, that when I play the work, our common heritage will touch and inspire my audience. It is a labor of love to the culture, the people and the music that has so inspired and informed my life." In 2014, Randy Weston received a Doris Duke Artist Award. This will allow him to compose a new work, Seven African Queens, and travel to Morocco to document the traditional music of the Gnawa.
You might know Cory Henry as an in-demand, multi-instrumentalist and producer who’s worked with an array of musical legends across genres, including Yolanda Adams, Sara Bareilles, P. Diddy, Kirk Franklin, Kenny Garrett, Robert Glasper, Derrick Hodge, Shaun Kingston, Donald Lawrence, Michael McDonald, Boyz II Men, NAS, Bruce Springsteen, The Roots and as a member of the Grammy Award-winning collective Snarky Puppy. But, The Revival, (GroundUP Music/Universal Music Classics), Henry's latest release and touring project, is truly his story: a live album and DVD showcasing Henry’s deep musical roots, both in the church and outside of it. Filmed and recorded in Brooklyn at the Greater Temple of Praise, The Revival showcases Henry’s musical roots in gospel, jazz and soul. As the Kansas City Star writes, "His performances combine the celebratory aspects of neon-lit Saturday nights with reverent praise-filled Sunday mornings." Working off his instrument of choice — the Hammond B-3 organ — the musician is joined by drummer James Williams and his godfather, Bishop Jeffrey White, who delivers a stunning vocal take on “Old Rugged Cross.” Whereas The Revival is a tribute to his first love, the Hammond organ, and a showcase for his exceptional talents on the instrument, his upcoming album with The Funk Apostles will feature a full band sound – forged by nearly 100 shows over the last year. It is a synthesis of Henry’s many influences – Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Prince, Herbie Hancock, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, James Brown. Henry will be taking a classic sound into the here and now. As Henry says, “my way, my take.”
Winner of the 2015 Thelonious Monk International Vocal Jazz Competition and 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, Jazzmeia Horn has a name that speaks for itself capturing her very essence. Hailing from the great Dallas, Texas Jazzmeia has already earned a reputation in New York as a “Rising Star.” With the ambition to pursue a solo career, Jazzmeia graced the New York scene in 2009 and earned her degree at The New School for Jazz and contemporary Music. It wasn’t much later when she began to perform as a sideman with musicians Winard Harper, Junior Mance, Billy Harper, Lincoln Center Alumni Vincent Gardner, Delfeayo Marsalis, Mike LeDonne, Peter Bernstein, Johnny O’Neal, Vincent Herring, Kirk Lightsey, Frank Wess, and Ellis Marsalis. Her accolades include Downbeat Student Music Award Recipient 2008, 2009, and Best Vocal Jazz Soloist Winner 2010, The 2013 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program at The Kennedy Center Washington D.C., The Rising Star Award for the 2012 Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Jazz Competition, Finalist for Mid-Atlantic Jazz Vocal Competition 2014, and The 2015 16th Annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium’s Young Lioness Award. Currently, Jazzmeia is a teaching artist in The NJPAC Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens Program and Jazz In The Schools Program in Newark, New Jersey. She appears in various clubs on the jazz scene nationally and internationally leading her dynamic group “The Artistry of Jazz Horn,” which includes pianist, bassist, drummer, saxophonist, poet, dancer and herself as vocalist.
The First Winner of the Annual Duke Ellington Vocal Competition in New York City, hosted by Mercedes Ellington, 27 year old Charles Turner has taken the jazz scene by storm. Charles relocated to New York in 2011, and has performed in venues such as Smoke Jazz and Supper Club, Birdland, Ginny's Supper Club, Smalls, Minton's in Harlem, and Gin Fiz, where he performs every Thursday with Marc Cary and the Focus Trio. The Charles Turner Quartet has performed at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center for the Generations in Jazz festival for 2 consecutive years. Charles released his debut album Dreamers, produced by Grammy Award-winning drummer Ulysses Owens at Jazz at Lincoln Center in March 2014. In 2013, Charles was invited to participate in the prestigious Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead program, where he worked with Jason Moran, Craig Handy, Marc Cary, and performed at the Kennedy Center. He also won Best Jazz Vocalist awards at the Monterey Jazz Festival, and was a finalist at the esteemed Shure Montreux jazz festival Vocal Competition. Charles graduated from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA on a full scholarship. During his time there, he had the wonderful opportunity to study and perform with Grammy Award–winning drummer and educator Terri Lyne Carrington, Dave Samuels, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Joanne Brackeen.
Samuel Coleman is an Alvin Ailey School trained dancer and teacher versed in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, African, Hip Hop and House techniques, with a special love for Lindy Hop. Coleman was the 1st Place Winner of the 2015 Midsummer Night Swing Lindy Hop Dance Contest at Lincoln Center and was a 2011 Frankie Manning Ambassador scholarship recipient. Coleman currently performs with the Big Apple Lindy Hoppers and the Rhythm Stompers, and teaches weekly classes in Harlem and at Swing 46 Jazz and Supper Club.
Sunday, August 28
DeJohnette - Holland - Moran / Allan Harris / Donny McCaslin Group / Grace Kelly
Tompkins Square Park, MN
3:00 PM – 7:00 PM
In a career that spans five decades and includes collaborations with some of the most iconic figures in modern jazz, NEA Jazz Master and Grammy Award winner Jack DeJohnette has established an unchallenged reputation as one of the greatest drummers in the history of the genre. The list of creative associations throughout his career is lengthy and diverse: John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Keith Jarrett, Chet Baker, George Benson, Stanley Turrentine, Herbie Hancock, Dave Holland, Joe Henderson, Freddy Hubbard, Betty Carter and so many more. Along the way, he has developed a versatility that allows room for hard bop, R&B, world music, avant-garde, and just about every other style to emerge in the past half-century.
From his beginnings with Miles Davis to his celebrated ensembles of today, Grammy Award winning bassist Dave Holland has one of the most enduring legacies in jazz. The Boston Globe praises Holland as “a master bassist and bandleader, one of the most sophisticated composers and arrangers in the jazz world.” Holland’s astounding succession of innovative recordings have consistently garnered the highest acclaim over the years. Following recent tours with his own quintet, big band, and a duo with pianist Kenny Barron, Holland goes electric with his latest groundbreaking project: PRISM, featuring Kevin Eubanks, Craig Taborn, and Eric Harland. The group’s debut record, released on September 3, 2013, according to Jazzwise Magazine is Holland’s “…most visceral recording for many years, recalling the uncompromising onslaught of his work with Miles [Davis] in 1970, and his own Extensions band in the late 1980s.”
Pianist and composer Jason Moran has established himself as a risk-taker and innovator of new directions for jazz as a whole. For more than a decade, Moran and his trio The Bandwagon have dazzled audiences at elite venues worldwide, including the Village Vanguard in New York, the Newport Jazz Festival, and the North Sea Jazz Festival. A recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship and winner in DownBeat’s 2011 Critics Poll for Jazz Artist of the Year, Jazz Album of the Year, and winner in both 2011 and 2013 for Pianist of the Year, Moran is “a startlingly gifted pianist with a relentless thirst for experimentation” (The Los Angeles Times). In his recently conceived Fats Waller Dance Party, Moran presents a contemporary celebration of Waller, revisiting his legendary sound and deftly showing how Harlem stride piano resonates today. The rapturous performance played four consecutive sold-out nights at Harlem Stage for its 2011 world premiere. Jason released a recording of the music, All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller, on Blue Note on September 16, 2014.
Brooklyn-born, Harlem-based vocalist/guitarist/bandleader/composer Allan Harris has reigned supreme as one of the most accomplished and exceptional singers of his generation. The ample and aural evidence of Harris’ multifaceted talent can be heard on his ten recordings as a leader; his far-flung and critically-acclaimed concerts around the world, from Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, and Washington DC’s Kennedy Center, to the 2012 London Olympics, and a number of prestigious bookings in Europe, The Middle East and Asia, and his numerous awards, which include the New York Nightlife Award for “Outstanding Jazz Vocalist” – which he won three times – the Backstage Bistro Award for “Ongoing Achievement in Jazz,” and the Harlem Speaks “Jazz Museum of Harlem Award.” Harris is a first call vocalist (especially back in Harlem), as evidenced by his potpourri of engagements, including an impressive run as a featured soloist and producer of Sotheby’s three-year jazz series. His commitment to education is as equally impressive as his recordings and engagements. A Gibson guitarist, Harris is a long-time supporter of the St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital, and donates a performance every year to Challenge Aspen/America, along with Vince Gill and Amy Grant. All of which brings us to Black Bar Jukebox: a diverse and dynamic disc that showcases Allan Harris at the zenith of his all-encompassing artistry. “I’m a storyteller through the genre of jazz,” concludes Harris.
Acclaimed saxophonist Donny McCaslin takes a bold leap forward with his tenth album as a leader, Casting for Gravity. McCaslin’s gargantuan tenor sound finds an ideal setting to rampage through in the ferocious grooves and electronic textures of keyboardist Jason Lindner, bassist Tim Lefebvre, and drummer Mark Guiliana. Couching his trademark gift for brawny melodies in lurching dub rhythms, swirling electronica-inspired atmospheres, and arena-rock power, McCaslin has crafted a game-changer of an album, fusing a wealth of forward-looking influences into one wholly new modern jazz sound. Casting for Gravity follows on the heels of 2011’s highly acclaimed Perpetual Motion, which found McCaslin experimenting for the first time with merging his hard-charging acoustic sound with more funk-inflected electrified elements. But where that album was a blistering electroacoustic hybrid, Casting for Gravity soars past fusion into alchemy, forging a visionary voice from eclectic influences. “I wanted to make a bigger record with more sonic layers,” McCaslin explains. “I wanted to go a lot deeper into the electronic realm and push myself harder.” The effort paid off, with an album that truly breaks new ground not just for McCaslin but for integrating modern musical genres seamlessly into envelope-pushing jazz. The saxophonist has long been one of the music’s most striking voices, leading to long-running collaborations with innovators like Dave Douglas and Maria Schneider. His own solo work has been marked by a restless exploration that is only accelerated with this latest release.
East Coast born and bred saxophonist, singer, and songwriter Grace Kelly recorded her first album at 12 years old. Grace, now 23, has been voted seven- times to the Downbeat Critics Poll, five-time winner of ASCAP Composers Award, and headlined more than 700 shows in over 30 countries. A regular performer with Jon Batiste’s Stay Human on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and a go-to artist for jazz festivals across the globe, Kelly is featured in the newest season of the Emmy-nominated Amazon Prime series, Bosch. She has been featured in Vanity Fair, Glamour Magazine, Billboard, NPR and CNN among others.