This year’s fall event will host over a dozen concerts featuring live performances by Luciana Souza and Vince Mendoza: Storytellers with big band, Marquis Hill, John Escreet's Seismic Shift, David Murray Trio, Jonathan Pinson’s Boom Clap, ROVA, Battle Trance, Ben Wendel High Heart, Daniel Rotem's Wise One, Myra Melford’s Fire & Water Quintet, Nicole McCabe’s Septet, Devin Daniels' Quartet and Zoh Amba's Quartet.
Luciana Souza & Vince Mendoza
Jazz never stands still. Like improvisation, it’s constantly evolving and reinventing itself. While some festivals focus with a nostalgic lens, Angel City unapologetically looks forward to encouraging and embracing metamorphosis of the genre. While providing a cradle to 1960s innovators Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, and Charles Lloyd, Los Angeles never consistently hosted a festival dedicated to post-traditional improvisation until innovator Rocco Somazzi founded The Angel City Jazz Festival in 2008. The festival has helped establish LA as a jazz destination through 15 years of affordable and accessible live concerts throughout the city featuring artists such as Bill Frisell, Archie Shepp, Bennie Maupin, Roscoe Mitchell, Wadada Leo Smith, Vijay Iyer, Ravi Coltrane, Nels Cline, Tigran Hamasyan, Rudresh Mahanthappa and many others.
The festival kicks off Friday, October 21 at The Ford in Hollywood with soulful Grammy-award winning vocalist Luciana Souza presenting a new arrangement of Brazilian classics by Vince Mendoza for a big band that includes many LA luminaries such as Peter Erskine, Alex Acuna, Bob Mintzer and Bob Sheppard.
The excitement continues on Saturday October 22 with a double bill featuring dynamic trumpeter Marquis Hill with Jahari Stampley, Joshua Griffin and Jeremiah Collier, followed by the CD-release party for Seismic Shift featuring the LA-based power trio of John Escreet, Eric Revis and Damion Reid. The opening weekend closes with a rare appearance by legendary sax man and PAPA alumnus David Murray with drummer Malachi Whitson and bassist Roberto Miranda at The World Stage in LA’s own Africa Town on October 23.
The following weekend, Friday, October 28, ACJ partners with LACMA to present a free concert featuring LA-based drummer Jonathan Pinson’s Boom Clap. On Saturday, October 29, two of the world’s preeminent sax quartets, ROVA from the Bay Area and Battle Trance from NYC will share the stage at 2220 Arts + Archives. On Sunday, October 30, Ben Wendel will perform material from his High Heart release at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre with an all-star band featuring Fabian Almazan, Harish Raghavan, Nate Wood and Michael Mayo. On the same night, Daniel Rotem will present a set dedicated to John Coltrane featuring Billy Childs, Darek Oles and Joe LaBarbera.
The festival’s penultimate event will see the highly anticipated new ensemble helmed by keyboard virtuoso Myra Melford with Mary Halvorson, Tomeka Reid, Lesley Mok and Ingrid Laubrock perform at Colburn’s Thayer Hall in DTLA. Opening the night is the Nicole McCabe Septet premiering a new piece commissioned by the Los Angeles Jazz Society.
The festival will conclude on November 5 with a performance by NYC-based rising star Zoh Amba, leading a quartet featuring Tashi Dorji, Dylan Fujioka and Mark Dresser. Saxophonist Devin Daniels opens the evening with his quartet that includes pianist Jamael Dean, bassist Logan Kane and drummer Benjamin Ring.