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"Newport Jazz Festival: Now 60" Tour Band Celebrates Iconic Rhode Island Festival

SOURCE: Published:
In Montreal, Ottawa, Rochester, Saratoga and Newport in June and August

NEWPORT, RI – In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the world- renowned Newport Jazz Festival (August 1-3, 2014), the “Newport Jazz Festival: Now 60” Tour sets out on the second leg of its journey with stops in Montreal and Ottawa in Canada as well as Rochester and Saratoga in New York and Newport, RI. Featuring clarinetist/saxophonist Anat Cohen
Anat Cohen
Anat Cohen

sax, tenor
, vocalist/pianist Karrin Allyson
Karrin Allyson
Karrin Allyson

vocalist
, bassist Larry Grenadier, pianist Peter Martin
Peter Martin
Peter Martin
b.1970
piano
, guitarist Mark Whitfield
Mark Whitfield
Mark Whitfield
b.1966
guitar
, trumpeter Randy Brecker
Randy Brecker
Randy Brecker
b.1945
trumpet
and drummer Clarence Penn
Clarence Penn
Clarence Penn
b.1968
drums
, the band has been receiving rave reviews since it kicked off a 17-city tour on February 8 in Atlanta and wound down in St. Louis on March 30.

Tour dates include:

Thursday, June 26, 9:30 pm: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Festival International de Jazz de Montreal
Theatre Jean Duceppe - Place des Arts
175 Rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest

Friday, June 27, 7:00 pm: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
TD Ottawa Jazz Festival
National Arts Centre Studio
53 Elgin Street

Saturday, June 28, 2014, 6:00 pm & 10:00 pm: Rochester, NY
Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival
Kilbourn Hall, Eastern School of Music
Main Street East

Sunday, June 29, 12:00 pm: Saratoga Springs, NY
Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival
108 Avenue of the Pines

Saturday, August 2, 10:30 am: Newport, RI
Newport Jazz Festival presented by Natixis Global Asset Management
Fort Adams State Park
90 Harrison Avenue

The tour continues with more dates during 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 and 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.)

“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, ” said Wein. “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 ARTISTS

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.

Four-Time Grammy Nominee Karrin Allyson lives in New York City, following a childhood in the Midwest, schooling in the Bay Area, a degree in classical piano performance and important stints in Minneapolis and Kansas City, where she began her recording career with Concord Jazz. Karrin currently spends two days out of three on tour, playing the major jazz festivals, concert venues and clubs of the U.S. and making repeated tours overseas — to Brazil, Japan, Australia and the great cities of Europe. Among musicians, Karrin is known as a great bandleader and one of the great pleasures of the current scene is listening to her highly developed interplay with her bandmates — it sounds so effortless — but it conceals a deep musical sophistication. It’s one of Allyson’s great achievements — the result of working for more than a decade with an ensemble of fearless and powerfully committed jazz virtuosi.

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).

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 (with Mark Turner and Jeff Ballard, 2012) and Costumes are Mandatory (with Ethan Iverson, Lee Konitz and Jorge Rossy, 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.

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).

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.

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

NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS

With the 60th anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival® approaching, thousands of fans will no doubt reflect on some of the historical highlights of the event that have become, through memory, recordings and film, touchstones of the American cultural landscape. Two of the most famous performances in the festival's history are Miles Davis’ 1955 solo on “'Round Midnight” and the Duke Ellington Orchestra's lengthy 1956 performance of “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue, ” featuring a 27-chorus saxophone solo by Paul Gonsalves. The 1964 album Miles & Monk at Newport documented respective appearances by Davis in 1958 and Thelonious Monk in 1963; Davis’ band included John Coltrane and Monk’s featured Pee Wee Russell.

Other early performances documented on commercially released recordings include the 1957 appearances by Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Carmen McRae (Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday at Newport, 1958); those by the Gigi Gryce-Donald Byrd Jazz Laboratory and the Cecil Taylor Quartet featuring Steve Lacy, released on At Newport also in 1958; and performances at the 1960 festival by Muddy Waters and Nina Simone, released as the albums At Newport 1960 and Nina Simone at Newport. Films chronicling the Newport Jazz experience include “Jazz on a Summer Day, ” a documentary of the 1958 festival which includes sets by Dave Brubeck, Ray Charles and Miles Davis; and a film released by Storyville of the 1962 event which featured Lambert, Hendricks & Bavan, the Oscar Peterson Trio, Roland Kirk, Duke Ellington and the Count Basie Orchestra featuring Jimmy Rushing.

Today, the Newport Jazz Festival continues to present a multi-generational celebration of jazz. With annual line-ups filled with a wealth of established jazz giants and emerging stars, fans joyfully witness generational batons being passed back and forth – Esperanza Spalding walking the line with Wayne Shorter … Anat Cohen defying her age with George Wein and his Newport All-Stars...Julian Lage trading licks with Jim Hall... Grace Kelly blowing up a storm with Phil Woods. Through countless memorable musical moments with Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman, Gregory Porter, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Trombone Shorty, Diana Krall, Darcy James Argue, Jon Faddis, Maria Schneider, Jamie Cullum, Terence Blanchard, Robert Glasper and many others, the Newport Jazz Festival, under the auspices of the 501 (c) (3) Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc., looks forward to many more decades as the leading purveyor of the best of yesterday, today and tomorrow.


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