NEW ORLEANS, LA: Jazz Vocalist Stephanie Jordan of New Orleans has been added to a stealer line-up of jazz greats for the kick-off of the first annual International Jazz Day with a full day of events in New Orleans, Paris and New York. Jordan has been selected as a replacement for Grammy Award-winner Dianne Reeves.
The inaugural International Jazz Day will be celebrated by millions worldwide on Monday, April 30, and will begin with an all-star sunrise concert in New Orleans' Congo Square at Louis Armstrong Park, the birthplace of jazz and culiminate with a sunset concert at the United Nations. Presented by UNESCO in partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, International Jazz Day will encourage and highlight intercultural dialogue and understanding through jazz, America's greatest contribution to the world of music. In addition to Jordan, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock will be joined by in New Orleans by jazz luminaries Terence Blanchard, Ellis Marsalis, Bill Summers, Roland Guerin, Kermit Ruffins, Treme Brass Band, and Jeff 'Tain' Watts, Dr. Michael White, and many more. The sunrise concert from Congo Square is open to the public and begins at 7am (8am EDT), and will be broadcast live on CBS Morning News, and video streamed live at Jazz Day and Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.
UNESCO invite students and schools from around the world to join in the celebration of International Jazz Day and play Watermelon Man" along with Herbie Hancock live from Congo Square, New Orleans at 8:15am EDT on April 30, 2012. Sheet music and an MP3 is available to download on JazzDay.com. Please video your performances of Watermelon Man" and upload them to youtube.com and title them:International Jazz Day - Watermelon Man. Please include tags: JazzDay, April30, IntlJazzDay, HerbieHancock. Let us know the link and the musicians and where you performed and for how many people on this form. UNESCO will post your videos and your photos on JazzDay.com.
International Jazz Day culminates at the United Nations with an all-star sunset concert. Joining Herbie Hancock are: Tony Bennett, Terence Blanchard, Richard Bona (Cameroon), Dee Dee Bridgewater, Candido, Robert Cray, Eli Degibri (Israel), Jack DeJohnette, Sheila E., Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Heath, Zakir Hussain (India), Chaka Khan, Angelique Kidjo (Benin), Lang Lang (China), Romero Lubambo (Brazil), Shankar Mahadevan (India), Wynton Marsalis, Hugh Masekela (South Africa), Christian McBride, Danilo Pérez, Dianne Reeves, Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Hiromi (Japan), and others. George Duke will serve as Musical Director. Confirmed Co-Hosts include Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Quincy Jones.
The concert at the United Nations General Assembly Hall begins at 7:30pm EDT and will be video streamed live at Jazz Day and Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.
This invitation to Jordan comes of the heals of her acclaimed performance this past Friday at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and following Jordan’s recent release of her self-produced CD on her Vige Music label. Critics boast of how Stephanie Jordan filled the air with her signature trademark of singing jazz standards from the Big Band era. The show and CD; “Stephanie Jordan Sings a Tribute to the Fabulous Lena Horne; Yesterday When I Was Young” honors the legendary Grammy Award winner who starred in many films and whose one-woman show, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music (1981), was hailed as her masterpiece.
Noted jazz critic Ted Panken writes, “Great lyrics permeate this beautifully rendered homage, and Jordan has the skill sets to do them justice—a voice that projects from a whisper to a scream, impeccable diction, dead-center pitch, fluid phrasing. Backed by a breathe-as-one 8-piece unit of top-shelf New Orleanians that sounds twice its size, and counterstated by a cohort of virtuoso soloists, she finds fresh, unfailingly swinging approaches to this well-traveled repertoire, melding into a personal argot elements garnered from such distinguished mentors as Shirley Horn, Abbey Lincoln, Nancy Wilson—and Lena Horne herself—while sounding like no one other than Stephanie Jordan. As she aptly puts it, “it’s a tribute, not a copy.”
Panken continues, “The album’s title track, Yesterday When I Was Young, a Charles Aznavour gem that Horne documented on the 1969 LP Lena and Gabor. Jordan’s sodium pentothal treatment—the truth WILL be told—is evocative of the magical phrasing of Shirley Horn, a close friend of Jordan from her D.C. days.”
The full album continues Jordan’s signature treatment of jazz standards from the Big Band era performed with select solos by her father Edward “Kidd” Jordan; her brothers trumpeter Marlon and flutist Kent Jordan; and Uncle Maynard Chatters. Roderick Paulin’s solo treatment on Stormy Weather is enchanting while Emmy Award recipient Mike Esneault provides musical utopia on the keys throughout the album.
Jordan’s only regret is that Horne isn’t around to hear this heartfelt offering. “I was two years into doing tributes to Lena, when she died,” she says. “It was devastating to me. In addition to being available locally at Louisiana Music Factory and Jim Russell Records, the CD is available for download at iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon.com and other online stores.