Featured Performers include Dr. John, Wynton Marsalis, Elvis Costello, Dave Brubeck, Ann Hampton Callaway, Irma Thomas, Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, The Big Three Palladium Orchestra, The Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Marian McPartland
The John Stetch Trio, Rachael Price, Taylor Eigsti, Julian Lage, the Warren Wolf Quartet, Syncopation
Dave Brubeck and Dr. John Performances Exclusive to Tanglewood
Tanglewood Jazz Festival is sponsored by JazzTimes Magazine and Borders Books
The Boston Symphony Orchestra will present its annual Labor Day Weekend Tanglewood Jazz Festival September 1-3 at the Orchestra's summer home in the Berkshire Mountains in Lenox, Massachusetts. Jazz greats highlighting this year's festival include Dr. John, Wynton Marsalis, Elvis Costello, Dave Brubeck, Ann Hampton Callaway, Irma Thomas, the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, The Big Three Palladium Orchestra, The Spanish Harlem Orchestra, and Marian McPartland.
In its second year, the popular Jazz Cafe is an informal venue for new artists who perform before each concert. Rising stars appearing this year include the John Stetch Trio, Rachael Price, the Warren Wolf Quartet, Taylor Eigsti and Julian Lage, and Syncopation. Food and beverages will be available in both the Hawthorne Tent and the Party Tent and admission is free to the Jazz Cafe shows.
Opening the festival Friday, September 1, at 8 pm at Ozawa Hall will be two leading Latin orchestras in the supreme battle of the Latin big bands" starting with the Spanish Harlem Orchestra led by Oscar Hernandez. Hernandez, in addition to being pianist, arranger and musical director for the globally renowned Ruben Blades, has enjoyed a prolific musical career recording and performing with such world famous artists as Latin music king, Tito Puente, Queen of Salsa Music, Celia Cruze, Latin pop star, Julio Iglesias, Juan Luis Guerra, Ray Barretto, Dave Valentin, Johnny Pacheco, Ismail Miranda and dozens of others. Hernandez was also the Musical Director for Paul Simon's Broadway show, The Capeman," working closely with Simon in the studio constructing the musical arc of the controversial show. The thirteen-piece Spanish Harlem Orchestra, including three vocalists, recently released their CD, Across 110th Street" on Libertad Records.
The red hot Latin big band music of Machito and Tito Rodriguez is faithfully recreated by the maestros' sons, Machito, Jr. and Tito Rodriguez, Jr. and The Big Three Palladium Orchestra. Americans have always loved the mambo and in the 1950's the best place to hear this electrifying music was at the Palladium Ballroom in New York City. Huge crowds came to see the now legendary musical battles that took place between the giants of the Latin music world--Machito, Tito Rodriguez and Tito Puente, otherwise known as the big three."
The new Big Three Palladium Orchestra--more than 20 musicians and two vocalists--debuted at the Verizon Festival in New York in 2001 and immediately received high praise from reviewers and audiences. The Chicago Tribune said, The Big Three Palladium Orchestra may rank as the most brilliant large Latin jazz ensemble this side of Havana." Their CD, Live at the Blue Note, NYC," was released in 2004 on Rumba Jams Records.
Prior to the Friday night headline show, the John Stetch Trio will perform in the Jazz Cafe at 6:30 pm. John Stetch has performed in some of the world's most prestigious venues including the Monterey, Montreal and Paris JVC jazz festivals. In recognition of his enormous talent, the Canadian government has awarded Stetch with numerous grants for touring, development and composition. Although he still loves to perform solo, after three highly acclaimed CD's, Stetch's current focus and priority is the trio. One of today's most riveting jazz pianists and composers, he is consistently praised for his inventiveness, exquisite sound and technical brilliance. Noted jazz critic, Neil Tesser, calls Stetch's new CD, Bruxin," a vibrant album showcasing a well-oiled machine of a trio."
Saturday's lineup will kickoff at 3 pm at Ozawa Hall with a live taping of NPR's Piano Jazz" with host Marian McPartland in her fifth anniversary at Tanglewood. Her guest for this year's taping is vocalist and composer, Elvis Costello. Ms. McPartland has interviewed over 500 musicians and performers including Norah Jones (recorded live at Tanglewood), Diana Krall, Dave Brubeck, Dizzy Gillespie, Rosemary Clooney, Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, Brad Mehldau, Ray Charles, Carmen McRae and even William F. Buckley. Her easy, comfortable style, charm and quick wit engage her guests in fascinating and sometimes revealing conversations while seated at the piano.
Elvis Costello is best known for his performances with The Attractions, The Imposters and for concert appearances with pianist, Steve Nieve, and acclaimed collaborations with Burt Bacharach, The Brodsky Quartet, Paul McCartney, Anne Sofie von Otter, Bill Frisell, The Charles Mingus Orchestra and T Bone Burnett. Costello's songs have been recorded by a great number of artists reflecting his interest in a wide range of musical styles: George Jones, Chet Baker, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Dusty Springfield, Charles Brown, No Doubt, Solomon Burke, June Tabor, Howard Tate, the gospel vocal group, The Fairfield Four, and the viol consort, Fretwork, with the counter tenor, Michael Chance. In 2003 he began a songwriting partnership with his wife, the jazz pianist and singer, Diana Krall, resulting in six songs included in her highly successful album, The Girl in the Other Room." Elvis Costello and The Attractions were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. During the same year he was awarded ASCAP's prestigious Founder's Award. He received a Grammy for I Still Have That Other Girl" from his 1998 collaboration with Burt Bacharach, Painted From Memory." Costello's newest recording The River in Reverse" with New Orleans musician and composer, Allen Toussaint, was released in June on Verve Records.
Prior to the taping of Piano Jazz," pianist Taylor Eigsti and guitarist, Julian Lage, will perform in the Jazz Cafe at 1 pm. California natives, Taylor Eigsti and Julian Lage have already performed at some of the most prestigious jazz festivals in the world at the ages of 21 and 18, respectively. While making his Tanglewood debut with Marian McPartland in 2004, Taylor has since performed with Julian at the Newport Jazz Festival, the San Francisco Jazz Festival and the Berks County Jazz Festival as well as delivering a memorable performance in October, 2005, at Symphony Hall in Boston. They have also toured extensively in Brazil. Taylor and Julian are longtime friends and Julian's voice on guitar is an integral part of the pianist's first CD release on a major label (Concord Records), which is entitled, Lucky To Be Me." This will mark their Tanglewood debut as a duo.
Headlining the festival on Saturday, September 2 at the 5,100 seat Koussevitsky Music Shed will be Wynton Marsalis at 8 pm followed by Dr. John and Special Friends. Wynton Marsalis has been described as the most famous jazz musician of his time and one of he world's top classical trumpeters, big band leaders, composers and devoted advocate for the arts. As Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, Marsalis was instrumental in the creation of Dizzy's Club Coca Cola, New York's most prestigious jazz club in Columbus Circle. A member of the highly talented Marsalis family in New Orleans, Wynton, his father, Ellis, and brothers Branford, Jason, and Delfeayo are known as the first family of jazz." At age 17, Wynton became the youngest musician ever to be admitted to Tanglewood's Berkshire Music Center. Despite his youth, he was awarded the school's prestigious Harvey Shapiro Award for outstanding brass student. Wynton Marsalis has won nine Grammy Awards and the distinction of being the only artist ever to win Grammy Awards for both jazz and classical records and the only artist ever to have won Grammys in five consecutive years. His latest CD, Live at the House of Tribes," was released on Blue Note Records in August, 2005.
Following Wynton Marsalis, Dr. John and Special Friends will take the stage in an exclusive Tanglewood concert. Vocalists Ann Hampton Callaway, Irma Thomas and John Pizzarelli will join Dr. John in a tribute to composer Johnny Mercer. A very special horn section for this show will include Jeremy Pelt on trumpet, Howard Johnson on baritone saxophone, and Craig Handy on tenor saxophone. Dr. John, or Mac Rebennack as known to family and friends, is the embodiment of the rich musical heritage exclusive to New Orleans. His colorful musical career began in the 1950's when he wrote and played guitar on some of the greatest records to come out of the Crescent City, including recordings by Professor Longhair, Art Neville, Joe Tex and Frankie Ford. In the 1960's he headed west where he continued to be in demand as a session musician playing on recordings by Sonny and Cher, Van Morrison, Aretha Franklin and many others. It was then that he launched his solo career as Dr. John The Night Tripper. Adorned with voodoo charms and regalia, a legend was born with his breakthrough 1968 album, Gris-gris," which established his unique blend of voodoo mysticism, funk, rhythm and blues, psychedelic rock and Creole roots. Dr. John's most recent CD, Mercenary: The Songs of Johnny Mercer," was released in May on Blue Note Records.
Ann Hampton Callaway is a singer, pianist, composer, lyricist, arranger, actress and educator. Her talents have made her equally at home in jazz and pop as well as on stage, in the recording studio, on tv and in film. She is best known for starring in the hit Broadway musical, Swing!" and for writing and singing the theme to the internationally successful tv series, The Nanny." Ann is a devoted keeper-of-the-flame of the great American songbook and is the only composer recognized by the Cole Porter Estate to have collaborated with Cole Porter having set her music to his posthumously discovered lyric, I Gaze in Your Eyes." Ms. Callaway has appeared on The Today Show, Larry King Live, the Charlie Rose Show, the Oprah Winfrey Show, the Rosie O'Donnell Show and ABC News. She starred in Midnight Swing" for the PBS television special, Live From Lincoln Center," and was featured in a PBS special with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops. She has done extensive broadcasting for Serius Satellite Radio as a performer, DJ and interviewer. Ms. Callaway's honors include receiving a Tony Award nomination for Best Featured Actress in a Musical" for her work in Swing!" and winning the Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut." She has received an unsurpassed 14 awards from the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs, two Backstage Bistro Awards, the 2005 Nightlife Award, the Johnny Mercer Songwriter Award and the Norman Vincent Peale Award for Positive Thinking.
Irma Thomas is the unrivaled Soul Queen of New Orleans" and ranks among the Crescent City's greatest and most enduring musical ambassadors. A Louisiana native, Ms. Thomas's career began in her teens as a singing waitress at New Orleans' Pimlico Club. When the club's owner dismissed her for spending more time singing than waiting tables, bandleader Tommy Ridgley agreed to help her land a recording deal. Ronn Records issued her single, You Can Have My Husband (But Don't Mess With My Man)," in the spring of 1960 and the record quickly reached number 22 on the Billboard R & B Chart. Ms. Thomas's collaboration with songwriter and producer, Allen Toussaint, began with her first Minit Records release, Girl Needs Boy," and continued throughout her tenure with the label. Numerous singles throughout the 1960's were highly acclaimed but were never huge national hit songs except for Wish Someone Would Care" which vaulted into Billboard's Top 20. Subsequent recording contracts over the years with Chess, Canyon and Roker kept Thomas in the studios but failed to place her on the charts again. In the aftermath of the devastating Hurricane Camille, she relocated her family to Los Angeles and supported her children by working at retailer Montgomery Ward. Thomas returned to New Orleans in 1976 and, with husband/manager Emile Jackson, she opened the Lion's Den, a New Orleans club where she regularly headlined. She also toured Europe where her records still merited regular airplay and in 1985 she was approached by Rounder Records to make a comeback record. By 1991 Thomas had received her first Grammy nomination. Following Hurricane Katrina, Fox News began circulating the story that Irma Thomas, along with other New Orleans music notables such as Fats Domino, had gone missing in the ensuing flood. The story spread through the media and the phones at Rounder Records began to ring as concerned fans, friends and musical associates called to ask about her safety. As it turned out, the news report was false. She'd been performing in Austin, Texas, and hadn't even been in New Orleans when the storm hit. What was clear was that the press was acknowledging Thomas as a treasured cultural icon who embodies the very soul of New Orleans.
Jazz guitarist and vocalist, John Pizzarelli, is known for his urbane interpretations of the Great American Songbook. His light swinging style has been compared to guitarists Les Paul and Django Reinhardt. Son of guitarist, Bucky Pizzarelli, John began performing with his father at age 20 and made his recorded debut with his 1983 release, I'm Hip--Please Don't Tell My Father." Subsequent recordings included P.S. Mr. Cole (a tribute to Nat King Cole), Kisses in the Rain, and Let There Be Love." He has recorded an album with George Shearing and celebrated ten years of performing with his trio by releasing the concert album, Live at Birdland," in 2003 and Bossa Nova" in 2004. Pizzarelli is probably best known to millions of Americans for his theme song for Foxwoods Casino, The Wonder of It All....." His latest CD, Dear Mr. Sinatra" is on Telarc Records. (NOTE: Due to a scheduling conflict, vocalist Steve Tyrell will not be available to perform with Dr. John as previously announced.)
Prior to Wynton Marsalis and Dr. John on Saturday, Syncopation will perform at 6 pm in the Jazz Cafe. Called the Manhattan Transfer of the 21st Century" by the Boston Globe, Syncopation is a vocal jazz quartet that was formed in 2002 at Berklee College of Music and mentored by Cheryl Bentyne of the Manhattan Transfer. Syncopation performs catchy swing, Latin and pop tunes along with a capella jazz and improvisation pieces. Syncopation has performed across the US for festivals such as the Tri-C Vocal Jazz Festival, the Boston Globe Jazz Festival, the Meihon Jazz Festival and at the IAJE Conference in New York. The group frequently tours Japan holding clinics and singing for sold-out audiences. Syncopation's latest CD, Of Blue," is on Geneon Entertainment Records and features Satoru Salt" Shonoya, Japan's hottest jazz pianist.
On Sunday, September 3, at 2 pm, the legendary Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, under the direction of Slide Hampton, will open the festival at Ozawa Hall. Master saxophonist Jimmy Heath, drummer extraordinaire Dennis Mackrel, and trumpeter Roy Hargrove are just some of the all-stars" represented in what has been called Dizzy Gillespie's dream band." Other personnel in the band are Claudio Roditti, Diego Urcola and John Lee on trumpet, Frank Wess on flute and tenor saxophone, Antonio Hart on alto saxophone, Gary Smulyan on baritone sax, Andres Boiarsky on tenor saxophone and Steve Davis and Douglas Purviance on trombone. Joining these masterful musicians will be Italian jazz vocalist, Roberta Gambarini. Ms. Gambarini has worked with Hank Jones, James Moody, Michael Brecker, Mark O'Connor and many other jazz greats. Her latest CD, Easy to Love" was released in June on Groovin High Records. Prior to the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, the Warren Wolf Quartet will perform at 12 noon in the Jazz Cafe. Warren Wolf began playing drums at the age of three, took up the vibraphone and toured with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra when he was nine, wrote his first composition at age ten and was performing professionally by the time he was 12. Yet he readily admits that when he arrived at Berklee at age 17 he still had a lot to learn. During his student years, Wolf developed confidence as a player and band leader when he landed a date at Boston's landmark jazz club, Wally's Cafe. When I started playing Wally's here were tons of musicians there," says Wolf. It was like New York--a lot of musicians in the corner with their horns out ready to play and I just kept meeting people through the years." Wolf has performed with jazz greats Roy Haynes, Lewis Nash and Milt Jackson and through such opportunities is developing a sense of what it takes to be a master.
Closing out the festival on Sunday, September 3, at 8 pm, will be the Dave Brubeck Quartet and a rare U.S. appearance of Mr. Brubeck's Chamber Program with a 22 piece string symphonette. This program is performed in Europe when the group is on tour, but is not often seen in the United States. They were asked to perform this material in June at Carnegie Hall and declined in favor of an exclusive performance at Tanglewood Jazz Festival. The program is presented as a true concerto grosso and features Brubeck compositions, Blue Rondo a la Turk," Take Five," and Brandenburg Gate Revisited."
Prior to the Dave Brubeck Quartet, vocalist Rachael Price and the Warren Wolf Quartet will perform at 6 pm in the Jazz Cafe. Vocalist Rachael Price's rise to fame began in 2003 as a semifinalist at the Montreaux International Jazz Vocal Competition in France and came to the attention of multi Grammy nominated jazz vocalist, Nnenna Freelon. In 2004, Price wowed the audience at the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition and by August, 2005, opened for saxophonist, Joshua Redman. Born in Nashville, Tennessee, the 19-year old vocalist grew up listening to jazz and is currently a jazz studies major at the New England Conservatory of Music. She has performed at the Kennedy Center, Newport Jazz Festival and with T. S. Monk, Jr. at Scullers Jazz Club in Boston. She received a standing ovation when she performed at the Society of Singer's Gala to honor Elton John along with kd lang, Michael McDonald, Joss Stone, LeeAnn Rimes, Barry Manilow and others.
Tickets for the 2006 Tanglewood Jazz Festival are available by calling SymphonyCharge at 888-266-1200 or online at www.tanglewood.org. and in person at the Tanglewood Box Office in Lenox. All ticket prices include a $1 Tanglewood Grounds Maintenance Fee. For further information, please call the Boston Symphony Orchestra at 617-266-1492. The Tanglewood Jazz Festival is sponsored by JazzTimes Magazine and Borders Books.
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