Poughkeepsie, NY – Join TRANSART & Cultural Services on Sunday, August 17, at 11:00 am for an afternoon of sensational music at the 14th annual Jazz In the Valley festival at Waryas Park. Experience jazz music performed by world-class musicians, perfected by breathtaking views of the Hudson River Valley as a backdrop.
This year’s event will focus on the message of jazz and its ability to bring music lovers and musicians around the world together. TRANSART will join a stellar group of “Messengers” to share and celebrate the accomplishments of jazz and the inspiration it has had on numerous lives.
Spreading the word at Jazz in the Valley will be the supergroup, The Message featuring Javon Jackson, Buster Williams, Steve Turre, Gary Bartz, Eddie Henderson, George Cables, all former members of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, plus the drummer Lewis Nash. Also on the bill are Kenyatta Beasley, Melba Joyce, Chocolate Armenteros, Zon Del Barrio, Nicky Marrero and Mike Torsone.
“Renowned drummer Art Blakey said: ‘We started the messengers because somebody had to mind the store for jazz. No America – No jazz. It is the only culture that America has brought forth.’ Jazz in the Valley has been carrying the torch and minding the store for the past 14 years and we look forward to continue sharing the message for many years to come, ” said Greer Smith, founder of TRANSART & Cultural Services and producer of Jazz in the Valley.
The festival will continue its tradition of two performance stages, giving music lovers the opportunity to enjoy main stage concerts as well as free concerts on the Pavilion Stage just outside the festival gates.
“We are humbled to return to Waryas Park to not only present world-class entertainment in a picture perfect setting along the banks of the Hudson River, ” said Ms. Smith. “To have reached our 14th year of presenting this festival in the heart of the Hudson Valley is testament to the power of jazz and the desire and willingness of fans to continue to seek diverse venues for this special celebration of America’s music. In addition to introducing new and emerging artists on the Pavilion Stage, which is free and open to the public, we are excited to bring to the Main Stage the jazz message in the tradition of the historic Salsa Meets Jazz with the legendary ‘Chocolate’ Al Armenteros and the great Nicky Marrero. It’s always a pleasure to see old friends who have returned year after year and to make new friends who will build upon the tradition.”
“We are pleased to once again have TRANSART and Jazz in the Valley in the City of Poughkeepsie. We always look forward to sharing our beautiful waterfront with individuals and families who come to hear the sounds of jazz in Waryas Park, ” said Mayor John C. Tkazyik.
Charles S. North, President and CEO of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, added, “Conveniently located between Albany and New York City, Dutchess County is a perfect meeting place for visitors and area residents to come together to listen to America's music – jazz. We welcome the return of this exceptional partnership and dynamic event.”
“Like the diverse forms and rich history of jazz, our city is a work of art and we encourage festival attendees to experience not only the music, but also the region’s many scenic and historic sites, ” said Robert Mallory, Chairperson of the Poughkeepsie Common Council. The addition of the Pavilion Stage will allow more young people, seniors and members of the community to experience this music.”
Meet The Artists
The Message: Best known since the 1980s for his solid, dark tone and highly refined technique on the acoustic bass, Buster Williams has been a part of the changing period of jazz working with numerous artists for over 30 years. Influential in the jazz- rock generation, Williams specialized in the doubling on acoustic and electric bass. He has worked with Miles Davis, Kenny Barron, Frank Morgan and countless others.
Born and raised in New York City, George Cables shockingly never really listened to pianist growing up. Yet once introduced to jazz, he mastered the piano and continues to be one of the key players in modern jazz. Cables has performed and recorded with some of the greatest jazz musicians of all time, including Joe Henderson, Roy Haynes, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, Freddie Hubbard, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Williams, Bobby Hutcherson and Dizzy Gillespie.
Known for his expertise on the saxophone, Javon Jackson toured and recorded with Elvin Jones, Freddie Hubbard, Betty Carter, Cedar Walton, Ron Carter, Donald Byrd, Dr. Lonnie Smith and Stanley Turrentine before starting his own musical group the Javon Jackson Band. A festival favorite, Javon is an exceptional leader and is now the Artistic Director of Jazz in the Valley.
Grammy Award winning jazz saxophonist Gary Bartz first came to New York In 1958 to attend the Juilliard Conservatory of Music. Circa mid-'60s, the alto saxophonist - still in his early 20s - began performing throughout the city with the Max Roach/Abbey Lincoln Group and quickly established himself as the most promising alto voice since Cannonball Adderley. Bartz soon joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, in 1965, he would make his recording debut on Blakey's SOULFINGER album. Gary joined Charles Mingus' Workshop and began practicing regularly with fellow members of the horn section, including Eric Dolphy. In 1968, Bartz began an association with McCoy Tyner, which included participating in Tyner's classic EXPANSIONS and EXTENSIONS albums. Gary continues to perform and record with McCoy to this day.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay area, Steve Turre is one of the world's preeminent jazz innovators, trombonist and seashellist. He has been able to consistently win both the Readers' and Critics' polls in JazzTimes, Downbeat, and Jazziz for Best Trombone and for Best Miscellaneous Instrumentalist. Turre remains a key player in jazz and is known for keeping one foot in the past and the other in the future.
Lewis Nash is a talented drummer who made a name for himself in Phoenix before moving to New York in 1981. He has played on more than 200 recordings and eventually released his self-titled debut CD in 1989. He has worked with Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, Wynton Marsalis, Oscar Peterson, McCoy Tyner, Branford Marsalis, Bud Shank and Scott Hamilton to name just a few. Nash continues to tour around the world while using his experience to teach at Juilliard.
Other Jazz in the Valley performers include:
Growing up in New Orleans, Kenyatta Beasley has been accustomed to the music scene since childhood. Enrolling himself in in the esteemed New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, he was able to develop his skill in playing the trumpet. Beasley fronts a quintet that includes Keith Loftis, tenor sax; Cochran Holt, bass; Anthony Wonsey, piano; Jerome Jennings, drums. His performance will feature his recently released CD “the Frank Foster Songbook that includes performances by Wynton Marsalis, Carla Cook and Mark Whitfield. Beasley has worked with many artists, including Grammy award winner Lauryn Hill, Mary J Blige and Jay Z.
Melba Joyce’s long and impressive career has spanned three decades in the company of and sharing top billing with many giants of the music world, including Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, Louis Jordan, Lionel Hampton, Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and others. She is a prominent voice in the jazz world. She has been nominated in 2011 and 2012 in the DownBeat Readers Poll for best Jazz Vocalist., this year she makes the list again and she will get our vote Sunday afternoon when she will be sure to make a memorable mark when she hits the stage.
Bringing dance style classic Afro-Boricua music from the barrios, Zon del Barrio brings its foot-stomping, funk-based classic salsa, plena, merengue, bomba & boogalu to the corners of the Barrios. Latinos from the barrio zones have sophisticated tastes in music that is not relegated to one particular genre and Zon del Barrio emerges as one of the few orchestras to express the varied genres of Latin music from the African Diaspora and the urban streets of New York. Zon will pay tribute to Cheo Feliciano featuring ‘Chocolate’ Armenteros and Nicky Marrero.
Alfredo Chocolate" Armenteros is an Afro-Cuban trumpeter born in Santa Clara, Las Villas Province in Cuba. He first began playing in a band led by the sonero/composer René Álvarez called Conjunto Los Astros and soon after with Arsenio Rodríguez. He has played with some of the greatest names in Afro-Cuban music, including José Fajardo, César Concepción, Charlie Palmieri, Machito and a host of others.
Master timbalero and percussionist, Nicky Marrero was ubiquitous during the 1970s New York salsa boom, playing and recording with Eddie Palmieri, Larry Harlow, Ismael Miranda, Típica Novel, Louie Cruz, Fania All Stars, Machito, and more One of the tightest rhythm guys ever, his style is a hybrid of the greats: Manny Oquendo, Tito Puente and Orestes Vilató. He is mesmerizing on stage, whether playing Latin or straight jazz. His place in salsa history is secure and truly deserved.
Michael Torsone a product of the Hudson Valley, Mike has developed one of the most professional sounds in the music community. The world-renowned Hammond B3 organ generates the smooth, cool sound of jazz. The powerful, but controlled voice of Michael in combination with the vintage instrument creates a nostalgic and natural groove that cannot be replicated by the electronic chicanery of modern, electronic keyboards. His versatility and conviction to Jazz, Blues and R&B, augmented by his magnetic stage presence, is the cornerstone to the success that he currently enjoys.
Tickets and Other Information
Early Bird discount tickets are $35 before July 17; after July 17, tickets are $45 and $55 at the gate. For tickets, on line, group sales, directions and more information about Jazz in the Valley, contact TRANSART at (845) 384-6350 or log on to jazzinthevalleyny.org.
For tickets in the Hudson Valley the Mid-Hudson Civic Center, 14 Civic Center Plaza, Poughkeepsie NY; Box Office Monday –Friday 10am-5:30pm Saturday 12-4pm
Get a ticket and travel combination: Travel by bus to Jazz in the Valley and leave the driving to Rodeo Rich Washington (646) 220-9051 or Jazzy Jazz, Lorenzo Patton (917) 345-1357 and Tyrone Woods at (646) 643-3035.