Labor Day weekend, August 31-September 1, Uptown Kingston, presenting this year's festival opens on Friday, August 31, at 8:00 p.m. with The Art of the Duo." Held at BackStage Productions, a renovated nineteenth-century vaudeville house on Wall Street, this unique format will present four renowned jazz artists performing in various duo combinations. And at just $15 it has to be one of the top music bargains of this, or any, year.
Known for her stellar work with composer-arranger Maria Schneider
's orchestra and her own cutting-edge recordings, Ingrid Jensen
has received international acclaim as one of the most gifted trumpeters in the world of jazz. San Francisco native, and now NYC resident, trombonist-singer Natalie Cressman
paints from a rich jazz palette deftly blended with elements of Cuban, Brazilian, Indian, and African musics. There are pianists who sing and singers who accompany themselves on the piano, but in the entire history of the jazz only a tiny handful of singer-pianists have done both at the superlative level of the doubly brilliant Dena DeRose
Henderson, and Jeff "Tain" Watts
, among many others, completes the foursome.
Then the next evening, Saturday, September 1, will feature a free, four-hour, literally traffic-stopping concert right at the corner of Wall and North Front Streets. (In the event of rain, the whole thing moves indoors to BackStage Productions.)
This exhilarating evening opens at 6:00 with the uniquely expressive vocal instrument of Chris McNulty
. Bluesy, swinging, and spontaneously creative, Chris's art pushes the limits and leaps beyond the boundaries of vocal jazz. Guitarist Paul Bollenbeck
and bassist Ugonna Okegwo
, two accomplished players who share Chris' broad outlook, will accompany her on this musical journey.
At 7:00 Natalie Cressman
returns, this time with her own band. A rising jazz star and, at 20, already a veteran of the Bay Area jazz, salsa, and world music scenes, Natalie has melded her diverse musical experiences into the personal, yet appealing, musical vision that she displays on her debut CD, Unfolding, an August 2012 release. Back on at 8:00, Ingrid Jensen
has earned, worldwide, the adulation of audiences, the praise of critics, and the high regard of her fellow musicians, including two true giants of her instrument. The late Art Farmer
praised Ingrid's “feeling, swing, drive, taste, grace," while Clark Terry
has declared, “I’m proud to refer to her as a protégé of mine.”
Finally at 9:00 they'll be dancing in the street as the festival's perennial closing act, the all-star Estrella Salsa Band, takes the stage. Led by pianist Peggy Stern
, the all-star cast features two past Wall Street Festival favorites, alto saxophonist Sweet Sue Terry
and baritone saxophonist Claire Daly