Cape May Jazz Honors Ray Charles With David Fathead Newman Tribute April 15-17, 2005


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March 15, 2005

To: Listings/Critics/Features From: JAZZ PROMO SERVICES Contact: Lelah Eppenbach Executive Director

Cape May Jazz Festival Next Festival April 15-17, 2005 www.capemayjazz.org (609) 884-7200

For Immediate Release:


The 23rd Cape May Jazz Festival kicks off Friday, April 15, 2005 with a tribute to the late legend, Ray Charles. David “Fathead" Newman, a tenor sax man who met Ray when the two were teens on the touring circuit will perform his rousing homage “I Remember Brother Ray”, joined by Marcus Belgrave, Howard Johnson and Cynthia Scott. Newman’s moving tribute to the man and the decades they played together is sure to be an electrifying kickoff to the festival weekend.

Saturday the festival will have two headliners: On Convention Hall’s seaside stage, Nicholas Payton & Sonic Trance will bring their distinct jazz groove, incorporating elements of groove and hip hop with mystical special effects for a complete aural experience. Young trumpet phenom Payton has created a musical landscape intended to take the imagination on a journey. Also Saturday, Pieces of a Dream will be the first Cape May Jazz Festival artists to use the new Lower Township Performing Arts Center. Buses will run from in-town venues to the PAC from 6:30-10pm on Saturday, shuttling festival-goers to see the spectacular show for which Pieces of a Dream has become so well-known over the last 25 plus years.

Pianist Monty Alexander gets in the spirit of Ray at the Grand Hotel on Friday, grafting the traditions of American jazz to his authentic Jamaican roots. Alexander’s four-decade career has explored the rich depths of musical and cultural diversity, and he has performed and/or recorded with artists from every corner of the musical universe including Frank Sinatra, Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Quincy Jones, Natalie Cole, Robbie Shakespeare and many more.

Three-time Grammy nominee, percussionist Stefon Harris and Blackout will light up Star of the Sea auditorium on Saturday. Called “one of the most important young artists in jazz" by The Los Angeles Times, Harris has been winning national and international awards for his skilled melodious vibraphone sound.

Young vocalist Sara Gazarek has begun to gain national acclaim, and was awarded the 2003 DownBeat Student Music Award for Best Collegiate Jazz Vocalist. Sara will woo the audience at the Pelican Club on Friday. Also Friday, the AfroRican Jazz Ensemble will have Carney’s Main Room dancing like it’s 1950 in Havana. Saturday the Latin grooves continue with the Cintron Orchestra jamming the afternoon away at the Grand, and Ray Mantilla and The New Space Station shaking the evening crowd at Star of the Sea.

Rounding out this fabulous lineup will be the Budesa Brothers featuring Michelle Beckham on vocals in Carney’s Other Room, The Ed Cherry Organ Project in the Boiler Room, and the Chris Bergson Band in Cabanas. Trumpet sensation Sean Jones will perform at the Grand Hotel, and Lucky Thompson & DNA will bring their percussive jazz to Carney’s Main Room. Saturday in Carney’s Other Room, chanteuse Laura Theodore will take the mic. The Vinson Valega Trio will perform in the Boiler Room, and vocalist Nora Jean Bruso will sing the blues at Cabanas.

In addition to these many amazing artists, the 23rd Cape May Jazz Festival will welcome many familiar and many new and notable faces to their Saturday and Sunday jams. Workshops in guitar, singing, horn and percussion will be co-sponsored by the Center for Community Arts, and the annual CD signing party will take place in the Boiler Room on Saturday. For tickets and information on the April 15-17 Cape May Jazz Festival, visit www.capemayjazz.org, or call 877-7CM-JAZZ. Tickets on sale now.


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