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Jimmy Cobb and Cassandra Wilson Perform at the Kimmel Center This November

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Kind of Blue Turns 50
The Jimmy Cobb Band
Honoring Jimmy Cobb
Saturday, November 1, 2008 | 7:30pm
Perelman Theater
Price: $32 and $38

The Kimmel Center’s Jazz Up Close Series during the 2008-09 season celebrates the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis’ quintessential jazz album, Kind of Blue, with five concerts paying tribute to the men who made it legendary. The first concert in the series honors drummer Jimmy Cobb, the lone surviving member of the historic 1959 session, on Saturday, November 1, 2008 in Perelman Theater. A formative figure in the development of jazz, Cobb will be awarded the National Endowments for the Arts Jazz Masters Award, the nation’s highest honor in jazz, in 2009.

Cobb has attained international renown as a band leader, an accompanist and a solo artist, and in much-heralded collaborations with Wynton Kelly, Wes Montgomery, the Adderley Brothers and Sarah Vaughan. His signature rhythmic textures can be heard on hundreds of albums throughout the past five decades. The elder statesman of all the Miles Davis bands, Cobb’s inspirational work has appeared on such seminal Davis albums as Sketches of Spain, Someday My Prince Will Come, Porgy and Bess, among many other landmark recordings. He has performed and recorded extensively with luminaries such as Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, Pearl Bailey, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, Ricky Ford, Hank Jones, George Coleman, Fathead Newman and many others.

Cobb’s extensive discography includes the two-disc Miles Davis tribute Miles from India (2008), for which he joined with two dozen musicians including fellow Davis alumni Chick Corea, Gary Bartz and Ron Carter and a contingent of Indian musicians. The album puts a pan-global spin on such classics as “All Blues," “Spanish Key," “So What" and “It s About That Time." In 2007, Cobb released Cobb’s Corner with his quartet, which included Roy Hargrove, Ronnie Mathews and Peter Washington; as well as a tribute to Kind of Blue, Essence of Green, with Ron di Salvio. Cobb continues to tour with his band Cobb’s Mob, with whom he is currently working on a new live album.

This is the first performance in the Jazz Up Close: Kind of Blue Turns 50 series. The next performance in the series is the Fred Hersch Trio, Honoring Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly on Saturday, December 6, 2008 at 7:30pm.

Jimmy Cobb, drums
Corcoran Holt, bass
Javon Jackson, sax
Russell Malone, guitar
Eric Reed, piano

Saturday, November 1, 2008 | 5pm
Commonwealth Plaza | Free in the Plaza
ArtJaz Gallery Exhibit
ArtJaz Gallery presents work by Jackson-Collins and Ernani Silva. Experience the messages of jazz and more in this exhibit of paintings and mixed media. The exhibit will be featured in Commonwealth Plaza prior to the ticketed performance by the Jimmy Cobb Band, part of the Jazz Up Close series in Perelman Theater.

Saturday, November 1, 2008 | Intermission
Perelman Theater Stage | Artist Chat
An intermission Artist Chat led by Kimmel Center Vice President of Programming and Education Mervon Mehta, along with the evening’s performers will explore the music heard in concert as well as their own Kind of Blue thoughts, memories and riffs.

Cassandra Wilson
Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band

Friday, November 7, 2008 | 8pm
Verizon Hall
Price: $26, $41, $51, $64

“Unquestionably, a voice for the ages--smoked honey that elevates the language that passes her succulent lips, a moistening and a kiss for words one feels the smack of--but Cassandra Wilson is also one of the most fearless, intuitive and artful interpreters jazz has ever known." --All About Jazz

Sultry chanteuse Cassandra Wilson headlines an evening of jazz featuring Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band on Friday, November 7, 2008 at 8pm in Verizon Hall. Named “America’s Best Singer" by Time magazine in 2001, Wilson is known for her honey-dipped earthy vocal prowess in a range of styles from avant-garde jazz to funk, world, pop, blues and folk. Opening the evening, The Fellowship Band will be led by drummer-composer Brian Blade, a mainstay in the legendary Wayne Shorter Quartet who has been hailed by the New York Times as “one of jazz’s best young drummers."

Mississippi native Cassandra Wilson began her career as a vocalist for the innovative “M-Base" collective in the 1980’s, and has continued to push the boundaries of jazz with her genre-bending compositions and interpretations of classics. Wilson’s most recent album, Loverly, was released in June 2008 to rave reviews. Recorded in a rented house in Mississippi, the album rediscovers the jazz songbook and Wilson’s roots in a collection of standards with pianist Jason Moran, guitarist Marvin Sewell, bassist Lonnie Plaxico and others. Percussionist Lekan Babalola contributes West African rhythms for a global perspective on favorites such as “Dust My Broom" and “St. James Infirmary Blues."

Wilson’s discography also includes her breakthrough album, Blue Light Til Dawn (1993); the Grammy winning album New Moon Daughter (1995); and her critically acclaimed Thunderbird (2006). Previous albums of standards include Blue Skies (1988) and Rendezvous (1997). In 1999, Wilson produced Traveling Miles as a tribute to Miles Davis, one of her greatest influences, for whom she performed as the opening act at JVC Jazz Festival in Chicago in 1989. Wilson was named “Female Jazz Vocalist of the Year" by Down Beat magazine from 1994 to 1996. She has performed with artists as diverse as avant garde saxophonists Steve Coleman and Henry Threadgill to premier musicians such as Earl Turbinton and Ellis Marsalis.

Brian Blade’s unique drumming style has been at the forefront of a new wave of New Orleans-based Dixie music. The Louisiana native studied under New Orleans Dixie-drum masters Johnny Vidacovich and Herlin Riley, as well as pianist Ellis Marsalis. Blade has recorded with Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Daniel Lanois and Joni Mitchell. He toured with Joshua Redman and Kenny Garrett before forming his own jazz ensemble, The Fellowship Band. The band most recently released Season of Changes (2008) to much critical acclaim. Since 2000, Blade has been a member of saxophonist-composer Wayne Shorter’s Grammy®-winning quartet with Panamanian pianist Danilo Perez, artistic advisor for the Kimmel Center’s Jazz Up Close series, and bassist John Patitucci.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz Publicity.
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