WBGO's Michael Bourne to Host/MC the Litchfield Jazz Festival in Kent, CT


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Litchfield Jazz Festival
July 31 August 2, 2009
Kent School, Kent, CT

Kent, CT-- The Litchfield Jazz Festival announces a celebrity host and MC for the 2009 Litchfield Jazz Festival, WBGOs Michael Bourne. Michael is a long-time jazz journalist and broadcaster: 40 years as a senior contributor to DownBeat Magazine, 37 years as a jazz jock, including 25 years with WBGO Jazz88 in Newark, NJ. He was honored with the Willis Conover/Marian McPartland lifetime achievement award for broadcasting from the Jazz Journalists Association. He earned a doctorate in theatre from Indiana and is a New York theatre critic, for 5 years as a member of the Outer Critics Circle. Michael has also been a travel writer, especially about jazz festivals around the world. He's been an MC for jazz festivals in New York, Chicago, Amsterdam, Bombay, and for 10 years he's been an artistic director, performer, and MC for the Jazz on the Mountain festival of the Mohonk Mountain House in the Hudson Valley. When asked about his connection to Kent, Michael Bourne said I was last in Kent 40 years ago as an actor touring with the Indiana Theatre Company. I was funny in a comedy by Shakespeare and stunk in a tragedy by Sophocles. Michael is honored and excited to host the Litchfield Jazz Festival this year and is thrilled about the line-up from start to finish.

The 14th Annual Litchfield Jazz Festival pleased to have Michael Bourne join us as this years host and MC for our first year at Kent School in Kent, CT. He will be joined by Mike Gow, host of a local Sunday Moring Jazz Show. Festival weekend includes main stage performances, crafters, fine artists, student performances, master classes with festival stars, food from a variety of local restaurants, an Opening Night Gala, an After Party & Jam and much more. On the main stage on Friday, July 31st, with music starting at 7:45 PM is the Lewis Nash Quintet followed by vocalist Jane Monheit. On Saturday, August 1st the music starting at noon and runs until 10 PM. Performances include Dafnis Prieto Si o Si Quartet, Trio Da Paz with Leny Andrade, Wycliffe Gordon & Jay Leonhart Quartet, Benny Green and Bucky Pizzarelli, Bill Henderson Quartet and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Sunday, August 2nd, with music starting at noon and running until 8:30 PM, includes Ted Nash Quartet The Mancini Project, Lionel Loueke Trio, Dena DeRose Quartet featuring Claudio Roditi, Houston Person Quartet and closes with Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band.

The Litchfield Jazz Festival has a reputation for being a launching pad for new talent while it pays homage jazz giants. Jam-packed with A-list jazz musicians, (JazzTimes) it presents a model jazz lineup (New York Times). Premium tickets are $350 for Best Friends VIP weekend passes and $150 for the opening gala and performance. These include upfront seating and VIP parking. Advance-purchase general admission tickets start at $35. Children under 12 are free on the lawn. The Metro North Train stops at Ten Mile River station, just 2 hours from NYC. Call 860-567-4162 for shuttle bus reservations and more information.

The Litchfield Jazz Festival is sponsored in part by the CT Commission on Culture & Tourism, State Department of Education, DownBeat, Republican-American, Litchfield Magazine, Charter Communications, CTVisit.com, Steinway & Sons, Sotheby's International Realty, Crystal Rock, Kent School, Infinity Hall, Kent Chamber of Commerce, Northeast Beverage Corp., Magic Hat Brewery, Continental Airlines, WAMC, WBGO, WFCR, WNPR, WSHU, The Morrison Gallery, Doc's Trattoria, Fife 'n Drum, Bull's Bridge Inn and others. Litchfield Jazz Camp students, who study for up to a month prior to The Festival and perform on the student stage, participate through major support from the CT State Department of Education Interdistrict Grants and additional support from The Joe Williams Fund and Faye & James Preston of the Kent Village Barn Shops. For tickets visit litchfieldjazzfest.com or call 860-567-4162.

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