LSM Newswire

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Charlie Parker Jazz Festival - Free in NYC this August

Charlie Parker Jazz Festival


The Charlie Parker Jazz Festival annually assembles some of the finest musicians in the world who reflect Parker's musical individuality and genius, to promote appreciation for this highly influential and world-renowned artist. The two days of free concerts take place in neighborhoods where Charlie Parker lived and worked, in Historic Harlem's Marcus Garvey Park and in Tompkins Square Park within Manhattan's Lower East Side. The festival is produced by the City Parks Foundation.

FREE. All programs throughout the festival begin at 3:00 p.m.

Marcus Garvey Park

124th St. & Mt. Morris Park

Saturday, August 23rd

Hank Jones

Henry "Hank" Jones believes that when you listen to a pianist, each note "should have a soul of its own." Jones' precise interpretations have been called "Eloquent, lyrical, and impeccable." The highest accolades possible have been given to this legendary musician, including the "NEA Jazz Masters" award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a "Jazz Living Legend" award from The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers. Mr. Jones has over sixty albums to his credit and countless others on which he has appeared, including collaborations with legends Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and Charlie Parker.

Vanessa Rubin

Jazz musicians are talking about Vanessa Rubin. They all want her unique phrasing and velvety smooth tone to make their compositions come alive. After leaving Cleveland and moving to New York, she almost immediately began gigging with greats like the Pharaoh Sanders Quartet. She has eight albums to her credit, and has amassed a list of outstanding collaborations, partnering with Lionel Hampton, the Mercer Ellington Orchestra and Grover Washington, Jr. Ms. Rubin recently completed international tours with Herbie Hancock, the Woody Herman Orchestra, and the Jazz Crusaders.

Rashied Ali

Rashied Ali is the father of "free jazz" drumming and one of the most harmonic and innovative drummers to ever grace the world of jazz. He has sat in and collaborated with many R&B and jazz experimenters, most famously with the great John Coltrane. As the leader of the Rashied Ali Quintet, he continues to refine his art while discovering and nurturing new talent.

Robert Glasper

Pianist Robert Glasper is a perfect example of how old and new school can create the future. Classically trained, but moved by his own muse, Glasper has commanded the stage of jazz festivals throughout the world. The profundity of Glasper's talent is no longer a secret, making him an in-demand musician for numerous hip hop and R&B greats including Mos Def, Common, Jay Z, Erykah Badu and Me'Shell Ndegeocello. Robert Glasper's three albums have been met with widespread acclaim and his most recent, In My Element, has been called "ravishing."

Tompkins Square Park

E. 8th St. Between Aves. A & B

Sunday, August 24th

Randy Weston

Inspired by Jamaican roots and global travels, Randy Weston's jazz is like none other. Although Weston cites Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk as inspirations, what makes him unique is his unusually percussive and highly rhythmic piano compositions. In 2002, Weston performed with bassist James Lewis for the inauguration of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt. In June 2006, he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Music by Brooklyn College, CUNY. His great compositions include "Hi-Fly," "Little Niles," "Berkshire Blues," "African Sunrise," "The Healers," "Blue Moses," and "African Cookbook."

Jerry Gonzales and Fort Apache

"I am bilingual...I can play blues and I can play Rumba," says Jerry Gonzales of his multi-cultural sound. After several attempts at finding a musical home, Gonzalez finally found his voice in his own band. Their 1989 release, Rumba Para Monk, received critical acclaim and was honored by The Academie Du Jazz, naming it "Jazz Album of the Year." They have also been nominated for two Latin Jazz Grammy's for Rumba Para Monk and Y Los Pyratas de Flamenco.

Eric Lewis

With profound intensity, Eric Lewis is already a prodigious jazz pianist. A musical contortionist, Lewis' compositions twist, turn, and careen between styles, sounds, and emotions, resulting in a stunning aural experience. At the age of 22, Lewis began touring with legends Wynton Marsalis and Cassandra Wilson. At the age of 26 he won the Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition and became a member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Mr. Lewis will perform a work specially commissioned by City Parks Foundation to premier at the 2008 Charlie Parker Jazz Festival.

Gretchen Parlato

Herbie Hancock says of Gretchen Parlato's voice that it is "a deep, almost magical connection to the music." She combines classic Sinatra-esque vocals with insightful forays into melodey, unexpected scatting and Afro-Latin rhythms. In 2004 she walked away with first place at the Thelonious Monk Jazz Vocal Competition and has teamed up with Diane Reeves, Roy Hargrove's Big Band and Terence Blanchard. All About Jazz magazine has called Gretchen Parlato's vocal musings "delicious."

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