Jazz Week '15, April 24 - May 3

Upcoming Fall Season Highlights
Visit JazzBoston at the Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival!
JazzBoston Helps Bring Boston Public School Students to Newport
Members Connection: Win Free Tickets!
Local Spotlight by Claire Dickson - Jazz at The Green Room
Free Events in and Around the City
Upcoming Fall Season Highlights
Dancers at the Newton Jazz and Wine Festival and John Coltrane Memorial Concert performer Donald Harrison.
Dancers at the Newton Jazz and Wine Festival and John Coltrane Memorial Concert performer Donald Harrison.

The Newton Jazz and Wine Festival Brings Two Days of Great Music to the Garden City September 19-20

The sounds of Ella Fitzgerald will be in the air when the 2014 Newton Jazz and Wine Festival gets underway Friday evening, September 19th, 8 p.m., at the Newton War Memorial Auditorium at City Hall. The evening will feature award-winning vocalist Patrice Williamson's "Celebrating Ella" show. Special guest vocalists include Dominique Eade, Lydia Harrell, Cassandra Pearl and Dale LePage. They will be joined by pianist Mark Shinansky, Keala Kaumeheiwa on bass and drummer Steve Langone. Tickets are $25 general admission; $50 with wine and appetizers and table seats. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Day two of the festival, a free Jazz-in-the-Yard event, will take place on Saturday, September 20, 12-5 p.m., at the Jackson Homestead (527 Washington St.). The lineup includes the Lance Martin Band, B3 Kings, KenYaDig,the Joe McMahon Trio and the NJ&WF Allstars.

JazzBoston members: You can enter a drawing to win a pair of free tickets to the Friday evening show. Just email newsletter@jazzboston.org. You must be a member to be eligible to win.

The two-day Festival is presented by ther New England Jazz Enrichment Foundation. For more details, click here.

A Love Supreme: the 37th annual John Coltrane Memorial Concert

The John Coltrane Memorial Concertwas founded in 1977 with the belief that "the community of both listeners and musicians has a continued deep and abiding interest in and love for Coltrane's music." Thirty-seven years later that has proven to be true. The annual concert is one of Boston's signature cultural events.

This year's concert is built around a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Coltrane's majestic suite "A Love Supreme,"considered by many to be the greatest spiritual jazz composition of all time.
This year's featured guest is Donald Harrison, New Orleans saxophonist, composer, arranger and principal consultant for the HBO series "Treme."

Harrison will join Boston-based musicians Carl Atkins, Leonard Brown, Yoron Israel, Ron Mahdi, Bill Pierce, John Ramsey and George W. Russell Jr. This all-star Ensemble will perform contemporary versions of some of Coltrane's sacred music from the later stages of his life that served to bring the devotional essence of African and African-American music to jazz. The Ensemble also will perform the complete "A Love Supreme" Suite with recitation of Coltrane's prayer by WGBH-FM radio host Eric Jackson, who will also serve as host for the evening.

The Concert takes place Saturday, October 18 at 7:30 p.m. at Northeastern University's Blackman Theatre. Tickets are available via the Friends of John Coltrane Memorial Concert website.

JazzBoston members: Send an email to newsletter@jazzboston.org to enter a lottery for a pair of free tickets to the JCMC. You must be a member to be eligible to win.

Visit JazzBoston at the Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival!
Jean Hangarter photos, BeanTown 2013
Jean Hangarter photos, BeanTown 2013
On Saturday, September 27, JazzBoston will be making its eighth appearance at the Berklee BeanTown Jazz Festival. The free outdoor event, which runs from noon to 6:00 pm., takes place on Columbus Ave. between Mass. Ave. and Burke St. There are some exciting performances scheduled for this year - trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, saxophonist Miguel Zenon, Snarky Puppy - and JazzBoston will be in the middle of the action. Look for the black and white JazzBoston banners in front of the tennis courts. You can't miss us.

What's happening at the JazzBoston tent:
  • Meet-and-greets with festival headliners. See the full schedule of who's performing here.
  • Fan-in-the-street interviews by local radio hosts, led by the dean of them all, Eric Jackson, and including Lydia Liebman, former host at WECB (Emerson); Ken Field, WMBR (MIT); Bonnie Johnson, WICN Public Radio, and more. All interviews will be video-recorded and displayed on a monitor.
  • Meet Boston's Musicians, an opportunity for a personal chat with some of the most talented jazz artists around town. A different pair will be take their places every hour.
  • Demonstrations of JazzBird, JazzBoston's free global radio app, the only app that lets you listen to live jazz shows from stations all over the world, 24 hours a day.
We'll also be selling JazzBird t-shirts and JazzBoston hats, t-shirts, and totes, and we'll have lots of information on hand about other jazz events around town.

Stop by to talk with the musicians, watch the interviews or be interviewed yourself, or just hang out with other denizens of Boston's jazz scene. You never know who you'll meet at the JazzBoston tent. It could be Scullers Entertainment Director and ageless impresario Fred Taylor, Globe jazz writer Jon Garelick, Wally's Cafe matriarch Elynor Walcott, or if you're very lucky, singer Mae Arnette aka "the legend."
JazzBoston Helps Bring Boston Public School Students to Newport
Lower left, George Wein; lower right, John Hailer, Natixis. Jean Hangarter photos.
Lower left, George Wein; lower right, John Hailer, Natixis. Jean Hangarter photos.

For those who may not know, here is JazzBoston's mission statement:

We connect, promote, and advocate for the entire Greater Boston jazz scene. Our programs and services introduce jazz in all its forms to audiences of all ages. We bring jazz into schools and underserved communities, and use the music to bridge generational and cultural divides. We foster and expand opportunities for jazz musicians, and help raise Boston's profile as one of the world's great jazz cities.

This summer, we had a wonderful opportunity to see our mission come to life when we connected the Boston Public Schools to enable some 100 BPS music students to spend Friday, August 1, at the iconic Newport Jazz Festival.

The students, from elementary, middle, and high schools throughout Boston, boarded chartered buses at the Roland Hayes School in Roxbury Friday morning. Accompanying them on the 90-minute trip to Fort Adams State Park were two local jazz personalities recruited by JazzBoston - Northeastern University music professor, national authority on youth culture and JazzBoston Board member Emmett Price and WICN-FM jazz host Bonnie Johnson - who kept them engaged with conversation about the festival and jazz music in general.

After a walk around the festival grounds on arrival, the group was greeted by George Wein, Newport Jazz Festival's legendary founder. Wein told the group he hoped their visit to Newport would have as long-lasting an effect on them as listening to musicians had on him when he was a student in Newton, Mass., schools. Then to everyone's delight, he made the rounds, speaking with individual students.

For many students, the highlight of the day was meeting saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and his Charlie Parker Project. The young musicians peppered Mahanthappa and his band with questions ranging from the simplest - "How long have you been playing the sax?" - to the big one - "Why jazz?" His response: "Jazz is a uniquely American music that has always been willing to adopt every other culture that has come into this country.... Jazz has become part of America's cultural landscape. I don't think any other music has done that."

"It inspires me to plug into a younger jazz community," Mahanthappa also told his audience of 4th to 12th graders. "It makes me try to keep what I'm doing really fresh."

After a few whirlwind hours seeing and hearing various performances, the students were back on the buses in mid-afternoon. During the return trip to Boston, they were encouraged to write down their impressions. Some examples:

"I loved the meet and greet, it really gave me a new light on professional musicians. I thought they were more aloof people but I saw that they are friendly people and very close."

"The Newport Jazz Festival was a fun time listening to the various brass instruments.... It was great to see how passionate the musicians were about playing and how they showed it. But it was especially great how I could share the laughs, enthusiasm, and happiness about the music with my friends".

"I enjoyed seeing and hearing the tuba player in Darcy James Argue's Secret Society. I play the tuba, and I haven't seen many jazz tuba players."

For the students - and for everyone involved - it was a magical day and a wonderful exposure to the world of jazz. JazzBoston was honored and proud to be the catalyst that made it possible.

Members Connection: Win Free Tickets!

If you're a JazzBoston member, write to newsletter@jazzboston.org now to enter a drawing to win free tickets to any of the events listed below, and please note which shows and dates you're interested in. You must be a JazzBoston member to be eligible to win.

Become a JazzBoston member now. Annual memberships begin as low as $20.

Scullers is offering 2 pairs of tickets to each of the following shows:

Wednesday, September 11, 8 pm - saxophonist Jane Bunnett and Maqueque (all female Cuban band)

Thursday, September 25, 8 pm - saxophonist Craig Handy

Wednesday, October 8, 8 pm - pianist Harold Lopez-Nussa

Local Spotlight by Claire Dickson - Jazz at The Green Room
Jim Hobbs, Timo Shanko, and Luther Gray.
Jim Hobbs, Timo Shanko, and Luther Gray.
We all have our expectations about going to see a jazz show. A dimly lit room with a brightly lit stage, a scattering of tables with a bar to the side, rowdy conversation in between solos - sound familiar? Be prepared to expect something different when you go to a Jazz at The Green Room show. This new series and jazz venue is putting the focus on the music.

"It's a casual setting - just folding chairs, no assigned seats, relaxed atmosphere. But the music is serious, and people come to really play and really listen." That's Mark Redmond, curator and producer of Jazz at The Green Room. The series is located in a tiny room on the outskirts of Union Square. "A room that size allows for a very special feeling -- whatever happens, we're all in it together. "

Redmond, an amateur live music photographer and a therapist by day, had a longtime interest in producing live jazz. When his friends - two classical musicians - bought a room used for dry cleaner drop off and transformed it into a space for teaching and rehearsal, Redmond pitched the idea of a jazz series featuring local artists. The first concert was last November. Since then there have been regular shows and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves. Guitarist Andrew Stern's group, Cheap Parlor Tricks, played the series in February. Stern says, "This space is ideal for intimate playing and listening experiences [which] elicit a special energy not often experienced in other local venues. Mark is keen to what is happening all over the Boston scene and paves the way for unique musical collaborations."

This season, the program is:

Jeff Platz Trio - September 20th, 8 p.m.

Kevin Harris & Steve Langone - October 4th, 8 p.m.

Phil & Daniel Rosenthal - October 18th, 3 p.m.

Matt Glaser Trio - November 23rd, 8 p.m.

More information on events and tickets here.

Keep your eye out for what's going on at Jazz at The Green Room. From Redmond, it sounds like there will be more music to look forward to. "Right now, I just want to keep this going. I want to keep presenting interesting music and I want to keep drawing in folks who want to hear it. It's a great feeling."
Free Events in and Around the City
Lionel Loueke and the Makanda Project.
Lionel Loueke and the Makanda Project.

Ed Lucie and Quartet
Ed Lucie is a Berklee associate professor and electric bassist. Join him for an evening of original contemporary jazz tunes. September 11, 7:30 pm, David Friend Recital Hall, 921 Boylston Street.

The Lionel Loueke Trio

Guitarist and singer Lionel Loueke will be at Wellesley College with Massimo Biolcati on bass and Ferenc Nemeth on drums. They will play music from Loueke's latest CD's, Mwaliko and Heritage, as well as some new material and a few standards. A Q&A will follow the performance. September 13, 8:00 pm, Jewett Auditorium, Wellesley College, 106 Central Street.

Affinity Quartet

The members of the Affinity Quartet - Josh Shpak (trumpet), Yoav Eshed (guitar), Alex Gasser (bass) and Noam Israeli (drums) - met as students at Berklee College of Music. They will be presenting their program with the primary goal of sharing a message of friendship through music. September 14, 12:00 pm, The Street, 55 Boylston Street, Chestnut Hill.

Evan Parker Workshop
Evan Parker is a saxophonist known for his work in free jazz. Watch him mentor the next generation of jazz musicians at a workshop directed towards NEC students. September 18, 3 pm, Pierce Hall, 241 St. Botolph Street.

Jason Palmer Masterclass

Trumpeter Jason Palmer gives a masterclass to NEC students. September 19, 1 pm, Pierce Hall.

Makanda Project at Roxbury Founders Day

Join the Makanda Project at the Roxbury Founders Day Celebration - Arni Cheatham on alto saxophone, Sean Berry and Jason Robinson on tenor saxophone, Charlie Kohlhase on baritone saxophone, Jerry Sabatini on trumpet, Ku-umba Frank Lacy and Bill Lowe on trombone, Diane Richardson on voice, John Kordalewski on piano, John Lockwood on bass, and Yoron Israel drums.September 20, 1 pm, grounds of First Church in Roxbury, 10 Putnam Street.

Home Away From Home: The Music of Ayn Inserto and Jeff Claassen
The Ayn Inserto Jazz orchestra will perform new music by Inserto and Jeff Claassen with Berklee faculty members Allan Chase, Jeff Claassen, Mark Zaleski, and staff member Randy Pingrey. September 23, 7:30 pm, David Friend Recital Hall, 921 Boylston Street.

The John Funkhouser Quintet featuring Aubrey Johnson

Pianist and Berklee faculty member John Funkhouser will lead his Quintet in a performance with special guest vocalist Aubrey Johnson. September 29, 7:30 pm, David Friend Recital Hall, 921 Boylston Street.

Masterclass with Vijay Iyer and Jason Moran
Two contemporary jazz piano masters will instruct students from NEC. September 30, 4 pm, Williams Hall, 30 Gainsborough Street.