Archive for mastery jazz

Atlanta Jazz Festival 2015 Preview: Sunday (5/24) on the Locals Stage

Posted in Atlanta Jazz Festival 2015, Who's New in Jazz with tags , , , , , , on April 29, 2015 by curtjazz
Tony Hightower

Tony Hightower

On the 2015 Atlanta Jazz Festival stage devoted to ATL area artists, the festival’s final day, Sunday May 24th, will feature more of a traditional jazz schedule than Saturday. You’ll have your pick of a big band, a smooth jazz saxophonist, a classic jazz quintet and an up and coming vocalist. All are first-rate representatives of the best the ATL jazz scene has to offer.

 

 

12:30 PM Joe Gransden and His Big Band

Joe Gransden is a veteran trumpeter/vocalist who has often been compared to another trumpet master who also sang a little, Chet Baker. A New York native, Mr. Gransden has 14 albums to his credit, including his latest Songs of Sinatra and Friends. Atlanta residents know Gransden from his appearances on  the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month at Cafe 290, with his big band. That same band will get AJF38’s Sunday off to a great start, with swinging charts, hot trumpet solos and cool vocals.

2:30 PM Mastery

An all-star group composed of some of Atlanta’s top jazz veterans, Mastery features the original compositions of bassist and leader, Mamaniji Azanyah.  If straight ahead jazz in the style of Bird, Miles, Trane, Mingus and Monk is what you seek, then Mastery is where you will find it. When these cats hit the stage, expect no gimmicks and nothing cute, just hard-driving, swinging, classic jazz – Straight, No Chaser.

4:30 PM Jeff Sparks

In the tradition of Grover Washington, Najee and Gospel Jazz groups such as Allen and Allen, Jeff Sparks work on the soprano and alto saxophones combines R&B, smooth and classic jazz into a joyous mixture that has been pleasing Atlanta crowds for over 20 years. Listeners of all ages are uplifted by Mr. Sparks sound and leave his performances feeling better than when they came in. You can take some of that good feeling home with you on Sparks’ album Love.Life.Soul

6:30 PM Tony Hightower 

Tony Hightower is known to many in the Atlanta area for his performances in many of Tyler Perry’s stage productions. As an R&B singer, Mr. Hightower worked with Lionel Richie, Outkast and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, among others. But it has always been Hightower’s dream to be a jazz vocalist in the style of the great Nat King Cole. So, when Mr. Hightower decided to record his first jazz album, The New Standard, he went right to the source, accepting advice and tutelage from Atlanta resident, Cole sibling and a great jazz vocalist in his own right, Freddy Cole. Tony Hightower shows a great deal of promise on the album, with several compelling tracks. I’m sure he will bring those gifts to the stage in his live performance.

Tracks from many of the artists performing at AJF38 may be heard daily from 5 PM – 7 PM on our streaming jazz radio station, Curt’s Cafe Noir, from now through May 31.

For more information about the Atlanta Jazz Festival, visit their website http://atlantafestivals.com 

 

 

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Atlanta Jazz Festival 2015 – All That Jazz and it’s FREE

Posted in Atlanta Jazz Festival 2015 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2015 by curtjazz

Atlanta Jazz Festival - red logoThey’ve been doing it for almost 40 years with no sign of slowing down…It’s friends, family, food, fun and most important (for me, at least) JAZZ.  The biggest and best free jazz festival in the Southeast, The 38th Atlanta jazz Festival will take over Piedmont Park once again this Memorial Day Weekend, Friday May 22 – Sunday, May 24. The full lineup was announced yesterday.  I am impressed that once again, in a world that readily slaps the name “jazz festival” on virtually any multi-day musical event that features adult oriented black artists, the producers of AJF38 have booked a lineup that is varied but true to the music’s origins.

This year we will hear from a classic jazz legend, in Pharoah Sanders; a contemporary legend in the form of vocalist Diane Schuur, plus, in a not to be missed Saturday night lineup, sponsored by Blue Note Records, we will hear from three of that venerable label’s young keepers of the flame: Marcus Strickland, Otis Brown III and Derrick Hodge. There will also be a couple of supergroups; one a quartet of Atlanta finest female jazz vocalists (Kathleen Bertrand, Julie Dexter, Rhonda Thomas and Terry Harper), in tribute to Nina Simone; the other a trio of cats who are all leaders in their own right and who will surely be nothing short of combustible together: Jeff “Tain” Watts on drums, Stanley Jordan on guitar and Charnett Moffett on bass.

The International Stage will as always, be the hippest spot at the AJF; as the sounds of jazz will be mixed with the rhythms of Cuba, Brazil, Greece, Israel and other cool spots from around the globe. Headliners will be the pianist and Quincy Jones protegé Alfredo Rodriguez and the multiple Grammy winning son of Afro-Cuban music royalty, Arturo O’Farrill and his Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra .

Back again in 2015 will be one of AJF 2014’s best ideas – The Locals Stage. Featuring the artists who work in and around the Atlanta area most of the year, getting a chance to show a wider audience what they can do. Wolfpack ATL, Tony Hightower and Jeff Sparks will be among the hometown favorites hitting that stage.

Of course as we get closer to May 23, we’ll start with our usual preview reports and video clips. You’ll also hear the music of many of the artists in special AJF38 segments on Curt’s Cafe Noir.

I’ve got a lot a musical dilemmas to settle between now and then, because as much as I’ve tried to do it, I’ve determined that I can’t be in two (or three) places at one. Hope to see you there come Memorial Day Weekend.

Visit the AJF 2015 Website for more info: http://atlantafestivals.com/

Atlanta Jazz Festival 2015 – The Complete Schedule

Friday, May 22

Main Stage:

7:00 pm                                Mad Satta

9:00 pm                                Thundercat

Saturday, May 23

Local Stage:

12:30 pm                              Tri-Cities High School Jazz Band

2:30 pm                                Jessie Davis & the Nebraska Jones Experiment

4:30 pm                                Kenosha Kid

6:30 pm                                Wolfpack ATL

International Stage:

1:30 pm                                North Atlanta Center for the Arts Jazz Band

3:30 pm                                Dida

5:30 pm                                Banda Magda

7:30 pm                                Alfredo Rodriguez Trio

Main Stage:

1:00 pm                                Contemporary Violinist Daniel D.

3:00 pm                                The Rad Trads

5:00 pm                                Marcus Strickland Twi-Life

7:00 pm                                Otis Brown III

9:00 pm                                Derrick Hodge

 

Sunday, May 24

Local Stage:

12:30 pm                              Joe Gransden and his Big Band

2:30 pm                                Mastery

4:30 pm                                Jeff Sparks

6:30 pm                                Tony Hightower

International Stage:

1:30 pm                                Fernanda Noronha

3:30 pm                                Strings from Haiti

5:30 pm                                Emrah Kotan

7:30 pm                                Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra

Main Stage:

1:00 pm                                Navy Band Southeast: VIP Protocol Combo

3:00 pm                                Four Women: A Tribute to Nina Simone – Featuring Kathleen Bertrand, Julie Dexter, Rhonda Thomas and Terry Harper

5:00 pm                                Nettwork Trio: Charnett Moffett, Stanley Jordan, and Jeff “Tain” Watts

7:00 pm                                Diane Schuur

9:00 pm                                Pharoah Sanders Quartet featuring Kurt Rosenwinkel