Marcus Garvey Park
124th St. & Mt. Morris Park W
New York, NY
Performing Saturday August 29
Frank Wess Quintet
In 1953 legendary saxophone and flute player Frank Wess joined the famed Count Basie Orchestra. He utilized the popularity of the Basie band to introduce the flute as an independent voice to jazz audiences, becoming one of its first major soloists. In 1964 he moved to New York City to lead his own groups and play with bands such as the New York Jazz Quartet and Dameronia. He held a contract with ABC for ten years, performing for Saturday Night Live, The Dick Cavett Show, and The Sammy Davis Jr. Show. For almost twenty years he played in a quintet called “Two Franks” with Frank Foster, his colleague from the Basie days. Wess remains a highly respected figure of the New York jazz scene while continuing to play gigs worldwide.
Gary Bartz Project with Special Guest Bilal
Grammy Award-winning alto-saxophonist Gary Bartz has had a long, noteworthy career in jazz. His distinguished body of work, spawning over fifty years, has made him one of the most esteemed saxophone players of his generation. Bartz has performed and recorded with such luminaries as Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Abbey Lincoln, Charles Mingus, McCoy Tyner, and Max Roach, among several others. A student of John Coltrane, Bartz frequently cites Charlie Parker as the reason why he plays the alto sax. Produced in association with Jill Newman Productions.
Newcomer José James has been winning over fans with his deft combination of soul, hip hop, and jazz since emerging on the scene in 2008. Possessing a warm, rich baritone voice reminiscent of such artists as Terry Callier, Jon Lucien, and Gil-Scott Heron, James has made his mark on the international stage by performing at such venues as Central Park SummerStage (also produced by City Parks Foundation), North Sea Jazz Festival (Netherlands), Victoria Jazz Festival (Canada), Billboard Live (Tokyo), Centro Cultural (Brazil), the Hermitage (Russia), and Royal Festival Hall (UK). His debut album The Dreamer ranked number twenty-one on JazzTimes’ Top 50 Jazz Albums of 2008.
A fresh and potent new voice on the modern jazz scene, 26-year-old alto saxophonist Benny Reid reveals a unique compositional vision along with an abundance of chops on his auspicious debut as a leader. A collection of six stirring suite-like compositions that unfold like richly appointed short stories, Findings is a fully realized work of remarkable depth and maturity that takes listeners on a musical journey traversing a whole range of emotions within each individual piece. And while the influence of Pat Metheny can be readily heard in the flowing melodicism, dramatic crescendos and overall uplifting nature of these half dozen tracks, Reid’s own approach here is highly personal, inspired by a tragic event that forever changed the course of his life. “The major inspiration for this record is my sister, who passed away when I was 13,” says the New Jersey native and current resident of Long Island City, Queens. “This is for her.” (Source)