Jazz Week ’11 Marks Fifth Anniversary with Salutes to Eric Jackson

Apr 18, 2011

Jazz Week ’11 Marks Fifth Anniversary with Salutes to Eric Jackson, Hundreds of Events in Greater Boston

Danilo Perez, Walter Beasley, Grace Kelly, Terri Lyne Carrington, Cecil McBee, Rebecca Parris Join All-Star Jazz Jam to Celebrate Longtime WGBH Host
Boston, Cambridge, Somerville Officially Proclaim April 29 – May 8 “Jazz Week”

With the theme “This Is Jazz,” from April 29 to May 8 Greater Boston’s Jazz Week ’11 celebrates a music that defies definition and recognizes no boundaries. For the fifth straight year, Jazz Week is being coordinated and promoted by the nonprofit JazzBoston, which also marks its fifth anniversary in 2011.

More than 200 events at nearly 80 venues will take place during the 10 days of Jazz Week. For details, check the full Jazz Week Schedule of Events on the JazzBoston website. Events are added daily.

This year’s highlight is “Eric in Two Evenings,” a two-part stage and screen salute to Eric Jackson, who celebrates the 30th anniversary of his 89.7 WGBH Radio jazz program in May.

“For Eric, Evening I” is an all-star jazz jam on Monday, May 2, presented by JazzBoston and Scullers Jazz Club and produced by Fred Taylor, that will include, among many others, Danilo Perez, Walter Beasley, Grace Kelly, Terri Lyne Carrington, Cecil McBee, Rebecca Parris, Phil Wilson, Bill Pierce, George Garzone, Bob Moses, Ralph Peterson, Dominique Eade, Donal Fox, and Laszlo Gardony. Special MCs for the evening will be Ron Della Chiesa, Emmett Price III, and Fred Taylor.

“For Eric, Evening II” is a night of rarely seen videos of jazz greats selected by Jackson and screened at the Regent Theatre, Arlington Center, on Friday, May 6. The videos come from the collection of jazz historian Hal Miller, owner of the world’s largest collection of rare jazz film and video. Among Jackson’s picks will be clips of John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughan, Herbie Hancock, Duke Ellington, Wes Montgomery, Pharoah Sanders and Sonny Rollins. A reception with Jackson and Miller will precede the screening.

Officially proclaimed by the Mayors of Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville and coordinated and promoted by JazzBoston, Jazz Week ‘11: This Is Jazz shines the spotlight on Greater Boston’s vibrant jazz scene with events in venues ranging from clubs, galleries and churches to libraries, universities and hotels.

Jazz Week ’11 Highlights

• “Free Friday” (Apr. 29), a Jazz Week kickoff featuring noontime concerts by NEC student ensembles in public spaces around the city.

• “Big Bands Afire — Swing to Beyond” on Kickoff Weekend, featuring the JCA Orchestra at the Cambridge Family YMCA Theatre (Apr. 29);  Hal McIntyre Orchestra at Amazing Things Arts Center (Apr. 29);  “An Ellington Celebration: From Standards to Sacred” with the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra and special guest Dominique Eade at Emmanuel Church (Apr. 30); and the Fourth Annual Herb Pomeroy Memorial Concert with special guest Frank Tiberi at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium (Apr. 30).

• “Jazz Swarms” (May 2-6), a series of free one-hour noontime performances in the first floor atrium food court of the State Transportation Building, featuring large ensembles of a different instrument on each of the five weekdays — trumpets, flutes, saxophones, percussion, and trombones. Phil Wilson joins the Trombone Swarm for the grand finale on May 6.

• “Jazz Week @ the Boston Public Library,” returning for the 5th year to the Central Library in Copley Square with free afternoon and evening films, conversations, and performances for audiences of all ages, presented by JazzBoston:

~  “In My Mind” (May 3) An acclaimed documentary about rising jazz pianist Jason Moran’s 50th anniversary tribute to Thelonious Monk’s historic 1959 Town Hall Concert in New York City. The 97-minute film had its Boston premiere at the 2010 Roxbury International Film Festival and is introduced by the festival’s director, Lisa Simmons.

~  “On the Edge: Exploring the Creative Music Scene” (May 4) Top-flight musicians Dave Bryant, Tom Hall, John Kordalewski, and Neil Leonard carry on a lively conversation about current trends, with performances by the presenters.

~  “North Shore Jazz, Then and Now” (May 5) Henry Ferrini and Jenny Chava Hudson, coordinators of the North Shore Jazz Project, present an intriguing oral and video history of people and places on the North Shore, from Sandy’s Jazz Revival to the scene of today.

~  “Nat Pierce, Jaki Byard, and the Battle of the Bands” (May 6) Boston jazz historian and author Richard Vacca presents a fascinating portrait, with rare recordings and images, of two modernist big bands that shaped Boston jazz, culminating in the formation of the Herb Pomeroy Orchestra.

• Return of the John Payne Saxophone Choir (May 3), featuring a just-for-Jazz Week reunion of nearly three dozen saxophonists backed by reedman Payne’s powerful quartet, at Ryles Jazz Club.

• Launch of SoWa’s Thayer Street Outdoor Concert Series (May 7), a partnership between the SoWa Artist District and JazzBoston, with music by Your Neighborhood Saxophone Quartet. The series continues on the first Saturday of each month through October.

• Jazz Week East, East Boston’s own celebration now in its second year, including performances by Marlene Jazz Ensemble in a “Jazz for Japan” benefit (April 29), Nick Grondin Group and the ZUMIX Jazz All-Stars (May 5), Lee Colon Trio (May 6), and Bria Skonberg (May 7).

• Chefs Jam for Jazz Week, specially priced lunches and dinners with jazz-inspired menus at some of the area’s most popular restaurants, organized for the third year by JazzBoston in partnership with the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Hundreds of artists, scores of styles
Jazz Week ’11 will feature appearances by a wide range of performers. Among them: David Maxwell, Matthew Shipp, Louise Woodard, Danilo Perez, Walter Beasley, Grace Kelly, George Garzone, Cecil McBee, Dominique Eade, Phil Wilson, Bill Pierce, Leonard Brown, Wannetta Jackson, Emmett Price, Frank Wilkins, Amanda Carr, Rakalam Bob Moses, Ralph Peterson, Kevin Harris, Donal Fox, the JCA Orchestra, Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, Bert Seager, Yoko Miwa, The Fringe, Your Neighborhood Saxophone Quartet, Dave Bryant, Billy Novick, John Payne Saxophone Choir, Stan Strickland, Joe Morris, Deborah Henson-Conant, Peter Eldridge, Bo Winiker Band, Laszlo Gardony, Myanna, Rollins Ross, Bill Lowe, Arni Cheatham, Shawnn Monteiro, Ken Field, Quartet of Happiness, Ottmar Liebert, Curt Newton, Bruno Raberg, Charlie Kohlhase, the Hal McIntyre Orchestra, Pablo Ablanedo, Phyllis Fallon, Al Vega, and Frank Carlberg.

Collaborating with MassJazz, Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

In his March 1 Proclamation of Jazz Month in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick explicitly recognized JazzBoston’s support of the state’s efforts to make Massachusetts a destination for cultural tourists. He also conferred a Governor’s Citation on JazzBoston in recognition of the 5th anniversary of the organization’s service to the Greater Boston jazz community and appreciation of its stewardship of Jazz Week.

According to Pauline Bilsky, JazzBoston’s executive director, “As we mark both our fifth birthday as an organization and our fifth year leading Jazz Week, we’re proud that we can contribute to the state-wide effort to promote jazz in Massachusetts.” She added, “ We would love to see other communities across the state come together to celebrate the music. Nothing brings people closer than jazz.”

“The Massachusetts jazz scene is rich with history and diversity. For aficionados and casual listeners alike, JazzBoston kicks off the summer music season with a great start,” said Betsy Wall, executive director of the Massachusetts Office for Travel and Tourism. “We are proud of the richness of the music rooted here and encourage people to take part in some great events.”

“Both Jazz Week in Boston, and Jazz Month in the Commonwealth, as proclaimed by Governor Patrick, are terrific ways to showcase one of America’s greatest art forms,” said Michael P. Quinlin, founder and president of MassJazz, which promotes year-round jazz activities in Massachusetts to the travel and tourism industry. “During Jazz Week ‘11, JazzBoston reminds us of just how vibrant and rich our jazz heritage is in Greater Boston and, indeed, across the Commonwealth.”

Jazz Week ‘11 Sponsors and Partners
Jazz Week ’11 is supported by Primary Sponsor Scullers Jazz Club; Lead Sponsors BOND at the Langham, Boston, Berklee College of Music, and Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen; Major Sponsor, Celestial Effects; print media sponsor The Phoenix Media/Communications Group; radio sponsor WGBH 89.7 FM; and Venue Partner the Boston Public Library.

American Airlines is the Official Airline of JazzBoston and Jazz Week ‘11. Click here for information on the 8% discount available to air travelers around the world planning a visit to Massachusetts between April 11 and May 11 for Jazz Week or Jazz Month.

About JazzBoston

JazzBoston is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building and serving audiences for jazz music, fostering and expanding opportunities for jazz musicians, and raising Boston’s profile as a great jazz city — a city that is a magnet for fans and musicians from all over the United States and the world. For more information about Jazz Week ’11, visit the JazzBoston website and JazzBoston on Facebook.