12th Annual Jazz in the Valley Festival Slated for August 18-19Jul 31st, 2012 | By HV Insider | Category: Entertainment
TRANSART and Cultural Services celebrates the 12th Annual Jazz in the Valley at its new home on the waterfront of Waryas Park on the scenic banks of the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie, NY on August 18 – 19, at noon (gates open at 11:00 am). This year’s festival, which continues its intergenerational programming philosophy with a mix of jazz musicians ranging from global sensations to emerging artists, features The Cookers: Billy Harper, George Cables, Billy Hart, David Weiss, Eddie Henderson, Cecil McBee and Craig Handy; We Four: Jimmy Cobb, Javon Jackson, Mulgrew Miller, Peter Washington; Lou Donaldson and Luther Francois on Saturday and Roy Ayers; Swiss Movement Revisited; Les McCann and Javon Jackson; Helen Sung Trio; and Zon del Barrio on Sunday.
“This year marks a new beginning for the festival. As we continue to expand the jazz audience one person at a time, it became necessary for us to find a new home to accommodate that mission. Our new home is historic, picturesque and exciting like the art form,” said Greer Smith, TRANSART President and Festival Producer. “The Hudson River was a primary thoroughfare for commerce and travel in this country, transporting cargo and people from global ports of call. Jazz in the Valley will continue with this global significance by presenting this music we call jazz, in all of its forms.”
“We are pleased to welcome Jazz in the Valley to the City of Poughkeepsie and we look forward to sharing our beautiful waterfront with individuals and families who come to hear the sounds of jazz in Waryas Park,” said Mayor John C. Tkazyik. “The festival is a perfect addition to the Poughkeepsie entertainment scene that also includes concerts throughout the summer, ArtHop, heritage and culture festivals and so many other wonderful family events.”
“Like the diverse forms and rich history of jazz, our city is a work of art and we encourage festival attendees to experience not only the music, but also the region’s many scenic and historic sites,” added Gwen Johnson, Chairperson of the Poughkeepsie Common Council. “With icons such as Lou Donaldson and Roy Ayers and the younger generation represented by Helen Sung and others, this festival stands tall among the many great music events across the country.”
“Joining forces with TRANSART and Jazz in the Valley is an exceptional partnership,” said Charles S. North, President and CEO of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Conveniently located between Albany and New York City, Dutchess County is a perfect meeting place for visitors and area residents to come together to listen to America’s music – jazz.”
In addition to its new home, Jazz in the Valley welcomes Rick White as Co-Producer of the festival. Rick has a long personal and professional relationship with jazz. Producing concerts and special events for Festival Productions for many years, he continues to bring this music to venues in the US and around the world.
The 2012 installation of this annual weekend will present music performed by world-class musicians fittingly complemented by breathtaking views of the Hudson River as a backdrop. The program will pay homage to the architects of this music, many of whom are now jazz ancestors; however, members of their groups remain integral to the development of the music and will be performing this year.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
THE COOKERS with Billy Harper (saxophone), George Cables (piano), Billy Hart (drums), David Weiss (trumpet), Eddie Henderson (trumpet), Cecil McBee (bass), Craig Handy (tenor saxophone) (August 18): Hard Bop is an intensely swinging groove using Soul, Blues and Gospel influences, extended harmonies and blistering solos. No single album captures the mystique of the hard-bop era better than The Night of the Cookers, recorded for the Blue Note label in 1965. This memorable septet performance recorded before a responsive audience at Brooklyn’s Club La Marchal where Freddie Hubbard and Lee Morgan engaged in a trumpet battle for the ages. The Cookers draws it’s inspiration from the possibilities of such incendiary nights by combining some of the greatest musicians from that era, with some of this generation’s fiery players
WE FOUR with Jimmy Cobb (drums), Javon Jackson (saxophone), Mulgrew Miller (piano), Peter Washington (bass) (August 18): Four jazz luminaries, including NEA Jazz Master and Kind of Blue drummer Jimmy Cobb, join together to pay tribute to John Coltrane and the music of his time. Coltrane created some of the most innovative and expressive music in jazz history and WE FOUR will explore many of these “classic tunes” including Impressions, Giant Steps, Mr. PC, Naima, Central Park West, Fifth House, Like Sonny, Blues to Elvin, and Countdown, in addition to original material inspired by John Coltrane.
LOU DONALDSON (August 18): Alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson is known for his soulful, bluesy approach, although like many, he was influenced by Charlie Parker. His first recordings were with the Charlie Singleton Orchestra, Milt Jackson and Thelonious Monk and he went on to perform with Blue Mitchell, Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Clifford Brown, Philly Joe Jones and other jazz luminaries. From 1952-62, he recorded bebop records for Blue Note before moving over to Argo where he specialized in funk. A few years later, he returned to Blue Note and blended the two styles for a series of recordings. Today, at nearly 86, Sweet Poppa Lou, as he has been affectionately called, remains in prime form, and from the moment he steps on stage, he proves that his style is quite timeless.
LUTHER FRANCOIS QUARTET (August 18): It’s a family affair when the jazz band from St. Lucia hits the stage. Saxophonist, Luther Francois performs with his brother Ricky on drums and his wife Kellie Cadogen is vocalist for the group. A renowned composer, arranger and educator as well as a superb performer, Luther organized the first public jazz concert in St. Lucia, the home to one of the Caribbean’s most popular musical events.
ROY AYERS (August 19): Now in his fourth decade in the music business, Ayers, known as the Godfather of Neo-soul, continues to bridge the gap between generations of music lovers. In the 60’s he was an award-winning jazz vibraphonist, and transformed into a popular R&B band leader in the 70’s and 80’s. Few can forget his seminal hits Everybody Loves the Sunshine, Searchin’ and Running Away, all as fresh today as when he first performed them decades ago. Today, he is an iconic figure still in great demand and his music is sampled and remixed by popular DJs worldwide.
SWISS MOVEMENT REVISITED with Les McCann and Javon Jackson (August 19): In 1969, two acclaimed jazz musicians performed on one stage together which resulted in utter magic. Pianist Les McCann and the late saxophone player, Eddie Harris, played a concert that resulted in the album, Swiss Movement. The album was resurrected when saxophonist Javon Jackson performed with McCann to play tribute to the 40th anniversary of the album. McCann and Jackson performed at Jazz in the Valley in 2009 and this return visit promises to be equally memorable.
HELEN SUNG TRIO (August 19): Winner of Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams Piano Competition, Helen Sung has created numerous piano pieces that are imaginative and unique. She has performed with acclaimed Jazz musicians Clark Terry, Slide Hampton, Ron Carter, Jon Faddis, Wayne Shorter and Regina Carter. She continues to work with arts organizations as well as workshops/clinics to further develop musical education. Sung recently became a Professor at Berklee College of Music in 2011, now sharing her gift with the next generation of young jazz voices.
ZON DEL BARRIO (August 19): An intergenerational 12-piece orchestra whose young percussion section is already being called “los monstritos” as these “little monsters” of rhythm are making a name for themselves alongside the ladies of ZDB that provide this ensemble’s swing. Founded by Latin music historian, composer and writer Aurora Flores and her husband, musical director and arranger David Fernandez, Zon del Barrio is a play on the words “son” the musical genre found throughout the Caribbean and “Zone” where Latinos live, work and struggle to find their balance in the “zon.” If you like salsa, they do it “dura” hardcore style. If you like Boricua roots music, Cortijo style Zon del Barrio brings music from the African Diaspora to the streets of New York and beyond.
TICKETS AND OTHER INFORMATION
Discounted tickets and two-day passes, $25.00 – 55.00, are available through July 20. After July 20, tickets will be $29.00 – 67.50. For tickets, group sales and more information about Jazz in the Valley, contact TRANSART at (845) 384-6350 or log on to www.transartinc.org. For tickets in the Hudson Valley, contact Blue Byrd’s at (845) 339-3174, 350 Wall Street, Kingston, NY; and Measured To Fit at (845) 297-8345, 1668 Route 9 , Wappingers Falls, NY.
Travel by bus to Jazz in the Valley with: Jazzy Jazz, Lauren at (917) 535-9781 or Michael at (347) 416-2400; and Tyrone Woods at (646) 643-3035.
Promotional partner for Jazz in the Valley is Metro North. Take the Jazz Train at 9:50 am from Grand Central Station to Poughkeepsie Station and walk one short block to the festival.
TRANSART & Cultural Services, Inc. is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to promoting awareness of the art, history and popular culture of peoples of African descent.