press room

 

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

2017-18 JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER SEASON CONCERTS

THE FANTASTIC MR. JELLY LORD
Sep 14-16, 2017  |  8:00pm  |  Rose Theater 
he Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis kicks off the 30th anniversary season with a celebration of New Orleans legend Jelly Roll Morton (1890–1941). Jazz’s first great composer, musical intellect, and piano virtuoso, Morton provided the musical blueprint of an eternal New Orleans and jazz as it is known today. Through both classic and never-before-heard arrangements of essential tunes like “King Porter Stomp,” “Jungle Blues,” “Black Bottom Stomp,” and “The Pearls,” the JLCO will showcase the contemporary power and depth of possibility in the earliest jazz. The concepts found in these pieces have been explored by master musicians for the past century and made truly modern through the lens of Jelly Roll. In addition to the JLCO’s own resident pianist Dan Nimmer, this performance will feature the celebrated pianist Aaron Diehl, rising star Sullivan Fortner, and two promising young Juilliard jazz students from the Midwest and the West: Micah Thomas and Joel Wenhardt.

FRED HERSCH, KURT ELLING & KATE MCGARRY: LEAVES OF GRASS
Sep 15-16, 2017  |  7:00pm & 9:30pm  |  The Appel Room
Over the course of composer and pianist Fred Hersch’s inspiring career, Leaves of Grass stands out as one of his most ambitious and deeply personal projects. Originally premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2005, Leaves of Grass celebrates the life and poetry of the American bard Walt Whitman, whose work redefined American poetry and had a significant, life-affirming impact on Hersch. In this Appel Room performance, vocalists Kurt Elling and Kate McGarry will reprise their acclaimed roles from the original project, presenting Whitman’s words with grace, emotion, and a lyrical sweetness that would have made Whitman proud. An eight-piece ensemble will assist them in evoking the sweeping melodicism for which Hersch is renowned. It has been over 160 years since Whitman wrote his epic masterwork, “Song of Myself,” which forms the centerpiece of Hersch’s Leaves of Grass, with a message of unapologetic love for one’s true self, appreciation of the present, wonder at the miracle of nature, and the openhearted love of all beings that is especially timely and important.

HENRY THREADGILL: THE PULITZER PROJECT
September 22 – 23, 2017  |  8:00pm  |  Rose Theater

Composer and multi-reedist Henry Threadgill is a living legend whom The New York Times calls a “composer and bandleader of intense, unyielding originality.” In this centennial year of the Pulitzer Prize, he graces Jazz at Lincoln Center as part of a five-city international tour honoring the three Afro-American jazz musicians who have won this prestigious award: Wynton Marsalis, Ornette Coleman, and – as of 2016 – Henry Threadgill. Known for his fascinating combination of notated composition and unpredictable, daringly placed, highly communicative improvisation, Threadgill provides his musicians with a written framework in which improvised ideas truly become parts of the composition. On Friday (9/23), Threadgill will lead his Double Up Plus ensemble, comprised of saxophone, cello, tuba, drums, and, for the first time in his career, piano – the three pianists enlisted for the program are Jason Moran, David Virelles, and David Bryant. The group’s debut album won significant praise, including The New York Times’ assertion that it is “just as easy to picture in Pulitzer contention.” On Saturday (9/24), Threadgill will premiere a brand new piece that features the same group from Friday night, expanded into a 15-piece collective of master improvisers drawn from his famous Zooid bands.

JACK DEJOHNETTE, JOHN SCOFIELD, JOHN MEDESKI, & LARRY GRENADIER: HUDSON
October 6–7, 2017  |  8:00pm  |  Rose Theater

Legendary drummer and NEA Jazz Master Jack DeJohnette has assembled a talented quartet to celebrate his 75th birthday. DeJohnette will be joined by guitarist John Scofield, keyboardist John Medeski, and bassist Larry Grenadier, each of them a distinctive and famously adaptive improviser. This unrecorded all-star group has performed only once before at the 2014 Woodstock Jazz Festival, and they now reunite as a unit called “Hudson.” Anchored by DeJohnette’s “propulsive, percussion mastery,” (NPR) the group’s repertoire includes fast-swinging standards by Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane, as well as some of the more freewheeling originals for which the artists are well-known.

THE JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRA SONGBOOK
October 20–21, 2017  |  8:00pm  |  Rose Theater

Continuing Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 30th anniversary celebration, this evening is dedicated to the brilliant composers of New York City’s house band: the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. The JLCO has put forth a vast, innovative body of original work over the past decade and they will treat audiences to a collection of their best compositions. From current JLCO members like Chris Crenshaw, Vincent Gardner, Victor Goines, Carlos Henriquez, Ali Jackson, Wynton Marsalis, and Ted Nash, to past members and special guests like Wycliffe Gordon and Christian McBride, the JLCO songbook includes some of the finest and most stylistically diverse big band music in history. Such variety and uniformly high quality is a rare achievement for any band, but no other group has ever had 11 composers and arrangers of this level in its ranks.

MARILYN MAYE
October 27–28, 2017  |  7:00pm & 9:30pm
  |  The Appel Room
Singer and actress Marilyn Maye is an iconic entertainer whom Ella Fitzgerald praised as one of her absolute favorite singers. Maye appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson an unprecedented 76 times and has performed with legends like Count Basie, Charlie Parker, Bucky Pizzarelli and Michael Feinstein. Recently, Maye also brought her theatrical energy to The Appel Room with Michael Feinstein, to Rose Theater as part of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s annual fundraising gala, and to a packed Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. For the first time, audiences will enjoy a full feature performance by this famously engaging crowd-pleaser in the unparalleled majesty of The Appel Room. Maye is one of the remaining geniuses from the Golden Age of Showbiz, and she offers an American Songbook experience like none other.

NUEVO JAZZ LATINO
November 3–4, 2017  |  7:00pm & 9:30pm  |  The Appel Room

This all-star ensemble of Nuevo Jazz Latino was created by Jazz at Lincoln Center to commission new songs and arrangements with some of the greatest young leaders in Afro-Latin music today, including four brilliant Cubans – pianist Elio Villafranca, saxophonist Yosvany Terry, drummer and MacArthur Award-winner Dafnis Prieto, and genius conguero-vocalist Pedrito Martinez – plus two native New Yorkers: trumpet powerhouse Mike Rodriguez and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra bassist, composer, arranger, and educator Carlos Henriquez. When the group was first assembled in 2014, each musician contributed original music specifically for this ensemble. The result was an eclectic repertoire of new music that utilized the unique talents of each musician. The super-group reassembled for a sold-out week at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, and they are joining forces again to present new pieces and expand upon the original Nuevo Jazz Latino compositions.

ELIANE ELIAS: FROM BILL EVANS TO BRAZIL
November 3–4, 2017  |  8:00pm
 |  Rose Theater
Brazil-born, New York City-based pianist, singer, and composer Eliane Elias is renowned equally for her mastery of straight-ahead jazz, Brazilian music, and the many fusions in between. In this unique Rose Theater concert, audiences will experience two sides of her artistry across two distinct sets. One half of the performance will be dedicated to the iconic Bill Evans Trio, with a band featuring both members of Evans’ final trio: drummer Joe LaBarbera and Elias’ husband, bassist Marc Johnson. Elias’ Bill Evans repertoire is particularly special for its inclusion of two unpublished Evans compositions, personally given to Johnson before Evans’ passing. The other half of the show is described as a “Brazilian Journey” takes the music through several generations of Brazilian compositions, including songs from Elias’ Made in Brazil, winner of the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album. In addition to bassist Marc Johnson, the band includes two of Brazil’s finest modern musicians: drummer Rafael Barata and guitarist Rubens de La Corte.

LEONARD BERNSTEIN AT 100
November 9–11, 2017  |  8:00pm
 |  Rose Theater
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis offers a truly unique way to celebrate the legacy of master educator, composer, and musical thinker Leonard Bernstein. Grammy Award-nominated composer and arranger Richard DeRosa will work with JLCO trombonist Vincent Gardner to craft unique arrangements of Bernstein’s music for the JLCO. The group will perform a wide array of classics like West Side Story and Candide, as well as unexpected gems from Bernstein’s vast repertoire. The JLCO will also provide insightful background about the composer and the musical selections, an informative approach that was exemplified and greatly popularized by Bernstein himself.

FAMILY CONCERT: WHO IS BENNY GOODMAN?
November 17–18, 2017  |  1pm & 3pm
 |  Rose Theater
In this hour-long Jazz for Young People concert, families will laugh, learn, and “Sing, Sing, Sing” with the “King of Swing,” Benny Goodman. Through live musical performances and entertaining storytelling, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis will share Goodman’s joyful music and inspiring story. One of twelve children born on Chicago’s west side to poor Jewish immigrants, Goodman went on to become the groundbreaking bandleader who formed the first racially integrated jazz bands recognized by the public, and he brought them to the country’s most hallowed venues – a full decade before Jackie Robinson integrated baseball. JLCO saxophonist and clarinetist Victor Goines will host the event and teach audience members how Goodman created his irresistible musical magic.

THE FABULOUS DORSEY BROTHERS
December 1–2, 2017  |  7:00pm & 9:30pm  |  The Appel Room

Saxophone and clarinet virtuosos Peter and Will Anderson showcase the music and history of another brotherly pair: Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey. Of the Andersons twins’ off-Broadway Dorsey Brothers revue, the Wall Street Journal raved that they “establish [the Dorseys] as gargantuan heroes of a long-departed, almost mythical era, when the ability to play an instrument better than anyone else could make you king of the whole world.” Joining the Andersons is a supremely hot band featuring the poll-dominating trombonist and vocalist Wycliffe Gordon; one of New York’s top young vocalists, Brianna Thomas; rising star trumpeter Bruce Harris; and a formidable rhythm section of Ehud Asherie, David Wong, and Aaron Kimmel. Rounding out the show is an original script penned by Loren Schoenberg – a Grammy Award-winning musician, writer, scholar, and Founding Director and Senior Scholar of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. In addition to their instrumental prowess, the Dorseys were celebrated bandleaders who collaborated with the finest musicians, launching the careers of young talents like Frank Sinatra and working with legends like Buddy Rich, Sy Oliver, and Bing Crosby on chart-toppers including “Sunny Side of the Street,”  “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You,” “Tangerine,” and “Swanee River.”

STEVE MILLER: THE BLUES TRIANGLE
Memphis, Dallas, and Chicago
 
December 1–2, 2017  |  8:00pm  |  Rose Theater
Renowned blues-rock guitarist, singer/songwriter, and 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Steve Miller returns to Rose Theater for a journey through the Blues Triangle. Having learned his first chords at age five from his godfather Les Paul, followed by playing lead guitar from T-Bone Walker at age nine, and then working with the best bluesmen in Chicago – Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Guy, James Cotton and Paul Butterfield – Miller has a serious affinity for the blues. In this program, he will explore music from three essential blues hubs: Memphis, Dallas, and Chicago. As fans of the genre know well, the blues adapts its own unique flavor depending on the location, and Miller is well equipped to highlight the important nuances and similarities between these vibrant musical cities.

BIG BAND HOLIDAYS
December 13–17, 2017  |  7:00pm (Wed), 8:00pm (Thurs-Sat), 2pm (Sun)
  |  Rose Theater
Continuing a beloved New York tradition, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis warms up the House of Swing with soulful renditions of holiday classics. With fresh arrangements, playful improvisation, and entertaining storytelling, they bring out the magic in such classics as Count Basie’s “Jingle Bells,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and Billie Holiday’s “I’ve Got my Love to Keep me Warm.” Jazz royalty Catherine Russell joins as special guest vocalist for the second year, along with fellow vocalist Kenny Washington, continuing a spirited partnership that has spread Yuletide cheer in dozens of cities across the country.

BENNY GOODMAN: KING OF SWING
January 11–13, 2018  |  8:00pm
 |  Rose Theater
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis often honors the iconic artists, albums, movements, and events that left distinctive marks on the jazz continuum. For this performance, the JLCO celebrates a single landmark performance: Benny Goodman’s legendary 1938 debut at Carnegie Hall. In the country’s most hallowed classical concert hall, the moment was about much more than Benny Goodman; it was, in many ways, a “debut” of jazz itself, an unprecedented presentation of authentic jazz and racial integration on a stage of unparalleled prestige. True to form, the “King of Swing” celebrated the music on its own terms, introducing the public to real jazz elements and extensive improvisation during an era fixated on dance music –by the end of the evening, the response was ecstatic. The program will consist entirely of pieces from the historic performance, including those made famous by Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Fats Waller, Louis Prima, and more. JLCO reedman Victor Goines serves as music director and performer, and special guests such as Anat Cohen, Janelle Reichman, and Ken Peplowski.

DIANNE REEVES
February 9–10, 2018  |  8:00pm
  |  Rose Theater
Dianne Reeves
returns to set the mood for Valentine’s Day weekend, continuing a beloved tradition at Jazz at Lincoln Center for its seventh year. One of the most recognized voices in music, the five-time Grammy Award-winner is known for her effortlessly powerful sound and unusually broad spectrum of sensual repertoire. Reeves inhabits every story she spins into song, captivating listeners with her expert dynamics and dramatic flair. For some real New York City romance, join Reeves in her “home away from home” in the Big Apple: the House of Swing.

DAVE DOUGLAS: DIZZY ATMOSPHERE
Dizzy Gillespie at Zero Gravity
February 23–24, 2018  |  7pm & 9:30pm  |  The Appel Room

Trumpeter and composer Dave Douglas returns to The Appel Room with another one-of-a-kind program. In Dizzy Atmosphere, Douglas will use Dizzy Gillespie’s repertoire as a starting point for improvisation and exploration. Gillespie’s music has the necessary depth to be carried in many different directions – as demonstrated by a vast and varied history of incredible interpretations – and Douglas always finds an unexpected path towards interesting musical fusions. Joining him is a powerhouse group of improvisers and composers: making his Jazz at Lincoln Center debut is trumpeter and Thelonious Monk Competition winner Ambrose Akinmusire; on piano is Gerald Clayton, a rising star with professional experience far beyond his years; on bass is the extraordinary performer and composer Linda Oh, who recently joined Pat Metheny’s touring band; on drums is the inimitable Joey Baron, who has performed with a broad range of jazz artists including Gillespie himself; and the genre-defying guitarist Bill Frisell joins as special guest, performing with Douglas for the first time since their outstanding 2004 recording, Strange Liberation.

RAGS, STRIDES, & HABANERAS
March 2–3, 2018  |  7:00pm & 9:30pm  |  The Appel Room

Rags, Strides & Habaneras is a visually dazzling showcase of infectious musical traditions at the core of jazz, Latin jazz, and Spanish-American music. Four brilliant pianists and two of New York City’s most influential dancers will bring to life a virtuosic repertoire rooted in Harlem, New Orleans, Argentina, Cuba, and Spain. Pianists include 90-year-old national treasure Dick Hyman; 14-year-old prodigy Joey Alexander; first-call flamenco and fusion wizard Chano Dominguez; and the American Pianists Association’s 2015 Cole Porter Fellow, rising star Sullivan Fortner. Tearing up the stage will be the famous Tito Puente dancer Eddie Torres, Jr., who has choreographed for the likes of Rubén Blades and David Byrne. Performances will include expert interpretations of early jazz and ragtime tunes like “Maple Leaf Rag,” “The Entertainer,” “Viper Drag,” and “Harlem Strut,” emphasizing their infectious beats, unexpected rhythms, and virtuosic melodies. The group will also explore a style that goes back even further in cross-cultural history: the habanera. Latin rhythms have always been found inside the swing tradition, as demonstrated by composers like Jelly Roll Morton, but even before the birth of ragtime there was the habanera – a definitive Cuban rhythm featured in tango styles since the early 19th century, included in such classics as “El Choclo,” a piece performed not only by leading Argentinean musicians but also by artists like Louis Armstrong and Nat “King” Cole. This tradition combined with the rags and strides are all central to the evolution of improvised music and dance in the Americas.

NURSERY SONG SWING
March 9–10, 2018  |  8:00pm  |  Rose Theater

In Nursery Song Swing, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis playfully utilizes beloved nursery songs to showcase the Orchestra’s greatest strengths: unprecedented stylistic versatility, masterful soloists, and creative roster of expert arrangers. In this group’s hands, the simplicity and familiarity of childhood favorites like “Old MacDonald,” “Wheels on the Bus,” and “It’s Not Easy Being Green” afford a world of musical possibilities. No mere exercise in nostalgia or novelty, this program shows how jazz can transform even the most familiar songs and take listeners on an unforgettable ride.

PAQUITO D’RIVERA: TO BIRD WITH STRINGS
March 16 – 17, 2018  | 8:00pm
 |  Rose Theater
NEA Jazz Master, Carnegie Hall Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, and 14-time Grammy Award winner Paquito D’Rivera is one of the greatest musicians alive. A peerless virtuoso on the saxophone and clarinet, D’Rivera is a living, breathing institution in jazz, Latin, and contemporary classical music. He formed the groundbreaking group Irakere with Chucho Valdés, worked extensively in Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nations Orchestra, won Grammy Awards for his collaborations with Yo-Yo Ma, and performs with top contemporary ensembles like the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and London Philharmonic. One of D’Rivera’s favorite albums is Charlie Parker’s Bird with Strings, a definitive recording that combined Parker’s emotional maturity and melodic mastery with romantic string arrangements. In this performance, D’Rivera exemplifies Jazz at Lincoln Center’s commitment to presenting cherished masterpieces alongside new ideas; as he puts it, this is “To Bird with Strings” – a thoughtfully updated program that includes selections from the original Bird with Strings, some unrecorded arrangements from the project, and new takes on Parker’s work with Latin jazz legends like Machito and Chico O’Farrill.

FAMILY CONCERT: WHO IS MARY LOU WILLIAMS?
March 23–24, 2018  |  1:00pm & 3:00pm  |  Rose Theater

The Jazz for Young People series continues with an hour-long, interactive celebration of composer, arranger, and pianist Mary Lou Williams (1910–1981). Families will learn the inspiring tale of a young woman who realized her dreams through determination, imagination, incredible talent, and a famously big heart. Her music was as adventurous as her personality, and families will be fascinated to discover her influence on the greater culture of jazz. Through live performances and interactive segments, families will come to understand what made Williams’ piano playing so special and entertaining. A professional player by age seven, Williams charged headfirst into traditionally male-dominated roles in jazz, quickly emerging as a first-rate composer and arranger; by her early 20s, she was arranging music for Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Benny Goodman. Hosting the event is LaFrae Sci, a close colleague and important participant in many of JALC’s education programs, a founder and board member of the Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls, and a New York musician who has been acclaimed for her promotion of jazz and music education to all.

THE SWING COLLECTIVE
March 23–24, 2018  |  7:00pm & 9:30pm  |  The Appel Room

The Swing Collective is a new quintet of enormously talented young musicians representing five countries of origin. Chilean tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana made history in 2013 as the first female instrumentalist to win the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, and she has since become a prolific bandleader and soloist known for her fierce sound and gift for melody. Trinidadian trumpeter Etienne Charles is a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow whose signature blend of Afro-Caribbean musical traditions in contemporary jazz contexts has made him an audience favorite at Jazz at Lincoln Center and beyond. Cuban pianist Elio Villafranca condenses a stunning, cross-continental scope of influences into original works that are conceptually thought-provoking, musically ambitious, and always well received by a wide variety of listeners. Japanese bassist Yasushi Nakamura is a versatile, relentlessly driving rhythm player and soloist widely regarded as one of New York’s hardest-swinging and most dependable musicians. Finally, Jacksonville, Florida-native Ulysses Owens, Jr. is a multi-Grammy Award-winning drummer, composer, and bandleader who has released several acclaimed albums as a leader and played with Christian McBride, Joey Alexander, Dianne Schuur, and Kurt Elling.

MICHAEL FEINSTEIN: CELEBRATING FRANK, DEAN & SAMMY
March 28–29, 2017  |  7:00pm & 9:30pm  |  The Appel Room

Michael Feinstein launches his seventh consecutive year of the Jazz & Popular Song series by celebrating the best of the Rat Pack: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr. With unbelievable true stories and hits like “That’s Life,” “I’ve Got You Under my Skin,” and “Birth of the Blues,” Feinstein will transport the audience to a time when the nation was swept away by the Pack’s effortless cool. He will be joined by special guest vocalists and the Tedd Firth Big Band, who will showcase the classic Count Basie charts that elevated the Pack’s sly, infectious showmanship.

COREA PLAYS MONK
April 5–7, 2018  |  8:00pm   |  Rose Theater

On a few unforgettable occasions, Chick Corea has joined the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis – a group he calls “the greatest big band on the planet” – to perform transformative new iterations of his music. For the first time, they are joining forces to explore the work of another master pianist and composer: Thelonious Monk, the high priest of modern music. Corea has provided the JLCO with a list of his favorite Monk compositions, and the band’s brilliant arrangers have crafted inspired new versions of these classics. With complex yet always-swinging rhythms, poetic and beautiful harmonic progressions, and iconoclastic, tuneful melodies, Monk’s compositions lend themselves to endless adaptation.

CRESCENT CITY MONK WITH HERLIN RILEY & FRIENDS
April 6–7, 2018  |  7:00pm & 9:30pm  |  The Appel Room

Drummer Herlin Riley, called “a shining exemplar of New Orleans rhythm” by the New York Times, is a prolific bandleader and irreplaceable stone in the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s foundation. As part of the annual Monk Festival, Riley brings together a group of friends to add extra Crescent City flavor to Thelonious Monk’s music. Joining him will be pianists Eric “ELEW” Lewis and NEA Jazz Master Ellis Marsalis, tenor saxophonist Todd Williams, bassist Reginald Veal, Cuban percussion genius Pedrito Martinez, and a special guest tap dancer. For the first half of the show, Riley will host an intimate series of solo, duo, and trio performances of essential Monk tunes, highlighting each musician’s unique gifts. In the show’s second half, Riley will lead a core quartet through additional Monk classics, welcoming extra piano, percussion, and tap dance on various tunes. Monk penned some of the most iconic and profound compositions in jazz history, and his songbook offers a thrilling playground for master improvisers like those featured tonight.

BLACK, BROWN & BEIGE & THE BEST OF BASIE
April 26–28, 2018  |  8:00pm  |  Rose Theater

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis plays essential big band music by Duke Ellington and Count Basie. The first part of the evening will be a full performance of Ellington’s groundbreaking masterpiece Black, Brown & Beige. Originally composed for his 1943 debut at Carnegie Hall, it was advertised as “Duke Ellington’s first symphony,” and Ellington described the powerful three-movement suite as a “tonal parallel to the history of the American Negro.” Stung by the criticism of so ambitious and unexpected a work, he spent the rest of his life revising and updating it, leaving a distinctive suite of music that continues to inspire. For the second half of the concert, the JLCO will swing through a number of classic Basie standards, including “April in Paris,” “Swinging the Blues,” and “Jumpin’ at the Woodside.” Count Basie’s band always brought a party with them when they came to town, and this performance will channel the unstoppable swing and iconic blues riffs that brought down the house wherever they went.

MICHAEL FEINSTEIN: THE ENCHANTING LENA HORNE
May 2–3, 2018  |  7:00pm & 9:00pm  |  The Appel Room
Michael Feinstein
continues the Jazz & Popular Song series with a tribute to an American national treasure: the enchanting Lena Horne (1917–2010). Horne was an iconic singer, dancer, actress, and activist who began her career at age 16 in the Cotton Club choir line, appeared in such musical films as Stormy Weather and Cabin in the Sky, and lit up Broadway stages in the Tony and Grammy Award-winning Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music. Between her celebrated songbook, inspiring life story, and enduring charisma, Lena Horne offers a perfect concert theme for Michael Feinstein – the “Ambassador of the Great American Songbook.” He still remembers the first time he saw Horne perform, noting that she had one of the most exciting stage presences he had ever witnessed. In the unparalleled splendor of The Appel Room, Michael Feinstein, the Tedd Firth Big Band, and special guest vocalists will perform tunes like “Stormy Weather,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” and “Can’t Help Lovin’ that Man,” transporting audiences back to magical moments from throughout Horne’s career.

ZAKIR HUSSAIN AND DAVE HOLLAND: CROSSCURRENTS
May 4–5, 2018  |  8:00pm  |  Rose Theater

Crosscurrents is an international super-group led by 2017 NEA Jazz Master bassist Dave Holland and the world’s foremost tabla virtuoso, Zakir Hussain. Holland is a famously versatile bassist who has led numerous Grammy Award-winning bands and anchored groundbreaking groups led by Miles Davis, Chick Corea, Joe Henderson, and Jack DeJohnette. Hussain is a living master of the 3,000-year-old tabla percussion tradition and “one of the architects of modern world music” (NPR). Since the 1960s, he has been a global music ambassador who has formed significant cross-cultural projects and worked with George Harrison, the Grateful Dead, Shakti (with John McLaughlin), Béla Fleck, Pharoah Sanders, and Sangam (with Charles Lloyd). Crosscurrents’ extraordinary lineup also features American saxophonist Chris Potter, called “the most compelling saxophonist of his generation” (Detroit Free Press), plus four of India’s most progressive musicians: guitarist Amit Chatterjee, pianist Louiz Banks, drummer Gino Banks, and the worldwide-celebrated vocalist Shankar Mahadevan. This super-group is the latest representation of the long and vibrant relationship between jazz and Indian classical music, both of which have improvisation as a core tenet. This is their first-ever New York City performance, and it will be a one-of-a-kind cultural experience that unifies two of the world’s most influential genres.

CELEBRATING ORNETTE COLEMAN
May 18–19, 2018  |  8:00pm  |  Rose Theater

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis celebrates one of jazz’s great original geniuses: composer, Pulitzer Prize winner, and alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman (1930–2015). One of the all-time best melodists – regardless of musical tradition – this groundbreaking visionary left a profound body of work that demands ongoing exploration. With virtuosic big band arrangements of seminal works like “Una Muy Bonita,” “Lonely Woman,” and “Peace,” the Orchestra will foray deep into Coleman’s incomparable musical world. 2017 Grammy Award-winning composer, arranger, saxophonist, and bandleader Ted Nash serves as music director for the evening, utilizing the Orchestra’s many colors to bring this music to life. The band will revel in this sophisticated and universally-beloved music, using Coleman’s singular melodies and rich thematic material as a foundation for new interpretations.

MIRIAM MAKEBA & NINA SIMONE: SINGING PROTEST & MEMORY WITH SOMI
May 18–19, 2018  |  7:00pm & 9:30pm  |  The Appel Room

Miriam Makeba and Nina Simone were two of the most uncompromising vocalists and activists of the 20th century. In Singing Protest & Memory, rising star vocalist and composer Somi will channel their irrepressible spirits and iconic music. Somi has been described as “a new high priestess of soul” by the Huffington Post and as “the quintessential artist citizen of the world” by NPR. This soulful East African songstress was mentored by the legendary Hugh Masekela, who himself had an extensive personal and musical relationship with both Makeba and Simone. A very special guest vocalist will join Somi on a few tunes to help her celebrate the close sisterhood between Makeba and Simone. Just like the two legends, Somi possesses a deep spiritual connection to her influences and yet consistently defies expectations, courageously delivering distinctive songs with incisive and revealing personal messages.

MICHAEL FEINSTEIN: SWINGING WITH THE COUNT
May 30–31, 2018  |  7:00pm & 9:30pm  |  The Appel Room

The 2017–18 Jazz & Popular Song series closes with a swinging celebration of Count Basie. Singer, historian, host, director, and all-around entertainer Michael Feinstein provides a glamorous evening of timeless vocal stylings, entertaining anecdotes, and the Tedd Firth Big Band’s irresistible swing. Audiences will be swept away by The Appel Room’s stunning view of the Manhattan skyline while enjoying hits made famous by Count Basie and vocalists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Williams, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis, Jr., Sarah Vaughan, and Bing Crosby. Special guest singers will join Feinstein on classics like “One O’Clock Jump,” “April In Paris,” “The Good Life,” and “Everyday I Have the Blues,” and the Tedd Firth Big Band’s virtuosic instrumentalists will round out the uplifting and elegant affair. Michael Feinstein’s Jazz & Popular Song is one of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s longest-running and most popular concert series for the seventh consecutive season.

EDDIE DANIELS & TED NASH: JAZZ MEETS CLASSICAL
With the Harlem Quartet
June 1–2, 2018  |  7:00pm & 9:30pm  |  The Appel Room
Eddie Daniels
is the preeminent jazz and classical clarinet virtuoso, described by Benny Goodman as his “successor” and by Leonard Bernstein as a “thoroughly well-bred demon” who “combines elegance with virtuosity.” This is his debut performance in The Appel Room. He will play alongside composer, fellow woodwind master, and two-time 2017 Grammy Award-winner Ted Nash of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. In this season’s final Appel Room performance, Nash will display his renowned ability to transform diverse art forms into powerful jazz expressions, as recently heard in his Portrait in Seven Shades and The Presidential Suite. In addition to premiering an anticipated new composition, Nash will debut inventive versions of pieces by Vivaldi, Bach, and Ravel. The Grammy Award-winning Harlem Quartet, a hip string group known for its brilliance in both jazz and classical contexts, will help Nash and Daniels bring this music to shimmering new life. A superb jazz rhythm section will round out the unique lineup, providing a swinging foundation to the colorful beauty of the string and woodwind parts.

WYNTON MARSALIS
June 7–9, 2018  |  8:00pm  |  Rose Theater

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra presents a rare concert devoted entirely to Wynton Marsalis’ original music. In addition to a broad selection of favorites drawn from Marsalis’ legendary career, the centerpiece of the evening will be the world premiere of Marsalis’ new extended work: (The Ever-Funky Lowdown). This JALC-commissioned piece is the latest entry to Marsalis’ renowned canon of music exploring America’s relationship to racial matters, a topic he revisits once per decade. This subject has yielded some of his best work: the 1986 Grammy Award-winning Black Codes (From the Underground), 2007’s From the Plantation to the Penitentiary, and 1994’s Blood on the Fields – the first jazz composition ever to win a Pulitzer Prize. Composed specifically for the JLCO’s current lineup, (The Ever-Funky Lowdown) will utilize the group’s virtuosic soloists, stylistic versatility, and unparalleled ensemble cohesion. It will also serve as a sophisticated musical platform for Marsalis to convey his hopes, concerns, and historically-informed insights about our culture and society. On this grand finale weekend of the 30th concert season, this performance spotlights JALC’s Managing and Artistic Director, Wynton Marsalis.