Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Splendid and diverse offerings and venues with Care

Impresario George Wein hasn’t lost his touch. In fact, a year off from producing a full blown jazz festival in the Big Apple, seems to have enhanced that touch.

Wein’s New Festival Productions, LLC organization and his new corporate benefactor, CareFusion, have rolled out the details for the CareFusion Jazz Festival, which runs June 17 to 26 throughout New York City.

“Throughout” is the significant word here. The festival has expanded its venues – perhaps a blessing that came from the regrouping that followed Festival Network LLC’s financial demise in late 2008/early 2009.

As a result, Wein came out of semi-retirement, got back into the jazz production business – and in the process found a new Newport and New York sponsor – the medical technology company CareFusion. For full festival details, check out http://www.nycjazzfestival.com/.

Here’s what stands out most in the 10-day schedule:

Many of the venues for the festival’s 45 concerts are all over the city. Manhattan, Harlem, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens (including the Louis Armstrong House) - and also a tad north in Westchester County. There's also a diverse stylistic array of multigenerational talent. And Wein is also partnering in a new way on festival programming at many of the year-round jazz clubs. He’s booking the talent and paying the bands, letting the clubs keep the door proceeds. Now how’s that for synergy?

The highlight of a slimmed-down Carnegie Hall series figures to be the June 24 Herbie Hancock, “Seven Decades: The Birthday Celebration” the pianist with Terence Blanchard, Bill Cosby, Joe Lovano, Wayne Shorter and others. There’s a free outdoor concert June 23 at Central Park’s SummerStage featuring the McCoy Tyner Quartet featuring Ravi Coltrane, Esperanza Spalding and Francisco Mela plus the Stanley Clarke Band featuring firecracker pianist Hiromi (pictured).

Tickets for Carnegie Hall and Town Hall concerts go on sale March 22.

Welcome back, George. New York certainly will be abuzz and vibrant, just as Newport was last August.

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