Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tanglewood twist

This Labor Day Weekend’s Tanglewood Jazz Festival in Lenox MA has tweaked its programming a bit to further bridge jazz and classical music forms in this most likely spot to do so - the idyllic summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

The move began last year when Boston jazz pianist and composer Donal Fox presented a weekend-highlight-level performance of his Scarlatti Jazz Project.

This year’s programming includes the usual varied assortment of Latin, straight ahead jazz, vocals and emerging talent - with a few more classical twists.

  • On Friday night, September 4, clarinetist Paquito d’Rivera performs pieces from his Latin jazz and classical repertoires.

  • On Saturday night, September 5, jazz violinist Carter and her quartet will perform material from her Paganini project plus music from Mali, Senegal, and Uganda.

  • After Carter’s set, jazz singer Nnenna Freelon and classical singer Harolyn Blackwell are featured in “Dreaming the Duke,” a program that celebrating the Ellington legacy with innovative solo pieces, duets with chamber and jazz quartets and intimate vocal-piano selections. The set will include selections from Ellington’s “Black, Brown and Beige Suite.”

Whether you prefer listening inside Ozawa Hall or on the lawn, you'll find the music at Tanglewood always draws a crowd...

Tanglewood has added one new guest artist for the weekend. Singer Kurt Elling will join the lineup for John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey’s Saturday afternoon taping of "Radio Deluxe” for later broadcast on more than 60 stations nationwide. Their other Tanglewood guests include guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, violinist Aaron Weinstein and saxophonist Harry Allen.

Sunday afternoon features a piano duet set of improvisations by Kenny Barron and Mulgrew Miller, followed by the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. The festival will close with a Sunday evening program that includes Jon Faddis with guest trumpeters Sean Jones and Wallace Roney in a celebration of the role of the trumpet in jazz throughout the past century; and end with Dave Holland’s all-star band.

The festival’s Jazz Café, just up the hill from Ozawa Hall, will showcase emerging talent before each main stage event. This year’s performers are saxophonist Benny Reid, singer-pianist Michael Kaeshammer, pianist Evgeny Lebedev, singer Steven Santoro and violinist Ben Powell. All Jazz Café events are free with a ticket to the main stage event.

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