Saturday, January 20, 2018

The global language of jazz

The 38th annual Sarasota Jazz Festival is fast approaching. This year's concerts are scheduled Thursday, March 8 through Saturday March 10 - with a matinee jam-style session scheduled on Saturday before the evening's finale.This year's event has an ambitious and interesting theme. It's called  A World of Jazz. The festival will present a wide array of domestic and global jazz talent, with many first-time performers on the bill. This is a good thing.

Ken Peplowski
Headliners include Danish singer Sinne Eeg, Japanese organist Akiko Tsuruga, pianist Ehud Asherie from Israel, singer Chiara Izzi from Italy, guitarist Graham Dechter from California and metropolitan New York-based tenor saxophonist Jimmy Greene and trumpeter Jeremy Pelt. The rhythm section for most concerts is a Scandinavian jazz trio: Danish drummer Kristian Leth, Swedish bassist Hans Backenroth and Danish pianist Ole Kock Hansen. 
Diego Figuereido

The festival lineup includes encore performances by Brazilian guitarist Diego Figuereido, drummer Jeff Hamilton and tenor saxophonist Houston Person, as well as clarinetist and saxophonist Ken Peplowski, who is the event's new music director.
Sinne Eeg*

I'm particularly looking forward to hearing Sinne Eeg live in concert. The Danish singer released a new CD, Dreams (ArtistShare), in the fall. It is a gem. She swings like crazy, sings with beautiful nuance and emotion, and writes beautiful tunes. She wrote or co-wrote six of the ten tracks on the recording. She is a tasteful scatter as well. The title track features Eeg on wordless, mood-setting vocals. It's powerful.

Peplowski is excited about the lineup he is bringing together in this celebration of the common language of jazz. "Even though there are people in the lineup from all over the world, they are also fans of that melodic, song-based jazz that I think people still love," he says. "It’s kind of fun to bring these players into the fold and show the audience how this music is expanding and, at the same time, is very aware of its past.”

Check out the festival website for full details on the festival schedule and lineup. The event, produced by the Jazz Club of Sarasota, is being held at downtown Sarasota's new Art Ovation Hotel.
                                                                                                       *Stephen Freiheit photo 

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