Monty Alexander to Kick Off Celebration of Jazz and Reggae at the Blue Note, 1/21
In a career spanning five decades, pianist Monty Alexander has built a reputation exploring and bridging the worlds of American jazz, popular song, and the music of his native Jamaica, finding in each a sincere spirit of musical expression. This January, he will come to Blue Note Jazz Club to present a lineup of collaborative shows that combine the worlds of jazz and reggae in perfect harmony.
An award-winning artist, Monty Alexander has performed and recorded with artists from every corner of the musical universe and entertainment world, including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, Quincy Jones, Ernest Ranglin, Barbara Hendricks, Bill Cosby, Bobby McFerrin, and Sly & Robbie, among others. To celebrate the breadth of musical genres his work has combined, Monty is proud to have assembled a diverse group of performers to showcase his evolution of sound.
Monty Alexander's weeklong showcase will preview on January 13th with a double-feature lineup. The Monty Alexander Harlem-Kingston Express will kick off the night with a release party and performance for their new release on Motema Records. The Harlem-Kingston Express project combines two groups into one, seamlessly blending rocking reggae music with classic, acoustic jazz.
Afterwards, Caterina Zapponi, Bucky and Martin Pizzarelli, and Frank Vignola come together to present a lineup of jazz and swing-centric compositions. In her career, the gifted multi-lingual vocalist Caterina Zapponi has explored music ranging from jazz and the American popular song to cabaret and musical theater. She was a finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Vocal Jazz Competition and has since performed at prestigious venues including New York's Birdland, and The Blue Note, and internationally at the Verbier and Saint Barthelemy festivals. Her recordings include the album Universal Love Songs, released by Inak Music in 2001, and the forthcoming Amorosa on Motema Music. Zapponi is a member of the Screen Actor's Guild, and performed "A Song For You" for the film For the Love of the Game with Kevin Costner.
Bucky Pizzarelli, a legendary swing guitarist and banjoist, has performed with the likes of Les Paul, Stephane Grappelli and Benny Goodman over his illustrious career. His son Martin Pizzarelli is an accomplished jazz double-bassist. Guitarist extraordinaire Frank Vignola has performed with such legendary artists as Ringo Starr, Madonna, Donald Fagen, Wynton Marsalis and Les Paul, who named Vignola to his "Five Most Admired Guitar List" for the Wall Street Journal.
Monty returns to Blue Note with this double feature on January 21st to kick off his week-long lineup.
From January 22nd - 24th, Monty Alexander will perform with John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton; assembling one of the most legendary trios in all of jazz. They have worked together for over 40 years and have released many albums together, the most famous being "Live In Montreux," one of the most celebrated jazz piano trio records of all-time.
On January 25th and 26th, the Monty Alexander Harlem-Kingston Express will celebrate Jamaican music with special guests Ernest Ranglin, Jamaica's legendary guitar master, and Chronixx. Guitarist Ernest Ranglin's sound defines the Jamaican sound for a generation of musicians. He has worked with Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley, The Skatalites, and numerous other legendary reggae musicians. Chronixx is the young Rastafarian artist whose rise in popularity over the last year has him being called reggae's next superstar by many industry heavyweights. Since the beginning of 2013, Chronixx has appeared on every major stage show in Jamaica, and is well-versed in the music business. Chronixx was the 'stage' name his friends bestowed on him, replacing the name 'Little Chronicle' he was given as the 'junior' to his father, the artist Chronicle.
There are two shows each night throughout Monty Alexander's lineup, and tickets are $20 at the bar, $35 for table reservations. Doors for the 8PM show open at 6PM; doors for the 10:30PM show open at 9:45PM. Tickets can be purchased online at www.bluenote.net. Blue Note Jazz Club is located at 131 West 3rd Street in Greenwich Village.