Jack Kleinsinger's Highlights In Jazz Announces its 48th All-Star Season

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Jack Kleinsinger's Highlights In Jazz Announces its 48th All-Star Season

Throughout its extensive history, the Highlights In Jazz series has made a practice of presenting a spectrum of the most beloved and admired jazz players on the scene. The upcoming 2020 season is no exception, with the exciting four-concert series bringing together stellar musicians including Jimmy Cobb, Jay Leonhart, Bernard Purdie, Art Baron, Russell Malone and others. Count on hearing unforgettable performances from Wycliffe Gordon, Peter and Will Anderson, Victor Lewis, Eddie Daniels, joined by an array of greats.

The season starts with the annual anniversary gala, and wraps up with an all-star jam. In between, an exciting roster of in-demand musicians will pay tribute to a pantheon of jazz legends, including this year's featured honoree, pianist Roger Kellaway, and a show devoted to the music of Duke Ellington.

With the Highlights In Jazz series nudging the half-century mark, producer Jack Kleinsinger notes that over the years, every concert has featured a renowned surprise guest, and has included a variety of younger artists and veterans. "And every year we honor a living jazz great-I want to salute them and show them how much we love their music while they're still with us," he declares. "Lionel Hampton was the first. This year we're saluting Roger Kellaway as our living jazz great, and honoring the departed genius Duke Ellington."

From the get-go, Kleinsinger has aimed to present multiple facets of jazz to an attentive audience. "We've done mainstream, Dixieland, swing, bebop; not avant-garde, not far-out, nothing that will scare anybody," the producer explains. "I aim for an old-school, all-star lineup on the bandstand, and combinations of people who have never played together before. It's not what you'd get elsewhere, and we always attract a listening audience."

The new season kicks off Feb. 13, 2020, with the Highlights In Jazz 47th Anniversary Gala, featuring bassist Jay Leonhart, drummer Jimmy Cobb, pianist Tomoko Ohno, percussionist/drummer Memo Acevedo, violinist/mandolinist Aaron Weinstein, and drummer Vito Lesczak.

Bassist Jay Leonhart was dubbed "the Fred Astaire of jazz" by the L.A. Times' Don Heckman, who described him as "a craftsman so seamlessly smooth that casual observers often fail to grasp the immensity of his talent." A Highlights In Jazz mainstay, Jay has kept good musical company throughout his career, having performed with Duke Ellington, Peggy Lee, Mel Torme, Jim Hall, Buddy Rich and Roy Eldridge, among other jazz greats. The bassist is also lauded for his singing, composing, and witty lyrics. Though one of Jay's best-known tunes is called, "It's Impossible to Sing and Play the Bass," he does both with great skill, much to the delight of audiences everywhere.

Drummer Jimmy Cobb celebrates his 91st birthday on January 20, 2020, just a few weeks before appearing at the Highlights In Jazz Gala. The fact that he played on the timeless Miles Davis album Kind of Blue and Coltrane's iconic Giant Steps would have been enough to guarantee Jimmy Cobb a space in the jazz pantheon. And then there was his unforgettable work with Cannonball Adderley, Wayne Shorter, Dinah Washington, Wes Montgomery, and his own bands, such as Cobb's Mob. It's no exaggeration to call Jimmy Cobb one of jazz's reigning elder statesmen, and the nonagenarian is showing no signs of slowing down. He continues to teach master classes across the country and around the world. The veteran drummer gigs regularly, and he keeps sounding better and better, according to more than one critic.

Pianist Tomoko Ohno began to learn her way around the keyboard at an age when most kids are struggling to master the alphabet. Though she earned a degree in law and politics in her native Japan, she moved to the U.S. to continue her music studies with jazz icons such as Harold Mabern and Rufus Reid. Since then, Tomoko Ohno has gone on to play with Wynton Marsalis, Benny Golson, Joe Henderson, Wynton Marsalis, the Diva Jazz Orchestra, the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni Big Band, and her own ensembles, taking to the stage of some of the world's most renowned music venues. Tomoko Ohno frequently collaborates with bassist Jay Leonhart, and has released a duo album with him, as well as several recordings as a leader.

Percussionist/drummer Memo Acevedo excels at both jazz and Latin music. He honed his craft around the globe, while living in Colombia, Spain, Mexico, Canada, California and New York. Memo has performed and recorded with musical masters including Tito Puente, Moacir Santos, Ivan Lins, Mark Murphy, Jackie & Roy, Dave Valentín, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Angelique Kidjo, Hilton Ruiz, Louie Bellson and the Cuban band Irakere, as well as with his own ensembles. Renowned as an educator as well as a performer, Memo has written books on Brazilian and Afro-Caribbean drumming, and won numerous awards.

Violinist/mandolinist Aaron Weinstein is "a perfect musician" according to jazz luminary Bucky Pizzarelli. The legendary guitarist is not the only one who has found a lot to like about Aaron Weinstein. This young string maven has also garnered attention from Tony Bennett, and performed with the likes of Les Paul, John Pizzarelli, Dick Hyman, Dave Frishberg, Jon Hendricks and Annie Ross. Aaron Weinstein has released several albums as a leader, and recorded with musicians as diverse as Skitch Henderson, Jessica Molaskey, Jim Caruso, Christine Ebersole, Jay Geiles and more.

Drummer Vito Lesczak moved to the Big Apple in 1992, and since then has become an indispensable part of the jazz scene. He's appeared on dozens of albums, working with recognized giants of the genre such as Art Farmer, Clark Terry, Frank Wess, Mark Murphy, Jay Clayton, Don Braden, Bucky Pizzarelli, Gene Bertoncini, Bob Cranshaw, Eric Alexander, Larry Goldings, Andy Bey and Bill Charlap. Vito also fronts his own ensembles and has performed in New York and around the globe at major festivals and renowned venues.

Jack Kleinsinger notes that Jay Leonhart has probably played more Highlights In Jazz concerts than anyone else. "Jay is doing two concerts this year," the producer points out. "It just worked out that way. I like to include old faces, new faces, to try to keep it different. But Jay is so flexible: He plays bass, he's a singer, a song writer, he's even written as tune about me," the producer points out with a laugh.

Kleinsinger always surprises audiences with unannounced special guests, and there's a good chance there will be some last-minute, unscheduled players-the producer claims that at least a quarter of the surprise guests are a surprise even to him. "It's the return of the jam-players show up in the audience and we put them on," Jack explains. "If I see them in the audience, they're there at their own peril-I'll get them onstage. People sitting in is part of our tradition. It's exciting for the audience when a big name comes on unexpectedly."

The secret to the longevity of the beloved Highlights In Jazz series? "We're doing the concerts other producers don't do," Kleinsinger says, "and in the process we've outlasted everyone who's ever done jazz concerts in the history of New York."

Keep your fingers crossed for surprises--who knows what could happen to kick off this smashing new season of Highlights In Jazz!

You won't want to miss a single show!


Jack Kleinsinger's HIGHLIGHTS IN JAZZ 2020



Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 8 P.M.
Highlights In Jazz - 47th Anniversary Gala

Bassist Jay Leonhart

Drummer Jimmy Cobb

pianist Tomoko Ohno

Percussionist/drummer Memo Acevedo

Violinist/mandolinist Aaron Weinstein

Drummer Vito Lesczak

Plus, surprise special guest!



Thursday, March 19, 2020
Ellington Everlasting: Art Baron & The Duke's Men

Trombonist Art Baron

Saxophonist/flutist/clarinetist Bill Easley

Drummer Bernard Purdie

Bassist Bill Crow

Pianist James Weidman

Saxophonist Mark Hynes

Special guest: Vocalist Ira Hawkins

Plus, surprise special guest!


Thursday, May 7, 2020
A Salute to Roger Kellaway

Pianist Roger Kellaway

Guitarist Russell Malone

Clarinetist/saxophonist Eddie Daniels

Guitarist Roni Ben-Hur

Bassist Jay Leonhart

Plus, surprise special guest!

Thursday, June 4, 2020
The Return of the Jam Session

Saxophonists Peter and Will Anderson

Pianist Ted Rosenthal

Guitarist Frank Vignola

Trombonist Wycliffe Gordon

Drummer Victor Lewis

Trumpeter Brian Lynch

Plus, surprise special guest!

All lineups are subject to change without notice.


All Shows At:


BMCC TRIBECA Performing Arts Center
Borough of Manhattan Community College
199 Chambers Street, New York, NY 10007
http://tribecapac.org

By car take FDR Drive south to end, through underpass onto West Street,
north to Chambers.
By Subway take 1, 2, 3, 9, A, C, E, J or M train to Chambers or N, R to City Hall stop. Walk west on Chambers.
Box Office 212-220-1460
Ticket Prices
$50.00
$45.00 (student rate)

and by mail order.
$180.00 per subscription

Tickets can be purchased in advance at the box office.
You are now able to use your credit card at the Tribeca PAC Box Office located on 199 Chambers Street, or by calling (212) 220-1460 and now online at Tickets.Tribecapac.org



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