Kurt Elling, Jeff Bradshaw and More Set for Kimmel Center's 2014-15 Jazz Series
World class jazz takes center stage as Kimmel Center Presents kicks off a 2014-15 season filled with living legends influencing the future of jazz. Now in its 13th season, the Kimmel Center continues its longstanding commitment of bringing jazz legends to Philadelphia who are changing the shape of jazz across the nation, and inspire a legion of local jazz artists to explore the art form with live concert experiences across its campus.
This season's Jazz at the Kimmel offerings feature a robust line-up of events for jazz enthusiasts to experience the development of new work, rising local stars' improvisational skills, and the return of venerable jazz greats influencing a new narration of jazz.
Kimmel Center President and CEO Anne Ewers comments, "Jazz at the Kimmel is about celebrating both local and nationally heralded jazz treasures who explore the origins of jazz and its evolutionary future. From the best jazz vocalists to renowned big band orchestras bring back the roots of swing, Jazz at the Kimmel echoes the sentiments of this great American art form with a commitment to showcasing the present, honoring past, and investing in the next generation of jazz artists."
Artistic Director Jay Wahl adds, "Philadelphia has historically influenced jazz, and the Kimmel Center continues to bring the jazz community together to create inspiring, new works, and experience award winning musicians. We are honored this season to feature various jazz ambassadors from preeminent jazz capitals, such as Wynton Marsalis, artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center; Irvin Mayfield, cultural ambassador of the City of New Orleans; and Jason Moran, musical adviser for jazz at the Kennedy Center."
After a highly successful run of free Sittin' In Jam sessions in the Commonwealth Plaza last season, the Kimmel Center has assembled a stellar Sittin' In All Stars program to kick off the Jazz at the Kimmel season on September 3. Sittin' In All Star is an elevated concert experience in the intimate Perelman Theater featuring top Philly talent performing a freewheeling night of improv jazz that transcends genres with R&B, electro pop, hip hop, and spoken word elements. This exclusive ticketed performance celebrates the best of the monthly free jam sessions in the plaza with a groovy, energetic house band PACT, Grammy-nominated trombonist Jeff Bradshaw joined by Philly natives jazz vocalist Laurin Talese, spoken word star Ursula Rucker, electro-pop singer Kate Faust, New York-based hip-hop producer Kokayi, and Champagne, Illinois native singer-songwriter, Somi.
Jazz at the Kimmel continues in the Fall, assembling world renowned jazz influencers to perform among its campus: Beloved jazz vocalist "cat" Kurt Elling performs Passion World program on October 5 in Perelman Theater. Elling lends his legendary scatting and improvisational genius to an eclectic group of ballads exploring the language of love and loss. Then, nine-time Grammy Award-winning Wynton Marsalis leads the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra through a special holiday program with a spirit of swing featuring the vocal talents of young chanteuse Cécile McLorin Salvant in Verizon Hall on December 21. Funk and soul jazz saxophonist Maceo Parker takes the stage with his signature brassy sound, best demonstrated in his long affiliations with James Brown and the Parliament-Funkadelic in the 1970s.
Then Fat Tuesday gets a special Mardi Gras kick-off on February 17, "blistering Creole fire," (Omaha World-Herald) with Grammy and Billboard Award-winning artist Irvin Mayfield leading the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. And, jazz provocateurs Jason Moran & the Bandwagon top off the season of jazz with an open-minded, intuitive jazz performance showcasing the trio's diverse, restless creative spirit.
The return of the 2014-15 Kimmel Center Jazz Residency this season also brings together local and national jazz artists to collaborate on the creation of new work in Innovation Studio. Jazz enthusiasts will be able to engage with local jazz artists leading FREE education workshops and work-in-progress sessions about the creation of their new work with world premieres slated in the Spring. Visit kimmelcenter.org/jazz for more information.
Artistic Director Jay Wahl adds, "We are proud to bring back the Kimmel Center Jazz Residency in SEI Innovation Studio for a second season. The jazz residency continues Philadelphia's long- standing jazz tradition as a common ground for local jazz artists to congregate and combine artistic talents for the creation of new work. We invite Philadelphia to experience this art form as it unfolds in its purest creative process."
FREE Jazz at the Kimmel events include: monthly Sittin' In jam sessions, an open forum for musicians to perform improv jazz on the Commonwealth Plaza with a dance party atmosphere, opened by resident DJ PHSH, and emcee'd by Philadelphia personality and songwriter Ciarra Lambert. The FREE Sittin' In jam session will be hosted by Philly Jazz Project's Pre-Boo on October 8 (8pm), Philly native jazz vocalist Venissa Santi performing with percussionist Francois Zayas on November 12, and Jonathan Finlayson and Sicilian Defense in SEI Innovation Studio on December 10. The annual installment of PNC Grow Up Great returns on September 6 with renowned trumpeter Josh Lawrence and the Fresh Cut Orchestra kicking off the monthly free series with an engaging program targeted toward little ones, ages zero to four years-old. Visit kimmelcenter.org/free for up to date information.
Tickets are now on sale for the 2014-15 Jazz at the Kimmel offerings multi-show package options starting at $99. Visit kimmelcenter.org/events/jazz.php for more information. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, online at kimmelcenter.org, at the Kimmel Center box office, Broad & Spruce streets (open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.).