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NJPAC Announces the 2017 TD James Moody Jazz Festival Line-Up

The sixth annual TD James Moody Jazz Festival (November 4-12) is packed with performances by today's most listened-to luminaries on the jazz scene.

In addition to such revered instrumentalists and vocalists as Chris Botti, Dave Holland, John McLaughlin & Jimmy Herring, and Christian McBride & Dianne Reeves, the festival also celebrates the centennial of Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie with an all-star lineup featuring Gregory Porter, Regina Carter, Valerie Simpson and others. Don't miss the return of Grupo Niche and The Manhattan Transfer!

Terell Stafford All-Stars Perform the Music of Dizzy Gillespie Saturday, November 4, 2017 Bethany Baptist Church, 275 W Market St, Newark 6pm
This free jazz performance by the Terell Stafford All-Stars, part of Bethany Jazz Vespers at Bethany Baptist Church in Newark, celebrates the centennial of jazz icon Dizzy Gillespie and the enduring power of his music.
The concert will feature acclaimed trumpeter-bandleader Terell Stafford, the Director of Jazz Studies at Temple University and a soloist with the Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. Stafford has performed with groups such as Benny Golson's Sextet, McCoy Tyner's Sextet, Kenny Barron Quintet, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Alumni Band.

The Manhattan Transfer Saturday, November 4, 2017 Victoria Theater 7:30pm
This best-selling, Grammy-winning vocal quartet, long known for a polished, sophisticated style, comes to NJPAC with a concert drawing from its repertoire of jazz, pop, swing and more.
One of the most acclaimed and innovative of all contemporary vocal groups, The Manhattan Transfer was first lauded for its pop success in the 1970s and 1980s, including chart-topping hits like "Boy from New York City" and "Operator." Since then, the group has explored a cappella, swing, American standards, Brazilian jazz, and R&B. They've been inducted in the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, and made Grammy Award history when they earned a monumental 12 nominations for their seminal album, Vocalese - the most Grammy nominations ever earned for a single album. Whatever The Manhattan Transfer performs, expect polished, elaborate four-part harmonies - without limits. "They wear a ferocious musical intelligence and erudition on their elegant sleeves," says London Jazz Times.

Hiromi Duet featuring Edmar Castañeda Sunday, November 5, 2017 Victoria Theater 3pm
Experience a mind-blowing new sonic world when Grammy-winning, Japanese jazz keyboardist and composer Hiromi Uehara joins forces with virtuoso Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda for an evening of spellbinding music.
When acclaimed pianist Hiromi Uehara first met Edmar Castañeda at the Montreal Jazz Festival a couple of years ago, she was amazed by his playing and knew instinctively that they should collaborate. Their debut performance at New York City's famed Blue Note was unexpected and impulsive, a truly electrifying coupling. What they created together musically was absolutely mesmerizing - so the two decided to join forces and tour as a duo.
"Edmar Castañeda is almost a world unto himself," says The New York Times. "Hiromi is to the piano what a Hendrix and Van Halen are to the guitar," says All About Jazz. "Yeah, she's that good." Those are the kind of raves these two world music stars earn when they perform solo - so just imagine the music they make when they play together!

Crosscurrents: Zakir Hussain & Dave Holland Sunday, November 5, 2017 Prudential Hall 7pm
Crosscurrents is a one-of-a-kind world music performance that melds the music of India with the energy of jazz, all built on the foundational duo of renowned tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain and acclaimed bassist-composer Dave Holland.
One of India's reigning cultural ambassadors, Zakir Hussain is known worldwide for his brilliant playing - The Washington Post says that "his virtuosity is barely to be believed" - but his innovative collaborations have also made him a chief architect of the contemporary world music movement. Grammy-winning bassist-composer Dave Holland, enjoying his fifth decade as a jazz superstar, was recently classified as "a master bassist and bandleader, and one of the most sophisticated composers and arrangers in the jazz world" by The Boston Globe.
When Hussain and Holland get together to play, they mesh their improvisational genius and musical intuition to pay tribute to pioneering musicians and composers on opposite sides of the world - those artists who first established the longstanding relationship between jazz and India's classical music.
For this NJPAC performance, the Crosscurrents ensemble will also include superstar Bollywood vocalist Shankar Mahadevan; guitarist-composer Sanjay Divecha; pianist Louiz Banks, a standard-bearer of India's contemporary jazz movement; sax player Chris Potter; and drummer Gino Banks. Whether you love jazz or world music (or both), you won't want to miss the musical fireworks!

Carrie Jackson Presented by WBGO Wednesday, November 8, 2017 Gateway Center II 12pm
WBGO Jazz 88.3FM presents this concert with Newark-born vocalist Carrie Jackson, a soulful song stylist with an adventurous repertoire that combines American standards, jazz originals, blues and pop.
"Carrie Jackson is a rich-voiced blues, ballads and jazz standards singer who knows how to put a song across," says The Star-Ledger. "She's extraordinary," says Cadence Magazine. "Jackson electrifies her audiences with her dynamic music, and takes the audience by storm with her charm and temperament."

An Evening with Chris Botti Wednesday, November 8, 2017 Prudential Hall 7:30pm
This master trumpeter - the world's best-selling jazz instrumentalist - returns to Prudential Hall for a concert as cool as it is romantic, drawing from his wide-ranging repertoire of pop, jazz and classical music.
Since his breakthrough with the 2001 album Night Sessions, Chris Botti has earned praise for his ability to seamlessly fuse jazz with pop. He's sold more than 3 million albums worldwide, and four of his albums have reached the No. 1 position on the Billboard jazz chart. Along the way, he has worked with an unparalleled roster of the world's greatest musicians, including Barbra Streisand, Sting, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Yo-Yo Ma, and Paul Simon, to name a few. Botti has also packed houses opposite many of the finest symphonies in the world, at prestigious venues like Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and the Sydney Opera House.
Botti's most recent album, Impressions, won the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album. On that acclaimed recording, Botti collaborated with guest artists Andrea Bocelli, Vince Gill, Herbie Hancock, Mark Knopfler, and David Foster for a warm, intimate celebration of melodic balladry.

Christian McBride & Dianne Reeves: One on One Friday, November 10, 2017 Victoria Theater 7:30pm
Don't miss this evening of conversation and music between two superstars of contemporary jazz: virtuoso bassist and composer Christian McBride and vocalist Dianne Reeves, classified by The New York Times as "the vocal heir of Sarah Vaughan."
Five-time Grammy-winning jazz bassist Christian McBride has been likened to a force of nature, fusing the fire and fury of a virtuoso with the depth and grounding of a seasoned journeyman. Powered by a relentless energy and a love of swing, McBride's career is now blazing into its third decade, and he is still one of the most requested, most recorded, and most respected figures in jazz today.
Vocal superstar Dianne Reeves won the 2015 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album for Beautiful Life, on which she lends her sublime gifts to a melding of R&B, Latin and pop elements, all within the framework of distinctly 21st century jazz. "Grandeur with refinement: that describes the aura of Dianne Reeves," says The New York Times. "(She is) the vocal heir of Sarah Vaughan, whose voice could also travel anywhere ..."
If you love jazz, you won't want to miss the sparks fly when these two greats share the stage!

John McLaughlin/Jimmy Herring: Meeting of the Spirits Friday, November 10, 2017 Prudential Hall 8pm
Guitar legends John McLaughlin & the 4th Dimension and Widespread Panic's Jimmy Herring & The Invisible Whip join forces for this farewell tour - featuring each artist in separate sets followed by a performance of music McLaughlin played with his 1970s electric band, Mahavishnu Orchestra.
For more than five decades, the music of English guitarist, bandleader and composer John McLaughlin has transcended boundaries, securing him a spot as one of improvised music's most influential artists. A pioneer of jazz fusion, his genre-busting Mahavishnu Orchestra is remembered for a complex, virtuosic style that melded electric jazz and rock with Indian influences, resulting in classic albums like Inner Mounting Flame, Birds of Fire, Between Nothingness and Eternity and more. For this tour (which McLaughlin has said will likely mark his last U.S. performances), the guitar great will revisit much of the music he first played with Mahavishnu, this time backed by his current band, 4th Dimension, featuring Ranjit Barot (drums), Gary Husband (keyboards, drums) and Etienne M'Bappé (bass).
McLaughlin will share the evening with Jimmy Herring, the virtuoso guitarist who has long been at the creative forefront of the American rock-jam movement, known for his inspired contributions to the Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Allman Brothers, Widespread Panic, and The Dead. "Herring possesses the heart and soul of a rocker, the chops and harmonic awareness of a jazz artist, and the simpatico personality of a jam-band player," says Guitar Player.

Camille Thurman & The Darrell Green Trio Presented by NJPAC and WBGO Saturday, November 11, 2017 Victoria Theater 1:30pm
NJPAC and WBGO Jazz 88.3FM host this free jazz performance featuring rising saxophonist-vocalist Camille Thurman in performance with The Darrell Green Trio, a unit led by the acclaimed drummer.
Acclaimed by Downbeat Magazine as a singer with "soulful inflection and remarkable, Fitzgerald-esque scat prowess," and hailed by All About Jazz as a "first-class saxophonist that blows the proverbial roof of the place," Camille Thurman has been amazing audiences throughout the world with her impeccable sound, remarkable vocal virtuosity, and captivating artistry.
Thurman has been featured at the Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, and other top jazz venues. New York Jazz Record says that Thurman's debut album, Origins, "comes bursting in with the power of virtuosity tempered by tradition, understanding and great feeling." For this performance, Thurman will be joined by acclaimed drummer-composer Darrell Green and his trio.

Grupo Niche and Willy Chirino Saturday, November 11, 2017 Prudential Hall 8pm
The world-famous Colombian salsa band Grupo Niche is known for its vigorous, uptempo dance music, as well as for slower-paced, irresistibly romantic numbers. Joining them is Cuban singer Willy Chirino.
Founded in 1980 by Jairo Varela and Alexis Lozano in Cali, Grupo Niche is hugely popular throughout Latin America. Grupo Niche's first major success was the release of Querer es Poder, and the single "Buenaventura y Caney." In 1984, the band produced its signature song, "Cali Pachanguero," a hit tribute to the "world salsa capital." Also among the band's greatest singles are "Cali Aji," "Sin Sentimientos," "Una Aventura" and "Gotas de Lluvia."
Grammy winner Willy Chirino, recognized worldwide as the creator of the Miami Sound, is celebrating 40 years in the music business. He has released more than 30 albums and is the composer of more than a hundred songs, which have been recorded by artists including Celia Cruz and The Gipsy Kings.

Dorthaan's Place: Kevin Mahogany Sunday, November 12, 2017 NICO Kitchen + Bar 11am and 1pm
Kevin Mahogany, the renowned jazz baritone from Kansas City, performs at NJPAC's Sunday brunch series at NICO Kitchen + Bar.
With more than 10 recordings as a leader, vocalist, businessman and educator, Kevin Mahogany has been the standard setter for jazz vocalists for three decades. Newsweek called him "the standout jazz vocalist of his generation." In his hometown, he learned to swing like Charlie Parker, shout the blues like Big Joe Turner and cry a ballad like Lester Young. He elaborates and refines the jazz vocal legacies of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, Eddie Jefferson and Al Jarreau into myriad dimensions of music - from gutbucket, the Great American Songbook and gospel to Mingus and Motown.
A sumptuous buffet brunch, including an omelet station and a medley of desserts, is served at NICO Kitchen + Bar at 11am and 1pm, with performances scheduled at 11:30am and 1:30pm.

Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition:
The SASSY Awards
Co-presented by NJPAC and WBGO
Sunday, November 12, 2017
Victoria Theater

Following an intensive search, NJPAC and WBGO will host performances by the five finalists in the sixth annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, founded in 2012 in honor of Newark's "divine" jazz icon.

Rising vocalists from around the globe compete for the chance to perform in the finals for the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, also known as "The SASSY Awards." The only event of its kind, this competition is now open to both male and female jazz singers and gives the winner a platform for embarking on a career in the music business.

Singers will be evaluated by a panel of special guest judges, and rated for vocal quality, musicality, technique, performance, individuality, artistic interpretation, and ability to swing. The grand prize winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize, an offer for a record deal with Concord Music Group, and a platform to embark on a career in the music business.

Ella and Dizzy: The Centennial Celebration
with Gregory Porter, Lizz Wright, Regina Carter, Valerie Simpson, Randy Brecker and Sean Jones, backed by the Christian McBride Big Band

Sunday, November 12, 2017
Prudential Hall

Celebrate the 100th birthdays of Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie with an exclusive lineup of acclaimed jazz artists: Gregory Porter, Lizz Wright, Regina Carter, Valerie Simpson, Randy Brecker and Sean Jones, all backed by the Christian McBride Big Band.

This musical tribute will feature music made famous by Ella and Dizzy, all interpreted by a top-notch cast of contemporary jazz stylists: Honey-voiced Lizz Wright, known for a unique style that fuses her gospel roots with jazz, blues, folk and R&B; Grammy nominee Regina Carter, widely considered to be the foremost jazz violinist of her generation; Valerie Simpson, whose longtime singing and songwriting partnership with Nickolas Ashford produced 22 gold and platinum records and more than 50 ASCAP Awards; trumpeter-composer Sean Jones, who has released seven albums as a leader in addition to his work on Nancy Wilson's Grammy-winning album, Turned to Blue; versatile trumpeter and flugelhornist Randy Brecker, a player DownBeat says "has never played an unmusical note or unshapely phrase"; velvet-smooth singer-songwriter Gregory Porter, who has earned two Best Jazz Vocal Album Grammy Awards, for 2014's Liquid Spirit and 2017's Take Me to the Alley; and the Christian McBride Big Band, a 17-piece, 21st century ensemble whose debut album, The Good Feeling, received the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble.

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