The Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour Comes to Orange County Performing Arts Center
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The last date listed for The Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour was Saturday April 24, 2010 / 8:00pm.
Currently at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Segerstrom Hall
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Always at the forefront of modern jazz, the one-and-only Monterey Jazz Festival has taken to the road with a roster of musical heavyweights representing today’s very best including: nine-time Grammy®-nominated and NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron on piano; Grammy-nominated Regina Carter on violin; Grammy winner Russell Malone on guitar; Grammy-winning vocalist Kurt Elling; bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa and Grammy-nominated Johnathan Blake on drums. This impressive ensemble, Monterey Jazz Festival On Tour, makes a stop at the Orange County Performing Arts Center April 24 for a not-to-be-missed evening in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. This performance closes the Center’s 2009-2010 Jazz Series.
Members of this tour have a special relationship with the Monterey Jazz Festival (MJF) and each bring distinctive artistry to the stage in their own sets and in the kind of electrifying jams that generations of Monterey fans have come to cherish. Barron made his first eight appearances at MJF in the early 1960s with Dizzy Gillespie and Carter was selected as Artist-In-Residence for MJF in 2004 and has appeared at the Festival four times. Elling, also selected as Artist-In-Residence for MJF in 2006, has also performed on the stages of the Festival four times. Malone has appeared five times and both Kitagawa and Blake have performed at MJF two times.
Kenny Barron has an unmatched ability to mesmerize audiences with his elegant piano playing, sensitive melodies and infectious rhythms. That inspired the Los Angeles Times to name him "one of the top jazz pianists in the world.” Dizzy Gillespie hired Barron in 1962, and he has also performed with Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, Milt Jackson, Buddy Rich, Yusef Lateef, and many more. From 1974 to 2000, Barron was on the faculty at Rutgers University as professor of music, and has mentored many of today’s young talents including David Sanchez, Terence Blanchard and Regina Bell. Barron was inducted into the American Jazz Hall of Fame in 2005, and in 2009, he was named a Living Legacy by the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. He has recorded over 40 albums as a leader, and has earned nine Grammy nominations. He was selected as a NEA Jazz Master for 2010, the nation’s highest honor in jazz.
Johnathan Blake has been working steadily in the contemporary jazz scene for the past 10 years, and is the first-call drummer for many notable jazz musicians such as Tom Harrell, David Sanchez, Russell Malone, Kenny Barron, Randy Brecker and Oliver Lake, to name a few. Eventually attending William Paterson University in New Jersey and studying with Rufus Reid, John Riley, Steve Wilson and Horace Arnold, he also was gigging professionally with the Oliver Lake Big Band, Roy Hargrove and David Sanchez. By 2007, Blake received a Master’s degree from Rutgers University, studying with Ralph Bowen, Conrad Herwig and Stanley Cowell, primarily focusing on his compositional skills. Blake is currently a member of the Tom Harrell Quintet, the Russell Malone Quartet, and he performs regularly with Barron, Avishai Cohen and Omer Avital.
Regina Carter began performing on violin at the age of four. Carter attended Detroit’s prestigious Cass Technical High School. Upon graduating, she departed for the New England Conservatory of Music, only to return to Michigan’s Oakland University, seasoning her chops by gigging with several local musicians. By 1994, she had returned to New York, recording two solo albums for Atlantic while also working with the String Trio of New York, Muhal Richard Abrams and Greg Tate and the Black Rock Coalition. Carter joined Verve Records in 1998 and has since recorded five critically acclaimed works: Rhythms of the Heart; Motor City Moments; Paganini: After a Dream; Freefall (a duet project with pianist Kenny Barron) and I’ll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey. Her playing has appeared on filmmaker Ken Burns’ soundtrack for the PBS documentary, Jazz; Wynton Marsalis’ opera Blood on the Fields; Cassandra Wilson’s Traveling Miles; Mary J. Blige’s My Life and Latin jazz pianist Eddie Palmieri on his Grammy award-winning Listen Here.
Kurt Elling is the preeminent young male jazz singer today. A 10-year stretch saw Elling earn seven Grammy nominations, six consecutive years at the top of the DownBeat Critics and Jazz Times readers’ polls, three Jazz Journalists’ Association Awards for Best Male Vocalist and the Prix Billie Holiday from the Academie du Jazz in Paris. His quartet has toured the world, performing to critical acclaim in Europe, the Middle East, South America, Asia and Australia, and at jazz festivals and concert halls across North America. In addition to working with his own quartet, Elling has spent recording and/or performing time with an array of artists that includes Terence Blanchard, Dave Brubeck, The Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, Benny Golson, Jon Hendricks, Fred Hersch, Charlie Hunter, Al Jarreau, David Liebman, Joe Lovano, Christian McBride, Marian McPartland, The Bob Mintzer Big Band, Mark Murphy, John Pizzarelli, Kurt Rosenwinkel and The Yellowjackets. In 2007, he signed to Concord Records, recording Nightmoves. Elling won his first Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album at the 2010 Grammy Awards.
Bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa is an integral part of today’s jazz scene. Soon after moving to New York City from Japan, he met Winard Harper at Blue Note’s jam session and joined the Harper Brothers, recording on the Remembrance: Live at The Village Vanguard. Kitagawa has toured and recorded with the alto great Kenny Garrett with drummer Brian Blade. He has gone on to work with many of the leading names in jazz including Steve Turre, Tommy Flanagan and Kenny Kirkland. In 1996, he formed The Trio with the versatile Japanese pianist, Makoto Ozone, releasing four albums together. Most recently, Kitagawa has been touring the world with bands led by three jazz greats: the Jimmy Heath Quartet, the Kenny Barron Trio and Quintet and the Andy Bey Quartet.
Guitarist Russell Malone grew up playing a variety of music. In 1988, he was hired as a sideman by the seminal organist Jimmy Smith. He went on to back popular pianist and vocalist Harry Connick, Jr. from 1990-1994. Malone first recorded as a leader in 1992, when he provided his self-titled debut album for Columbia, which quickly went to No. 1 on the radio charts and was followed by Black Butterfly in 1993 and Wholly Cats for Japan’s Venus label in 1995. Malone joined pianist and vocalist Diana Krall in 1995, contributing to Krall’s first three Grammy-nominated albums, including 1999’s When I Look In Your Eyes. Verve Records released three albums by Malone, including Sweet Georgia Peach for Impulse! in 1998, Look Who’s Here in 1999 and Heartstrings in 2001. Malone has had the honor of launching the “Strings Series” for the MAXJAZZ label with his 2004 label debut Playground, which was followed by 2006’s Live At Jazz Standard, Volume One and 2007’s Live At Jazz Standard, Volume Two.