Segerstrom Center, Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour 55th Anniversary Celebration
The Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour 55th Anniversary Celebration makes its way to Segerstrom Center for the Arts on January 13 in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. The all- star ensemble will perform classic jazz and original compositions by critically acclaimed, Grammy Award-winning artists: bassist and musical director Christian McBride, vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, saxophonist Chris Potter, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, pianist Benny Green and drummer Lewis Nash.
Tickets start at $25 and are available online at SCFTA.org, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787. For inquiries about group ticket savings for 10 or more, call the Group Services office at (714) 755-0236. The TTY number is (714) 556-2746.
JazzTimes states “...this festival, spread out over multiple stages on the Monterey County Fairgrounds over the third weekend of September, is an all-American and global treasure.” Founded in 1958, the Monterey Jazz Festival is the longest continuously-running jazz festival in the world. Nearly every major jazz star has performed with the group, from Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong to Esperanza Spalding and Trombone Shorty. Renowned for its artistic excellence, sophisticated informality and longstanding mission to create and support year-round jazz education and performance programs in local, regional, national and international venues, the 55th Anniversary Celebration continues the Festival’s commitment during its third North American Tour.
Two-time Grammy-winning vocalist and Tony Award®-winning actress Dee Dee Bridgewater has had an illustrious career. Since her New York debut in 1970, she has appeared with the Thad Jones and Mel Lewis Orchestra, Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Max Roach, Roland Kirk and many more. She won a Tony Award for her performance as Glinda the Good Witch in The Wiz and was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in Stephen Stahl’s Lady Day. She has also appeared in Sophisticated Ladies, Cosmopolitan Greetings, Black Ballad, Carmen Jazz and Cabaret. As host of NPR’s Jazzset, Bridgewater presents today's best jazz artists in performance on stages around the world. Among her many albums are homages to Horace Silver and Kurt Weill and the Grammy Award-winning albums Dear Ella and Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie with Love from Dee Dee. She made her first appearance at the Monterey Jazz in Festival in 1973 with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra.
Three-time Grammy Award-winning bassist Christian McBride is one of the most in-demand jazz musicians in the world. He has recorded and performed live with such artists as Freddie Hubbard, Pat Metheny, Joshua Redman, Joe Henderson, Betty Carter, Roy Haynes, Benny Green, Kathleen Battle, Diana Krall, Dave Brubeck, Jimmy Smith, Joe Lovano, McCoy Tyner, George Duke, Sting, Chick Corea, Chris Botti, JAmes Brown, Queen Latifah, Carly Simon, Sonny Rollins and Roy Haynes. McBride has recorded for the Verve, Warner Brothers and Mack Avenue labels. The Good Feeling, his first big band recording as a leader, arranger and conductor, won a 2011 Grammy. As a jazz educator and mentor, he serves as the artistic director for the Jazz Aspen Snowmass summer program and is the co-director of the Jazz Museum in Harlem. McBride has held artistic director, creative chair and artist-in-residence positions at the Henry Mancini and Brubeck Institutes, the Berklee College of Music, Stanford Jazz Workshop, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Detroit and Monterey Jazz Festivals. McBride has appeared at the Festival eight times since 1994.
Pianist Benny Green grew up in Berkeley, California. As a teenager, he worked with Eddie Henderson and Chuck Israels. Moving to New York City 1982, he studied with Walter Bishop Jr., worked with Betty Carter and eventually played in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. After working with Freddie Hubbard's quintet, Oscar Peterson chose Benny as the first recipient of the City of Toronto's Glenn Gould International Protégé Prize in Music in 1993, the same year he joined Ray Brown's trio. In 1997, Green resumed his freelance career with solo performances, leading his own trios and accompanying singers such as Diana Krall. As a leader, he has recorded many albums for the Criss Cross, Blue Note, Toshiba and Telarc labels. With more than 100 recordings to his credit, he has collaborated with Betty Carter, Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, Bobby Watson, Milt Jackson, Ray Brown and others. Green was a featured performer with Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band in 2010. He continues to be in demand as a guest artist, leading workshops and master classes at such educational institutions and music clinics as The Juilliard School, Interlochen, the Monk Institute, Eastern Washington State University, Jazz Camp West, Snow College, Centrum and the Brubeck Institute. Green has appeared in eight Monterey Jazz Festival Tours, debuting in the 2008 50th Anniversary Tour at the age of 15 in the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra. He was musical director for the 50th Anniversary Tour in 2008.
Drummer Lewis Nash is recognized as one of the foremost brush stylists of his generation. He grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, and, by the age of 18, he was a first-call sideman for visiting musicians. He moved to New York in 1980 to join Betty Carter's band. Nash’s versatility has made him one of the most in-demand drummers of the past several decades; recording and touring with Tommy Flanagan, Oscar Peterson, Sonny Rollins, Ray Brown, Gerald Wilson, Horace Silver, Ron Carter, Hank Jones, Benny Carter, Milt Jackson, Art Farmer, McCoy Tyner, Joe Lovano, Christian McBride, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Pat Martino, Clark Terry, Diana Krall, Joe Williams, Nancy Wilson and many others. He has made three recordings as a leader. Nash is also renowned for his passion and dedication to jazz education, fostering the careers of a long list of younger players. He has served as a clinician and educator at schools, workshops and major educational jazz festivals worldwide. In 2012, Jazz in Arizona opened The Nash, a non-profit, 2,600 square-foot performance space in Phoenix, named in his honor. He has appeared with the Monterey Jazz Festival twice since 2001.
DownBeat Magazine called Grammy-nominated saxophonist Chris Potter “one of the most studied (and copied) saxophonists on the planet." He is a potent improviser and the youngest musician ever to win Denmark's Jazzpar Prize. Born in Chicago and raised in Columbia, South Carolina, Potter has recorded 19 albums as a leader for the Criss Cross, Concord, Koch, Emercy, Verve and Storyville labels. As a sideman, Potter has appeared on more than 100 albums with an impressive list of artists that includes Herbie Hancock, John Scofield, the Mingus Big Band, Jim Hall, Dave Douglas, Ray Brown and many others. He has been a regular member of Paul Motian's Electric Bebop Band, Steely Dan and bassist Dave Holland’s groups, including Holland’s quartet at the Monterey Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary in 2007. Potter’s most recent membership is with Pat Metheny’s Unity Band, Metheny’s first group in 30 years to feature a saxophonist. Making an appearance with the Unity Band at the 55th Monterey Jazz Festival in 2012, Metheny said: “He is one of the greatest musicians I have ever been around." Potter has appeared in eight Festivals beginning in 1997.
Trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire was born in Oakland, California, attendEd Berkeley High School and was a member of the 1999 and 2000 Monterey Jazz Festival High School All-Star Band. At 19, Steve Coleman hired him for a European tour with his Five Elements band. He moved to New York City in 2000 to attend the Manhattan School of Music, playing with Lonnie Plaxico, Stefon Harris, Josh Roseman, Vijay Iyer, Charlie Persip, the Mingus Big Band and the San Francisco Jazz Collective along the way. In 2005, he returned to the West Coast for a master’s degree at the UCLA while simultaneously attending the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, where he studied with Terence Blanchard, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Billy Childs and Gary Grant. After graduation, Akinmusire won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition and the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition in the span of one week. He went on to perform with Steve Coleman, Vijay Iyer, Alan Pasqua, Walter Smith III, Josh Roseman, Esperanza Spalding, Aaron Parks, Jimmy Heath, Jason Moran, Terri Lyne Carrington, Ron Carter, Jason Moran, Wallace Roney, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and others. In 2011, Akinmusire released When The Heart Emerges Glistening on Blue Note Records. The New York Times named the album as its top CD of the year. The Los Angeles Times said “Akinmusire sounds less like a rising star than one that was already at great heights and just waiting to be discovered.” He was Monterey’s artist-in-residence in 2012, and has made four appearances at the Festival.