Prez Fest 2012 Celebrating Dizzy Gillespie

The Jazz Committee, Midtown Arts Common at Saint Peter’s Church, will present
Prez Fest 2012 – Celebrating Dizzy Gillespie.” The festival takes place on Sunday, March 4 with a panel discussion on Dizzy Gillespie at 3:30 PM, Jazz Vespers at 5 PM and Concert at 7:30 PM “From Big Band to Bebop to Afro Cuban – The Music of Dizzy Gillespie” includes Dizzy’s celebratory Afro  Latin pieces for big band, arrangements of classic pieces for big band and small ensemble as well as Dizzy Gillespie-inspired compositions.

Donald L. Maggin, author of Dizzy—The Life and Times of John Birks Gillespie, will moderate the panel The Life and Continuing Legacy of Dizzy Gillespie at 3:30 PM. Panelists include Stanley Crouch, Gary Giddins, Jimmy Heath and Mike Longo.  The David Sanchez Quartet leads the music at Jazz Vespers at 5 PM. The 7:30 PM concert emceed by Jeanie Bryson showcases two big bands: The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra led by Arturo O’Farrill and the New York University Jazz Orchestra conducted by Rich Shemaria, featuring “Special Guest Trumpeter.” The David Sanchez Quartet also performs.
 
Prez Fest is an annual jazz festival that showcases the talents of jazz legends no longer with us and about whom people should learn more.  Over the past several years Billie Holiday, Billy Strayhorn, Art Blakey and Gil Evans have been celebrated.  The name “Prez Fest” blossomed out of “To Prez with Love,” an annual tribute to Lester Young held at Saint Peter’s for more than 30 years.

The Jazz Committee, Midtown Arts Common at Saint Peter’s Church, produces Prez Fest.  Other events produced by The Jazz Committee include All Nite Soul, Jazz on the Plaza (free Thursday concerts at midday, May-August at 53rd and Lexington), and First Tuesdays, (a free professional development seminar series for musicians) in collaboration with Chamber Music America.

Prez Fest 2012 is made possible in part with public funds from the Fund for Creative Communities, supported by the New York State Council on the Arts and the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Prez Fest 2012 – Celebrating Dizzy Gillespie takes place on Sunday, March 4 at Saint Peter’s Church at 619 Lexington Avenue (at 54th Street.) 3:30 PM: Panel moderated by Gillespie’s biographer Donald L. Maggin with Stanley Crouch, Gary Giddins, Jimmy Heath and Mike Longo. Free  The Dizzy Gillespie Legend Wall – an exhibit about Dizzy. 5 PM: Jazz Vespers — music of Dizzy Gillespie led by David Sanchez Quartet. Free Will Offering  7:30 PM:  Concert — Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, David Sanchez Quartet, and”Special Guest Trumpeter” with the New York University Jazz Orchestra. $25 Suggested Donation for tickets available at the door. $10 student suggested ticket donation with student ID.  $20 tickets available in advance at www.saintpeters.org/events    212 935 2200. “E” train to Lexington Avenue or “# 6” to 51st Street.

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