jazz

Lambchop completes line-up of the Gent Jazz Festival

The last group for the Gent Jazz Festival (July 8th to 19th inclusive) is Lambchop. This American band completes the line-up of Friday, July 17th, featuring José James and Rodrigo y Gabriela. As we had already announced, BB King, Jamie Cullum, George Benson, Jamie Lidell, Marianne Faithfull, McCoy Tyner Trio feat. Bill Frisell and Joe Jackson will also be present.

Over the past 15 years, Lambchop has become one of the most exciting bands within the Americana genre. With their subtle mix of country, rock, pop, folk and soul, the group centered by Kurt Wagner has released 10 albums. Year by year, Lambchop has developed into a musical collective built around front man and creative mastermind Kurt Wagner, one of the best song writers of his generation. The driving force behind Lambchop has one of the most recognizable, warm and serene voices and at the same time. He writes ironic lyrics in which the melancholy is never far away and Wagner reveals himself as a wonderful narrator.

Info & tickets:www.gentjazz.com. Gent Jazz Festival from July 8th to 19 inclusive, Bijloke, Gent, Belgium. Tickets cost 27 euros per evening (excl. booking costs), except for those for July 8 (concert day with BB King) which cost 37 euros (excl. booking costs). A Three-Day Pass costs 68 euros (excl. booking costs). Tickets can be booked via www.gentjazz.com, via Uitbureau Gent (www.uitbureau.be or +32(0)9 233 77 88) or at FNAC. Just as it did last year, the final festival weekend coincides with the opening weekend of the Ghent Festivities.

15th Annual West Coast Jazz Party Sept. 3-6

4 Nights and 3 Non-Stop Days of America’s Best Mainstream Jazz Party featuring Three Big Bands, Nightly Ballroom Concerts, Outdoor Pool Sessions, a Saturday Night Dance and a unique Newport Harbor Jazz Brunch Cruise!   Helping celebrate 15 swingin’ years will be the Four Freshmen, Terry Gibbs, Jack Sheldon, Ken Peplowski, Ernie Andrews, Houston Person, Marilyn Maye, Paul Smith, Peter Erskine, Frank Capp Juggernaut plus special tributes by Debby Boone, Charlie Shoemake and Byron Stripling with his All-Star Orchestra featuring Butch Miles on drums!

With Orange County’s wonderful weather in September, this year’s party will feature Pool Sessions on Friday and Saturday, both days  from 12 noon until 3:15pm including on Friday the JazzAmerica Big Band directed by Richard Simon and the Dave Tull Quartet plus a special act to be announced. On Saturday- two sets with the celebrated Frank Capp Juggernaut Orchestra featuring Ernie Andrews plus Guitar Summit with Mundell Lowe, Mimi Fox & Ron Eschete supported by Jon Mayer, Hassan Wiggins and Harold Jones.                   

The Sunday Jazz Brunch Cruise on Hornblower Yacht’s Entertainer will again be a highlight of the 3 day event.   Attendees and the artists will transition from the Marriott to Newport Harbor, where 3 decks of  specially designed “jam sessions” with over 20 All-Stars, including Terry Gibbs, Marilyn Maye, Guitar Summit and the Peter Erskine Trio will be featured during the champagne brunch cruise which will take place from 11:00am until 2:00pm.

September 3-6, 2009 is the weekend for the West Coast Jazz Party & Brunch Cruise, to again be held over Labor Day Weekend at the Irvine Marriott Hotel and Hornblower Yacht’s Entertainer.

The party will center on a large stage nightly at 7:00pm (8:00pm on Thursday night only) with reserved seating, and conclude each night with an “up close & personal” acoustic lobby bar session, wrapping up well after midnight.   Late afternoon lobby sessions will also feature artists in an acoustic setting.

*Kicking off this 15h year will be the Grand Opening Sessions on Thursday evening featuring two sets with the Four Freshmen, including 5 Trombones and the Ken Peplowski All-Stars!

*Featured on Friday evening will be legendary vibist Terry Gibbs and his quartet with Ken Peplowski, the Grant Stewart Quartet, Byron Stripling Quintet and closing the night- Ernie Andrews & Houston Person-Together Again!

*Saturday evening will feature the Paul Smith Trio, Ken Peplowski, Houston Person, Byron Stripling, Harold Jones followed by Marilyn Maye and her trio featuring Tedd Firth plus the Jack Sheldon California Cool Quartet.

*Sunday night’s closing sessions will include the Ken Peplowski Quartet, a Tribute to Rosemary Clooney by Debby Boone with Musical Director- John Oddo, Charlie Shoemake’s Tribute to George Shearing with Terry Trotter, Luther Hughes, Colin Bailey & Ron Anthony plus BIG BAND MEETS BROADWAY with Byron Stripling’s All-Star Orchestra featuring Butch Miles on drums!

Also featured  during this Labor Day Weekend jazz Celebration will be Dan Barrett, Chuck Berghofer and his Midnight Jazz Band,  Jim DeJulio, Matt Finders, Gary Foster, Paul Kreibich, Andy Martin, Jon Mayer Trio, Roy McCurdy, Ira Nepus, Tom Ranier, Bob Summers, Terry Trotter, and Scott Whitfield!

Tickets are now available for the complete four night, three-day package (Over 33 hours of jazz!) including the Sunday Jazz Brunch Cruise. Prices are $335/375. Individual reserved seats are priced at $60/$75 for evening performances and $40/50 for the Grand Opening Sessions,  $30 each  for “Friday & Saturday By the Pool” and $79 for the Jazz Brunch Cruise (space available). For tickets to the West Coast Jazz Party & Brunch Cruise, call the Jazzline at 949.759.5003 or for complete artist appearance times and an order form  visit our website at: http://westcoastjazzparty.com/ . Those wishing to have a weekend getaway may also enjoy the Irvine Marriott’s special rate of $135 per night and $165 for concierge.  For hotel reservations call the Irvine Marriott Hotel at 949.553.0100 and ask for the WCJP rate.   The Irvine Marriott is located at 18000 Von Karman Ave., five minutes from the John Wayne/Orange County Airport, with free shuttle service.  Free self-parking will also be available for attendees.

The Mamiko Taira Quartet at Drom NYC

ConnectForce Productions and Nippon Jazz NYC present an evening of jazz at Drom featuring New York based emerging Japanese Jazz Artists.  On May 9, Japanese vocalist, Mamiko Taira will be the featured artist performing along with Tadataka Unno on Piano, Joseph Lepore on bass, and Luca Santaniello on Drums.

Tickets can be purchased through the Drom website or at the box office, $10 in advance and $12 at the door. All the tickets purchased in advance are final and will-call pick up on the day of the event. There is no handling charge for web purchase.  Please visit www.dromnyc.com or visit directly to: http://tinyurl.com/mamiko09MAY-dromnyc

New York based Japanese jazz vocalist Mamiko Taira is known as a crowd pleaser to both audiences and musicians alike.  Some may recognize her from Jazzconnect Vocal Completion or as a member of the James McBride Group. McBride describes her as “the kind musicians love to play with and audiences love to appreciate… she is a standout..." And, according to her mentor Mark Murphy "she is a talent in the art of vocal jazz." With respect to jazz and vocal jazz tradition, she sings with power and grace.  She has performed at The Kitano New York, Sweet Rhythm, Dizzy's Club Coca Cola, Blue Note New York, Birdland and many other well-known live music venues.

Mamiko Taira

www.myspace.com/mamikotaira

Tadataka Unno (pianist)

www.tadatakaunno.com

Joseph Lepore (bassist)

http://www.myspace.com/josephlepore

Luca Santaniello (drummer)

http://www.myspace.com/lucasantaniello

About Nippon Jazz NYC:

Nippon Jazz NYC is one of the largest community groups dedicated to events focused on cross-cultural friendship building between the US and Japan.  Nippon Jazz NYC has regular bi-weekly engagements at Blue Owl Cocktail Room featuring emerging Japanese jazz artists.

About ConnectForce Productions:

ConnectForce Productions is led by Adren Hart who specializes in producing events featuring culturally diverse talent.   With his passion for music and commitment to connecting people through culture and the arts he has introduced many talented Japanese artists to audiences here in New York City, and he now proudly presents Mamiko Taira Live at Drom.

About Drom NYC:

Drom is a multi-event venue with a restaurant and lounge. With high ceilings, earthy colors and comfortable seating, Drom aims to provide a warm, inviting, sophisticated and informal atmosphere to relax and enjoy its multi-cultural and varied programming. Located in the East Village (85 Avenue A, New York NY 10009).  For reservations, call 212-777-1157

Bonerama Releases New Single, Hard Times, today

Seasoned with unrivaled soul that only native New Orleans' artists can boast, Bonerama spins a three-trombone frontline into heavy hitting rock ‘n' funk.  In celebration of New Orleans' famous Jazz & Heritage Festival, where the band will perform this Saturday on the Gentilly Stage, Bonerama is releasing their first ever studio recording, "Hard Times" today.  Fans can download the song free of charge at www.BoneramaMusic.com for a limited time.

boneramaTo offer fans even more access to rare and unreleased music, Bonerama, along with fellow NOLA funksters and labelmates Porter Batiste Stoltz, launched www.PartyGras2009.com to deliver fans funky new music each Tuesday all year long. The release might be a live show, a single of a brand new song, or an archival release from the bands' vaults. But remember to visit often - all the free material released is available only for one week; until the next Tuesday, when new tunes are featured.

Bonerama's Single Series, where the band releases one new single at a time, kicked off on Fat Tuesday with the release of their brand new song, "Big Fine Woman," available online now in the iTunes music store.

The current list of confirmed Bonerama tour dates is as follows:

April 30 The Studio at Colton Theater New Orleans LA
May 02 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival New Orleans LA (Gentilly Stage, 1:40pm)
May 02 Mid City Lanes New Orleans LA
May 03 The Maple Leaf New Orleans LA
May 16 Tropical Heat Wave Tampa FL
May 29 Mike Arnone's Crawfish Festival Augusta NJ
May 30 Western Maryland Blues Festival Hagerstown MD
June 11 Jazz in the Park Milwaukee WI
June 12 The Livery Benton Harbor MI
June 14 Long's Park Amphitheater Lancaster PA
June 16-17 Rochester International Jazz Festival Rochester NY
June 19 Sullivan Hall New York NY
June 26 Narrows Center for the Arts Fall River MA
June 28 Freihofers Jazz Festival Saratoga Springs NY
July 02-03 High Sierra Music Festival Quincy CA
July 04-05 Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival Portland OR
August 01-02 20th Annual Bayou Boogaloo & Cajun Festival Norfolk VA
August 14-15 The Sildajazz International Jazz Festival Haugesund, Norway
November 13 Bear Creek Music & Arts Festival Live Oak FL

More dates will be announced.

The Kitano Hotel presents the Beat Kaestli Quartet, May 20th

After returning from his 7th European tour and Festival in Mexico, internationally acclaimed vocalist Beat Kaestli presents his unmistakable blend of Jazz, classical and contemporary vibes at the Kitano Hotel, New York, backed by his stellar NY-Trio, featuring vocalists Aria Hendricks and Hilary Kole. His soon to be released CD “Far From Home - A Tribute to European Song” ( http://www.myspace.com/beatkaestli ) is already receiving praise from audiences everywhere. It’s dedicated to European composers, like Weill, Bizet, Purcell and Legrand and Jazz legend Jon Hendricks writes in his liner notes:  “Soulful, sensitive singing. I am impressed by Beat Kaestli’s CD and I look forward to hearing more!”. His sets will also include songs from his new French program.

beatBeat’s current CD “Happy, Sad and Satisfied” is still gaining acclaim in the US, Canada, Mexico and Europe, having received great reviews from a majority of the major Jazz publications, while radio stations and local papers have been supporting the tours and festivals with interviews, showcases and CD reviews. In the US, the CD was introduced on “Groove Boutique”, a nationally syndicated show on CD 101.9 Smooth Jazz, and Kaestli’s refreshing approach to standards remains a favorite on Jazz radio stations everywhere. Additionally, “Happy, Sad and Satisfied” has been receiving high praise from critics and audiences across the country and in Canada. It was named among the “Top 25 Best CDs of 2006” by Indie Music Magazine and received a “Best Male Jazz Vocal” nod from the Twirlie Awards. Also, Kaestli’s last NY performances at the Blue Note and the Jazz Standard were mentioned among the “Noteworthy Performances” in JazzImprov Magazine.

About Beat Kaestli:
Beat Kaestli is a vocalist, songwriter, arranger and producer residing in New York City. He moved to New York from his native home of Switzerland, where he was awarded a scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music (BM). In 2007 he received a scholarship from the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation and graduated in 2008 with a Masters Degree from the Aaron Copland School of Music (MA). While honing his craft alongside noteworthy Jazz performers, such as Jane Monheit, Jason Moran and Stefon Harris, he immersed himself in Manhattan’s fiercely competitive music scene, emerging as a seasoned performer. He now appears in clubs such as The Blue Note, Birdland, The Bitter End, The Jazz Standard, The Stone and Sweet Rhythm, performing with Jazz greats, like Esperanza Spalding, Clarence Penn, Joel Frahm and Billy Drummond. In 2005, Beat was the chosen vocalist for the Glenn Miller Orchestra, thrilling audiences in concert halls across the USA. Since the release of his acclaimed CD “Happy, Sad and Satisfied” in 2006 he is touring the world extensively with his own projects, showcasing his music in renowned clubs and at festivals across the US, Europe, Mexico and Canada.

The Blue Note Years: The Photography Of Francis Wolff & Jimmy Katz

Spring, 2009 JazzPrezzo proudly announces the release of The Blue Note Years: The Photography Of Francis Wolff and Jimmy Katz in celebration of the 70th Anniversary of Blue Note Records, the most important record label in the history of jazz.

John-ColtraneThis elegant coffee table book, including two CDs of music, spans an incredible seventy years of the label, from its beginnings to the present, through the eyes of two master photographers. The images, many of them never seen before, capture the major artists in modern jazz at historic recording sessions and other contexts. In recognition of this unique collection, the Jewish Museum of Berlin plans a special exhibition of photographs from the book for the fall of 2009.

Designed by award winning designer Ingo Wolff, the book features essays by producer Michael Cuscuna,  Blue Note president Bruce Lundvall, recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder, and jazz historian Ashley Kahn.

Wolff’s Rolleiflex caught each important development from traditional and swing-era styles of the 40’s through bebop, hard bop, soul, avant-garde, and even the first sounds of fusion.

Photographs include jazz legends  Sidney Bechet and Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey and Horace Silver, Miles Davis and Clifford Brown, and Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane, breadth staggering in its historical importance.  The story continues with jazz greats Jackie McLean, Herbie Hancock, Dexter Gordon, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Grant Green, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Andrew Hill, Cassandra Wilson and Joe Lovano.

Wolff’s iconic black and white photographs, intimate, relaxed, and respectful of the musicians and their craft, raised jazz players to a heroic level. His point of view endures today: musicians intensely working on their instruments, peering at sheet music or talking among themselves, playing the music with eyes gazing off into space or closed in musical rapture.

In the early nineties, Blue Note found Wolff’s spiritual descendant in Jimmy Katz whose style has its own distinctive signature. Like Wolff, Katz can catch the right moment, frame it, light it and shoot it in a fraction of a second. Their careers have run along parallel lines: both picked up the camera early, fell under the spell of jazz, and established a mature, visual signature. Like a Wolff image, a Katz portrait is instantly recognizable.

Ashley Kahn writes, “Seeing, as the saying goes, is believing. In the photography of both Wolff and Katz there is a deep, shared reverence for the music, captured in a way that makes us all fortunate witnesses to some private and truly historic moments.”  Bruce Lundvall comments, “This book is the nicest 70th Anniversary gift that Blue Note could get.”

Gene Bertoncini | May 2nd | Our Lady Of Peace Church

geneOver decades, Gene Bertoncini has firmly established himself as one of the most eloquent and versatile masters of the guitar. With elegance and ease, he bridges jazz, classical, pop, and bossa nova styles, integrating his own spontaneous and tasteful improvisations along the way. He has earned highest critical acclaim for his artistry on both the classical and electric guitar.

Bertoncini’s musical roots go back to his early years in the Bronx where he grew up in a house filled with music. His love affair with the guitar began when he was seven, and by the time he was sixteen, he was appearing on New York television.

His career took an unusual turn when he decided to fulfill another long-standing interest, and took a degree in architecture at Notre Dame. He was quickly swept into the musical scene at the university, and the first thing he did after picking up his degree was to work opposite Carmen McRae in Chicago. He returned to New York to work with vibraphonist Mike Manieri, and then with a quintet led by drummer Buddy Rich.

He describes his architectural experience as something which gives his music its finely-wrought form and style. He wins continual praise for the superb structure of his arrangements and improvisations which serve as a vehicle for his virtuosic technique.

Gene Bertoncini has worked with the Metropolitan Opera orchestra, the Benny Goodman Sextet; singers Tony Bennett, Morgana King, Lena Horne, Vic Damone and Edye Gorme; jazzmen Buddy Rich, Wayne Shorter, Hubert Laws, Clark Terry, Paul Desmond, and Paul Winter; and arranger/composers Burt Bacharach, Lalo Schifrin and Michel LeGrand, among others. He performed regularly on the Merve Griffin and Johnny Carson shows, and has been one of the most prolific and popular studio musicians in New York City. For the past eight years Bertoncini has performed with bassist Michael Moore in a duo which The New York Times describes as “...one of the finest pairings of jazz strings....”

Mr. Bertoncini’s teaching credits include the Eastman School of Music where he regularly performs and conducts summer workshops for jazz guitarists, the New England Conservatory, New York University, and the Banff School of Fine Arts. He has been a highly sought-after guest clinician in colleges and universities throughout the country.

National Jazz Museum in Harlem April 21-25 Events

We are bubbling over this week as we salute Quincy Jones and his great early 60’s big band Tuesday evening at Jazz For Curious Listeners, followed two days later by a contemporary big band leader/composer/trumpeter, Charles Tolliver, who will be our subject for an extended interview at Harlem Speaks. Friday night’s Harlem In The Himalayas will be an acoustic treat as the legendary guitarist Gene Bertoncini plays duets with his younger counterpart, Roni Ben-Hur. Our Saturday Panel will feature the provocative cultural critic Stanley Crouch and Stony Brook Professor of Ethnomusicology Frederick Moehn as we take an in-depth look at The Unfinished Emancipation: Jazz and Freedom.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners
The Jazz World of Quincy Jones: The Big Band Years
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

In 1956, Quincy Jones toured again as a trumpeter and musical director of the Dizzy Gillespie Band on a tour of the Middle East and South America sponsored by the U.S. State Department. Upon his return to the states, Jones  got a contract from ABC-Paramount Records and commenced his recording career as the leader of his own band.

He organized a tour of North America and Europe, and though the tour was a critical success, poor budget planning made it an economic disaster and the fallout left Jones in a financial crisis.

Though it didn't make sense economically, didn't make sense logistically, didn't provide ego satisfaction for star players, because of their love for Quincy, an exceptional group of musicians signed on for the tour, some of them literally traipsing all over Europe to find venues that could house them and bandstands that could squeeze them all in. There was never any problem finding audiences eager to hear what Quincy was thinking, or what musicians like Art Farmer, Zoot Sims, Curtis Fuller, Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson, Art Blakey, and Hank Jones were blowing. And those who attend tonight’s Jazz for Curious Listeners session will discover just the same joy.

A 1956 date for an ABC-Paramount release was a masterpiece of arranging and band leading. You will hear Quincy creating his new sound in the 1959-60 studio recording that comprised Quincy's "The Birth of a Band" release and later sessions. In writing for the big band, Quincy concealed a great deal of harmonic and rhythmic complexity in his charts. He really was reinventing big band music for a new decade and a new generation of listeners. His pieces sounded youthful and vibrant, and could be technically demanding almost beyond belief; more the writing you'd expect a five-piece band to conquer, not one comprising 17 or 18 or 20 musicians. But his bands rose to the challenge, showing there is great swing in precision, and a way of creating excitement by playing both loose and tight at the same time.

Quoted in Musician magazine, Jones said about his ordeal, "We had the best jazz band in the planet, and yet we were literally starving. That's when I discovered that there was music, and there was the music business. If I were to survive, I would have to learn the difference between the two." Irving Green, head of Mercury Records, got Jones back on his feet with a loan and a new job as the musical director of the company's New York division. In 1964, Jones was promoted to vice-president of the company, thus becoming the first African American to hold such a position.

One of his popular songs, "Soul Bossa Nova", was released in 1962 as a track on the album Big Band Bossa Nova, which was also released that year.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Harlem Speaks
Charles Tolliver, Trumpeter
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Self-taught as an instrumentalist, composer and arranger, Charles Tolliver seems constitutionally averse to doing things the easy way. “I like to rumble,” he told Down Beat. “I take the most difficult routes for improvisation. It's easy to play a number of choruses effortlessly and never make a mistake, never break down. That's no fun. You need to get in hot water by trying something out right from the jump, get yourself out of that, and move on to the next chorus”.

Alto saxophonist Jackie McLean launched Tolliver's career in 1964 by hiring him as a sideman on his Blue Note album It's Time, used him on the subsequent albums Action and Jacknife, and made his composition “Right Now” the title track of a 1965 quartet date. As the '60s progressed Tolliver also appeared with Blue Note heavyweights Horace Silver (Serenade to A Soul Sister) and Andrew Hill (One For One, Dance With Death), as well as sessions for other labels with Max Roach, Booker Ervin, Gerald Wilson, and Gary Bartz. In 1969 he formed the innovative quartet Music Inc., which he documented on four albums for Strata-East.

Born in 1942 in Jacksonville, Florida, Tolliver moved to Harlem with his family at ten and to Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood, then a musical hotbed, in 1958. He matriculated at Howard University as a pharmacy major, but the pull of music was too strong.

“If I could have brought my classroom from Howard University to New York with me while I was trying to get into the scene, I probably would have done both at the same time,” Tolliver says. “But I felt I was ready to try this thing, and there was no way to stay in Washington, D.C. and finish my studies. I was lucky to get in with Jackie McLean almost instantaneously when I got back to New York, so there was no need to go back to school”.

Adamant that “small group is my first love,” Tolliver cites Gillespie-Basie arranger Ernie Wilkins' arrangements for Sonny Rollins” 1958 album The Big Brass [Verve] as a formative big band influence. “I got hold of an arrangement from that record, and analyzed how Ernie Wilkins placed the horns and left the space to get a small group sound,” he relates. As the '60s progressed, Tolliver studied Thad Jones closely at his Monday night Village Vanguard sessions; during a sojourn to California around 1966, he played and recorded with harmony masters Gerald Wilson and Oliver Nelson.

After Tolliver and Stanley Cowell presented their early charts on the 1970 recording Music Inc. And Big Band, Max Roach commissioned Tolliver to write a long suite to be performed at the 1972 Montreux Festival. “That's when I started to really get into writing,” Tolliver recalls. “For both Stanley and I, the idea was to write for big band and keep the small group energy inside it somehow”.

Tolliver continued to evolve his concept through the '80s and '90s on various engagements as a soloist with European radio orchestras; after the 2003 rebirth of the big band, he resumed writing and arranging full force.

“Big band jazz is not about over-writing to the point where all these different sections are playing in different time signatures and all that nonsense,” Tolliver says. “It doesn't have to sound like you're writing for a symphony. After all, we are playing this so-called thing named jazz. Jazz is about theme, melody, call-and-response, counterpoint if you want, but not overly done--and always improvising. If you take away improvising and swing, then it seems to me that you are removing two of the prime elements that allow us to call ourselves jazz musicians. You know what jazz is because of the way the drummer plays. I take careful consideration in selecting the drummer, and anything I write will be drumcentric.”

Catch more of Tolliver’s strong views on music and jazz as well as discussion of his recent Town Hall concert in honor of Thelonious Monk’s famous performance there 50 years ago.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Harlem in the Himalayas
Gene Bertoncini and Roni Ben-Hur
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

Master guitarists Gene Bertoncini and Roni Ben-Hur's new CD Smile is the first in the Motéma Music’s new ‘Jazz Therapy’ series of charitable fund raising CDs produced in association with the Jazz Foundation of America. Jazz Therapy, Volume 1: Smile, will benefit the Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center which, under the leadership of Dr. Frank Forte, has been responsible for providing millions of dollars of free care to jazz musicians.

Gene Bertoncini is one of the pre-eminent jazz guitarists active today. His fluid technique and lyricism have won him international praise and accolades as the "Segovia of jazz." An eloquent and versatile improviser, Mr. Bertoncini has been heard with an extraordinary range of jazz greats, including performances and recordings with Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich, Wayne Shorter, Hubert Laws, Paul Desmond among others, as well as such distinguished singers as Tony Bennett, Lena Horne, Nancy Wilson, Vic Damone, and Eydie Gorme. Bertoncini honed his professional chops as a member of the Tonight Show band during Johnny Carson's tenure, and he has worked with composers and arrangers such as Lalo Schifrin and Michael Legrand as well with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. In addition to an active performing and recording schedule, Gene teaches at the Eastman School of Music and William Paterson University. A New York City native, he graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in architecture. According to the New Yorker magazine, "Bertoncini is an affecting, highly original guitarist how moves easily back and forth between classical and jazz guitar."

Respected internationally as one of the elite players jazz, Roni Ben-Hur has recorded six albums as a leader and has a key band member for such jazz luminaries as Barry Harris, Chris Anderson, Rufus Reid, Walter Booker, Jimmy Heath, Clark Terry, Slide Hampton and Etta Jones. His Mel-Bay instructional book, Talk Jazz Guitar, has established him as a top jazz guitar guru. Ben-Hur fell in love with jazz in his native land of Israel. Upon moving to New York City, his career quickly took root as he landed the cherry position of first-call guitarist for the legendary Barry Harris. His 1998 release Sofia's Butterfly earned him the title "Best New Artist" in the Jazziz Annual Reader's poll, and 2001’s bop-oriented Anna's Dance was selected by award-winning critic Gary Giddins as "One of The Best Jazz CD's of 2001." Ben-Hur's 2004 outing, Signature was a critical sensation that firmly established his singular voice as a composer and band leader and led to his new recording home, Motema Music, where he released Keepin’ it Open in 2007, to unanimous critical acclaim, initiated this new Jazz Therapy series and is working on plans for a variety of innovative releases in the coming years.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Panels
The Unfinished Emancipation: Jazz and Freedom
10:00am – 4:00pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

In many ways, jazz and freedom are synonymous. Jazz improvisation relies on the structure of melodies and chord changes for the purpose of individual and group expression. “Freedom,” within the context of the United States, is an idea based on individual and group expression within the political and social framework of democratic ideals. Freedom without structure, however, is chaos that can descend into anarchy and anomie.

The history of the United States is a bittersweet tale where the founding of the country was based on emancipation from the bonds of mother-country England, yet with the tragic irony of enslavement of African-Americans and Jim Crow laws, the promise of emancipation from the fetters of birthright based on aristocracy and royal bloodlines became muddied by hypocrisy and greed.

Today’s panel discussion will confront the intersection of ideals and history, aspiration and disappointment, art and politics, and the role of jazz as a cultural response and reflection of the human desire for freedom in the 20th century and beyond.

Our panelists this month will be author and critic Stanley Crouch, along with Professor of Ethnomusicology at Stony Brook University Frederick Moehn. Observing and writing about American culture for the past three decades, Mr. Crouch has authored numerous volumes, and is currently a weekly columnist for the New York Daily News, as well as a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast websites. Professor Moehn teaches courses such as "Jazz Historiography and Discourse" and "Music and Race" at Stony Brook, and is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University.

Arturo Sandoval Opening Tonight At The Iridium Jazz Club

IRIDIUM JAZZ CLUB
1650 BROADWAY (Corner of 51st)
NEW YORK, NY 10023
RESERVATIONS: 212-582-2121
http://www.iridiumjazzclub.com/
Sets At 8:30 & 10:30PM

APRIL 16-19 ARTURO SANDOVAL

"Latin Grammy award-winning Arturo Sandoval is fluent in at least four musical languages. He can burn through an Afro-Cuban groove, tear up a bebop
tune, soar over a Mozart concerto and soothe you with a luscious ballad; with equal power and grace."

National Jazz Museum in Harlem April Schedule

The National Jazz Museum in Harlem invites you to join us this month as we explore the jazz world of Quincy Jones (including a concert of his music in Central Park); engage in in-depth discussions with musical icons Randy Weston and Charles Tolliver, and author Karen Chilton; experience the live guitar duo of Gene Bertoncini and Roni Ben-Hur; and investigate how Jazz and Freedom are intertwined yet represent an “unfinished emancipation.”
 
Plus, there’s a special event at Stanford University featuring the brilliant pianist Jonathan Batiste with a band of superb young musicians reflecting on the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis’s classic Kind of Blue recording session from 50 years ago.
 
Jazz is best experienced live, so whether it’s a discussion or live performance, we hope you’ll come and swing with us, and bring some friends along.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners

The Jazz World of Quincy Jones: Early Days
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

An impresario in the broadest and most creative sense of the word, Quincy Jones’ career has encompassed the roles of composer, record producer, artist, film producer, arranger, conductor, instrumentalist, TV producer, record company executive, magazine founder and multi-media entrepreneur. As a master inventor of musical hybrids, he has shuffled pop, soul, hip-hop, jazz, classical, African and Brazilian music into many dazzling fusions, traversing virtually every medium, including records, live performance, movies and television.

Quincy Jones was born on March 14, 1933, in Chicago and brought up in Seattle. While in junior high school, he began studying trumpet and sang in a gospel quartet at age 12. His musical studies continued at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he remained until the opportunity arose to tour with Lionel Hampton’s band as a trumpeter, arranger and sometime-pianist. He moved on to New York and the musical “big leagues” in 1951, where his reputation as an arranger grew. By the mid-50’s, he was arranging and recording for such diverse artists as Sarah Vaughan, Ray Charles, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Big Maybelle, Dinah Washington, Cannonball Adderly and LeVern Baker.

When he became vice-president at Mercury Records in 1961, Quincy became the first high-level black executive of an established major record company. Toward the end of his association with the label, Quincy turned his attention to another musical area that had been closed to blacks–the world of film scores. In 1963, he started work on the music for Sidney Lumet’s The Pawnbroker and it was the first of his 33 major motion picture scores.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners

Quintessence: THE NJMH All-Stars Play Quincy Jones
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online


Come join us at The Charles A. Dana Discovery Center at the Harlem Meer in Central Park to hear live music, as the National Jazz Museum in Harlem All-Stars play the music of Quincy Jones, the subject of this month's Jazz for Curious Listeners series.

Thursday, April 16, 2009                        

Harlem Speaks

Randy Weston, Pianist
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Jazz and world-music pianist/composer Randy Weston boasts a range of musical influences. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, he later lived in Africa for many years, both playing and studying African music. The result of his lifelong work and his far-reaching adventures is a beautiful and balanced hybrid of classic American jazz and ancient African rhythms and tonalities.

Weston grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, where his father, the owner of a soul food diner, emphasized to his son, "You are an African born in America." The elder Weston laid down a strict rule for Randy: Practice the piano at home each day or feel the edge of a ruler on your knuckles. When the now six-foot- eight Weston was in his early teens he was already six- feet-two-inches tall and eager to play basketball, but his father ensured that he did not stray too far from his piano. Passing along his vast knowledge of calypso, jazz, and blues on to his son, Weston's father frequently took him to see bandleader Duke Ellington at the Sonia Ballroom or Brooklyn Palace, as well as to Harlem to hear calypso. In addition, Weston's mother, who was from Virginia, exposed her young son to spirituals.

While Weston was a youngster in Brooklyn in the 1930s and 1940s, musicians Miles Davis, Max Roach, and George Russell all lived in the borough at one time or another, and each had stopped into the elder Weston's luncheonette for soul food. Weston felt steeped in the African American music community as a teenager; he especially made a point of seeing Coleman Hawkins perform whenever possible, and through Hawkins, was able to meet pianist Thelonious Monk. Weston spent many hours at home listening to Monk's recordings.

At the age of 14, Weston was taught by drummer Al Harewood (a fellow Harlem Speaks honoree) how to play a tune on the piano by ear; Weston was then able to imitate current releases by Ellington, Hawkins, and Count Basie. Weston used to go to the Atlantic Avenue section of Brooklyn to hear Arabic musicians play the oud, a type of lute. He told Down Beat's Fred Bouchard, "We were searching for new sounds. We'd get into quarter and eighth tones. But here was Monk doing it, with spirit power, with magic!... For me it was pure African piano." Besides Monk, Basie, Hawkins, and Ellington, jazz greats Nat King Cole and Art Tatum were also early influences for Weston.

Voted "new star pianist" in a 1955 Down Beat critics' poll, Weston spent most of the 1950s playing in clubs around New York City with Cecil Payne and Kenny Dorham. He also toured colleges with historian Marshall Stearns, who lectured while Weston and a few other musicians performed African, calypso, Dixieland, and bebop music. Weston wrote a string of popular songs, including "Saucer Eyes," "Pam's Waltz," "Little Niles," and his best-known tune, "Hi-Fly," which is about being six-foot-eight and looking at the ground. Among the 11 albums he released during the fifties were Cole Porter in a Modern Mood (1954), Randy Weston Trio (1955), Piano a La Mode (1957), and Little Niles (1958).

In 1960 Weston recorded Uhuru Africa with composer, arranger, and trombonist Melba Liston, and narration by writer Langston Hughes. The recording featured  African traditional styles with a jazz orchestra. Weston told Down Beat, "I developed a lot playing with African drummers: Candido, Chief Bey, Big Black, Olatunji."

Weston's first encounter with African musicians was in Lagos, Nigeria. The rhythms impressed themselves on Weston's psyche, and he eventually traveled and played in 18 African nations. In 1966 he visited 14 African countries while on a U.S. State Department tour. Finally deciding to settle in Tangiers, Morocco, he owned a nightclub there from 1968 until 1972. He then lived in Paris during the mid- to late 1970s, and his recordings—frequently licensed from European labels—appeared sporadically throughout the decade. He continued to perform in Africa, including at the 1977 Nigerian Festival, which attracted musicians from 60 different cultures.

The 1980s saw Weston receive recognition for his unique style of blending various cultures in his music. In 1982 the televsion special Randy Weston: A Legend in His Own Time was filmed for WGBH-TV in Boston. Randy Weston Week was declared in 1986 by the Brooklyn Borough President's Office and the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1986. And, between 1987 and 1989, Weston was the subject of three documentary films: Jazz Entre Amigos, for Spanish television, Randy in Tangiers, for Spanish and French television, and African Rhythms, for WGBH-TV.

The early to mid-1990s were busy years for Weston, whose appearances included a tour with a Moroccan Gnawa group, a troupe of dancers and musicians traveling from Morocco to the Niger region. In 1992 the pianist released another album, Spirits of Our Ancestors, underscoring the African link between forms of modern-day American music and featuring musicians Melba Liston, Pharoah Sanders, Dizzy Gillespie, and Dewey Redman. Volcano Blues was released a year later and was followed by Weston's Monterey '66 in 1994. Two albums were cut in 1995, The Splendid Master Musicians of Morocco and Marrakesh: In the Cool of the Evening.

Weston's music reflects his diverse paths in life and his desire to interweave the past with the future, and traditional with new sounds. Like Morocco and Africa itself, his music sounds both mysterious and beautifully simple.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Special Event
50 Years of Kind of Blue: A Live Jazz Laboratory
8:00pm
Location: Kresge Auditorium
(Stanford University, 537 Lomita Mall, Stanford, CA 9430 | get directions

$34 (Adult), $17 (Stanford Student) | 650-725-ARTS (2787) or order online

Widely considered the greatest jazz album of all time, Miles Davis’ 1959 Kind of Blue is a cornerstone of “modal jazz”—an approach in which songs are based on modal scales in lieu of chord progressions. The record is also a marvel of performance “in the moment”: trumpeter Davis unveiled the musical outlines and improvising instructions for each of Kind of Blue’s all-new songs in the recording studio to his now-iconic roster of musicians.
 
In this unique concert in collaboration with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem,pianist Jonathan Batiste leads a young band through this familiar territory with new and creative arrangements of the iconic pieces that made the album a classic.
 
Jonathan Batiste, music director/piano; Dominick Farinacci, trumpet; Dayna Stephens, saxophone; Vasko Dukovski, clarinet; DavidEwell, bass; and Darrell Green, drums
 
Generously supported by Abraham and Marian Sofaer. Presented in partnership with Stanford Jazz Workshop.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners

The Jazz World of Quincy Jones: The Big Band Years
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

 
In 1956, Quincy Jones toured again as a trumpeter and musical director of the Dizzy Gillespie Band on a tour of the Middle East and South America sponsored by the U.S. State Department. Upon his return to the states, Jones  got a contract from ABC-Paramount Records and commenced his recording career as the leader of his own band.

He organized a tour of North America and Europe, and though the tour was a critical success, poor budget planning made it an economic disaster and the fallout left Jones in a financial crisis.

Though it didn't make sense economically, didn't make sense logistically, didn't provide ego satisfaction for star players, because of their love for Quincy, an exceptional group of musicians signed on for the tour, some of them literally traipsing all over Europe to find venues that could house them and bandstands that could squeeze them all in. There was never any problem finding audiences eager to hear what Quincy was thinking, or what musicians like Art Farmer, Zoot Sims, Curtis Fuller, Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson, Art Blakey, and Hank Jones were blowing. And those who attend tonight’s Jazz for Curious Listeners session will discover just the same joy.

A 1956 date for an ABC-Paramount release was a masterpiece of arranging and band leading. You will hear Quincy creating his new sound in the 1959-60 studio recording that comprised Quincy's "The Birth of a Band" release and later sessions. In writing for the big band, Quincy concealed a great deal of harmonic and rhythmic complexity in his charts. He really was reinventing big band music for a new decade and a new generation of listeners. His pieces sounded youthful and vibrant, and could be technically demanding almost beyond belief; more the writing you'd expect a five-piece band to conquer, not one comprising 17 or 18 or 20 musicians. But his bands rose to the challenge, showing there is great swing in precision, and a way of creating excitement by playing both loose and tight at the same time.

Quoted in Musician magazine, Jones said about his ordeal, "We had the best jazz band in the planet, and yet we were literally starving. That's when I discovered that there was music, and there was the music business. If I were to survive, I would have to learn the difference between the two." Irving Green, head of Mercury Records, got Jones back on his feet with a loan and a new job as the musical director of the company's New York division. In 1964, Jones was promoted to vice-president of the company, thus becoming the first African American to hold such a position.

One of his popular songs, "Soul Bossa Nova", was released in 1962 as a track on the album Big Band Bossa Nova, which was also released that year.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Harlem Speaks

Charles Tolliver, Trumpeter
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Self-taught as an instrumentalist, composer and arranger, Charles Tolliver seems constitutionally averse to doing things the easy way. “I like to rumble,” he told Down Beat. “I take the most difficult routes for improvisation. It's easy to play a number of choruses effortlessly and never make a mistake, never break down. That's no fun. You need to get in hot water by trying something out right from the jump, get yourself out of that, and move on to the next chorus”.

Alto saxophonist Jackie McLean launched Tolliver's career in 1964 by hiring him as a sideman on his Blue Note album It's Time, used him on the subsequent albums Action and Jacknife, and made his composition “Right Now” the title track of a 1965 quartet date. As the '60s progressed Tolliver also appeared with Blue Note heavyweights Horace Silver (Serenade to A Soul Sister) and Andrew Hill (One For One, Dance With Death), as well as sessions for other labels with Max Roach, Booker Ervin, Gerald Wilson, and Gary Bartz. In 1969 he formed the innovative quartet Music Inc., which he documented on four albums for Strata-East.

Born in 1942 in Jacksonville, Florida, Tolliver moved to Harlem with his family at ten and to Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood, then a musical hotbed, in 1958. He matriculated at Howard University as a pharmacy major, but the pull of music was too strong.

“If I could have brought my classroom from Howard University to New York with me while I was trying to get into the scene, I probably would have done both at the same time,” Tolliver says. “But I felt I was ready to try this thing, and there was no way to stay in Washington, D.C. and finish my studies. I was lucky to get in with Jackie McLean almost instantaneously when I got back to New York, so there was no need to go back to school”.

Adamant that “small group is my first love,” Tolliver cites Gillespie-Basie arranger Ernie Wilkins' arrangements for Sonny Rollins” 1958 album The Big Brass [Verve] as a formative big band influence. “I got hold of an arrangement from that record, and analyzed how Ernie Wilkins placed the horns and left the space to get a small group sound,” he relates. As the '60s progressed, Tolliver studied Thad Jones closely at his Monday night Village Vanguard sessions; during a sojourn to California around 1966, he played and recorded with harmony masters Gerald Wilson and Oliver Nelson.

After Tolliver and Stanley Cowell presented their early charts on the 1970 recording Music Inc. And Big Band, Max Roach commissioned Tolliver to write a long suite to be performed at the 1972 Montreux Festival. “That's when I started to really get into writing,” Tolliver recalls. “For both Stanley and I, the idea was to write for big band and keep the small group energy inside it somehow”.

Tolliver continued to evolve his concept through the '80s and '90s on various engagements as a soloist with European radio orchestras; after the 2003 rebirth of the big band, he resumed writing and arranging full force.

“Big band jazz is not about over-writing to the point where all these different sections are playing in different time signatures and all that nonsense,” Tolliver says. “It doesn't have to sound like you're writing for a symphony. After all, we are playing this so-called thing named jazz. Jazz is about theme, melody, call-and-response, counterpoint if you want, but not overly done--and always improvising. If you take away improvising and swing, then it seems to me that you are removing two of the prime elements that allow us to call ourselves jazz musicians. You know what jazz is because of the way the drummer plays. I take careful consideration in selecting the drummer, and anything I write will be drumcentric.”

Catch more of Tolliver’s strong views on music and jazz as well as discussion of his recent Town Hall concert in honor of Thelonious Monk’s famous performance there 50 years ago.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Harlem in the Himalayas

Gene Bertoncini and Roni Ben-Hur
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
Box Office: 212.620.5000 ext. 344

Master guitarists Gene Bertoncini and Roni Ben-Hur's new CD Smile is the first in the Motéma Music’s new ‘Jazz Therapy’ series of charitable fund raising CDs produced in association with the Jazz Foundation of America. Jazz Therapy, Volume 1: Smile, will benefit the Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center which, under the leadership of Dr. Frank Forte, has been responsible for providing millions of dollars of free care to jazz musicians.

Gene Bertoncini is one of the pre-eminent jazz guitarists active today. His fluid technique and lyricism have won him international praise and accolades as the "Segovia of jazz." An eloquent and versatile improviser, Mr. Bertoncini has been heard with an extraordinary range of jazz greats, including performances and recordings with Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich, Wayne Shorter, Hubert Laws, Paul Desmond among others, as well as such distinguished singers as Tony Bennett, Lena Horne, Nancy Wilson, Vic Damone, and Eydie Gorme. Bertoncini honed his professional chops as a member of the Tonight Show band during Johnny Carson's tenure, and he has worked with composers and arrangers such as Lalo Schifrin and Michael Legrand as well with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. In addition to an active performing and recording schedule, Gene teaches at the Eastman School of Music and William Paterson University. A New York City native, he graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in architecture. According to the New Yorker magazine, "Bertoncini is an affecting, highly original guitarist how moves easily back and forth between classical and jazz guitar."

Respected internationally as one of the elite players jazz, Roni Ben-Hur has recorded six albums as a leader and has a key band member for such jazz luminaries as Barry Harris, Chris Anderson, Rufus Reid, Walter Booker, Jimmy Heath, Clark Terry, Slide Hampton and Etta Jones. His Mel-Bay instructional book, Talk Jazz Guitar, has established him as a top jazz guitar guru. Ben-Hur fell in love with jazz in his native land of Israel. Upon moving to New York City, his career quickly took root as he landed the cherry position of first-call guitarist for the legendary Barry Harris. His 1998 release Sofia's Butterfly earned him the title "Best New Artist" in the Jazziz Annual Reader's poll, and 2001’s bop-oriented Anna's Dance was selected by award-winning critic Gary Giddins as "One of The Best Jazz CD's of 2001." Ben-Hur's 2004 outing, Signature was a critical sensation that firmly established his singular voice as a composer and band leader and led to his new recording home, Motema Music, where he released Keepin’ it Open in 2007, to unanimous critical acclaim, initiated this new Jazz Therapy series and is working on plans for a variety of innovative releases in the coming years.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday Panels
The Unfinished Emancipation: Jazz and Freedom
10:00am – 4:00pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

In many ways, jazz and freedom are synonymous. Jazz improvisation relies on the structure of melodies and chord changes for the purpose of individual and group expression. “Freedom,” within the context of the United States, is an idea based on individual and group expression within the political and social framework of democratic ideals. Freedom without structure, however, is chaos that can descend into anarchy and anomie.

The history of the United States is a bittersweet tale where the founding of the country was based on emancipation from the bonds of mother-country England, yet with the tragic irony of enslavement of African-Americans and Jim Crow laws, the promise of emancipation from the fetters of birthright based on aristocracy and royal bloodlines became muddied by hypocrisy and greed.

Today’s panel discussion will confront the intersection of ideals and history, aspiration and disappointment, art and politics, and the role of jazz as a cultural response and reflection of the human desire for freedom in the 20th century and beyond.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Jazz for Curious Listeners

The Jazz World of Quincy Jones: Recent Projects
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMIH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300 or register online

In 1985, Quincy Jones co-produced Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, which won eleven Oscar nominations, introduced Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey to film audiences, and marked Quincy’s debut as a film producer.

In 1990, Quincy Jones formed Quincy Jones Entertainment (QJE), a co-venture with Time Warner, Inc. The new company, which Quincy served as CEO and chairman, had a broad ranging, multi-media agenda which encompassed programming for current and future technologies, including theatrical motion pictures and network, cable and syndicated television. QJE produced NBC Television’s Fresh Prince Of Bel Air (now in syndication), and UPN’s In The House and Fox Television’s Mad TV.  Quincy Jones, is also the publisher of VIBE, SPIN and Blaze magazines.

In January 1992, Quincy Jones executive produced the An American Reunion concert at Lincoln Memorial, an all-star concert and celebration that was the first official event of the presidential inaugural celebration and drew widespread acclaim as an HBO telecast.

On March 25, 1996, Quincy Jones, executive produced the most watched awards show in the world, the 68th Annual Academy Awards.  The show received widespread acclaim as one of the most memorable Academy Award shows in recent times.

In 1997, Quincy Jones formed the Quincy Jones Media Group.  QJMG’s feature film projects in development include such highly anticipated films as the adaptations of the Ralph Ellison novel Juneteeth, David Halberstam’s The Children for Home Box Office in association with producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, a bio-pic on the 19th century Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, Pimp and Seeds of Peace for Showtime, among others.  For television, QJMG is developing the sit-com The White Guy. QJMG is also active in live entertainment, direct response marketing, and cross-media projects for home entertainment and educational applications. Jones is currently collaborating with Leslie Bricusse on the libretto and songs for a Broadway play based on the life of Sammy Davis, Jr. and recently, along with Harvard University and MicroSoft, produced the complete encyclopedia of African and African-American culture, Encarta Africana.

As a record company executive, Quincy remains highly active in the recording field as the guiding force behind his own Qwest Records, which currently boasts such important artists as New Order, Tevin Campbell, Andre Crouch, Gregory Jefferson and Justin Warfield. New Order’s album, Substance earned Qwest a gold album in 1987. Tevin Campbell’s T.E.V.I.N was both a critical sensation and major commercial success, and the label’s release of the Boyz N The Hood soundtrack album was among the most successful soundtrack recordings of 1991. Qwest Records also released soundtrack albums from the major films Sarafina! and Malcolm X.

In 1994, Quincy Jones led a group of businessmen, including Hall of Fame football player Willie Davis, television producer Don Cornelius, television journalist Geraldo Rivera and businesswoman Sonia Gonsalves Salzman in the formation of Qwest Broadcasting, a minority controlled broadcasting company which purchased television stations in Atlanta and New Orleans for approximately $167 million, establishing it as one of the largest minority owned broadcasting companies in the United States.  Quincy served as chairman and CEO of Qwest Broadcasting.  In 1999, taking advantage of the rapid escalation of broadcast station values, Jones and his partners sold Qwest Broadcasting for a reported $270 million.

The laurels, awards and accolades have been innumerable: Quincy has won an Emmy Award for his score of the of the opening episode of the landmark TV miniseries, Roots, seven Oscar nominations, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, 27 Grammy Awards, and N.A.R.A.S.’ prestigious Trustees’ Award and The Grammy Living Legend Award. He is the all-time most nominated Grammy artist with a total of 79 Grammy nominations. In 1990, France recognized Quincy with its most distinguished title, the Legion d’ Honneur. He is also the recipient of the French Ministry of Culture’s Distinguished Arts and Letters Award. Quincy is the recipient of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music’s coveted Polar Music Prize, and the Republic of Italy’s Rudolph Valentino Award.  He is also the recipient of honorary doctorates from Howard University, the Berklee College of Music, Seattle University, Wesleyan University, Brandeis University, Loyola University (New Orleans), Clark Atlanta University, Claremont University’s Graduate School, the University of Connecticut, Harvard University, Tuskegee University, New York University, University of Miami and The American Film Institute.  Most recently, Jones was named a 2001 Kennedy Center Honoree, for his contributions to the cultural fabric of the United States of America.

In 1990, his life and career were chronicled in the critically acclaimed Warner Bros. film, Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones, produced by Courtney Sale Ross, a film which helped illuminate not only Quincy’s life and spirit, but also revealed much about the development of the African American musical tradition.

In 2001, Quincy Jones added the title “Best Selling Author” to his list of accomplishments when his autobiography Q: The Autobiography of Quincy Jones entered the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal Best-Sellers lists. Released by Doubleday Publishing, the critically acclaimed biography retells Jones’ life story from his days as an impoverished youth on the Southside of Chicago through a massively impressive career in music, film and television where he worked beside legends such as Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and Michael Jackson, among many others.  In conjunction with the autobiography, Rhino Records released a 4-cd boxed set of Jones’ music, spanning his more than 5 decade career in the music business, entitled Q: The Musical Biography of Quincy Jones. The audio recording of the book earned Jones his 27th Grammy Award, in the Best Spoken Word Category, while the boxed set garnered him a 15th NAACP Image Award, in the category of Outstanding Jazz Artist.

In 2008, Insight Editions published his latest tome, The Complete Quincy Jones: My Journey & Passions, a coffee-table work of Jones’s photos, letters and memories from his personal collection.