Newswire

Prez Fest 2009 | Celebrating Billy Strayhorn | March 14 & 15

Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn- for the Grateful Web

Saint Peter's Church, known worldwide as the "Jazz Church," will present "Prez Fest 2009 — Celebrating Billy Strayhorn."  The festival begins with a listening session of Billy Strayhorn recordings on Saturday, March 14 at 3:00 PM and continues on Sunday with a lecture on Billy Strayhorn at 4:00 PM, Jazz Vespers at 5:00 PM and a Concert at 7:00 PM.  A variety of groups will perform the music of Billy Strayhorn.  Billy Strayhorn's piano was gifted to the church years ago and its refurbishing will be celebrated.

Billy Strayhorn (1915–1967), composer, arranger and pianist, was born in Dayton, Ohio, and raised in Hillsborough, N.C. and Pittsburgh, Pa. where he received his musical training.  He first met Duke Ellington in 1938 and worked in close collaboration with him for three decades.  Some of the world's great compositions were written by Billy Strayhorn:  Take the A Train, Lush Life, Chelsea Bridge, Something to Live For, Day Dream, Rain Check, Passion Flower, Midriff, Rain Check and Johnny Come Lately. In collaboration with Duke Ellington, he produced many concert works including: Perfume Suite, Such Sweet Thunder and A Drum is a Woman.

"Billy Strayhorn… the biggest human being who ever lived, a man with the greatest courage, the most majestic stature, a highly skilled musician whose impeccable taste commanded the respect of all musicians and the admiration of all listeners."  —Duke Ellington

David Hajdu, scholar and author of Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn, will speak about Billy Strayhorn on Sunday at 4:00 PM with recorded music.  Junior Mance and Hide Tanako (piano/bass duo) will lead the music at Jazz Vespers at 5:00 PM.

Musicians who are already confirmed to perform at the Sunday evening concert include Randy Weston, Jimmy Heath, Billy Taylor, Jeb Patton, David Wong, Valerie Capers, John Robinson, Earl Williams, Aaron Diehl, Gene Bertoncini, Sara Caswell, Kenny Davis, Mike Howell, and The Ellington Legacy Band with Edward Ellington, Norman Simmons, Virginia Mayhew, Nancy Reed, Jami Dauber, Paul Wells, Tom DiCarlo, Noah Bless, and the Jazz Band Classic (18-pieces), and others.  Jimmy Owens will be the emcee and will also perform.
 
"Prez Fest" is a jazz festival created to celebrate the talents of jazz legends who are no longer with us and about whom people should learn more.  Last year Billie Holiday was honored.  In the future, the plan is to honor a different jazz legend each year.  The name "Prez Fest" has blossomed out of the "To Prez with Love," a tribute to Lester Young which had been held at Saint Peter's for over 30 years.  By using Prez in the name of the festival we continue to honor Lester Young and his music.

The Jazz Ministry of Saint Peter's Church is "a home for diverse individuals and communities which celebrates the dignity and vitality of Jazz, provides vibrant liturgy and pastoral care, and through intersecting partnerships, offers jazz programs, education and services."  An outreach program of Saint Peter's Lutheran Church in New York City, The Jazz Ministry was founded in 1965 by the late Reverend John Garcia Gensel who created Jazz Vespers, a worship service featuring a wide range of jazz musicians that is held each Sunday at 5:00 PM.  Our pastors include Amandus Derr, Jared Stahler, Bill Eschen and Héctor Ribone.  The Jazz Ministry thrives today with many events and programs such as All Nite Soul, Prez Fest, Jazz on the Plaza, Women in Jazz Festival, Seminars for Musicians, Midtown Jazz at Midday, memorials, tributes, concerts, and others yet to be developed, to serve the jazz community.

The Duke Ellington Society (TDES, Inc.) is an organization dedicated to celebrating the life, music and legacy of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.  TDES, Inc. was incorporated in 1992 as a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization in the state of New York.  Founded during Duke's lifetime in 1959, it will observe its 50th anniversary in 2009 and it has grown to over 450 members representing 25 countries.  Members meet once a month, usually on the third Wednesday, at Saint Peter's Church for a variety of listening sessions, concerts, lectures and parties.  Meetings begin at 7:30 PM and all are welcome.

"Prez Fest 2009—Celebrating Billy Strayhorn" takes place on March 14 and 15, 2009 at Saint Peter's Church, 619 Lexington Avenue (at 54th Street).
Saturday, March 14: 3:00 PM  Two-hour listening session of well-known and rare Billy Strayhorn recordings. Free  
Sunday, March 15: 4:00 PM  Presentation by David Hajdu, author of Lush Life.  Free
5;00 PM: Jazz Vespers with Junior Mance / Hide Tanako Duo Free Will Offering
7:00 PM: Concert — $20 Suggested Donation — Tickets available at the door.
212 935 2200 ● "E" train to Lexington Avenue or "#6" to 51st Street

Rex Foundation | The Dead Tour | Melvin Seals & JGB

support the Rex Foundation- for the Grateful Web

The Rex Foundation is pleased and appreciative that the upcoming tour of The Dead will include a charitable component. A limited number of quality, center floor seats at each venue are being made available for sale, with the proceeds being contributed equally to the Furthur Foundation, Rex Foundation and Unbroken Chain Foundation. Rex will send an update within the next week to provide the details of the pricing, as well as how to order and obtain these tickets.

Please join Rex on Saturday, January 24th at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco for a night with Melvin Seals and JGB band.  In addition to the donation of $1 for every ticket purchased, a Silent Auction will be held to benefit the Rex Foundation. Come show your support and bid on priceless memorabilia and special items to add to your collection while enjoying a great night of music. 

The Rex Foundation is grateful to everyone that helped make the recent fall events successful.  Check out the Programs for the September 27th, November 29th and December 13th events to see the acknowledgements of the contributors.  You can also see each event's photo albums on Rex's Facebook page

If you attended one of Rex's recent events, please post your comments on their Blog.

With high hopes as the new administration begins for a better economy and world peace, the Rex Foundation looks forward to the good results from our continuing support of grassroots non-profit programs. All that Rex is doing is captured by the Rex Community Caravan, their virtual vehicle for traveling together to connect the arts, community and grassroots philanthropy.  Your contributions and participation in their events make all the difference!  Help Rex celebrate 2009 by showing how contributions of $5 or more add up quickly and how we can, together, further what the Grateful Dead started for another 25 years.

U-Melt Announces 2009 Winter Tour

U-Melt- for the Grateful Web

It is our pleasure to announce U-Melt's 2009 Winter Tour! The tour will kick off on Thursday, January 22nd at Mulcahy's in Wantagh, NY and conclude during the last weekend of February when U-Melt returns to Phildelphia's North Star and a stop at Hunter Mountain for the first annual Winter Jam. In between, U-Melt will be returning to some of our favorite spots in the Northeast, including Boston, S. Burlington, Baltimore, Ithaca, Albany/Troy, Syracuse, and Northampton, as well as debuts at Maxwell's in Hoboken, The Ocean Mist in Wakefield, RI and The Fairfield Theater Company in Fairield, CT.

U-Melt is also excited to announce a full weeks run through the Southeast, starting with our debut at The Carry St. Cafe in Richmond, VA on Sunday, February 15th. Following that show, U-Melt will be making stops in Raleigh, Wilmington, Charleston, Charlotte, and Atlanta, where we are very excited to be performing a late night show at Smith's Olde Bar following Umphrey's McGee's performance at the Varierty Playhouse earlier in the evening. The southern run will conclude the following night, Saturday February 21st, when U-Melt returns to Columbia, SC to rock the The Five Points Pub.

It is also our pleasure to give you a sneak preview into U-Melt's 2009 Spring Tour by announcing our first New York City show of 2009, which will be U-Melt's debut at B.B. King Blues Club on Friday, April 10th, when U-Melt will perform an Umphrey's McGee After Party, following Umphrey's show at Nokia Theater earlier that night. This show will mark the second installment of the pairing of U-Melt and their very good friend Wyllys! U-Melt will be re-uniting with Wyllys on a progressive series of events that touch on different aspects of electronic music. The two artists will perform interlocking sets with the middle set focused on particular styles of beats native to the areas they play. In Chicago this past December, we riffed on legendary Chicago house music and in New York, we will drop some drum and bass like they use to at Concrete Jungle. We hope you will all plan on joining us for our debut at this legendary New York City venue, for a very exciting night! Tickets are now available at Ticketmaster.com.

The following show are U-Melt's confirmed 2009 show dates:

U-MELT 2009 WINTER TOUR

Thu., 1/22 - Mulcahys - Wantagh (Long Island), NY
Fri., 1/23 - Bill's Bar - Boston, MA
Sat., 1/24 - Higher Ground - Burlington, VT
Thu., 1/29 - 8x10 - Baltimore, MD
Fri., 1/30 - Castaways - Ithaca, NY
Sat., 1/31 - Maxwell's - Hoboken, NJ
Thu., 2/5  - Ocean Mist - Wakefield, RI
Fri., 2/6  - Rev Hall - Troy (Albany), NY
Sat., 2/7  - Westcott Theater - Syracuse, NY
Thu., 2/12 - Iron Horse - Northampton, MA
Fri., 2/13 - Fairfield Theater Co - Fairfield, CT
Sun., 2/15 - Carry St. Cafe - Richmond, VA
Mon., 2/16 - The Pour House Music Hall - Raleigh, NC
Tue., 2/17 - The Soapbox - Wilmington, NC
Wed., 2/18 - The Pour House - Charleston, SC
Thu., 2/19 - Double Door Inn - Charlotte, NC
Fri., 2/20 - Smith's Olde Bar - Atlanta, GA (Umphrey's McGee After Party!)
Sat., 2/21 - 5 Points Pub - Columbia, SC
Fri., 2/27 - North Star - Philadelphia, PA
Sat., 2/28 - Winter Jam @ Hunter Mtn - Hunter, NY

Phish to Release Clifford Ball 7-DVD Box Set

Phish is pleased to announce The Clifford Ball, the highly anticipated 7-DVD Box Set documenting Phish's landmark concert event that drew more than 70,000 fans to upstate New York in August 1996. The collection is available for pre-order now at Phish Dry Goods and will hit stores March 3rd.

RICHIE HAVENS ON TOUR THIS WINTER

photos by Laura McDaniel- for the Grateful Web

A sense of timelessness rings throughout Richie Havens' latest release, Nobody Left to Crown, as though the passing years have only strengthened the meaning of his soul-filled folk rock. Nobody Left to Crown, recently released to the US on Verve Records this past July, attests that Richie Havens has never been more relevant, necessary even, than he is today.

Gifted with one of the most recognizable voices in popular music, Richie Havens has a soulful singing style that remains as unique and ageless as when he first emerged from the Greenwich Village folk scene in the early 1960s. It's a voice that has inspired and electrified audiences from the Woodstock Music & Arts Fair in 1969, to the Clinton Presidential Inauguration in 1993 - coming full circle with the 30th Woodstock Anniversary celebration, "A Day In The Garden", in 1999. Richie Havens is not a man to easily abandon his hopes for a better world. "We are at the dawn of major change", he declares with a broad smile.  Nobody Left to Crown is his heartfelt and unwavering contribution to these fine aspirations.

For over three decades, Richie has used his music to convey messages of brotherhood and personal freedom. With more than twenty-five albums released and a touring schedule that would kill many a younger man, he continues to view his calling as a higher one.  As he told The Denver Post, "I really sing songs that move me.  I'm not in show business; I'm in the communications business.  That's what it's about for me".

Richie Havens tours this summer and fall in support of Nobody Left to Crown.  His current list of tour dates is as follows:

The current list of confirmed tour dates is as follows:

January 17 Sons of Hermann Hall Dallas TX
January 18 Manship Theater at Shaw Center for the Arts Baton Rouge LA
January 23 Anthology San Diego CA
January 24 The Palmdale Playhouse Palmdale CA
January 30 Fairfield Theatre Company Fairfield CT
January 31 Barre Opera House Barre VT
February 06 The Firehouse Coffeehouse Littleton MA
February 07 Veritas Auditorium Chicopee MA
February 08 Carol Autorino Center / Hoffman Auditorium West Hartford CT
February 13 Coconino Center for the Arts Flagstaff AZ
February 14 Rhythm Room Phoenix AZ
February 15 Temple of Music and Art Tucson AZ
February 20 Kirkland Performance Center Kirkland WA with Harry Manx
February 22 Aladdin Theater Portland OR
February 25 Kayhi Auditorium Ketchikan AK
February 28 Mariner Theatre Homer AK
March 01 Alaska Center for the Performing Arts - Discovery Theatre Anchorage AK
March 05 Northern California Center for the Arts Grass Valley CA
March 06 Napa Valley Opera House Napa CA with Harry Manx
March 07 Great American Music Hall San Francisco CA with Harry Manx
March 20 Irvington Town Hall Theater Irvington NY with Cliff Eberhardt
April 17 Macomb Center for the Performing Arts Clinton Township MI with Harry Manx
April 18 Jasper Community Arts Commission Jasper IN with Harry Manx
April 23 Thrasher Opera House Green Lake WI with Harry Manx
April 24 Stoughton Opera House Stoughton WI with Harry Manx
April 25 ECC Blizzard Theatre Elgin IL with Harry Manx
April 26 University Church West Lafayette IN with Harry Manx
May 15 Metropolitan Museum of Art New York NY
May 16 Algonquin Arts Manasquan NJ
May 28 Cedar Cultural Center Minneapolis MN
May 29 Paramount Theatre Austin TX

Cape May Jazz Festival April 17-19, 2009

James Cotton- for the Grateful Web

The 31st Cape May Jazz Festival "Legends….and more Blues" April 17-19 2009 presented by NJ Division of Travel and Tourism and Bank of America opens featuring a Tribute to Billy Eckstine and Sarah Vaughn with "Have a Song on Me Celebrating Mr. B" and the Big Band Music of the 40s and 50s with the B Swingers Big Band and Steve Butler. Billy Eckstine, known as Mr. B, became the most influential ballad singer during this era with an appealing baritone voice.  It has been said Steve Butler "looks and sounds hauntingly similar to Billy Eckstine…capable and convincing" and the Big Band one of the best.  Sabrina Carten is convincing honoring Sarah Vaughn.

More Blues Saturday night with Grammy Award winner James "Superharp" Cotton whose pedigree is a veritable who's who in the world of Blues. Cotton and his Blues Band continue to showcase his immense talent and keep him one of the most sought-after, hard-driving blues musicians touring the world today.  More Blues continues all weekend at Cabanas with Andrew Jr. Boy Jones, Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Gang, Alan Weber and Frenz and Juke Joints Last Stand.

Legendary Odean Pope, known for his fiery, often intense solos, dazzling elevations and throbbing, husky sounds, opens Aleatheas Restaurant at the Inn of Cape May for an 8:30pm Jazz Dinner and late Show with open seating available.  Pope worked with Max Roach for many years and permanently joined the Max Roach Quartet in 1979.  Barbara King will continue the legends with a Tribute to Sarah Vaughn. "Barbara King's dusky, Sarah Vaughn-like qualities mark her as a talent to watch" says Lloyd Sachs, Chicago Sun-Times.  Enjoying a mix of family background cultures from Cuba, Jamaica and Costa Rica and surrounded by music and dancing, Barbara was introduced at an early age to jazz legends such as Sarah, Ella, Dinah and Billie who influence her singing.

Opening up Carneys Main Room Saturday night, Cuban percussionist Mayra Casales brings her band "Women on Fire" with Cuban Francois Zayas, drums. Born in Cuba, raised in Miami her earlier influences began with the Afro-Cuban musical culture of her surroundings.  Her fiery, heartfelt spirit with strong roots in Cuban music is always present.  Mayra is a versatile vocalist, percussionist, arranger, lyricist and composer who is considered one of the most complete percussionists of our time.

DC Sharon Clark returns by popular demand for the Jazz Dinner and late show in Aleatheas Saturday night.  Sharon is an amazing, exceptionally gifted  talent having performed at the Kennedy Center, Blues Alley, with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and for President Bill Clinton and can be seen weekly in clubs and hotels in the DC area.  Her performances include jazz standards but also lesser known songs performed by Ella, Sarah, Johnny Hartman and Nancy Wilson.

Woody and Carol saw Roni Ben-Hur in NYC and knew he was a must for the festival.  He is a very charming, talented guitarist and composer offering creative melodies, brilliant solos and dazzling original compositions.  As a leader he has won high praise from jazz critics around the world.  Gary Giddins describes Ben-Hur  "as eloquent as a cool breeze, this understated exercise in bebop equilibrium goes down so easy you might underestimate the magic.  A limber and inventive guitarist….keeps the modernist flame alive and pure with a low flame burning in every note."

Sylvia Cuenca opens Carneys Main Room Friday night with her organ quartet.  Sylvia swings impeccably with her authentic feel for the Latin genre.  Originally a sideman who performed with almost everyone around the NYC area, her band performs in clubs and festivals in the US and around the world. Performing in the Boiler Room at Congress Hall Saturday night, the Michael Thomas Quintet is a powerful and energetic group that is deeply rooted in the rich tradition of hard-bop and blues with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers their major influence.

Along with the usual high energy jams Saturday and Sunday in Carneys, the complimentary workshops and CD Signing Party, Juke Joints Last Stand will be in Cabanas Sunday afternoon.
This is a fun, stimulating band with a juke joint jamming feel that is mainly blues - a not to be missed experience.

The schedule, musician's information and sounds bytes are found on the web.  For more information or to be put on the mailing list please call 609-884-7277.  An All Event Weekend Pass to attend 18 events beginning 8pm Friday through 4pm Sunday is $150 general admission. Individual Friday or Saturday Night All Event Wristbands are $55.  Saturday afternoon Jam wristbands are $35, Sunday Jams $25. Reserved Seating is available at the Theatre at Lower Regional High School for an additional $25pp. Complimentary Festival Transportation running every 10 minutes is available between venues all weekend.

The 31st Cape May Jazz Festival is presented by New Jersey Department of State Division of Travel and Tourism VisitNJ.Com and Bank of America and sponsored by the Delaware River and Bay Authority, Barefoot Wines, Jazz Times, WRTI Temple Public Radio, WBGO Jazz 88, WCFA 101.5, WTTH the Touch, Cape May Star and Wave, Verizon Wireless with generous support from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey Cultural Trust, local businesses and donors.

Bill Kreutzmann is Coming to Denver and Boulder - Feb 20 & 21

see Billy K on tour in February- for the Grateful Web

Bill Kreutzmann, Grateful Dead drummer for the band's entire thirty year career, tours this February with his new power trio featuring bassist Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers Band) and guitarist Scott Murawski (Max Creek).  The tour, which is also the trio's west coast debut, launches a busy year ahead for Kreutzmann; The Dead recently announced they will reunite for a run of dates this spring.

Bill Kreutzmann featuring Oteil Burbridge and Scott Murawski is sure to capture the interest of music lovers of many genres of music. Kreutzmann and Murawski were first introduced in Costa Rica at a meeting facilitated by Phish bassist Mike Gordon. Their musical chemistry was immediately compelling. Shortly after, Burbridge joined the band for a gig and it quickly became obvious that the trio would pursue further musical adventures.

You can catch Bill Kreutzmann featuring Oteil Burbridge and Scott Murawski live in Santa Cruz.  Show details are as follows:

Friday, February 20th @ 9:00 PM (Doors @ 8:00 PM)
Bluebird Theater
3317 East Colfax Avenue, Denver
Tickets: $25 ADV / $30 DOS / Ages 16+ Welcome
For more information please visit: www.bluebirdtheater.net

Saturday, February 21st @ 9:00 PM (Doors @ 8:30 PM)
Fox Theatre
1135 13th Street, Boulder
Tickets: $25.00 / All Ages Welcome
For more information please visit: www.foxtheatre.com

The complete list of confirmed tour dates for Bill Kreutzmann featuring Oteil Burbridge and Scott Murawski is as follows:

Thurs, February 12   Moe's Alley               Santa Cruz, CA
Fri, February 13     Independent               San Francisco, CA
Sat, February 14     The Eureka Theater        Eureka, CA
Sun, February 15     Crystal Ballroom          Portland, OR supporting The Greyboy Allstars     
Fri, February 20     The Bluebird Theater      Denver, CO
Sat, February 21     Fox Theatre               Boulder, CO

Shannon Whitworth @ Swallow Hill, Denver ~ Fri., Feb 13th

Shannon Whitworth- for the Grateful Web

Shannon Whitworth's music is something one would imagine to hear on a front porch in the hills of Appalachia. Combining a love for old-time banjo with a voice sounding like a younger Gillian Welch, Shannon Whitworth defines mountain music. She has spent the last ten years focusing on bluegrass and country music. Her talent as a singer and songwriter enabled her to spend the last four years touring the United States with acclaimed bluegrass band, The Biscuit Burners, which she co-founded. On clawhammer banjo and guitar, Shannon's compositions contributed depth to the band's material and have helped her gain respect as a truly talented singer and songwriter.

No Expectations features ten of Shannon's most recent compositions accompanied by an all-star cast of musicians. Great singing, great writing, and great picking makes Shannon Whitworth's first solo project unforgettable.

Swallow Hill - Tuft Theater

(71 East Yale Ave ~ Denver)

Friday, Feb 13th @ 8 PM

Info: 303.777.1003

THE GABE DIXON BAND REACHES FOR THE STARS

Gabe Dixon with Anne Hathaway- for the Grateful Web

Following a very successful 2008, Fantasy recording artists The Gabe Dixon Band have begun the New Year with a bang. Their self-titled debut for Fantasy Records was released last August to glowing reviews as they barnstormed all over the United States making fans, famous and not so famous along the way.
 
The hard working, Nashville based trio, whose unforgettable, piano-driven songs has been compared to Elton John, Ben Folds and Jackson Browne, have been featured in many television shows including One Tree Hill and Privileged. In addition the band has performed on numerous late night shows including the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, the KTLA Morning News and most recently Jimmy Kimmel Live where they met their latest fan, actress Anne Hathaway.

Mark Murphy Jan. 22-25 At The Iridium Jazz Club

Mark Murphy- for the Grateful Web

Mark Murphy is one of the world's greatest - and hippest - jazz vocalists performing today.
 
His coterie of fans includes tap dancer Gregory Hines, who spontaneously jumped up on stage at Mark's Las Vegas engagement in 1995 to join him for an impromptu duet. Legendary composer Alec Wilder said of Mark, 'I was quite literally amazed. Mark's musicianship, range, intonation, diction, inventiveness and incredible rhythmic sense are all of a piece and all marvelous.' Vocal greats Betty Carter, Peggy Lee, Cleo Laine and Shirley Horn all sing Murphy's praises as one of the best in he business and the legendary Ella Fitzgerald declared 'he is my equal.'
 
A six-time Grammy nominee, Mark Murphy has enjoyed a prolific 40-year recording career, with over 40 releases to date. His original lyrics to 'Stolen Moments,' 'Red Clay' and more are known the world over. His innovative projects range from the work of Nat 'King' Cole to Jack Kerouac to Ivan Lins to Eddie Jefferson. Stereo Review dubs Mark 'one of the major artists of our age.' Mark Murphy is a jazz singer. 'For decades the question 'What exactly is a jazz singer' 'has had two easy answers, Betty Carter. And Mark Murphy.' writes the New York Post. 'He is arguably the best male jazz singer in the business,' declares Rex Reed.

'Mark Murphy is to jazz singing what Bobby Fisher is to chess.' Jazz journalist Dan Morgenstern writes, 'I can't help relishing his sure and swinging time, his musical and ever-inventive phrasing and that certain quality of sound and feeling combined with time and taste that to me spells jazz.'

MARK MURPHY

Jan. 22-25

At the IRIDIUM JAZZ CLUB

1650 BROADWAY (Corner of 51st)

NEW YORK, NY 10023

RESERVATIONS: 212-582-2121

Sets At 8:30 & 10:30PM