We are three months into 2016, which means we are two months away from the Atlanta Jazz Festival! An annual must-do in the city, the festival provides 3 days of food, fun, shopping, and three stages of quality jazz. As always admission is free and the festival takes place in Piedmont Park over Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-29.
The full list hasn’t been unearthed yet, so here’s some background on who we know is coming for sure:
Internationally famous jazz legend, composer, arranger, lyricist, and tenor saxophonist Benny Golson was born in Philadelphia, PA on January 25, 1929. During his career he has wowed audiences with performances throughout the US, Europe, South America, the Far East and Japan. He has arranged music for and performed with icons like Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, and Art Blakey. He has recorded over 30 albums that include jazz standards such as Killer Joe, I Remember Clifford, Along Came Betty, Stablemates, Whisper Not, Blues March, Five Spot After Dark, Are you Real?
Golson’s prolific writing includes scores for hit TV series and films such as M*A*S*H, Mission Impossible, Mod Squad and The Partridge Family. He has also composed and arranged music for Count Basie, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Sammy Davis Jr., Mama Cass Elliott, Ella Fitzgerald, Shirley Horn, The Monkees, Quincy Jones, Peggy Lee, Carmen McRae, Itzhak Perlman, Oscar Peterson, Lou Rawls, Eric Burden &The Animals, and Diana Ross.
Grammy Award-winning pianist, singer, songwriter Eliane Elias is known for her distinctive style which blends her Brazilian roots and her sensuous voice. She started studying piano at age seven and her performing career began at seventeen, working with Brazilian singer-songwriter Toquinho. Her first album was a collaboration with Randy Brecker in 1984 entitled Amanda. Since then she’s released 25 albums, and garnered praise from critics and audiences worldwide, often topping the charts in Japan, France, Brazil and the US.
Highlights of Elias’ career include her nomination with Herbie Hancock for a Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Video for “The Way You Look Tonight” from her 1995 CD Solos and Duets; the lush 2008 CD Bossa Nova Stories which marked the fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Bossa Nova; 2011’s dazzling Light My Fire featuring compositions by Elias as well songs by The Doors, Stevie Wonder and Paul Desmond. Elias’ 2015 CD Made In Brazil won a Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album which was especially sweet since she served as producer, composer, lyricist, arranger, pianist and vocalist on the album.
The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz introduced Jamison Ross as an incredible young drummer in 2012 after he won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. Afterwards he toured and recorded with a variety of esteemed jazz artists including Cécile McLorin Salvant, Jonathan Batiste, Dr. John, and Christian McBride.
Jamison, his joyous 2015 soul-jazz debut, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album. The album presents him not only as a jazz musician who commands the drums, but also as a gifted composer, bandleader and singer. In fact, Ross sings on ten of the disc’s 12 sensational tracks.
Stay tuned as we’ll bring you more information and the full lineup as we get closer to the festival!