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Celebrate 65 years of the iconic and illustrious @MontereyJazzFestival (Facebook and Instragram)/@MontereyJazz (Twitter) on Tour with an all-star lineup of jazz stars @KimmelCC (Twitter)/@KimmelCulturalCampus (Facebook and Instagram) on 4/8. For more info, visit kimmelculturalcampus.org.
Lauren A. Woodard Hall Hannah Palermo
[email protected] [email protected]
KIMMEL CULTURAL CAMPUS PRESENTS MONTEREY JAZZ FESTIVAL ON TOUR, CELEBRATING 65 YEARS WITH THEIR 6TH NATIONAL ALL-STAR GROUPING, APRIL 8, 2023
Award-winning artistic lineup includes Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kurt Elling, Lakecia Benjamin, Christian Sands, Yasushi Nakamura, and Clarence Penn
“Throughout its unrivaled 65-year history, the Monterey Jazz Festival has demonstrated an uncanny ability to keep swimming (figuratively): to adapt, survive, and flourish… MJF yielded to the winds of change and spotlighted a significant amount of youthful and fast-emerging artists.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (March 6, 2023) – The Kimmel Cultural Campus presents Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour at Verizon Hall on Saturday, April 8, 2023, at 8:00 p.m. As one of the world’s longest running and most iconic events, the Monterey Jazz Festival (MJF) celebrates its 65th year with a must-hear once-in-a-lifetime ensemble.
This latest national outing of jazz superstars and up-and-comers presents the artistry, spirit, and fun of the Monterey Jazz Festival to audiences everywhere, embodying the Central Coast aesthetic by performing music – both historic and new – that reflects the values and legacy of the Monterey Jazz Festival over the last 65 years.
“Monterey Jazz Festival is a staple in the arts community, known for powerful performances, unparalleled artistry, soulful sounds, and presenting established and up-and-coming artists to jazz lovers,” said Frances Egler, Vice President of Theatrical Programming & Presentations on the Kimmel Cultural Campus. “This year’s celebration features a cross-generation band of artists, including Kimmel Campus jazz series veterans Dee Dee Bridgewater and Kurt Elling, plus some exciting new jazz artists making their Campus debut.”
Featuring Tony- and Grammy® Award-winning NEA Jazz Master vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater; Grammy® Award-winning vocalist Kurt Elling; and critically acclaimed rising star saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin, this stellar band will be directed by visionary pianist Christian Sands and anchored by his longtime rhythm section, bassist Yasushi Nakamura and drummer Clarence Penn.
As the world’s longest-running jazz festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour concept began with their 50th Anniversary in 2007 and the idea of taking the musical spirit of MJF – along with artists who reflect that spirit – and fashion a musical program that engages all the artistry and energy of the festival, bringing it to jazz fans throughout the country. That first tour included James Moody, Terence Blanchard, Benny Green, Nnenna Freelon, Derrick Hodge, and Kendrick Scott.
The band debuted at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival, where they recorded live and released the Grammy®-winning CD Monterey Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary All-Stars: Live at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival. MJF then embarked on 52 city tour of the United States in January–April of 2008, from Bellingham, WA, to Long Island, NY. They have produced four subsequent tours in 2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS COMING TO PHILADELPHIA:
Dee Dee Bridgewater is a three-time Grammy® winner and NEA Jazz Master. She won the Grammy® for Best Jazz Vocal Album for Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee. She also won a Tony Award for her role as Glinda in The Wiz in 1975. Bridgewater recently completed a run as the lead role of Billie Holiday in the off-Broadway production of Lady Day, for which she received the British Laurence Olivier Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. She has performed at MJF six times since 1973.
Over a 25-year career of touring and recording, Kurt Elling has won three Prix du Jazz Vocal (France), two German Echo Awards, two Dutch Edison Awards, and has been nominated for a Grammy® Award 15 times. He has had a 14-year run atop the DownBeat Critics and Readers polls and has won 12 Jazz Journalists Awards for “Male Vocalist of the Year.” Elling has performed at MJF six times, including acting as Artist-in-Residence in 2006 and as the vocalist in the MJF on Tour All-Stars in 2009-2010.
Lakecia Benjamin was voted by 2020 DownBeat Critics Poll Rising Star Alto Saxophonist and Up and Coming Artist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association. Fusing traditional conceptions of jazz, hip-hop, and soul, Benjamin’s electric presence and fiery sax work has shared stages with several legendary artists, including Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, and The Roots. Benjamin has performed at MJF twice since 2016.
Pianist and MJF on Tour Music Director Christian Sands is a two-time Grammy® nominee. He started playing professionally at the age of 10 and received his Bachelor of Arts and master’s degrees from the Manhattan School of Music. A protégé of Dr. Billy Taylor, Sands began a six-year association with bassist Christian McBride in 2009 and has followed in Dr. Taylor’s footsteps by encouraging, inspiring, and advocating for the preservation and history of jazz. Sands has performed at MJF five times since 2014 and acted as MJF on Tour’s musical director in 2018-2019.
Bassist Yasushi Nakamura is one of the most commanding voices on bass today. Born in Tokyo, Nakamura moved to Seattle, Washington, and received his bachelor’s degree in jazz performance from Berklee College of Music. He holds an artist diploma from the Juilliard School. He has recorded or performed with Wynton Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Hank Jones, Dave Douglas, Emmet Cohen, and many others, and is a member of the American Patchwork Quartet. Nakamura has performed at MJF many times since 2004 and was the bassist in MJF on Tour in 2018-2019.
The charismatic and dynamic Clarence Penn is one of the busiest jazz drummers in the world, a leader of multiple bands, a composer, a prolific producer, and an educator. Penn currently leads several ensembles and is a member of the American Patchwork Quartet (which will also perform on the Kimmel Cultural Campus June 24, 2023). Penn has placed his unique blend of mega-chops, keen intellect, and heady musicianship at the service of a staggering array of A-list artists – the short list includes Ellis and Wynton Marsalis. He has performed at MJF multiple times since 1992.
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The Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour performance is a part of the Kimmel Cultural Campus’ Jazz Series. Other featured upcoming performances on the Kimmel Cultural Campus include: The Black Violin Experience (March 9, 2023, Miller Theater), Ranky Tanky with Ms. Lisa Fischer (March 11, 2023, Miller Theater), and Immanuel Wilkins (April 6, 2023, Perelman Theater).
Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999 or online at www.kimmelculturalcampus.org. In-person ticket sales can be conducted daily from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. at the Academy of Music Box Office, located at 240 S. Broad Street. See www.kimmelculturalcampus.org for more information.
Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour
Verizon Hall on the Kimmel Cultural Campus
April 8, 2023, at 8:00 p.m.
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KIMMEL CULTURAL CAMPUS
Located in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia, our mission is to engage the region's diverse communities with art through performance and education. Our Cultural Campus serves more than 1-million guests per year and includes Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, and SEI Innovation Studio), the Academy of Music, and the Miller Theater (formerly the Merriam Theater) – representing more than 160 years of rich history for the performing arts along Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts. We are home to The Philadelphia Orchestra and six esteemed Resident Companies: Opera Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet, PHILADANCO, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and Curtis Institute of Music. With nearly 9,000 seats per night, we are the region's most impactful performing arts center, and the second largest in the country. Our Cultural Campus serves as a preeminent and inclusive place to enjoy exceptional experiences that reflect the spirit of our region by cultivating a creative and socially responsible environment where our community shares experiences that are delivered with pride, integrity, and respect. As a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization, we collaborate on, present, and produce a broad range of relevant and meaningful events, we serve as an active gathering space for social and community events, we educate the region's young people through access to quality arts experiences, and we provide support to artists in the creation of new work. Read Kimmel Cultural Campus' vision statement, world view, and mission statement here. Learn more about our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and how it encompasses our mission, coworkers, and programs here.
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For photography, please visit https://kcccpress.smugmug.com
For a PDF version of this press release, click here.