Opening night includes 2 shows, the first at 7:45 p.m. featuring the Litchfield Jazz Orchestra, a 19-piece ensemble featuring the musicians who have have been working with the students at the Festival's Jazz Camp. This year, trumpeter Dave Ballou, along with bassist Mario Pavone and trombonist Peter McEachern, are paying tribute to the late saxophonist/composer Thomas Chapin. Both Pavone and McEachern played with the Manchester, CT native and suggested this program for the Festival. The headlining act is the Anat Cohen Quartet who hit the stage at 9:15. The Israeli-born clarinetist/saxophonist continues to impress audiences around the world with her emotionally rich playing and knowledge of blues, jazz and Brazilian choro.
|photo by L Sumulong/JALC|
Drummer Wilson (pictured above) is a Festival favorite (this is his 20th appearance on stage!) and this ensemble is an expansion of his great Quartet. Joining Jeff Lederer (saxophones, clarinet), Kirk Knuffke (cornet) and Chris Lightcap (bass) will be pianist Helen Sung, alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw and the mighty trombonist Ray Anderson. This "little big band" plays music from the 1940s and 50s plus 1 or 2 surprises that the drummer always seems to have in his kit bag.
At 5:30, the trio pictured at the top of the post - bassist Christian McBride, pianist and New Haven native Christian Sands and drummer Ulysses Owens Jr. - bring the Festival to a rousing finish. The bassist, who can and does play just about anything, loves this ensemble for its youthful vitality and willingness to stretch.
The Festival will also include the premiere showing (at least, the premiere of the short version) of "Night Bird Song - The Thomas Chapin Story", a documentary of the life and music of Chapin (1957-1998) that has been the project of documentarian Stephanie Castillo (Chapin's sister-in-law). The screening takes place on Saturday but the Festival website does not give a time. You can still donate to the project - scheduled to be released in early 2016 - by going to thomaschapin.com.
To find out more about the weekend's events and to be part of the fun, go to litchfieldjazzfest.com.
The group he's bringing to Old Lyme includes Billy Test (piano), Evan Gregor (bass) and Willy Rodriguez (drums). Should be a splendid evening for such modern music.
For more information, go to thesidedoorjazz.com or call 860-434-0886.
Opening the show at 6 p.m. will be drummer Jocelyn Pleasant & Medusa. For more information, go to hartfordmondaynightjazz.com.
If you can't get to the Park, the concert will aired on WWUH-93.1 FM in Hartford (streaming live at www.wwuh.org.)