Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour
Cécile McLorin Salvant / Vocals
Bria Skonberg / Trumpet
Melissa Aldana / Tenor Saxophone Christian Sands / Piano and Music Director Yasushi Nakamura / Bass
Jamison Ross / Drums
Sunday Afternoon, April 14, 2019 at 4:00 Michigan Theater
47th Performance of the 140th Annual Season 25th Annual Jazz Series
This afternoon’s performance is supported by Louise Taylor.
Funded in part by the JazzNet Endowment Fund.
Media partnership provided by WEMU 89.1 FM, WRCJ 90.9 FM, WDET 101.9 FM, Ann Arbor’s 107one, and Metro Times.
Special thanks to Brendan Asante, Seema Jolly, and the Ann Arbor Public Schools Community Education and Recreation (Rec & Ed) for their participation in events surrounding this afternoon’s performance.
Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour appears by arrangement with The Kurland Agency.
In consideration of the artists and the audience, please refrain from the use of electronic devices during the performance.
The photography, sound recording, or videotaping of this performance is prohibited.
This afternoon’s program will be announced by the artists from the stage and is performed without intermission.
The Monterey Jazz Festival (MJF), the longest continuously running jazz festival in the world, is pleased to present its
fth national tour this spring, featuring some of the most critically acclaimed Grammy-winning and Grammy-nominated jazz artists of their generation, including three winners of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. The MJF on Tour 60th Anniversary Celebration features a top roster of diverse and international millennial talent and the leaders of jazz’s future. In addition to having three unique and talented vocalists on the tour, and
an equal balance of men and women,
this afternoon’s performance will feature renditions of classic jazz standards,
along with originals penned by the members. Each musician is an outstanding representative of the next generation
of jazz artists and educators, each with
a close relationship with Monterey that represents both its musical excellence
and its jazz education activities — core components of the Monterey Jazz Festival’s mission statement.
To celebrate the Festival’s 60th anniversary of its inception in 2018, artistic director Tim Jackson put together an all- star band that represents the future of
jazz in a nationwide tour. World-renowned for its artistic excellence, sophisticated informality, and longstanding mission
to create and support year-round jazz education and performance programs in local, regional, national, and international venues, the Monterey Jazz Festival has stayed true to expanding live performances of jazz around the country since 2008
by presenting national tours that have reached over 100,000 fans in 135 shows across the US and Canada.
The Monterey Jazz Festival has presented nearly every major jazz star — from Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong
to Esperanza Spalding and Trombone Shorty — since it was founded in 1958. Held every third full weekend in September on the Monterey County Fairgrounds, the Monterey Jazz Festival is a three-day celebration of music, commissioned jazz compositions, in-depth conversations
with artists, panel discussions, workshops, exhibitions, clinics, and an international array of food, shopping, and festivities spread throughout 20 acres.
A nonpro t organization, the Monterey Jazz Festival now budgets more than $500,000 annually for jazz education. Cutting-edge educational components include the Jazz in the Schools program; the Festival’s Summer Jazz Camp; the Instrument and Sheet Music Library;
the Digital Education Music Project; the Monterey County High School All-Star Bands; the national Next Generation Jazz Orchestra; and the Next Generation Jazz Festival — which draws thousands of
the most talented young musicians from across the country and around the world to Monterey each spring.
The Artist-In-Residence Program, a key component of the Monterey Jazz Festival’s philosophy of bringing leading jazz performers to work with students throughout the year, includes their appearance at the Next Generation
Jazz Festival, the Summer Jazz Camp, and the Monterey Jazz Festival, in both performance and instruction.
A leader in jazz education, the Festival has also presented the winning bands from its high school competition since 1971, and has showcased talented young musicians in its all-star student big band, the Next
Generation Jazz Orchestra. Throughout
the years, many legendary and in uential artists — including Ray Brown, Ron Carter, Max Roach, Dizzy Gillespie, and Benny Golson — have mentored and performed with the all-star students, often premiering original works written for the band. Some of the alumni of the group include Ambrose Akinmusire, Joshua Redman, Patrice Rushen, Donny McCaslin, Ted Nash, Dave Koz, Eric Marienthal, Gordon Goodwin, Larry Grenadier, and Benny Green.
The MJF on Tour 60th Anniversary Celebration is produced by Danny Melnick for Absolutely Live Entertainment (ALE), which also produced two previous MJF tours, in 2013 and 2016.
One of the most acclaimed vocalists of her generation, Cécile McLorin Salvant (vocals) is the winner of the 2010 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. Other honors include selection for “Jazz Album
of the Year” by the DownBeat International Critics Poll and NPR, as well as “Up-and- Coming Jazz Artist of the Year” and “Top Female Vocalist” from the Jazz Journalists Association. Ms. Salvant grew up in a bilingual household in Miami, and traveled to Aix-en-Provence to pursue a degree in French law while training as a classical and baroque singer before switching to jazz. “If anyone can extend the lineage
of the Big Three — Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, and Ella Fitzgerald — it is [her],” wrote the New York Times. Her three Mack Avenue releases, For One to Love, Dreams and Daggers, and The Window, each won Grammy Awards for “Best Jazz Vocal Album.” Rolling Stone describes her as “...one of the greatest jazz singers of her generation, but that label sells her short.”
Canadian singer, trumpeter, and songwriter Bria Skonberg (trumpet) has been
described as one of the “most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation” by the Wall Street Journal, recognized as one of “25 for the Future” by DownBeat magazine, and cited as a millennial “shaking up the jazz world” by Vanity
Fair. Signed to Sony Music Masterworks’ OKeh Records, Ms. Skonberg released
her eponymous major label debut in
2016, winning a Canadian JUNO Award
and making the Top Five on Billboard jazz charts. Her many accolades include “Best Vocal” and “Best Trumpet” awards from Hot House Jazz magazine, “Outstanding Jazz Artist” at the New York Bistro
Awards, and DownBeat’s Rising Star award. In addition to performing at jazz festivals around the world, she is an avid educator and supporter of public school opportunities, giving numerous workshops and concerts for students of all ages.
Melissa Aldana (tenor saxophone) was born in Santiago, Chile, and in 2013, she became the rst female instrumentalist and the rst South American ever to win the Thelonious Monk Competition. Ms. Aldana attended the Berklee College of Music, studying with George Garzone, Danilo Pérez, and Patricia Zarate, while hitting the clubs with artists including Greg Osby and George Coleman. She is also a recipient of the Martin E. Segal Award from Jazz at Lincoln Center and
a double recipient of the Altazor Award, Chile’s highly prestigious national arts prize. She has released four albums as a leader, including her latest, Back Home, on Concord. Ms. Aldana “...balances technical bravura with musical depth, a hallmark of her playing,” writes the Chicago Tribune.
Christian Sands (piano and music director) is a ve-time Grammy nominee. As a
child in New Haven, Connecticut, he began music classes at age four, started
playing professionally at the age of 10,
and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Manhattan School of Music. A protégé of Dr. Billy Taylor, Mr. Sands began a six-year association with bassist Christian McBride in 2009, touring jazz festivals and clubs worldwide. Mr. Sands has followed in Dr. Taylor’s footsteps by encouraging, inspiring, and advocating for the preservation and history of jazz, teaching young people as well as adult audiences. In 2015, he started the Jazz Kids of Montmartre in Copenhagen, Denmark; he also teaches at Jazz in July, where he is an alumnus. His debut for Mack Avenue, Reach, “showcases his signi cant talents as an imaginative composer, a clever arranger, and a skillful technician with a uid style,” wrote DownBeat. His new Mack Avenue release, Facing Dragons, was released on September 21, 2018,
and was reviewed by NPR as a “...crisply assured new album...that expresses new ideas without abandoning the old.”
Yasushi Nakamura (bass) is one of the most commanding voices on bass today. Born in Tokyo, Mr. Nakamura moved to Seattle, Washington, eventually receiving his bachelor’s degree in jazz performance from Berklee College of Music, and an artist diploma from The Juilliard School.
This afternoon’s performance marks Cécile McLorin Salvant’s second appearance under UMS auspices, following her UMS debut in February 2017 at the Michigan Theater in Jelly and George with pianists Aaron Diehl and Adam Birnbaum. UMS welcomes Christian Sands, Bria Skonberg, Melissa Aldana, Yasushi Nakamura, and Jamison Ross, who make their UMS debuts today.
He has recorded or performed around
the world with Wynton Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Hank Jones, Dave Douglas, and many others. As an educator, Mr. Nakamura has led master classes and summer intensive courses at Juilliard, The New School, Koyo Conservatory, Osaka Geidai, and Savannah Swing Central. He made his highly anticipated album debut as leader in late 2016 with A Lifetime Treasure, followed by Hometown in 2017.
Grammy-nominated drummer and vocalist Jamison Ross (drums) won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2012. A Jacksonville, Florida native, Mr. Ross received his BA in jazz studies from Florida State University and his master’s from the University of New Orleans. He has toured internationally and recorded with a variety of esteemed jazz artists, including Cécile McLorin Salvant, Jonathan Batiste, Dr. John, Jon Cleary, Christian McBride, and Carmen Lundy. His debut album, Jamison, was released on Concord Records and was nominated for a “Best Jazz Vocal Album” Grammy Award in 2015. He released his latest album, All for One, in January 2018.
THIS AFTERNOON’S VICTORS FOR UMS:
JazzNet Endowment Fund
Supporters of this afternoon’s performance featuring Cècile McLorin Salvant and Christian Sands.
MAY WE ALSO RECOMMEND...
4/25 Paul Lewis
4/26–27 Martha Graham Dance Company
Tickets available at www.ums.org.
ON THE EDUCATION HORIZON...
4/26 Post-Performance Q&A: Martha Graham Dance Company (Power Center)
Must have a ticket to that evening’s performance by the Martha Graham Dance Company to attend.
4/27 You Can Dance: Martha Graham Dance Company (Ann Arbor Y, 400 W. Washington Street, 1:30 pm)
Educational events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.
Explore the 2019/20 UMS season online at www.ums.org.
Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour