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MONTY ALEXANDER JAZZ FESTIVAL RAMPS UP THE VOLUME
For Immediate Release: August 28, 2013
Contact: Don Buxton 410 819-0380 or Amy Steward 410 829-0436
Labor Day Weekend gets off to a roaring start with the 2013 Monty Alexander Jazz Festival at the Avalon Theatre in Easton. On Friday, August 30, 2013 at 8 p.m., rising star saxophonist Sharel Cassity and her quartet will energize the audience with her creative, straight-ahead jazz. She tours the world performing jazz and original music and is quickly making waves on the New York jazz scene, including entertaining audiences at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Blue Note, NBC’s Rainbow Room, and the West Village bop stop Smalls. According to J. Hunter, All About Jazz, “Sharel Cassity has the potential to be one of the leaders of this genreʼs next generation.”
The tempo continues on Saturday afternoon as the Festival salutesJohn Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie – one of the great American jazz trumpeters of all time, bandleader, composer and arranger. The concert on Saturday, August 31 at 3 p.m. includes performances by bassist John Lee, who played with Dizzy, and returning percussionist Chuck Redd, who toured with him in Africa, as well as renowned jazz artist Greg Gisbert, who will take the master’s turn on the trumpet.
Legendary jazz pianist Monty Alexander, the Festival’s artistic director and namesake, headlines the Festival on Saturday night, August 31, at 8 p.m. with his electrifying music, which crisscrosses and fuses jazz roots, the American Songbook and the sounds of his native Jamaica. Alexander has performed and recorded with artists from every corner of the musical universe and entertainment world: Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Quincy Jones, and Bobby McFerrin, among others. Alexander states, “You won’t want to miss this year’s Festival. It will celebrate life and music and will uplift the audience.” With a twinkle, commenting on his own concert, he adds, “You will have to wait and see – my concert will have a few unique surprises too!”
Wrapping up the Monty Alexander Jazz Festival is returning jazz and gospel vocalist, Dee Daniels, who will be joined by a local vocal ensemble on Sunday, September 1 at 2 p.m. Daniels, whose international presence is growing, is a unique talent who transcends musical borders when she brings her jazz styling, infused with gospel and blues flavoring, to the stage. This year, she will perform with a local vocal ensemble put together by Jana Leslie, Contemporary Music Minister at Christ Church in Easton, performing two of her own choral arrangements – one of which she co-wrote with her mother. Included in the local vocal ensemble are Terron Quailes, Terri Key, Sam Martin, Matthew Sevon, Laura Spies, Earle Kirkley, Brenda Wood and Jana Leslie. Churches represented in the ensemble include the Greater New Hope Church and Ministries in Preston, Christ Church in Easton, and the Redemption Church in Owings Mills, MD.
The Festival is presented by Jazz on the Chesapeake, a program of Chesapeake Chamber Music, and will be held at Easton’s historic Avalon Theatre. The Avalon Theatre’s intimate setting and the lineup of world class artists make The Monty Alexander Jazz Festival an Eastern Shore destination for Labor Day weekend. Weekend packages are available at Easton’s Tidewater Inn and the Tidewater Inn will once again join in the festivities by offering a Jazz Brunch on Saturday, August 31 at 11 a.m. (http://www.tidewaterinn.com/). The brunch will feature jazz percussionist Isabelle DeLeon and her trio. DeLeon captured the hearts of guests at last year’s Festival while playing barefoot on stage. In addition to DeLeon on drums, the trio includes Mark Meadows on piano and Steve Synk on bass. Playing a mix of their compositions and arrangements, they present a modern yet tasteful interpretation of Jazz with rhythmic drive and harmonic complexity that serve to highlight pure melody.
For further information or to purchase tickets for the Festival visit www.chesapeakejazz.org or call the CCM office at 410-819-0380.