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Sixth Annual Monty Alexander Jazz Festival To Showcase 2015 Grammy-Nominated Jazz Vocalist René Marie
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JUNE 15, 2015
Contact: Don Buxton 410 819-0380
or Amy Steward 410 829-0436
The Monty Alexander Jazz Festival will celebrate its sixth anniversary at the intimate Avalon Theatre in Easton, MD on Labor Day weekend from September 3 – 6, 2015. The extraordinary energy and virtuosity of Artistic Director Monty Alexander have vaulted the Festival into a four-day event showcasing new talent, as well as jazz greats.
Jazz vocalist René Marie, a 2015 Grammy nominee for her recent tribute album to Eartha Kitt, will open with her Quintet at the Avalon Theatre on Friday night, September 4 at 8 p.m. Marie is one of America’s most interesting and compelling artists with a style that incorporates a distinctly American mélange of jazz, soul, blues, folk and gospel and an innate theatrical ability to interpret a song deeply and live its truth.
René Marie’s tribute album to Eartha Kitt, “I Wanna Be Evil (With Love to Eartha Kitt),” on the multi-Grammy®-nominated label Motéma Music, is her third recording for the label and her 10th career album. For René Marie, success means shining attention on important issues in America and on bold artists like Eartha Kitt who helped change America’s musical landscape. René has become a bold artist – C. Michael Bailey on allaboutjazz.com says about René Marie, “One of the great high-wire acts in jazz today.”
Al Sikes, producer of the Monty Alexander Jazz Festival, comments, “Since artists are in many ways not comparable; I’ll make no effort to compare this year’s lineup with last year. But, expect in 2015 to hear some new sounds from Rene Marie, Eric Alexander and Alicia Olatuja. Each is distinctive and has earned their chops on the international circuit.”
In addition to Marie’s concert on Friday night, New York-based tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander will lead Saturday afternoon’s concert at 2 p.m. Monty Alexander and Friends take the stage on Saturday night at 8 p.m. Monty’s eclectic musical offerings will include reflections on his time with Frank Sinatra at the legendary Jilly’s Club in New York City. Brooklyn singer Alicia Olatuja, who was a soloist at the 2013 Inauguration of President Obama, will blend jazz and gospel for the Festival’s Sunday afternoon concert at 2 p.m. The New York Times calls her “an American singer with a strong, lustrous tone and an amiably regal presence onstage.”
A Festival tradition will continue this year on Saturday morning with a free New Orleans jazz concert at 10:30 a.m. in Thompson Park by The Conservatory Classic Jazz Band. The band will then lead a second line parade to the Tidewater Inn where a jazz brunch at 11:30 a.m. will precede the afternoon showcase.
A returning favorite vocalist, Caterina Zapponi, will perform in an intimate night club-style concert on Thursday night with an All-Star ensemble, including Yotam Silverstein, Lorin Cohen, and Chuck Redd at the Academy Art Museum. This concert will not be a part of the Festival Pass and the number of seats available will be limited.
This year’s lineup of world class artists makes The Monty Alexander Jazz Festival an Eastern Shore destination for Labor Day weekend. The Monty Alexander Jazz Festival, presented by Jazz on the Chesapeake, is a program of Chesapeake Chamber Music. For further information on the Monty Alexander Jazz Festival, visit ChesapeakeJazz.org.
Photo #1: Jazz vocalist René Marie, a 2015 Grammy nominee for her recent tribute album to Eartha Kitt, will open the Festival with her Quintet at the Avalon on Friday, September 4, 2015 at 8 p.m.
Photo #2: New York-based tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander will lead the Saturday, September 5 afternoon concert of the Monty Alexander Jazz Festival.
Photo #3: Pictured is legendary jazz pianist, Monty Alexander, who will perform at the sixth annual Monty Alexander Jazz Festival on Saturday, September 5, 2015 at 8 p.m. in Easton, MD.
Photo #4: Brooklyn singer Alicia Olatuja, who performed at the President’s 2013 Inaugural, will blend jazz and gospel for the Sunday afternoon concert on September 6, 2015.
Photo #5: Pictured is gifted multi-lingual vocalist Caterina Zapponi, a talented cabaret singer and the wife of legendary jazz pianist Monte Alexander. She will perform in an intimate night club-style concert on Thursday night, September 3 at the Academy Art Museum with an All-Star ensemble, including Yotam Silverstein, Lorin Cohen, and Chuck Redd to kick off the 2015 Monty Alexander Jazz Festival.
Jazz on the Chesapeake is a program of Chesapeake Chamber Music