36-Show Tour Kicks Off February 5, 2010 In Connecticut, Continues Through 33 Cities In 17 States From February - May, 2010
December 1, 2009, Monterey, CA — The Monterey Jazz Festival, a leader in jazz education and presentation since 1958, announces the thirty-six show, nationwide, six-week tour of the MJF/52 All-Stars, billed as the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour. Traveling through thirty-three cities in seventeen states, the group features the nine-time Grammy®-nominated and NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron on piano; Grammy-nominated violinist Regina Carter; Grammy-winning guitarist Russell Malone; eight-time Grammy-nominated vocalist Kurt Elling; bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa; and Grammy-nominated drummer Johnathan Blake. The tour will take place in two phases, and will begin its twenty-performance East Coast run in eleven states on February 5, 2010 at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, and will finish on February 28 at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. The second leg of the tour begins on the West Coast in Bellingham, Washington on April 14, 2010, and continues with an additional sixteen shows in six states, ending in Detroit, Michigan, on May 1.
Members of the MJF/52 All-Star Band have a special relationship with the Monterey Jazz Festival, and have a commitment to the cultivation of jazz audiences worldwide. Pianist Kenny Barron made his first of his eight appearances at MJF in the early 1960s with Dizzy Gillespie; violinist Regina Carter was selected as Artist-In-Residence for MJF/47 in 2004 and has appeared at the Festival four times since 1999. Vocalist Kurt Elling, also selected as MJF’s Artist-In-Residence for MJF/49 in 2006, has appeared on the stages of the Festival four times since 2003. Guitarist Russell Malone has appeared five times at MJF since 1997. Both bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa and drummer Johnathan Blake made their second appearances at MJF/52. All together, the members of the MJF/52 All-Star group have performed at Monterey twenty-five times.
“With the success of our 50th Anniversary Tour in 2008 and the subsequent Grammy win a year later for Terence Blanchard for the live recording at MJF/50, we were anxious to continue the spirit and excitement created by the inaugural event and build an even stronger platform for the 2010’s “MJF On Tour,” said Tim Jackson, General Manager for the Monterey Jazz Festival. “With Kenny Barron (piano), Regina Carter (violin), Kurt Elling (vocal), and Russell Malone (guitar) as this year’s principal artists and with the superb support of Kenny’s working trio, Kiyoshi Kitagawa on bass and drummer Johnathan Blake, we have created an ensemble that is both sonically interesting and hard swinging. These artists all embody the history, spirit and legacy of the Monterey Jazz Festival and each has a past relationship with MJF that includes performance and educational activities, both core components of Monterey’s mission statement. They are an amazing band that will embody the past, present, and future of jazz.”
The Monterey Jazz Festival On Tour will appear at major performing arts organizations in many regions of the county, including Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. For a complete list of shows, please see below or visit www.montereyjazzfestival.org. Each of the shows will feature a selection of standards and originals from all periods of jazz.
All-Star Bands at Monterey have been a long-standing tradition at MJF. Starting in 1966, the Festival assembled master musicians under the “Monterey All-Stars” moniker. At least seventeen Monterey All-Star Bands have graced the stages of Monterey and have included Gil Evans, Gerry Mulligan, Elvin Jones, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Ray Brown, Sonny Stitt, Max Roach, John Lewis, Shelly Manne, Bobby Hutcherson, Hank Jones, Milt Jackson, and many more as members. In 2007, the Monterey Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary All-Stars (featuring Terence Blanchard, James Moody, Benny Green, Nnenna Freelon, Derrick Hodge, and Kendrick Scott) performed a ten-week tour of the United States, performing for 44,000 fans in 52 cities in 22 states. A recording on Monterey Jazz Festival Records -- an imprint of Concord Records -- from their performance at MJF/50, Live at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival, was nominated for two Grammys (Terence Blanchard and James Moody were both nominated in the Best Jazz Instrumental Solo Category) with the Grammy going to Terence Blanchard on February 8, 2009, making it the first Grammy for the fledgling label.
About the MJF/52 All-Stars
Pianist and NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron has an unmatched ability to mesmerize audiences with his elegant playing, sensitive melodies and infectious rhythms is what inspired The Los Angeles Times to name him “one of the top jazz pianists in the world.” Dizzy Gillespie hired Barron in 1962, and he has also performed with Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, Milt Jackson, Buddy Rich, Yusef Lateef, and many more. From 1974 to 2000, Kenny was on the faculty at Rutgers University as professor of music, and has mentored many of today’s young talents including David Sanchez, Terence Blanchard, and Regina Bell. Kenny was inducted into the American Jazz Hall of Fame in 2005, and in 2009, he was named a Living Legacy by the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation. He has recorded over 40 albums as a leader, and has earned 9 Grammy nominations. He was selected as a NEA Jazz Master for 2010, the nation’s highest honor in jazz.
Grammy-nominated drummer and composer Johnathan Blake, has been working steadily in the contemporary jazz scene for the past 10 years, and is the first-call drummer for many notable jazz musicians such as Tom Harrell, David Sanchez, Russell Malone, Kenny Barron, Randy Brecker, and Oliver Lake, to name a few. Eventually attending William Paterson University in New Jersey and studying with Rufus Reid, John Riley, Steve Wilson, and Horace Arnold, he also was gigging professionally with the Oliver Lake Big Band, Roy Hargrove, and David Sanchez. By 2007, Johnathan received a Master’s degree from the Rutgers University, studying with Ralph Bowen, Conrad Herwig, and Stanley Cowell, primarily focusing on his compositional skills. Johnathan is currently a member of the Tom Harrell Quintet, the Russell Malone Quartet, and he performs regularly with Kenny Barron, Avishai Cohen, and Omer Avital.
Regina Carter began performing on violin at the age of four. Regina attended Detroit’s prestigious Cass Technical High School. Upon graduating, she departed for the New England Conservatory of Music, only to return to Michigan’s Oakland University, seasoning her chops by gigging with several local musicians. By 1994, she had returned to New York, recording two solo albums for Atlantic while also working with the String Trio of New York, Muhal Richard Abrams, and Greg Tate and the Black Rock Coalition. Carter joined Verve Records in 1998 and has since recorded five critically acclaimed works: Rhythms of the Heart; Motor City Moments; Paganini: After a Dream; Freefall (a duet project with pianist Kenny Barron) and I’ll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey. Her playing has appeared on filmmaker Ken Burns’ soundtrack for the PBS documentary, Jazz; Wynton Marsalis’ opera Blood on the Fields; Cassandra Wilson’s Traveling Miles; Mary J. Blige’s My Life; and Latin Jazz pianist Eddie Palmieri on his Grammy award-winning Listen Here.
Kurt Elling is the preeminent young male jazz singer today. A ten-year stretch saw Elling earn seven Grammy nominations for six Blue Note albums, six consecutive years at the top of the DownBeat Critics and Jazz Times Readers’ polls, three Jazz Journalists’ Association Awards for Best Male Vocalist and the Prix Billie Holiday from the Academie du Jazz in Paris. His quartet has toured the world, performing to critical acclaim in Europe, the Middle East, South America, Asia and Australia, and at jazz festivals and concert halls across the North America. In addition to working with his own quartet, Kurt Elling has spent recording and/or performing time with an array of artists that includes Terence Blanchard, Dave Brubeck, The Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, Benny Golson, Jon Hendricks, Fred Hersch, Charlie Hunter, Al Jarreau, David Liebman, Joe Lovano, Christian McBride, Marian McPartland, The Bob Mintzer Big Band, Mark Murphy, John Pizzarelli, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and The Yellowjackets. In 2007, he signed to Concord Records, recording Nightmoves. In 2009, Kurt received his eighth Grammy nomination for Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman for Best Jazz Vocal Album.
Bassist and composer Kiyoshi Kitagawa is an integral part of today’s jazz scene. Soon after moving to New York City from Japan, he met Winard Harper at Blue Note’s jam session and joined the Harper Brothers, recording on the Remembrance: Live at The Village Vanguard. Kiyoshi has toured and recorded with the alto great Kenny Garrett with drummer Brian Blade. He has gone on to work with many of the leading names in jazz including Steve Turre, Tommy Flanagan, and Kenny Kirkland just to name a few. In 1996, he formed “The Trio” with the versatile Japanese pianist, Makoto Ozone, releasing four albums together. Most recently, Kiyoshi has been touring the world with bands led by three jazz greats: the Jimmy Heath Quartet, the Kenny Barron Trio and Quintet, and the Andy Bey Quartet.
Born in Albany, Georgia, guitarist Russell Malone grew up playing a variety of music. In 1988, he was hired as a sideman by the seminal organist Jimmy Smith. He went on to back the popular pianist and vocalist, Harry Connick, Jr. from 1990-1994. Malone first recorded as a leader in 1992, when he provided his self-titled debut album for Columbia, Russell Malone, which quickly went to #1 on the radio charts and was followed by Black Butterfly in 1993 and Wholly Cats for Japan’s Venus label in 1995. Malone joined pianist and vocalist Diana Krall in 1995, contributing to Krall’s first three Grammy-nominated albums, including 1999’s When I Look In Your Eyes. Verve Records released three albums by Malone, including Sweet Georgia Peach for Impulse! in 1998, Look Who’s Here in 1999, and Heartstrings in 2001. Malone has had the honor of launching the “Strings Series” for the MAXJAZZ label with his 2004 label debut Playground, which was followed by 2006’s Live At Jazz Standard, Volume One, and 2007’s Live At Jazz Standard, Volume Two.
2/5/10, Storrs, CT, University of Connecticut, Jorgensen Auditorium
2/6/10, Storrs, CT, University of Connecticut, Jorgensen Auditorium
2/8/10, Worcester, MA, Music Worcester Mechanics Hall
2/10/10, Portsmouth, NH, Music Hall - Portsmouth Music Hall - Portsmouth
2/11/10, Boston, MA, Celebrity Series of Boston, Berklee Performance Center
2/12/10, Fairfield, CT, Quick Center for the Arts / Fairfield University, Kelley Theatre
2/13/10, Greenvale, NY, Tilles Center / Long Island University, Concert Hall - Tilles Center
2/14/10, Stony Brook NY, Staller Center for the Arts Main Stage
2/16/10, University Park PA, Penn State University, Eisenhower Auditorium
2/17/10, Princeton, NJ, McCarter Theatre Company, McCarter Theatre - Princeton University
2/18/10, Red Bank, NJ, Count Basie Theatre Count Basie Theatre
2/19/10, North Bethesda, MD, Strathmore Hall Arts Center Music Center at Strathmore
2/20/10, Bethlehem, PA, Lehigh University, Zoellner Arts Center - Baker Hall
2/21/10, Bloomsburg, PA, Bloomsburg University, Haas Center for the Arts
2/23/10, Richmond, VA, University of Richmond, Carpenter Theatre
2/24/10, Virginia Beach, VA, Virginia Arts Festival, Sandler Center for the Performing Arts
2/25/10, Durham, NC, Carolina Theatre of Durham, Fletcher Hall Auditorium
2/26/10, Charlotte, NC, North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Knight Performing Arts Center
2/27/10, Atlanta GA, Georgia Institute of Technology Robert Ferst Theatre
2/28/10, Birmingham, AL, University of Alabama - Birmingham, Stephens Center
4/14/10, Bellingham, WA, Mount Baker Theatre Mount Baker Theatre
4/15/10, Olympia WA, Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Washington Center for the Performing Arts
4/16/10, San Francisco, CA, Yoshi's San Francisco (8PM show), Yoshi’s San Francisco
4/16/10, San Francisco, CA, Yoshi's San Francisco (10PM show), Yoshi’s San Francisco
4/17/10, Napa, CA, Napa Valley Opera House Margrit Biever Mondavi Theatre
4/18/10, Modesto CA, Gallo Center for the Arts, Mary Stuart Rogers Theater
4/19/10, Santa Cruz, CA, Kuumbwa Jazz Center (7PM show), Kuumbwa Jazz Center
4/19/10, Santa Cruz, CA, Kuumbwa Jazz Center (9PM show), Kuumbwa Jazz Center
4/21/10, San Diego, CA, San Diego Theatres, Balboa Theatre
4/22/10, Los Angeles CA, UCLA, Royce Hall
4/24/10, Costa Mesa, CA, Orange County Performing Arts Center, Segerstrom Concert Hall
4/25/10, Lancaster, CA, Lancaster Performing Arts Center, Lancaster City Park
4/27/10, Tucson, AZ, University of Arizona, Centennial Hall
4/29/10, Madison WI, Overture Center for the Arts, Overture Hall
4/30/10, Naperville, IL, North Central College, Wentz Concert Hall
5/1/10, Detroit MI, Music Hall for the Performing Arts, Music Hall for the Performing Arts