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You stay in sync with the band, we stay in sync with your health.


©2017 Aetna Inc. 2017178

Welcome Dear Guests: Welcome to the 2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival! This muchanticipated event is a valued tradition with deep roots in our city. I’m confident you will enjoy great music, incredible performances, and exciting festivities over this weekend. Thank you for your support and attendance. With its deep cultural significance and a history stretching back more than three decades, the Jacksonville Jazz Festival is one of our city’s signature events. Every year, this musical showcase attracts gifted artists and musicians from across the globe. In turn, the quality and diversity of the world-class talent featured each year draws bigger and bigger audiences. This growing legacy continues to elevate Jacksonville, and Downtown Jacksonville in particular, as a prime destination for premier entertainment events. Again, thank you for attending! Like you, I look forward to great performances and a memorable experience.

“Jazz music is America’s past and its potential, summed up and sanctified and accessible to anybody who learns to listen to, feel, and understand it. The music can connect us to our earlier selves and to our better selves-to-come. It can remind us of where we fit on the time line of human achievement, an ultimate value of art.” — Wynton Marsalis

Enjoy! Sincerely,

Lenny Curry Mayor

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival 3

TABLE OF CONTENTS Welcome. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Performer Schedule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Jazz Marketplace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Jazz Store & 2017 Poster. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Festival Happenings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Hall of Fame . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Piano Competition. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Jazz Jam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Jazz Clinic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Festival Map . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Omni Sacred Jazz Brunch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

HEADLINERS Friday, May 26 Lucky Chops. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Damien Escobar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Blind Boys of Alabama. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Jane Monheit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Freddy Cole Quartet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Saturday, May 27 Kamasi Washington. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Gregory Porter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Hypnotic Brass Ensemble. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 The Rippingtons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Airmen of Note . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Sunday, May 28 The Commodores . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Chick Corea Trio. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Joey Alexander Trio. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Lalah Hathaway. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Bria Skonberg. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Pacific Mambo Orchestra. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59


2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival

FRIDAY, May 26

Festival open 4 p.m. – midnight. Music starts at 5 p.m.

Swingin’ Stage

Groovin’ Stage

Main St. and Adams St.

Hemming Park

presented by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority

presented by Aetna

Breezin’ Stage

The Jacksonville Landing

DJ Nick Fresh 5-5:30 p.m.

Catch the Groove 5-6 p.m.

Jax Jazz Collective 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Jazzmeia Horn 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Freddy Cole Quartet 6:30 -7:30 p.m.

Blake Aaron 7-8 p.m.

ELEW 7-8:30 p.m.

Jane Monheit 8-9 p.m.

Parker Urban Band 8:30-9:30 p.m.

Damien Escobar 9-10 p.m.

Blind Boys of Alabama 9:30-11 p.m.

Marcus Anderson 10-11 p.m.

Lucky Chops 10:30-Midnight

SATURDAY, May 27 Groovin’ Stage

Main St. and Adams St.

Hemming Park

presented by Aetna

The Jacksonville Landing

Leon Foster Thomas 2-3 p.m.

Ben Adkins 2-3 p.m.

Akia Uwanda 3-4 p.m.

Taylor Roberts 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Elio’s Quartet 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Roman Street 4:30-6 p.m.

Morgan James 5-6:30 p.m.

Stank Sauce 5-6 p.m.

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble 6:30-8 p.m.

Airmen of Note Band 7-8:30 p.m.

Gregory Porter 8:30-10 p.m.

The Rippingtons 9-10:30 p.m.

Clay Benjamin 8-9:30 p.m.

Kamasi Washington 10:30 p.m. - Midnight

Video Stream Mainstage 10:30 p.m. - Midnight

Eric Carter 10-11:30 p.m.

SUNDAY, May 28

Breezin’ Stage

Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition Winner 2:30-3 p.m.

Jazz Jam

with Kelly/Scott Quintet Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront Presented by Hot 99.5 See page 29 225 East Coastline Drive 10 p.m. - Midnight.

Party in a Box

feat. Allana Southerland

6:30-7:30 p.m.

More Performances:

Jazz Fest Clinic

with Eric Carter, Jazzmeia Horn and Elio Piedra See page 30 Ritz Theatre and Museum 829 N Davis St. Jacksonville, FL 32202 10 a.m. - noon

Jazz Fest After Dark

See page 6 Friday – Sunday 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.

Festival open 1-11 p.m. Music starts at 2 p.m.

Swingin’ Stage

Groovin’ Stage

Main St. and Adams St.

Hemming Park

presented by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority

More Performances:

Festival open 1 p.m. – midnight. Music starts at 2 p.m.

Swingin’ Stage

presented by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority

Schedule presented by

presented by Aetna

Breezin’ Stage

The Jacksonville Landing

UNF Jazz Ensemble I 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Gregory Agid Quintet 2-3 p.m.

Brandon Robertson 2-3 p.m.

Sorin Zlat Trio 4-5 p.m.

Pacific Mambo Orchestra 3:30-5 p.m.

Brian Tarquin 3:30-4 :30 p.m.

Joey Alexander Trio 5:30-7 p.m.

Bria Skonberg 6-7:30 p.m.

Doug Carn 5-6:30 p.m.

Chick Corea Trio 7:30-9 p.m.

Lalah Hathaway 8-9:30 p.m.

The Katz Downstairz 7-8:30 p.m.

The Commodores 9:30-11 p.m.

Video Stream Mainstage 9:30 - 11 p.m.

More Performances:

Omni Sacred Jazz Brunch

The Noel Freidline Quintet featuring Maria Howell See page 49

Omni Hotels & Resorts Two Seatings 10 a.m. / 12:30 p.m.

Jazz Parade

Presented by V101.5 See page 59 Starts at the corner of Monroe and Laura Streets 5 p.m.

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival 5

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Jazz Marketplace offers an exciting shopping experience in the heart of the festival. Wind your way through prize-winning artists, master craftspeople, specialty vendors, and existing downtown establishments. The marketplace will feature unique wares such as hand-made clothing, jewelry, original art and other handcrafted items.

Amazing & Beautiful Butterflies La Soucique Studio TK Beauty Essentials Mbellish by CharMega Aboriginal Bling Bam African Art Marketplace Bonnie Jayne Art Gladnomad Clothing beyou Aloha Design Wanawake

Caricature Artist D&S Outfitters Mo Jazz Collection Mojo Jerky Eye of Joy Art Lifenblackandwhite Ricky Steele Designs Boutique 3:16 Glass Flower Glasses Kelvin Henderson Art

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival 7

Map is not drawn to scale. Locations subject to change.

City Hall at St. James




MOCA Jacksonville

Groovin’ Stage Federal Courthouse

Presented by Aetna

Main Street Park

Main Library

Hemming Park

MONROE Swingin’ Stage

Ed Ball Building

Presented by Jacksonville Aviation Authority

Visit Jacksonville







Jazz Store



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Commemorate your experience at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival with some official gear! This year’s merchandise includes t-shirts, cups, hats, posters, and other items to keep you cool. The Official Jazz Festival Store is conveniently located in the heart of the festival in Visit Jacksonville Visitor Center on Laura Street. Be sure to check out the other exciting activities and attractions Jacksonville has to offer while you are here!

JAX Chamber

Omni Hotel Jacksonville



The Jacksonville Landing



Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts Northbank Riverwalk

Main Street Bridge

The Poster Since its inception in 1981, the Jacksonville Jazz Festival has presented itself with striking visual imagery in the form of the official poster. Over the years, talented local artists have contributed their unique touch to this much anticipated and collectible piece of marketing and memorabilia. The festival is proud to present this year’s poster design by local artist and designer, Corey Kolb. This year, the print will be silkscreened on French paper. Prints can be purchased at the Official Jacksonville Jazz Festival Merchandise Store with limited editions, signed and numbered by the artist.

About the Artist

About the Design The idea that jazz is a collective sound that allows individual musicians to improvise within the framework of the form reminds the artist of collage style design. Collage often uses montage, textures, and objects to form a cohesive visual concept–– much like jazz’s constantly evolving structure––and this is the feeling he wanted to evoke in the 2017 Jacksonville Jazz Fest poster.

Corey Kolb is a user interface and user experience designer for randrr. He was born in Sarasota, Florida and came to Jacksonville by way of Ashland, Massachusetts in 1998. He attended the University of North Florida and obtained a B.F.A. with a concentration in graphic design and digital media. Corey has placed twice in the AIGA It’s Always Summer Poster Show and collaborated with Eric Hinote on the “Rise From The Ashes” mural located in downtown Jacksonville in 2013. He has a passion for music of all genres, record collecting, and gardening.

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival 9


Festival Happenings Dance Party

Find the AARP Dance Party at the intersection of W. Adams and N. Laura Streets. Meet us at the corner of Adams and Laura streets, where we’ll be hosting a dance party with a live DJ and having daily drawings for a hands-free digital assistant. This is your chance to learn more about the exciting opportunities AARP is helping to create for the people here in Jacksonville.

Stop by the V101.5 tent and get all the details about Sista Strut – our 2nd Annual 3K Breast Cancer Strut – plus register to win four Disney Florida Resident Annual Passes!

Second Line Jazz Parade

Presented by V101.5 In true New Orleans jazz fashion, you won’t want to miss the Second Line Jazz Parade winding through the streets on Sunday, May 28 at 5 p.m.


You don’t join us, we join you! Stop by the Aetna tent and cool off under our misting tent located near Hemming Park, track your steps and register to win an Apple Watch.

Check out our pop-up Jazz Garden piano fountains for the perfect photo opportunity.

Saturday, May 27 Only

Bring a friend and #ShareaCoke! Visit the Ice Cold Coca-Cola Summer Tour display on Saturday and get your very own personalized mini Coke can and samples of the world’s most refreshing drink!

Visit the SunPass Mobile Service Center and find out how you can save time and money on Florida’s toll roads and bridges! Purchase a SunPass and open up a prepaid toll account to start saving! SunPass is also accepted in Georgia and North Carolina with more states to follow. 2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival

Guest Services

Presented By UF Health Visit one of the Guest Services booths presented by UF Health and let our helpful volunteers answer any questions about the festival. Also, be sure to pick up your UF Health sunscreen and glow stick. See the map inside the guide for locations.

Love all the jams you are hearing this weekend? Wish you could have more every day? Switch to HOT99.5 FM and you can! Visit the HOT99.5 tent and download our free app for your chance to win great prizes!

Jazz Fest After Dark returns for another year! Following the last act of the festival lineup each night, enjoy even more live music from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. Participating bars and clubs are located within a couple of blocks from the Jazz Festival stages.



Join AARP at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival from May 26-28th. Meet us at the corner of Adams and Laura Streets, where we’ll be hosting a dance party with a live DJ and having daily drawings for a digital assistant. It’s open to the public and free to attend, so there’s no reason not to be there! At the event, you’ll get a chance to learn more about the exciting opportunities AARP is helping to create for the people here in Jacksonville. Whether you’re looking to advance or change careers, seeking caretaking advice, or wanting to get involved in the community, we provide helpful support and resources so that you can you achieve your goals and live your best life. Stop by the AARP Pavilion anytime during the festival. We look forward to meeting you! For more details, visit





J.B. Scott 2017 Now in his 20th year as an educator, J.B. Scott is the Coordinator of Jazz Studies and Director of the acclaimed UNF Great American Jazz Series. He has instructed thousands of students over the decades, including many who have gone on to great jazz careers. As a performer, he has appeared with jazz greats including Al Hirt, Pauito D’Rivera, John Pizzarelli, Kurt Elling, and with the Jax Symphony and Equinox Big Band among others. His J.B. Scott Swingin’ All Stars has recorded numerous CDs and is well known. As a promoter and supporter of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, J.B. has mentored young jazz artists, performed at the event frequently, been a panel judge for the Piano Competition, arranged for venues, and continues to support the festival in many other aspects.

The Hon. Jake Godbold 1999

Dan Kossoff 1999

Mike Tolbert 1999

Ira Koger 2000

Rich Matteson 2000

The Hon. Elaine Brown 2003

Marcus Roberts 2003

Dick Brown 2004

Vic DiGenti 2004

Cecil Cole 2005

Teddy Washington 2006

Longineu Parsons 2006

Von Barlow 2007

Dr. Bill Prince 2008

Joyce Hellman Bizot 2009

Bob Bednar 2010

Na’im Rashid 2010

The Hon. Bill Chappell 2011

Bunky Green 2011

Bernard “Womack” Howard 2012

Gary Starling 2012

Lisa Kelly 2013

Theresa O’Donnell Price 2013

Ace Martin 2014

Noel Freidline 2015

Jack Melvin 2016

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival 13

For more than 30 years, the Jacksonville Piano Competition has been a jazz fest tradition. Presented by Keyboard Connection, it continues to be one of the most exciting musical spectacles to be seen anywhere! Five finalists representing the very best jazz pianists are chosen by a blind panel of judges to compete for a cash prize and a chance to perform on the Main Stage at this year’s festival. This fierce competition has become an integral part of the festival and a favorite among many eager to witness some of the most incredible rising talent.

The Finalists Currently attending the Manhattan School of Music Precollege on a Nana’s Way Scholarship, Esteban Castro has already shared the stage with worldclass jazz musicians such as Christian McBride, Wynton Marsalis, Joe Lovano, Wayne Escoffery, Willie Jones III, and Sheila E., among others. At the age of 14, Castro has written more than 30 original compositions and has released two award-winning albums: On the Edge and Parade. Hope Udobi Nwachukwu is a world class artist who has performed and traveled all over the world. He has performed and traveled with a variety of world class musicians and singers in the business ranging from jazz, R&B, soul, and gospel. In 2016, he was selected by the Jazz at the Lincoln Center as an Artist in Residence, to perform an eight week residency in Doha, Qatar. Hope is currently recording his debut album. Jacob Hart began playing both guitar and piano at the age of seven. Along with his interests in classical music, Hart continued playing jazz piano and began studying jazz at The University of Miami Frost School of Music where he is currently in his junior year as a performance major. Hart has been mentored by and performed with Brian Lynch, Martin Bejerano, Mike Orta, Gary Campbell, John Hart, Patience Higgins and Thurman Baker. Zach Bartholomew earned his doctorate from the University of Miami Frost School of Music. His professional experience includes leading a jazz quartet on Princess Cruise Lines, releasing an album with his trio, and headlining at venues across the country such as Blues Alley, Twins Jazz Club, Andy’s Jazz Club, the Jazz Showcase, Nighttown, the BOP STOP Cliff Bells, the Jazz Kitchen, the Jazz Estate, the Velvet Note, WhyNot Jazz Room, and many others. Jazz pianist and composer Zoltan Balogh, first started playing piano at the age of six. He was born in Budapest, Hungary and his father was one of his first piano teachers. Zoltan began his early studies at the OSZK Hungarian Music Studio School. In 2007, he mastered the professional level of jazz piano. Zoltan creates his own musical sound and is inspired mostly by his native Hungarian music culture.


The Master of Ceremony Courtney Lewis serves as music director of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. With clear artistic vision, subtle musicality and innovative programming, Lewis has established himself as one of his generation’s most talented conductors.

Host Band The Piano Competition will feature the talents of the UNF 30th Anniversary All-Stars featuring Lisa Kelly, J.B. Scott, Dr. Bill Prince, Todd DelGiudice, Aaron Lehrian, Barry Greene, Dennis Marks, and Danny Gottlieb.

The Judges Doug Carn is a highly acclaimed Jacksonville University alumni and past instructor of piano and improvisation. Doug’s accomplishments span five decades, including his own releases, and work with artists such as Nat Adderley, Earth, Wind & Fire, Shirley Horn, Stanley Turrentine, Irene Reid, and Joey DeFrancesco. Scott Giddens is an awardwinning jazz pianist and a current faculty member of Jacksonville University and the University of North Florida. His distinguished career includes performances with the Brecker Brothers, Joe Lovano, Russell Malone, John Pizzarelli and Diane Schuur, and in festivals and venues world-wide, including the Jacksonville Jazz Festival. Artist in Residence and Professor of Guitar at Jacksonville University, Gary Starling is a paragon of Jacksonville jazz. His accomplished resumé includes performances with Bob Hope, Diahann Carroll, Rita Moreno, Skitch Henderson, the Jacksonville Symphony Pops Orchestra and many others. Gary is a member of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival Hall of Fame.

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival

Whether you are a professional or a beginner. All roads lead to Keyboard Connection your official Yamaha Piano Dealer!

To purchase the piano of your dreams visit Keyboard Connection today!

9912 San Jose Boulevard, Jacksonville, FL • 880-0002

Friday 10:30 p.m. – Midnight

Lucky Chops Redefining what it means to be a brass band, Lucky Chops stormed onto the scene in 2015 with the help of millions of viewers around the globe. Together this group of six talented individuals has created a unique sound and energy which has resonated worldwide with viral success, launching a career that is now headed toward untold heights. With roots going back to New York City’s LaGuardia Arts High School, the band started out


performing on the streets of New York and in small venues around the city. After years of exploring a variety of musical directions and styles, the band realized that they had created something so powerful that it needed to be pursued at all costs. With a mission to capture the energy of a rock band and fuse it seamlessly with the dance-ability of an EDM DJ, the group took their act to one of the most energetic, evolving and continuously 2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival

pulsating venues in the world: the New York City subway system. Heading into 2016 with a rabid fan base and more than 40 million views on all their videos in tow, Lucky Chops is setting out to show the world city by city, country by country, and video by video, the pure magic that happens each and every time they get together.

Once a self-proclaimed retired artist, Damien is now back to being one of the world’s top violinists. The people have taken note, and so has the media – the gatekeepers of information, with major features in People Magazine, Huffington Post, CNN, The NY Daily News and Chicago Tribune to name a select few. The star even found his way back on national television, performing on WETV’s “David Tutera’s: Unveiled”. Since then invitations to appear on television haven’t ceased; landing Escobar in the interviewee chair at every major network on both a local and national scale including Fox News, The Hallmark Channel, The Katie Couric Show, Empire Live, NBC, CBS and ABC. Today Damien’s solo career is moving at lightning speed. Damien is currently promoting his newest single, “Get Up And Dance”, which is the lead single from his second solo album entitled; Boundless. This album in particular is important to Damien as it marks Damien’s first solo album of all originally produced material. The nationally executed Boundless Tour has brought Damien to a number of US cities for an unprecedented number of sold out shows in various major markets including Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and New York City. His single “Freedom” premiered at no.15 on the iTunes dance charts and subsequently broke the iTunes Hot 100 Top 10.

Damien Escobar

Friday 9 - 10 p.m.

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival 17

Friday 7 – 8:30 p.m.

A decade into his career, Eric Lewis had an epiphany. The songs he was playing weren’t speaking to him the way he wanted them to: while they were part of the traditional jazz repertoire, they weren’t part of his own emotional repertoire. On the other hand, there were contemporary rock songs whose lyrics meant the world to him. Lewis considered

ELEW the landscape, drew the curtain, and reemerged as ELEW, a revolutionary artist who combines virtuosic skill on the grand piano with an unprecedented openness to modern pop and rock music. ELEW has fused the genres of rock and roll and jazz together and, in the process, created a new genre, rockjazz. Over the course of two albums, ELEW has interpreted

and re-energized songs by Coldplay, Nirvana, Radiohead, the Foo Fighters, The Bravery, Michael Jackson, and more. And the choice of material is only part of rockjazz. ELEW treats the grand piano the way a traditional rock front man treats the guitar, with an explosively physical style that includes entering the instrument to pluck the strings directly. On stage, he is overtly theatrical, standing to play and even wearing specially designed pieces of forearm armor called vambraces. Lately you can find ELEW being a highlight of the party anywhere from Sundance’s Film Festival, DJ’ing at various exclusive nightclubs, playing piano at ultraexclusive private parties, touring for his latest album,a And To The Republic around the world to even playing piano to a song written by IBM’s super computer, Watson.

Jazzmeia Horn Winner of the 2015 Thelonius Monk International Vocal Jazz Competition and 2013 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, Jazzmeia Horn has a name that speaks for itself. Hailing from Dallas, Texas, Jazzmeia has already earned a reputation in New York as a “Rising Star.” With the ambition to pursue a solo career, Jazzmeia graced the New York scene in 2009 and earned her degree at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. It wasn’t much later when she began to perform as a sideman


with musicians Winard Harper, Junior Mance, Billy Harper, Lincoln Center Alumni Vincent Gardner, Delfeayo Marsalis, Mike LeDonne, Peter Bernstein, Johnny O’Neal, Vincent Herring, Kirk Lightsey, Frank Wess, and Ellis Marsalis. Currently, Jazzmeia is a teaching artist in The NJPAC Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens Program and Jazz in the Schools Program in Newark, New Jersey. She appears in various clubs on the jazz scene nationally and internationally leading her dynamic group “The Artistry of Jazz Horn.” 2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival

Friday 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

DJ NickFresh Friday 5 - 5:30 p.m.


From Jacksonville, NICKFRESH is a classically trained musician commanding his living as a professional DJ, producer and remixer. He DJs frequently in various clubs around the area as well as across the country and has amassed a long list of entertaining audiences—including the Jacksonville Jaguars’ home games at The Clevelander, several weddings, roller discos, charity events, professional radio and various music festivals. As Soul Train has been one of Nick’s greatest inspirations, he created

SOULTRAINFANS, a community of fans of the iconic American television dance show “Soul Train.” In its 16-year history, the fan community has been responsible for reuniting former dancers and staff of the show. As a result, Nick had the privilege to induct the iconic “Soul Train” brand into the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC in 2011.

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival 19

Blind Boys of Alabama The Blind Boys of Alabama have the rare distinction of being recognized around the world as both living legends and modernday innovators. They are not just gospel singers borrowing from old traditions; the group helped to define those traditions in the 20th century and almost singlehandedly created a new gospel sound for the 21st century. Since the original members first sang together as kids at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in 1939, the band has persevered through seven decades to become one of the most recognized and decorated roots music groups in the world. Few would have expected them to still be going strong—stronger than ever, even—so many years after they first joined voices, but they’ve proved as productive and

as musically ambitious in recent years as they did in the beginning. Touring throughout the South during the Jim Crow era of the 1940s and 1950s, the Blind Boys flourished thanks to their unique sound, which blended the close harmonies of early jubilee gospel with the more fervent improvisations of hard gospel. Their most recent album, Talkin’ Christmas!, a collaboration with Taj Mahal, continues the band’s streak of creating original and interesting work. It includes new versions of Christmas standards, covers of hidden gospel gems, and seven brandnew holiday songs—six of which are the first Christmas songs ever penned by the Blind Boys themselves. The new original songs include the title track “Talkin’ Christmas!,” a funky tribute to the power of Christmas featuring

Money Mark on keyboards, and the compassionate “What Can I Do?,” which features Taj Mahal on vocals and is one of two songwriting collaborations with Stax Records soul legend William Bell. The album also features a hand-clapping rearrangement of the usually-slower classic “Do You Hear What I Hear?” and a refreshingly intimate, acoustic version of “Silent Night.” The Blind Boys’ live shows are roof-raising musical events that appeal to audiences of all cultures, as evidenced by an international itinerary that has taken them to virtually every continent. The Blind Boys of Alabama have attained the highest levels of achievement in a career that spans more than 75 years and shows no signs of diminishing.

Friday 9:30 - 11 p.m.

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival 21

Brewed in Holland. Imported by HEINEKEN USA Inc., New York, NY. ©2016 HEINEKEN® Lager Beer. HEINEKEN® Light Lager Beer.

Friday 8 - 9 p.m.

Jane Monheit

Blessed with “a voice of phenomenal beauty” (Stephen Holden, New York Times), Jane Monheit has had plenty of milestone moments in establishing herself as one of today’s best and most important vocalistmusicians. With her new album,

The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald—the first to be released on her own Emerald City Records—the Long Island native has surprised even herself with her artistic leap. Jane had thought about recording an Ella tribute for a long time. Fitzgerald’s beloved songbook albums held biblical importance for her when she was growing up and have never lost their hold on her. On this new offering, Monheit pays joyous tribute to Ella while sharing a definitive portrait of herself,

guided by her producer, arranger, and trumpet great, Nicholas Payton. Once she decided to make the dream project a reality, she had no trouble choosing titles. She jotted down a list of 25 titles almost immediately. She and Payton each narrowed the choices to a dozen and settled on the final list together.

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival 23

Freddy Cole Quartet The youngest of the four Cole brothers, Freddy Cole has no apologies for sounding like his brother, Nat “King” Cole. There are certain unmistakable similarities in the vocal timbres of all four Cole brothers. He plays piano, sings and performs live with guitar and upright bass, just like Nat. Yet his voice is raspier, smokier, jazzier even. In truth, his phrasing is far closer to that of Frank Sinatra or Billie Holiday than that of his brother Nat, and his timing and phrasing swings a little more. His vocals —suave, elegant, formidable, and articulate—are among the most respected in jazz. Cole’s career continues to ascend as he has moved into the front ranks of America’s homegrown art form with a style and musical sophistication all his own, and is now often referred to as the greatest “storyteller” in jazz.

Friday 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.


2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival









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Catch The Groove Catch The Groove offers the sounds of contemporary jazz with R&B, blues & Latin influences. The group provides a music program for jazz venues, jazz and arts festivals, corporate functions, weddings and other private and public events. While primarily an instrumental group, the band has the flexibility to include featured vocalists. As Catch The Groove builds its reputation in their Jacksonville, Florida home base region and beyond, genre fans seeking fresh sounds are

Friday 5 - 6 p.m.

gravitating towards the group’s uniquely democratic structure —where each musician has an alternating lead voice and cleverly pairs two instruments at the same time (sax/trumpet, guitar/sax, guitar/trumpet, sax/ keyboard, etc.) to create richly textured lead melodies and harmony lines. The band is currently in the studio working

Marcus Anderson 26

Friday 10 - 11 p.m.

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival

on their eclectic, infectious debut album Daydreaming, which starts off strong with the guitar driven, old school funk/soul/ jazz track “Shaken, Not Stirred,” composed and produced by #1 smooth jazz hit maker artist Nils Jiptner. Everybody needs to Catch The Groove!

One of the premiere saxophonists in the world, Marcus Anderson is a highly sought-after solo artist, with eight albums to date. He performs to audiences all over the world, and accompanies other great artists such as CeeLo Green and Judith Hill. He is also known as being a featured saxophonist with the late Prince and the New Power Generation. In addition to playing sax and flute, Marcus plays piano, bass, is a singer, a writer, a choreographer, a producer and horn arranger. His talent is undeniable to most audiences and to his peers. His recent accomplishments include ranking no. 1 on Billboard Smooth Jazz and SirusXM Radio Watercolors.

Parker Urban Band Parker Urban Band (P.U.B.) is one of the region’s most organic, soulful and sought after bands in the uprising movement of fantastic talent that stays true to real music. Each member has something to say without expectation, to only

let the music breath and to be absorbed. The soulful grooves, heartfelt lyrics, foot stomping rhythms and spontaneous improv will be sure to draw you into their delicious vibes. Fronted by John Parkerurban on guitar, Juanita

Friday 8:30 - 9:30 p.m.

Parkerurban and Myrna Lynn Perry Stallworth on vox with killer P.U.B. family members Ricky Alessi formerly of Chroma, John Mortensen of Mama Blue, James Elam Holloway, and Chris Poland of Fusebox Funk!

Blake Aaron Once again drawing on a lifetime of diverse musical influences to create a masterful fusion of jazz, R&B, soul, rock, blues and Latin sounds, the Southern California based Blake Aaron creates his most expansive, fully expressive collection yet. His highly anticipated fourth full length CD, and his first completely selfproduced solo project—has a lot of fresh and dynamic musical

Soul Stories to tell. Aaron has already scored Top Five Billboard airplay hits with his first-ever Latin flavored single “Encantadora,” a high energy exotic funk tune featuring Najee on flute. Soul Stories’ latest single, the cleverly titled “Wes Side Story,” is a spirited 60s soul jazz excursion that takes Aaron back to one of his key guitar influences, the great Wes Montgomery, and also draws inspiration from Eddie Harris, a premiere saxophonist from that era.

Friday 7 - 8 p.m.

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival 27

Jax Jazz Collective The Jax Jazz Collective, which consists of some of the finest jazz musicians based in Jacksonville, Florida, first came together in 2012. The Collective is influenced and inspired by such wellrespected straight ahead jazz groups such as Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, the SF Jazz Collective and the Roy Hargrove Quintet as well as modern groove-based fusion groups such as Snarky Puppy and Kneebody. All of the members of the Jax Jazz Collective are young, talented and have plenty of musical experience, often stretching beyond jazz into

Friday 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.

other genres. They integrate all of their individual likenesses and differences into their

arrangements to create a cohesive group sound.

How close you are really does matter.

Whether you are going to a concert or a sporting event, stay closest at Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, located in the heart of Downtown’s music, entertainment, and sports district. For a great rate use our special offer code ENTPRO and book your stay at HYATT REGENCY JACKSONVILLE 225 East Coastline Drive Jacksonville, Florida 32202 The HYATT trademark and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation or its affiliates. ©2015 Hyatt Corporation. All rights reserved.


2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival

Jazz Jam Presented by Hot 99.5

Hosted by Kelly/Scott Quintet 2017 marks the landmark 20th year of the Jacksonville Jam Session! Presented by Hot 99.5, the Jazz Jam will return to the Hyatt Regency and prove once again why it’s been one of the most popular specialty sets of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival. Jazz lovers will enjoy the exciting mix of aspiring student jazz musicians getting the chance to sit-in and play with regional pros and Jazz Festival heavyweights. Notable Jazz Jam participants in the past have included Horace Silver, Diana Krall, Russell Malone, Dave

Valentine, Roy Hargrove, Rodney Whitaker, Delfeayo Marsalis, Barry Greene, Todd DelGiudice, the Poncho Sanchez Group, The Airmen of Note band members, Piano Competition winners and contestants, and many others. One never knows which jazz virtuosos will show up to play and sing! For those wishing to join in on the jam session, every piece of gear at the jam is provided, including an acoustic grand piano, electric bass and amp, drums, guitar amp, and full PA.

Instrumentalists and vocalists, just bring your horn or voice, sign-up to perform a jazz standard or a blues, and join in the fun! Audience members are encouraged to come early for a good seat and beverages and food will be available for purchase.

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival 29

Jazz Clinic

10-11 a.m. Elio Piedra 11 a.m. – noon Jazzmeia Horn Noon – 1 p.m. Eric Carter Saturday, May 27 • 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Ritz Theatre and Museum


Elio Piedra, Jazzmeia Horn, and Eric Carter Further your jazz education and refine your chops at this FREE masters class clinic with Elio Piedra, Jazzmeia Horn, and Eric Carter. Aspiring and accomplished jazz musicians of all ages are invited to learn and


grow their skills in an intimate setting at none other than Jacksonville’s historic Ritz Theatre and Museum. Participants are strongly encouraged to bring their own instruments. Parents with children

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival

attending the clinic are welcome to enjoy the museum’s amenities while they wait.

Saturday 10:30 p.m. - Midnight

Kamasi Washington At the age of 13, Kamasi Washington started a lifelong quest discovering the many wonders of music. One night, his father left his soprano saxophone laying on the piano. Kamasi, filled with curiosity for all the beauty he heard from the instrument, picked up his father’s horn. Even though he didn’t know anything about the saxophone—in fact, never even touched one—he played Wayne Shorter’s composition “Sleeping Dancer Sleep On,” his favorite song at the time. Over the years, Kamasi has performed and recorded with many of his musical heroes from

various genres, including Gerald Wilson, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Burrell, George Duke, Lauryn Hill, Jeffrey Osborne, Mos Def, Quincy Jones, Stanley Clark, Harvey Mason and Chaka Khan. Kamasi’s own band, The Next Step, is a modern spin on a big band, which includes two drummers, two upright bass players, keyboard players, three horns players, a pianist, and a vocalist. In addition, Kamasi is part of a west coast musical collective called the “West Coast Get Down.” Most recently, Kamasi worked on Kendrick Lamar’s acclaimed 2015 album To Pimp A Butterfly.

On May 5th, Kamasi released his groundbreaking solo album The Epic on the trend-setting record label Brainfeeder. The Epic is a 172-minute, triple-disc masterpiece, featuring Kamasi’s 10-piece band “The Next Step” along with a full string orchestra and full choir. The Epic debuted no. 1 on several iTunes Jazz charts, including the US, Canada, Australia, Russia and UK.

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival 31

Anything BUT BASIC.

©2017 Excelsior Wine Company, Old Brookville, NY

The Official Wine Sponsor of the Accessorize Responsibly

Saturday 8:30 - 10 p.m.

Gregory Porter An artist whose music is at once timeless yet utterly of its time, Gregory Porter solidifies his standing as his generation’s most soulful jazz singer-songwriter with Take Me to the Alley, winner of the 2017 GRAMMY Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album, and the much-anticipated follow-up to his sensational 2013 Blue Note debut Liquid Spirit. Yet in his remarkable career, Porter has time and again demonstrated an innate ability to transcend genre and connect with audiences from all walks of life, and his new music reflects the singer’s continued and mindful

growth as an artist and as a person amidst the constant touring demands that have resulted from tremendous international success. Recently, Porter moved his family from Brooklyn back to his hometown of Bakersfield, California, where he can be closer to his brothers and sisters. In the fall of 2015, Porter finally found the time to return to the studio in New York City to record Take Me To The Alley. As he’s done on his previous three albums, Porter teamed with producer Kamau Kenyatta to craft a collection of stirring originals that juxtapose the personal and

political. His partnership with Kenyatta started in the mid-1990s when he was a student at San Diego State University. It was through Kenyatta’s mentorship that Porter’s professional musical career began. As Porter polishes his artistry as one of our most heartfelt singer-songwriters on Take Me to the Alley, his burgeoning body of work will continue to give voice to its modern times while simultaneously echoing the legacy of jazz and soul’s yesteryear and informing generations of musicians to come.

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival 33



DUVAL Federal Courthouse

MOCA Jacksonville

Hemming Park

Main Street Park

Main Library


1 2



Visit Jacksonville







Map is not drawn to scale. Locations subject to change.

City Hall at St. James












Omni Hotel & Resort Jacksonville


JAX Chamber

The Jacksonville Landing


Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts Northbank Riverwalk

Main Street Bridge





MONROE SWINGIN’ STAGE Main St. and Adams St.


Presented by the Jacksonville Aviation Authority.




Duval County Tax Collector

GROOVIN’ STAGE Presented by Aetna Hemming Park


BREEZIN’ STAGE Jacksonville Landing






The Florida Theatre

Sponsors Parking


Skyway Station & Route Water Taxi Stop

Old Courthouse

Omni Sacred Jazz Brunch

Saturday Only

Hotel VIP Jazz Store/Band Merchandise

Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront

ATM Beverages Food Vendors


Guest Services Presented By UF Health Restrooms


Closed Streets


Lowe’s is a Proud Sponsor of the Jazz Gardens at the 2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival









FERNANDINA BEACH 474283 EAST SR 200 FERNANDINA BEACH, FL 32034 (904) 277-5000

©2017 Lowe's. LOWE'S, Gable Mansard Design, and Never Stop Improving are registered trademarks of LF, LLC.

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is a family band consisting of seven brothers who began their musical training at the tender ages of 4 and 5 by their father, jazz trumpeter/band leader Kelan Phil Cohran (Earth, Wind, & Fire, Chaka Khan, Sun Ra). By 1999, the band of brothers found their distinctive sound, growing into the band now known as Hypnotic Brass Ensemble or HBE. In 2001, HBE independently cut and released their first LP Satin. Using street performance as a way to broaden their audience and hone their now distinctive sound, they found success at the grass roots level, garnering over 50,000 in sales nationwide. The band

followed up their debut album with the release of a second LP, Jupiter. The group’s sound was best put by Fader Magazine’s Edwin Stats who called the band’s music “a huge brass bridge of hypnotic polyphony connecting the cosmic jazz of Sun Ra’s Arkestra with the urgency of hiphop and the sweeping emotional scale of a Curtis Mayfield blaxploitation opus.” By 2008, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble had performed their original tunes in every corner of the world to audiences as big as 110,000 and premiered music at venues around the world.

Saturday 6:30 - 8 p.m.

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival 39

Roman Street Roman Street is comprised of brothers and guitarists Noah and Josh Thompson. They are internationally trained and specialize in an improvisational fusion of classical, gypsy and contemporary jazz, Latin, and nuevo flamenco. A departure from the over-produced music that is out there today, they keep it simple—the beautifully organic sound of acoustic instruments played by talented people who love what they are doing. With fans in every corner of the globe, several Billboard Top 25 songs, and a fifth studio album coming, Roman Street continues their quest to redefine contemporary jazz fusion.

Saturday 4:30 - 6 p.m.

Akia Uwanda Akia Uwanda wears several hats in the entertainment industry. This Jacksonville, Florida native entertains on multiple platforms as a singer, actress, model, TV/ music producer and radio host. Her vocal ability and experience has granted her the opportunity to sing for audiences locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. Akia and her band, Akia Uwanda & Friends, was recently invited to perform in Changwon City, South Korea at the Cherry Blossom Festival. From being featured with the gospel jazz group, NOIZ, at the


international launch of Davines Hair and Beauty Company in Parma, Italy, to opening for Earth Wind & Fire along with C1 Jazz in 2009 and Avery Sunshine in 2010, she has humbly wowed crowds with her melodic, sultry voice that ranges from first soprano to tenor. She sings a variety of music genres such as jazz, soul, R&B, gospel and classical.

Saturday 3 - 4 p.m.

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival

Saturday 9 - 10:30 p.m.

The Rippingtons The Rippingtons are a GRAMMYnominated contemporary jazz group, founded by guitarist and composer Russ Freeman in 1985. The group has passed the 30 year mark, and continues to innovate. Under Freeman’s production, the group has released 22 albums, all of which have attained top five Billboard status, with five of them reaching no. 1. Their debut album, Moonlighting, has been called by Jazziz magazine “the number one most influential contemporary jazz album of all time.”

The group’s influences are wide-ranging, from instrumental pop, to rock, to world music, to EDM, to R&B. Some artists having recorded with the Rippingtons include Arturo Sandoval, Jeffrey Osbourne, Kirk Whalum, Kenny G, Dave Grusin, the late Joe Sample, Dave Koz, David Benoit, Patti Austin, Peter White, Rick Braun, Zak Wylde, and many more.

The Rippingtons were chosen Best Group 2000 by Billboard BET, and Best Group two years in a row, 2001 and 2002 by the Oasis Awards, in addition to Achievement in Video 2001.

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival 41

Saturday 7 - 8:30 p.m.

The Airmen of Note The Airmen of Note is the premier jazz ensemble of the United States Air Force. Stationed at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C., it is one of six musical ensembles that comprise The U.S. Air Force Band. Created in 1950 to continue the tradition of Major Glenn Miller’s Army Air Forces dance band, the current band consists of 18 active duty Airmen musicians including one vocalist. Through the years, the Airmen of Note has presented its own brand of big band jazz as well as more contemporary forms of jazz to audiences via annual tours across the United

States, deployments around the world and local performances throughout metropolitan Washington, D.C. Their commitment to musical excellence has earned the respect of the foremost jazz artists from around the globe, leading to many collaborative performances and recordings with such luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Williams, Sarah Vaughan and Doc Severinsen. In 1990, the Airmen of Note established the Jazz Heritage Series, featuring the “Note” in concert with

legendary icons of jazz. The Jazz Heritage Series is broadcast to millions over National Public Radio, independent jazz radio stations, satellite radio services and the internet. In addition, the “Note” produces and delivers recorded music to millions of fans worldwide through hundreds of media outlets. One of the group’s recent holiday recordings, “Cool Yule,” reached no. 2 on the JazzWeek jazz chart.

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival 43

Morgan James One voice is all it takes. The right vocalist can make you fall in love at first listen, elicit tears, or bring you back to a different era altogether. A microphone and a stage remain the only necessities. That holds true for New Yorkbased soul singer and songwriter Morgan James. On her sophomore album, Reckless Abandon, James casts an unbreakable spell with a powerhouse voice and a soulful poise. Freedom and expansion are the threads that bind the collection of 12 original, co-penned tracks with writers from LA to NYC to Nashville and in between. The

Saturday 5 - 6:30p.m.

result is a fusion of pop, funk, and R&B with a classic approach. Reckless Abandon is the follow-up to James’ debut album, Hunter and Morgan James Live. She can also be heard on countless theatre and concept soundtracks.

Since Hunter’s release, Morgan’s music videos have accumulated more than 75 million views. As a solo artist, she continues to wow audiences the world over through electric live performances with her touring band.

Taylor Roberts Taylor Roberts has earned a reputation as one of the Southeast’s top calls for jazz guitar. Years of intensive study with world-renowned educators such as Barry Greene, Keith Javors, and Bunky Green have proven to continually pay off as his career expands. Multiple appearances at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival, an international tour with the Christian Tamburr Quintet, and collaborations with


some of the biggest names in jazz today have put him on the map as one of the great rising stars in the jazz guitar world. Maintaining a full studio of students at the Morris Music Academy in Jacksonville Beach, Taylor is regularly passing things on that he’s picked up over the years to the next generation of guitar players. While his playing style and heart are firmly steeped in tradition, he feels it’s just as important to remain relevant with 2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival

Saturday 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

his repertoire, always learning new material that will become the standards of today.

Leon Foster Thomas Leon Foster Thomas is a unique force in modern jazz. All About Jazz has labeled him as “the next big thing on his instrument”; “His gift is an ability to bring forth any style with abandon, and play his steel pan as if it belonged in jazz all along…there are times when Leon Foster Thomas plays his steel pan like Gary Burton on vibes” ( Winner of the World Steelband Music Festival’s Soloist and Duet competitions in 2002 and 2004, Leon has worked with artists such as Hugh Masekela, Melton Mustafa, Vince Mendoza, Richard Smallwood, Kevin Mahogany, Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, Dolly

Parton, Slinger Francisco “The Mighty Sparrow”, Cyril Neville, and many more. His latest release, Metamorphosis, on Ropeadope Records (June 3, 2016) exemplifies his growth and maturation as a musician. Honing his in-depth talents as a musical storyteller, Leon has produced an album which perfectly illustrates his transformative journey. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Leon holds a Master of Music degree from Florida International University and a Bachelor of Music degree from Florida Memorial University.

Eric Carter Eric was born into music. He started playing the guitar at age two. Eric performed his first concert at age 13 while most young boys at the age of 13 were playing their first little league

Saturday 10 - 11:30 p.m.

game. From that point on the concerts and performing began more frequently. He started his elementary education at the local schools, then commencing from Dillard High School in Ft.

Saturday 2 - 3 p.m.

Lauderdale, Florida. He continued his education at BethuneCookman University. He studied religion and physiology. He had several bands while pursuing his degree, including Strictly Business. While at BethuneCookman, he also played in numerous other bands. Since that time, he has also had the opportunity to grace the stage with artists like Al Green, George Benson, Paul Jackson, Jr., and many others. He expresses himself through his music. Eric will take you back in the blues to your ancestor’s time, then bring you into the twentieth century of jazz. History speaks for itself. He is the lead artist of Eric Carter and Company.

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival 45

Clay Benjamin Benjamin began playing guitar at age 13 in a musical family, which brought him great support. He joined his first band, One Accord, at age 16, the youngest in a key group of experienced musicians. There he started doing live recording sessions while perfecting his onstage presence. Then in 1997, Benjamin became the touring lead guitarist for smooth jazz artist Paul Howards as well as the fusion jazz group Segue. He spent years opening up for legendary artists like

Chuck Loeb, Four Play, The Rippingtons, James Brown, Kool and The Gang, Ray Charles, The Commodores and even The Yellow Jackets, the band from that fateful clear cassette tape. Benjamin is currently embarking on his first solo jazz instrumental project, wearing the hats of performer, writer and producer with equal grace and deftness. The project’s first single “I Need You” was met with resounding approval when it debuted at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival early 2014. “I Need You”, as well as his 2011 album Intervention is available on iTunes, Amazon and most music web stores.

Saturday 8 - 9:30 p.m.

Party in a Box featuring Allana Southerland Party In A Box featuring Allana Southerland is a R&B, jazz, and Top 100’s band with a unique sound. Party in a Box is the new concept by The Fusion Band of blending sax, drums, background tracks, and added instruments to create the sound of the future. This band is unlike any other as they have so many genres of music they cover. This party in a box is for all ages! They have performed concerts, festivals,

Saturday 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.


2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival

cruise ships, corporate events, all over the world! The band have opened for Dizzy Gillespie All Stars, Three Dog Night, Charlie Wilson, MC Hammer, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Norman Brown and Fantasia!

Stank Sauce The Stank Sauce Band started in Jacksonville, Florida in 2011. This group of musicians has grown and played around each other for many years, some as early as elementary school. But it wasn’t until they decided to come together with one goal­—

make great music for the world. Under the leadership of Jawren Walton, Stank Sauce takes the elements of jazz, blues, funk, reggae, pop, hip-hop, as well as rock, and fuses them together to bring a unique experience of the music listener. After formation,

Elio’s Quartet

Saturday 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Saturday 5 - 6 p.m.

it didn’t take Stank Sauce long to gain traction. Their endeavors over the years have given them the opportunity to open for acts such as Jason Derulo as well as take their talents across the world to countries like the United Arab Emirates and China. The award-winning Elio’s Quartet consists of talented musicians such as Livan Mesa on piano and keyboard, Yunior Arronte on saxophone and keyboard, Cristobal Verdecia on bass, and Elio Piedra on drums. All of these musicians have enjoyed a successful career in the music’s industry, and have experienced music at the national and international level. Founded in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the Quartet’s purpose was to introduce an innovative mixture of styles and sounds, ranging from smooth jazz, gospel, swing, and funk, to classical music. The Quartet’s roots lies in Afro-Cuban Latin jazz, from which they derive their unique rhythms.

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival 47

Ben Adkins With a musical career starting early in a family blues band, Ben’s study of jazz began in high school at the St. Johns County Center for the Arts. Having earned a music scholarship from the St. Augustine Jazz Society, Ben completed his Bachelor of Music from the University of North Florida, and Master of Music from Florida State University, under the tutelage of Danny Gottlieb and Leon Anderson, respectively. More recently Ben has ventured into the realm of composition, releasing his first

album with original material, entitled “Salmagundi,” to critical acclaim in 2016. Ben has shared the stage and studied with artists such as Linda Cole, Jiggs Whigham, Gary Starling, Marcus Roberts, Ron McCurdy, Wynton Marsalis, John Ricci, Dave Douglas, Alphonso Horne, Gary Burton, Joshua Bowlus, and the Jazz Conceptions Orchestra, and was recently featured in JAZZIZ and DRUM! magazines. Ben’s music is rooted in a passion for minimalism and subtlety, while maintaining the integrity of the tradition and culture of America’s greatest art form.

Saturday 2 - 3 p.m.




Experience unique Southern dining and fine wine at Juliette’s Bistro before or after the Jacksonville Jazz Festival. This modern bistro sources locally grown and farmed products, so you can truly savor the experience.

O m ni H o t e l s . c o m / J a c k s o nv i l l e 9 0 4 - 7 9 1 - 4 9 9 5 Fo r Re s e r vat i o ns

JAXJAX-17005-01 Restaurant JazzFest 7-5x4-75 Ad M.indd 1


4/27/17 4:24 PM

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival

The Omni

$39.95 / person

Sacred Jazz Brunch

Sunday, May 28, 2017 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Do you hear that? Can you smell that?! The Omni Sacred Jazz Brunch returns for 2017 more delicious than ever!

Lift your spirits and dine on a buffet of gourmet cuisine prepared by the expert chefs of the Omni Jacksonville Hotel as renowned jazz artists, the Noel Freidline Quartet (NFQ) featuring vocalist Maria Howell, serenade you with their unique blend of jazz and traditional gospel music. For tickets, visit:

Noel Freidline A pianist, vocalist, writer and arranger, Noel Freidline has been the leader of his own group, the Noel Freidline Quintet, since 1991 and has opened for such diverse artists as Tony Bennett, saxophonist David Sanborn, Kenny G, Rosemary Clooney, pianist Dave Brubeck, vocalist Layla Hathaway, jazz legend Roy Ayers, and vocalist Jennifer Holliday. In addition to his work with the NFQ, Freidline performs regularly with the Charlotte

Symphony and tours Broadway shows such as “Jersey Boys,” “Bring It On,” and “Dream Girls. Noel was named Best Jazz Musician by Charlotte Magazine in 2006 and in 2009 and was named “Best Musical Director” by the Metrolina Theatre Association of the Carolinas. A dilettante of pop culture, Noel has become a popular lecturer for theatres and museums, creating and presenting multi-media presentations on everything from Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons

to Mel Brooks. As a composer and arranger, Noel has written and recorded music for ESPN, ABC and the Walt Disney Company, with his most recent work being featured on Monday Night Football, the NBA All-Star Game, and SportsCenter. In March 2012, Noel completed an artist-in-residency program as a teaching artist with the education department of the Charlotte Symphony, composing and conducting several pieces for the Northwest School of the Arts (Charlotte, NC) orchestra and band.

Maria Howell Although acting was a natural artistic segue, singing and entertaining are skills that emanated from Maria Howell as far back as she can remember. She recollects glaring at her 6-year-old image in the mirror and knowing at that moment, her destiny was clear. The destiny became a reality as she wowed audiences as the opening act for the legendary Ray Charles, and as she shared the stage with Earth Wind and Fire’s point man Phillip Bailey. Performing in front of the likes of Nancy Wilson, Marvin Hamlisch, Will Downing, and George Benson, became her comfort zone. Anyone who swings with the Cab Calloway Orchestra, croons with Baby Face and rearranges the scale with Jeffrey Osborne, can not, “ought not”, be boxed into one musical art form. Like Howell, her music is a collective of sultry, soulful, smooth tones. She not only combines sounds such as R&B with jazzy punctuations, she evokes an international flavor into her flambé of recordings.

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival 49



—Don Was, President, Blue Note Records


Ft. Lauderdale • Labadee (Haiti) St. Thomas • San Juan Cococay (private island) m/s Celebrity Summit PRODUCED IN ASSOCIATION WITH AND

CHICK COREA • MARCUS MILLER host • ROBERT GLASPER Vicente Archer Damion Reid • DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER LALAH HATHAWAY • LESLIE ODOM JR. • DAVID SANBORN Wycliffe Gordon Geoffrey Keezer Ben Williams Billy Kilson CHARLES LLOYD & THE MARVELS Bill Frisell Greg Leisz Reuben Rogers Eric Harland • DR. LONNIE SMITH BLUE NOTE ALL STAR BAND • Robert Glasper Lionel Loueke Ambrose Akinmusire Marcus Strickland Kendrick Scott Derrick Hodge

US & CANADA 844.768.5157

INTERNATIONAL +800.852.99872

The Commodores For three decades, the Commodores have remained a force in the music industry. “The Legends of Motown”, “Hit, After Hit, After Hit”, “GRAMMY Award Winners”, “All The Emotion, All the Excitement”, “If You Haven’t Seen Them Live, You Haven’t Heard The Commodores”. The Commodores aren’t just any group. They have staying power. Just like their hit song “Brick House,” the Commodores have

created a foundation that just won’t budge. After churning out hit after hit in the Motown days, the Commodores still hadn’t achieved Grammy recognition. This wasn’t to be until 1986, without Lionel Richie, when the Commodores released “Night Shift”. With the new albums, new tour, and a new label, the Commodores have maintained their place among the most successful entertainers in the world. Their new careers as entrepreneurs, as well as

performers bring the boys from Tuskegee full circle. Bringing the talent and experience of three decades of writing, producing, and performing hit music to a whole new generation of fans, the Commodores are proving once again that their future is as bright as their past.

Sunday 9:30 - 11 p.m.

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival 51

䌀伀一䌀䔀刀吀匀 吀伀 䰀䤀䘀䔀 伀䘀䘀䤀䌀䤀䄀䰀 倀刀伀䐀唀䌀吀䤀伀一 倀䄀刀吀一䔀刀  伀䘀 吀䠀䔀 䨀䄀䌀䬀匀伀一嘀䤀䰀䰀䔀 䨀䄀娀娀 䘀䔀匀吀䤀嘀䄀䰀

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Chick Corea

Sunday 7:30 - 9 p.m.

A DownBeat Hall of Famer and NEA Jazz Master, 22-time GRAMMY winner, and keyboard virtuoso, Chick Corea has attained living legend status after five decades of unparalleled creativity and an artistic output that is simply staggering. Chick is the fourth-most-nominated artist in

the history of the GRAMMYs, with 63 nominations. He’s also earned three Latin GRAMMY Awards, the most of any artist in the Best Instrumental Album category. From straight ahead to avantgarde, bebop to fusion, children’s songs to chamber music, along with some far-reaching forays

into symphonic works, Chick has touched an astonishing number of musical bases in his illustrious career while maintaining a standard of excellence that is awe-inspiring. A tirelessly creative spirit, Chick continues to forge ahead, continually reinventing himself in the process.

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival 53

Joey Alexander Trio Born on June 25, 2003, on the island of Bali, pianist Joey Alexander originally learned about jazz from his dad, who exposed his son to a variety of classic albums from his extensive collection. At the age of 6, Joey began teaching himself to play piano using a mini electronic keyboard given to him by his father. Joey’s musicianship and grasp of jazz fundamentals developed at a remarkable pace. In high demand since the age of 6, Joey has continued to hone his craft and pay his dues—learning what it means to be a band

leader, keeping material fresh after repeated performances, and seeking out sidemen who are also collaborators. Joey says that his growth as a composer is due to the hours he spends practicing piano in between his school, media and touring commitments—and his rare moments of free time in which he enjoys doing “regular

Sunday 5:30 - 7 p.m.


2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival

kid things” like watching movies, playing games, swimming, and tennis. Building upon the swing and improvisational style that made his first project a critical and popular success, Countdown is a reflection of the growth and maturity of Joey Alexander as an artist, and a confident next step toward a limitless future.

Sorin Zlat Trio Sorin Georgian Zlat is an international award-winning jazz pianist, classical clarinetist, composer, and arranger. He started his performing career at the young age of 13 when he was featured as a soloist with the Romanian Philharmonic Orchestra “Mihail Jora”. Inspired by his father and grandfather, two accomplished European musicians, Sorin went on to pursue a master’s degree in piano jazz from which he graduated summa cum laude. As a young graduate, he created a repertoire comprising pieces of standard

jazz and personal compositions, ranging through Latin and jazz, pop, and classical music, and which is orchestrated to reflect a unique interpretative style. With musical influences from Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, and John Coltrane, his imaginative approach gained him instant recognition on the European and North American jazz scene. A believer in continuously stretching his creative capabilities and expanding his knowledge, he is currently involved in numerous projects, from being commissioned for a jazz

Sunday 4 - 5 p.m.

symphony to composing music for the film industry. Special thanks to the Romanian Cultural Institute New York.

UNF Jazz Ensemble 1 The University of North Florida (UNF) Jazz Ensemble 1 is the flagship ensemble of the prestigious University of North Florida Jazz Studies Program. Thanks to the visionary leadership of Rich Matteson in 1986, UNF’s JE 1 has enjoyed the reputation of being one of the finest collegiate jazz ensembles worldwide. Jazz Ensemble 1 has won numerous group and individual awards and has been invited to perform at prestigious jazz festivals in both the U.S. and in Europe. Jazz Ensemble 1 is the 2015 DownBeat award winning undergraduate jazz ensemble. The ensemble also has been

Sunday 2:30 - 3:30 p.m.

invited to perform at International Association of Jazz Educators Conferences in Atlanta, Boston, Miami and New Orleans, the prestigious Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, the Suncoast Jazz Festival in Tampa, the Savannah Jazz Festival, the Mobile Jazz Festival and annually at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival.

A special component of the UNF Jazz Studies Program is the Great American Jazz Series, which regularly brings in stellar jazz artists as residents. This series, along with other opportunities, has enabled Jazz Ensemble 1 to perform in concert with more than 100 esteemed artists.

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SEPTEMBER 17, 2017


NOVEMBER 7, 2017


FEBRUARY 3, 2018







DECEMBER 2, 2017

JANUARY 13, 2018

JANUARY 30, 2018

FEBRUARY 10, 2018

FEBRUARY 27, 2018

MARCH 4, 2018









Both the making of mystery and legend, the gentle force of Lalah Hathaway cannot be ignored. With five GRAMMY wins in the last four consecutive years, taking home the 2017 GRAMMY for Best R&B Album, this artist/songwriter/ producer’s voice is ringing loud and clear with mastery and message. An artist in high demand, Hathaway’s unmistakable vocals have been sought after by the most powerful names in music. Fresh from collaborating with Pharrell Williams on their track “Surrender,” a heavyweight contribution to the remarkable Hidden Figures soundtrack, as well as featuring on Kendrick Lamar’s revolutionary To Pimp A Butterfly, Lalah Hathaway’s unforgettable tones are a signpost for both quality and consciousness. Hathaway’s collaborations serve as a who’s who of music legends. Her talents, like her father before her, are the favor of music greats. Hathaway has shared the bill with the likes of Prince, Snoop Dogg, Stevie Wonder, Anita Baker, Mary J. Blige, Frank Ocean and many more, a testament to her musicianship, skill and thriving 26year career. With a new project coming soon, Lalah Hathaway is excited for what lies ahead. An advocate for her music community, and a co-founder of ‘#realmusicrebels: where quality musicianship meets social consciousness,’ Hathaway’s creative alignment with friends and collaborators like Robert Glasper, Tiffany Gouché, The Internet, Hiatus Kaiyote, Terrace Martin, KING, Thundercat, and Kamasi Washington, amongst others, speaks to her mission: to continue pushing the needle forward.

Sunday 8 - 9:30 p.m.

Lalah Hathaway

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Bria Skonberg Canadian singer, trumpeter, and songwriter Bria Skonberg is described by The Wall Street Journal as one of the “most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation”. Wielding a unique blend of modern-day pop sensibility and sizzling musicianship, Skonberg aims for a sense of allure on the new collection. Elite jazz chops, artfully mixed with worldly rhythms and contemporary songwriting, result in a sophisticated pop sound closely resembling that of Michael Bublé, Diana Krall, and Harry Connick Jr. When not traveling for her own gigs, she was building up her stageshow chops with Dal Richards, Vancouver’s King of Swing. In 2012, Bria released So Is The Day, her first album on a US-based label. The collection showcased a developing flair for original songs with just the right amount of standards mixed in, and also featured a duet with the legendary John Pizzarelli. So Is The Day received rave reviews from critics, drawing comparisons to Norah Jones in The New York Daily News. In 2015, a year after her second album, Into Your Own was released, Skonberg received the Jazz at Lincoln Center Swing! award. To date, Bria has performed at some 100 festivals worldwide. She is the co-founder of the New York Hot Jazz Camp and New York Hot Jazz Festival. Further accolades include Best Vocal and Best Trumpet awards from Hot House Jazz Magazine, Outstanding Jazz Artist at the New York Bistro Awards, a DownBeat Rising Star, and a nominee for the Jazz Journalists Association Up and Coming Artist.


2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival

Sunday 6 - 7:30 p.m.

Gregory Agid Quartet Clarinetist Gregory Agid has called New Orleans his home for several years and is now breaking out as a member of the new generation of New Orleans jazz musicians, brandishing his clarinet in the air as he performs onstage before audiences—wielding it further into the modern mainstream of jazz. While remembering the advice

and insights mentors gave him about the legacy of New Orleans jazz, Agid is eager to move the music forward—infusing his own personality and experiences into a generational kaleidoscope of local sound. He knows, like other musicians, that music is constantly evolving—as required for its purpose of communication.

Sunday 2 - 3 p.m.

Sunday 3:30 - 5 p.m.

Pacific Mambo Orchestra GRAMMY® winner, the Pacific Mambo Orchestra (the PMO) is a 20-piece, San Francisco based musical group leading the rebirth of the Latin big band sound. The PMO uses the traditions of the classic mambo‐ craze orchestras of the 1950s to deliver their original music and clever, modern arrangements

of hit songs. Currently the only fully active Latin big band on the West Coast of the United States, this elite group of the Bay area’s finest musicians performs in both English and Spanish. PMO’s sizzling, self‐titled, 2014 Best Tropical Latin Album GRAMMY® award winning debut record honors the sounds of the great Latin big bands of the 1940s through

1960s, including Machito, Tito Puente and Tito Rodriguez, while infusing them with an intoxicating new energy. Richly textured arrangements flow through the entire production, with exquisite playing by ace musicians. With a repertoire of mostly original scores, the selections move in a frenetic pace, pulsing with the sounds, rhythms and beats that only a true big band is capable of producing.

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Second Line Jazz Parade presented by V101.5


5 p.m. • Corner of Monroe & Laura streets In true New Orleans jazz fashion, you won’t want to miss the Second Line Jazz Parade presented by V101.5 winding through the streets on Sunday, May 28, at 5 p.m.


The parade will be led by the Terry Parker High School Combo Band and feature your favorite jazz brass, dancing, and more. Don’t be shy, join in! We will supply the crowd and participants with

2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival

colorful beads, umbrellas, boas and more! The parade will begin at the corner of Monroe and Laura streets winding down Main Street to Forsyth Street and back up Laura Street, ending in Hemming Park.

The Katz Downstairz

Sunday 7 - 8:30 p.m.

In the short six years since The Katz Downstairz has been together, they’ve become a household name

in their native Jacksonville, Florida. Providing an unprecedented and unique sound that is an

amalgamation of hip hop, jazz and neo soul with an unmistakable urban undertone, they are unrivaled on the city’s current music scene. Their bi-weekly “Live Basement Party” and “Haus of Katz” are two of the most highly anticipated and well attended ongoing events in Downtown Jacksonville. Reminiscent of a “back in the day” type house party, the throwback style is both an appealing and refreshing breath of fresh air in a music scene long gone stale. Since emerging on the scene in the summer of 2011, The “Katz” have set themselves apart from the typical, run of the mill Jacksonville bands providing a “grown and sexy” yet fun reprieve for Jacksonville’s professional, careerminded, family oriented crowd.

Doug Carn West Coast Organ Band Doug Carn, destined from birth to become a part of the music world, was born in New York City and raised in St. Augustine, Florida, where his mother taught music in the St. Johns County public school system. Her unique and special teaching abilities provided a fertile ground for his future development. Carn started piano lessons at the age of 5 but switched to the alto sax at the age of 8. His uncle, Bill Seniors, a jazz aficionado and DJ, turned

Carn onto all of the jazz of the late 40s and early 50s. He was also a key figure in Carn’s musical development. Around the time Carn graduated from high school, his creative writing abilities and spiritual ideology began to bear fruit when word started to spread about his multi-faceted talents. He was soon discovered by Gene Russell who had heard about Carn’s innovative lyric adaptation of contemporary jazz classics. During the same

Sunday 5 - 6:30p.m.

period, Carn also gained critical acclaim as a “jazz spatialist” for his “deft orchestrations” and horn arrangements, which were inspired by a natural ability to speak the be-bop language as a solid foundation in the classical tradition.

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Brian Tarquin Multi-Emmy Award winning Brian Tarquin is an established top rate composer/guitarist. He has won three Emmy’s for “Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition for a Drama Series” and has been nominated for an Emmy six times. Tarquin’s 2016 release, Guitars For Wounded Warriors was nominated for Best Album by the Independent Music Awards, which showcases Tarquin’s guitar prowess alongside such world-class shredders as Steve

Morse, Billy Sheehan, Gary Hoey, Bumblefoot, Reb Beach, Hal Lindes, Chris Poland, and Chuck Loeb. In addition, Tarquin opened his own boutique record label called BHP MUSIC/ GUITAR TRAX, specializing in instrumental guitar music. The label released the Guitar Master Series featuring guitar legends: Jeff Beck, BB King, Santana, Jimmy Page, Joe Satriani, Zakk Wylde, Stanley Clarke, Billy Sheehan, to name a few.

Sunday 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Brandon Robertson Brandon L. Robertson is a rising upright/electric bassist originally from Tampa, Florida. Aside from being an active musician, Brandon is an advocate in jazz education. In the last five years, Brandon has presented jazz clinics, workshops, and guest performances in schools throughout Florida, and taught at the Florida State University summer jazz camps for middle school and high school. Brandon has performed with notable acts such as Marcus Roberts, Teddy Adams, Longineau Parsons, Jason Marsalis, Marcus Printup, Nick Finzer, Bill Peterson, Dan Miller, Lew Del Gatto, Patricia Dean, Thomas Heflin, Leon Anderson, vocalist Carmen Bradford, and the famous Count


Sunday 2 - 3 p.m.

Basie Orchestra led by director Scotty Barnhart. Brandon continues to perform regularly throughout the northern and 2017 Jacksonville Jazz Festival

southeastern part of the United States with various jazz, blues, and pop acts.

We devote a lifetime to our work, too.

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Thanks to the Jacksonville Transportation Authority and JEA. A very special thanks to the Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for their outstanding efforts to keep festival attendees safe and traffic flowing smoothly.


Jacksonville Jazz Festival


Jacksonville Jazz Festival 2017 Event Program