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Classical News, Jazz, Opera, World Music, Theater, Ballet ...

Jazz at Lincoln Center's New Season
As part of a special “Topping Out” construction ceremony held in the future site of its new facility, Jazz at Lincoln Center (J@LC), the world’s largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to jazz, announced that its 2002-03 season will be titled “The Year of the Drum.”

In its 12th season as a year-round producer – running from July 2002 through June 2003 – J@LC will produce over 450 education, performance, and broadcast events worldwide. Artistic Director WYNTON MARSALIS emphasized that, in addition to the programs exploring the vital and constantly-evolving role of percussion in jazz, this season will continue to include a broad range of artists and styles, as part of the expansive vision of J@LC.

Mr. Marsalis said, “The drums conduct a jazz band. They are the heartbeat, the engine, the life force of the music. The drum set is the only instrument invented by jazz musicians. When they are elegantly played with cymbals swinging in celebration, we are taken, in a moment, from the primal to the digital. Because we live in such dynamic times, we’re always seeking to define ourselves and jazz music provides an honest and entertaining answer. As always, we’ll feature a lineup of some of the greatest musicians in jazz from old masters to young lions, collaborations with other cultures, and educational programs for kids of all ages. Our motto is simply, ‘welcome.’”

For its 2002-03 Season Opening Night, the LCJO will honor one of the greatest jazz drummers and bandleaders of all time: ART BLAKEY (in whose Jazz Messengers Mr. Marsalis gained early experience). Other “Year of the Drum” events include a showcase for traps master ROY HAYNES; Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (LCJO) drummer HERLIN RILEY leading the ensemble in an “Evolution of the Drum” program; and Jazz for Young PeopleSM concerts on Blakey and jazz drumming. Further, in the Kaplan Penthouse there will be concerts featuring the music of MAX ROACH and JAMES BLACK; evenings led by JIMMY COBB, TERRI LYNE CARRINGTON, and LEWIS NASH; and a night featuring Caribbean pan drummers. There will be also be a Drum Symposium at Columbia University, which will include an LCJO concert featuring African drummers, in addition to lecture-demonstrations, master classes, and a film presentation.

Extending its long commitment to producing the best in Latin jazz, J@LC also announced the creation of the AFRO-CUBAN JAZZ ORCHESTRA, led by pianist ARTURO O’FARRILL, which will perform several concerts outside of the Lincoln Center campus and one with Mr. Marsalis in Alice Tully Hall. In addition, the ACJO and the LCJO will each play for a dance party during the season. Three special concerts in Avery Fisher Hall include this year’s gala “Manhattan Rhapsody;” an evening with NANCY WILSON backed by a string orchestra; and a “Jazz Jamboree” with top-notch small groups, including the Wynton Marsalis Septet and the MICHAEL BRECKER Quartet.

Other concerts in Alice Tully Hall include the LCJO performing the music of BENNY GOODMAN, an LCJO collaboration with a flamenco ensemble led by CHANO DOMINGUEZ; a evening of “soul jazz” with the MASTERS OF GROOVE, ROY AYERS, DAVID “FATHEAD” NEWMAN and others; and this year’s As of Now concert, featuring premieres of J@LC-commissioned works by TOSHIKO AKIYOSHI (celebrating her band’s 30th anniversary with a piece featuring Taiko drums) and MARIA SCHNEIDER.

Additional concerts in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse include this season’s Singers Over Manhattan series, which will feature MARK MURPHY, CLAUDIA ACUÑA, GRADY TATE, and others. There will be a trombone showcase with WYCLIFFE GORDON and RON WESTRAY; a concert of the music of HERBIE NICHOLS with members of the JAZZ COMPOSERS COLLECTIVE; a concert featuring the European master accordionist RICHARD GALLIANO; and more.

“Last season, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis completed its United in Swing Tour to 46 cities across the county,” said Mr. MacCombie. “This season, Jazz at Lincoln Center will produce another ambitious touring itinerary for the LCJO, including concerts, dance parties, orchestra collaborations, and extended residencies both nationally and internationally. This brings to bear that jazz, which began as an indigenous American art form, is listened to, performed, and loved worldwide."

Among the many highlights of the LCJO 2002-03 touring season are a collaboration with the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester; a concert at the 25th anniversary of the Marciac Jazz Festival in France; a three-city tour in South Africa (the ensemble’s first trip to Africa); a two-week residency in five Japanese cities; performances of Marsalis’s All Rise over four nights with the San Francisco Symphony and with the Orchestre National de France with Kurt Masur; and much more.

“With the recent release of the Jazz for Young People Curriculum, our educational programming will reach thousands more young people,” said Laura Johnson, Director of Education and Performance. “Now we have a substantial educational tool that can complement the extensive educational programs that we will continue to produce in New York City and around the world. We’re also proud to announce our new Jazz 101 classes for adults, taught by Phil Schaap, Loren Schoenberg, and Wynton Marsalis.”

J@LC educational events, which comprise two-thirds of its overall programming, will reach over 110,000 students, educators, and general audience members this season. Events will include the eighth annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival, which expands to Australia; the fourth annual Essentially Ellington Band Director Academy; the aforementioned Drum Symposium; the eleventh season of Jazz for Young PeopleSM, Jazz Talk programs; the Jazz in the Schools Tour; Essential Jazz Editions and other music publishing efforts; open rehearsals; and the production and distribution of educational publications for teachers, students, and general audiences.

Lisa Schiff, J@LC Chairman of the Board, said, “This ‘Year of the Drum’ season marks another step forward for our organization, which is building on the successes of our past to produce an even wider array of programs featuring a diverse group of artists. From our educational programs to our tours to our concerts in New York City, J@LC is helping to foster a greater appreciation and awareness for jazz in the 21st century, which will only increase exponentially when Frederick P. Rose Hall opens in two-and-a-half years.”

The Topping Out ceremony marked the last piece of steel placed in the infrastructure of AOL Time Warner Center, which will contain the new J@LC home, Frederick P. Rose Hall – the first education, performance, and broadcast facility devoted to jazz – which is scheduled to open in fall 2004.

Mon Mar 11 2002 (4:13:47 PM)

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