Saturday, September 6, 2008

Silver Spring Jazz Festival - Sat, September 13th 2008 - 2 pm to 10:30 pm

Silver Spring's Biggest Event of the Year!

This year's Headliner is the Mingus Big Band!

The Mingus Big Band was created to celebrate the music of the composer and bassist, Charles Mingus, who died of ALS in 1979. Under the artistic direction of Sue Mingus, the band tours extensively in the United States and abroad, headlining all the major jazz festivals and, since 1991, holding a weekly residency in New York City. In 2007, musicians from the Mingus Big Band participated in a presentation of Charles Mingus’s masterwork Epitaph, conducted by Gunther Schuller, which will be broadcast on NPR this year. With nine recordings to its credit – six of which have been nominated for Grammy Awards – the Mingus Big Band is keeping Mingus music alive and vibrant for future generations.

Because Charles Mingus left such a large legacy of composition, the Mingus Big Band selects a concert program that offers an overview of the variety and breadth of his repertoire and his many influences, including Latin, folk, and classical forms. A concert will typically include ballads, blues, extended through-composed pieces, arrangements for vocalists, and selections from Epitaph.

The musicians in the Mingus Big Band are the finest in jazz and bring their unique style and personality to the music.

Charles Mingus left behind one of the largest legacies of composition in 20th century American music. At the 1997 Grammy Awards ceremony, he posthumously received NARAS's Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1993, his entire catalog of work—scores, recording tapes, correspondence, photographs, memorabilia and writings—were acquired by the Library of Congress, a first for jazz, and he was honored with a U.S. postage stamp. The recent release of the 1964 concert at Cornell University on Blue Note made the 2007 Top 10 lists of many prestigious publications.

“The best jazz orchestra in the world bears the name of the Mingus Big Band… a remarkable high standard of musicianship, energy and consistency."
-Geoffrey Himes of The Washington Post

Marcus Johnson

Marcus Johnson is an extraordinary jazz keyboardist and composer, as well as a successful businessman with his Three Keys Music label, headquartered in Silver Spring's downtown. He began playing the piano at age nine, and from there, he wanted to “create classics, not just hit songs.”

Marcus has done the amazing by launching a highly successful record label and releasing seven albums since 1997. Catch this shooting star with his newest Top 10 Billboard Charting CD “The Phoenix” to know he’s the real deal…playing with passionate grooves and soul-stirring beats…hot and sexy!

Gail Shipp

Gail is a native Washingtonian who grew up listening to jazz greats such as Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, Carmen McCrae, and Gloria Lynne. Gail’s performance credits include Blues Alley, Takoma Station night club and the Washington Area Music Industry Awards.

She has performed with R&B artists Johnny Gill, Stacey Lattisaw, and Kenny Lattisaw. She also recorded with notable jazz recording artist Roy Ayers, and has appeared at D.C.’s Lisner Auditorium on the same stage with jazz diva Shirley Horn.

This is Gail’s first appearance at the Silver Spring Jazz Festival, and she is particularly thrilled, since she now resides in Silver Spring. Gail is here today performing with the Wes Biles Quartet featuring Wes Biles on bass, Vince Smith on keyboards, Dohn Nunley on sax, and Ron Compton on drums.


Have you heard the phrase “the CHEMISTRY” has to be right…This is also true in music!

Samambaia is a rare and beautiful flower that grows in the jungles of Brazil. This band’s music is as powerful as this exotic flower, and mixed care by its outstanding musicians. Argentinean-born guitar virtuoso, Dani Cortaza leads the band into creative breaks, rhythms and melodies that virtually float on air. In 2007, his CD “Expressions” was nominated for best CD in the Latin music category in the Washington D.C. area. This year, he was the recipient of a Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award for artistic excellence in guitar performance and composition.

It is here in the Washington DC area where Dani Cortaza would form Samambaia and find the perfect musicians for the vision of this band. The musicians include Alejandro Lucini on drums, Didier Prossaird on piano and keyboards, Alfredo Mojica, Jr., on vocals and percussion, and Steve Sachse on bass. These first-class musicians have honed their skills locally, nationally and internationally.

Yaron Elyashiv

For a long time modern jazz has been misrepresented to the public as music for musicians. With a fresh sound and a different approach to jazz than his contemporaries, saxophone player and composer Yaron Elyashiv stays true to traditions as he keeps looking forward into the future.

After only two years in New York, Yaron has been making a name for himself at such spots as Minton’s Playhouse, Saint Nick’s Pub, Fat Cat, and the CUNY Jazz Festival. A native of Israel, Yaron was an important part of that jazz scene before coming to the U.S. His recently-recorded debut album “I Remember You” has already received great reviews from eJazzNews and Dan Karcher of WBGO radio.

TAKE METROBUS OR METRORAIL to the Silver Spring station, or ride bus routes 70, S2 and S4

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