Thursday, April 10, 2008

Vibrant program for JVC NY 2008

Festival Network rolled out a dynamic program for JVC Jazz Festival New York, playing at Carnegie Hall and all around town for 14 days June 15-28. It's the first full festival produced under the new management, which bought out producer George Wein last year, and a quick review of the program shows the same combination of big jazz names, interesting pairings and all-star tributes that we've seen in recent years.

Some of the highlights: Herbie Hancock's River of Possibilities Tour; a Bossa Nova celebration starring João Gilberto; a JVC exclusive with Bad Plus 1 featuring Kurt Rosenwinkel; festival debuts by Jill Scott, Mos Def Big Band with special guest Gil Scott-Heron, Charlie Haden Quartet West and Bill Frisell Trio; tributes to pianist Hank Jones and to producers Art D’Lugoff and Jack Kleinsinger; and standout performers Chris Botti, Al Green, Cecil Taylor, George Cables, Sergio Mendes, Soulive with special guest Joshua Redman, and Charles Lloyd.

Major venues for the festival include seven headline shows at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium; 10 concerts at the New York Society for Ethical Culture; and six shows at the old Village Gate, now called Le Poisson Rouge. Other venues are the Rubin Museum of Art in Chelsea, uptown at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Masonic Temple in Brooklyn.

The festival also presents free events in city parks. June 19 at the Prospect Park Bandshell looks like a great night with Medeski, Martin & Wood, Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog and Taylor McFerrin. Besides the scheduled events, many of the clubs in town will be running late night shows with two-for-one discounts for festival ticketholders. Check out The Blue Note, Birdland, Cachaca, Iridium, Smoke and Zinc.

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