Celebrity Series of Boston
Gary Dunning, President and Executive Director
The Music of Dizzy, Ella, Mongo and Monk
Danilo Pérez, piano; Chris Potter, tenor saxophone; Avishai Cohen, trumpet;
(Boston) Celebrity Series of Boston will present Jazz 100, The Music of Dizzy, Ella, Mongo and Monk featuring Danilo Pérez, piano; Chris Potter, tenor saxophone; Avishai Cohen, trumpet; Wycliffe Gordon, trombone; and Lizz Wright, vocals. The performance is on Sunday, October 16, 2016 at 7pm at Sanders Theatre, Memorial Hall, Harvard University, 45 Quincy Street, Cambridge. This performance is generously sponsored by Donna and Mike Egan.
Tickets start at $30, and are available online at www.celebrityseries.org, by calling CelebrityCharge at (617) 482-6661 Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., or at the Sanders Theatre box office, Holyoke Center, 1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge.
This performance marks the second Celebrity Series appearance for Danilo Pérez and Chris Potter, and the Celebrity Series debut for Avishai Cohen, Wycliffe Gordon, and Lizz Wright.
2017 marks the centennial celebration for four visionary icons of music all born in the same year: Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Mongo Santamaria, and Thelonious Monk. Jazz 100 showcases both the dynamic individual artistry of each icon and the powerful unifying threads between them which helped shape and inform not only the evolution of jazz but modern music as we now recognize it. Musical Director and former Gillespie pianist Danilo Pérez has carefully assembled a world class ensemble of virtuosos, bandleaders and composers in their own right including Chris Potter (saxophone, woodwinds), Avishai Cohen (trumpet), Wycliffe Gordon (trombone, vocals), Lizz Wright (vocals), Roman Diaz (percussion, vocals), Ben Street (bass), and Adam Cruz (drums) to reflect and pay homage to some of our history’s most important and timeless musical voices.
Pianist, composer, educator and social activist, Danilo Pérez is among the most influential and dynamic musicians of our time. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in electronics in Panama, he studied jazz composition at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. In 2000, Pérez joined Wayne Shorter, to form Shorter’s great quartet with John Patitucci and Brian Blade. Since 2003 he has been touring with regular trio featuring Ben Street and Adam Cruz.
In 1993, Pérez turned his focus to his own ensembles and recording projects, releasing eight albums as a leader, earning Grammy and Latin Grammy nominations for four of his albums. As a composer he has been commissioned by Lincoln Center, the Chicago Jazz Festival, and Imani Winds, among others.
Pérez, who served as Goodwill Ambassador to UNICEF, has received a variety of awards for his musical achievements, activism and social work efforts. He currently serves as UNESCO Artist for Peace, Cultural Ambassador to the Republic of Panama, Founder and Artistic Director of the Panama Jazz Festival, and Artistic Director of the Global Jazz Institute at the Berklee College of Music.
A world-class soloist, accomplished composer and formidable bandleader, saxophonist Chris Potter has emerged as a leading light of his generation. DownBeat called him “One of the most studied (and copied) saxophonists on the planet” while Jazz Times identified him as “a figure of international renown.” Jazz sax elder statesman Dave Liebman called him simply, “one of the best musicians around,” a sentiment shared by the readers of DownBeat in voting him second only to tenor sax great Sonny Rollins in the magazine’s 2008 Readers Poll.
For four years running, Avishai Cohen has been voted a Rising Star-Trumpet in the DownBeat Critics Poll. Along with leading his Triveni trio with Omer Avital and Nasheet Waits, the trumpeter has been a member of the prestigious SF Jazz Collective for six years. He also records and tours the world with The 3 Cohens Sextet, the hit family band with his sister, clarinetist-saxophonist Anat, and brother, saxophonist Yuval. In addition to performing, Cohen was named the Artistic Director of the International Jerusalem Festival in 2015.
Trombonist Wycliffe Gordon is a renowned musician, composer, conductor, and arranger. He has garnered awards ranging from DownBeat’s Critic’s Choice Award for Best Trombone to Jazz Journalists Association’s Trombonist of the Year to the ASCAP Foundation Vanguard Award. Gordon is a former member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and has performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, Eric Reed, Branford Marsalis, plus many top players from the swing and traditional jazz world. His commissioned works include I Saw the Light, a musical tribute to Muhammad Ali and a vibrant new score for the 1925 classic silent film Body and Soul, which premiered at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s season-opening night of the 2000-2001 season. He is the youngest member of the U.S. Statesmen of Jazz (a touring ensemble featuring senior musicians), and in many tour performances continues to serve as a musical ambassador for the U.S. State Department.
Lizz Wright started singing gospel music and playing piano in church as a child, and also became interested in jazz and blues. Wright studied at Georgia State University and The New School. In 2000 she joined the Atlanta-based vocal quartet In the Spirit which was quickly hailed as the best jazz group in the city. Two years later, the Verve label signed her as a solo artist and she released her 2003 debut, Salt. Dreaming Wide Awake. After appearing as a guest vocalist on the Toots Thielemans album One More for the Road in 2006, Wright released her third album, The Orchard, in 2008. In 2010, she released Fellowship, a gospel-inspired album featuring friends Me’Shell Ndegéocello and Angélique Kidjo. She has most recently released her fifth album in 2015, Freedom & Surrender.
Program to be announced from stage.
About Celebrity Series of Boston
Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Over the course of its 78-year history, Celebrity Series has presented an array of the world’s greatest performing artists, including Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arturo Toscanini, Ignace Paderewski, Artur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz, Isaac Stern, Andrés Segovia, Kirsten Flagstad, Marian Anderson, Luciano Pavarotti, Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham, Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the New York City Opera Company.
The Celebrity Series has been bringing the very best performers–from orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, to dance companies, jazz, and more–to Boston’s major concert halls for 78 years. The Celebrity Series of Boston believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives and build better communities. Through its education initiatives, the Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience–on stages, in schools, at home– everywhere.
Celebrity Series of Boston, Inc. receives generous support from Amy & Joshua Boger, Leslie & Howard Appleby, the Boston Cultural Council, The Boston Foundation, the Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC, the Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Deloitte LLP, Donna & Mike Egan, Foley & Lardner LLP, Gabor Garai & Susan Pravda, David & Harriet Griesinger, Zachary Haroutunian and the Garbis & Arminé Barsoumian Charitable Foundation, the Charles and Cerise Jacobs Charitable Foundation, Paul L. King, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Joseph McNay, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts, Eleanor & Frank Pao, The Peabody Foundation, PTC, the Cynthia and John S. Reed Foundation, the Royal Little Family Foundation, the Stifler Family Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Henri A. Termeer, Michael and Susan Thonis,Tufts Health Plan, Sanjay & Sangeeta Verma, Nancy Richmond Winsten, Anonymous, and many others.