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Art of Jazz Celebration 2007 in Toronto
(Published: May 16, 2007)

May 30th - June 3rd (www.artofjazz.org)

Featuring Two Major Tribute Concerts Headlining
This Year's Amazing Jazz Celebration!
Legendary Composer & Trumpeter Kenny Wheeler Featuring Jazz Legends Dave Holland, Bob Brookmeyer, Lee Konitz, Joe La Barbera, Don Thompson & Norma Winstone

Friday - June 1st - 8:00 PM
Tickets: $39.50 - Students: $25.00
Vocal Jazz Icon Jon Hendricks and the"Lambert, Hendricks & Ross Redux"
Sunday - June 3rd - 8:00 PM
Tickets: $39.50 - Students: $25.00

"Footprints - A Journey in Dance and Drums"
Hosted by Veronica Tennant, Featuring New York Jazz Tap-Dancing Legend, Jimmy Slyde; Afro-Cuban Dance Master Felix "Pupy" Insua & "The Blue Flame of Cameroon" dancer and singer Muna Mingole
Thursday - May 31st - 8:00 PM
Tickets: $39.50 - Students: $25.00

Carla Bley & Steve Swallow with "The Art of Jazz Orchestra "With Special Guest, Howard Johnson
Saturday - June 2nd - 5:00 PM

The Lee Konitz Trio
Saturday - June 2nd - 1:00 PM

The Barry Harris Trio
Featuring Kevin Mahogany & Surprise Guests
Saturday - June 2nd - 2:15 PM

The Art of Jazz Community Voices with Special Guest, Kevin Mahogany
Sunday - June 3rd - 2:00 PM

Afro-Cuban Jazz & Dance Party!
Featuring Local & Visiting Guest Artists
Saturday - June 2nd - 8:30 PM
Admission: $29.50

Clinics & Workshops, and the popular return of "Jazz for Juniors"!

Last Spring, the international jazz community was set on its respective ear, with the presentation of the first annual "Art of Jazz" Celebration, held at various venues located in Toronto's Distillery Historic District. The forward-thinking jazz series presented educational programmes, clinics, late-night jams, and an inspired line-up of artists, that was highlighted by two memorable tribute concerts...one honouring international jazz artist, pianist and composer Barry Harris and one honouring the multi- faceted Canadian jazz artist, Don Thompson.

The beautiful concerts, as well as multi-disciplinary presentations have established a fresh programming precedent - and the talented musicians involved, have insured that "Art of Jazz" is now on the map as an important cultural, educational and artistic force. Both 2006 honourees will be returning this year, with Don Thompson as part of the Kenny Wheeler Tribute, and Barry Harris in concert with a trio, leading workshops and performing with his choir of 240 children from the Jane/Finch area of Toronto, known as the "Art of Jazz Community Voices".

Last month, "Art of Jazz 2007" presented dynamic jazz and blues vocalist Kevin Mahogany along with the "Art of Jazz Orchestra" (conducted by Don Thompson). The mid-season concert took place at "The Lula Lounge" over two nights, and was an unmitigated triumph. On the heels of that resounding success, Kevin Mahogany will be a vital part of the 2007 concerts, performing as a Special Guest with both The Barry Harris Trio and "The Art of Jazz Community Voices", as well as offering a vocal clinic. Another dynamic jazz artist who will be part of the festivities is saxophone legend, Lee Konitz, who will appear along with his trio, and as part of the Kenny Wheeler Tribute.

This year's big celebration is being held once again at The Distillery Historic District from May 30th to June 3rd, and promises to be another jazz event of the highest caliber. In keeping with the celebration's mandate, there will be two tribute concerts featuring both a Canadian and an international jazz artist.

On Friday, June 1st, legendary Canadian composer and trumpeter Kenny Wheeler will appear in concert along with fellow jazz luminaries, bassist and composer Dave Holland, trombonist, composer and arranger Bob Brookmeyer, saxophone legend Lee Konitz, international drum virtuoso Joe La Barbara, multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger Don Thompson (on piano, vibraphone and bass) and the superb and compelling jazz vocalist (and long-time creative associate of Kenny Wheeler), Norma Winstone.

On Sunday, June 3rd, "Art of Jazz 2007" will honour the international jazz vocal icon (and virtual inventor of "vocalese"), Jon Hendricks. He will take the stage with his latest performing ensemble, "Lambert, Hendricks & Ross Redux" - a tribute in itself to Hendricks' seminal jazz vocal group that pushed all of the boundaries, and featured (along with Hendricks) the late Dave Lambert and the always incredible singer and actress, Annie Ross.

On Saturday, June 2nd, the incomparable composer and jazz pianist, Carla Bley will perform with the "Art of Jazz Orchestra" along with her Special Guests, bassist Steve Swallow and multi-instrumentalist, Howard Johnson. This event will take place rain or shine, in the new "Pure Spirits" tent - an additional performance space from last year that will enable many more jazz enthusiasts to enjoy live performances in any kind of weather - inclement and otherwise.

New this year, "Art of Jazz Celebration 2007" will also be presenting an exciting multi- disciplinary dance programme, entitled, "Footprints: A Journey in Dance & Drums". The event will be presented by filmmaker and former prima ballerina of the National Ballet of Canada, Veronica Tennant, and will feature the dancing talents of jazz tap-dancing legend, Jimmy Slyde; Cameroon dancer, singer and songwriter, Muna Mingole; world- renowned master Rumba and Afro-Cuban Orisha dancer, drummer and chanter, Felix "Pupy" Insua. This unique work will explore the relationship between the origins of jazz dance and "the drum", tracing its circuitous route from Africa to Cuba and eventually, to Harlem. In addition to the performance, the dancers will offer participatory clinics open to dancers of all ages and levels.

This year's "Art of Jazz Celebration" features a new "Jazz Panel Series". Highlights include a discussion on "Piracy and Jazz", featuring Joe Teagarden, son of the legendary trombonist, Jack Teagarden. Royalty issues that currently haunt the Teagarden estate will be explored by the panelists, which will also include representatives from major and independent record labels, as well as a prominent Canadian jazz musician, and a representative from "SOCAN". Other scheduled panel discussions include "Blindfold the Critics", which will feature top jazz journalists along with a smattering of local and international musicians who will "test the ears" of the critics. The audience will be able to get a rare first-hand view of how critics respond to music when they are first presented with it.

"The Media and Jazz" panel will feature members of the jazz community, including educators, publishers, producers, presenters and musicians themselves. This promises to be a lively discussion about the impact of the media on the current state of jazz, as well as its long-term effects on the general future of jazz. Also, "The Ups and Downs of Jazz Composition", moderated by the internationally acclaimed jazz composer and pianist, Carla Bley, will focus on the art of composition, commissioned works, and the challenges of actually having your works performed.

Returning again this year will be three popular events, 1) "Jazz for Juniors"...a much anticipated series of interactive concerts that are bound to captivate, delight and stimulate the musical sensibilities of children in a wide variety of age groups. Concerts on Saturday, June 2nd include Brian Katz, Chris McKhool and Fruteland Jackson.

Since the success of Jane Bunnett's 1991 JUNO Award-winning Spirits of Havana recording, Toronto has become a hotbed of Cuban jazz artists. Today, Toronto is arguably the greatest international city (outside of Havana) for Cuban artists. This year, "Art of Jazz" would like to pay respect to this community by featuring many of its styles and greatest musicians. From young jazz artists and dance groups to Charanga, Son, Rumba and Timba, the outdoor "Art of Jazz Cuban Stage" will pulse with Afro-Cuban rhythms and culture throughout the weekend.

Last year's sold-out Afro-Cuban Dance Party - Salsa Meets Jazz, inspired by the great New York City concert series held at the (now defunct) Village Gate was a huge success. This year, we will once again feature Ricky Franco's "P Crew Orchestra" with the Art of Jazz All- Stars (comprised of many of the special guests appearing at the festival) on evening of Saturday June 2, 2007 in The Fermenting Cellar. Bring your dancing shoes!

NO cover charge Late night "Jams" in the Fermenting Cellar, will run from 10:00 PM until 1: 00 AM, every night of the Celebration. Additional programming will be announced in the coming weeks.

Partners play an important role in helping Art of Jazz fund its performance and education programs. This year we are pleased to announce that JazzFM91 will be 2007 Art of Jazz Celebration Presenting Media Sponsor. JazzFM 91 has been supportive of Art of Jazz from the beginning, providing much needed funding for our Community Voices outreach program in the fall and helping with the promotion of the 2006 Celebration and the Kevin Mahogany and the Art of Jazz Orchestra presentation in February 2007. We welcome them as a new AOJ Celebration Partner.

About Art of Jazz
Art of Jazz is an artist-founded, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the cultivation of jazz education and performance. Founded in 2005 by Jane Bunnett, Larry Cramer, Lenny Binder, Howard Rees and Bonnie Lester, the organization's mission is three-fold: To provide jazz education and mentorship programmes to a new generation of artists and audiences in Canada - to present innovative year-round programming - and to build a permanent home for jazz in Toronto.

More Information: http://www.artofjazz.org/

Submitted By: jazzears

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