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Brass Masters Sound Off at Newport Jazz Festival
(Published: July 26, 2011)

Jazz Journalist Eugene Holley Takes a Look at Brass Masters Performing in Newport

Brass Appeal
Brass Masters Sound Off
at Newport Jazz Festival® Presented by Natixis Global Asset Management

August 5 - 7, 2011
International Tennis Hall of Fame at Newport Casino
Fort Adams State Park

Produced by George Wein and the Newport Festivals Foundation

NEWPORT, RI - From its inception in the fifties, the Newport Jazz Festival has been the place to hear the full scope of the jazz trumpet tradition: from the promethean horn of Louis Armstrong and the re-birth of the cool Prince of Darkness Miles Davis, to the debut of the late20th Century Crescent City crown prince of classic jazz, Wynton Marsalis. And the 2011 edition of this historic event continues to spotlight all of the magnificent hues and grooves of the instrument.

The world-renowned Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning trumpeter, composer, bandleader, humanitarian and educator Wynton Marsalis has been busy since his appearance last year at the festival, as evidenced by his never-ending tours with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and his new Blue Note recording, Here We Go Again: Celebrating The Genius Of Ray Charles, with vocalist Norah Jones and country star Willie Nelson. And if those weren't enough, Marsalis recently began teaching a music course entitled "Music as Metaphor" at Harvard University. But at his core, the ubiquitous Mr. Marsalis is a master musician, as he will show when he headlines a quicksilver quintet on August 5 and 6, consisting of pianist Dan Nimmer, saxophonist Walter Blanding, drummer Ali Jackson and bassist Carlos Enriquez. Expect nothing less than Marsalis' Congo square-coded clarion call to conjure the inner and outer limits of the tradition that encompasses the full fire of the fundamentals: 4/4 swing, waltzes, ballads, Afro-Hispanic rhythms and, of course, the blues.

Just as Marsalis announced to the world that a new jazz star was born when he debuted at the festival in the early eighties, so to, does the critically-acclaimed Oakland native Ambrose Akinmusire. The 28 year-old trumpeter burst on the scene with two impressive first place awards at the 2007 Thelonious Monk International Trumpet Competition and at the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition along with the release of his debut recording Prelude To Cora on the Fresh Sound New Talent label that same year. In addition to his BA from the Manhattan School of Music and his MA from the University of Southern California, Akinmusire picked up some invaluable experience as a sideman with Joe Henderson, Steve Coleman, Vijay Iyer, Esperanza Spalding and Jason Moran, who featured Akinmusire on his re-creation of Thelonious Monk's 1957 Town Hall Concert. In 2011, Moran co-produced Akinmusire's Blue Note debut, When The Heart Emerges Glistening, a scintillating, 21st Century post-bop tour de force which earned the leader the Up And Coming Artist of the Year and Trumpeter of the Year awards from the Jazz Journalists Association. Akinmusire's formidable and fluid trumpet lines - buoyed by drummer Justin Brown, bassist Harish Raghavan, pianist Sam Harris, and tenor saxophonist Sam Harris - will appear on the bandstand on August 6 - be prepared to be literally blown away by this emerging trumpet king in-the-making.

Trombonist/trumpeter Troy Andrews AKA Trombone Shorty is already a star in the heavens of entertainment. His fans include Wynton Marsalis, Jimmy Fallon, Dave Matthews and Bono. A graduate of the famed New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (where the Marsalises, Kent, Marlon, Rachel and Stephanie Jordan, Harry Connick, Jr. and Terence Blanchard graduated), he played with Bo Diddley when he was six, and he enjoyed a very prominent gig with rocker Lenny Kravitz, and also worked with Mos Def, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. And, all of this was before his scene-stealing appearances on the hit HBO series Treme - the legendary Black New Orleans neighborhood that can arguably be called the birthplace of jazz, where he was born. Then he hit the ground running with the release of his hit Grammy-nominated 2010 Verve debut CD, Backatown, featuring Shorty's band, Orleans Avenue, and universally lauded as one of the best releases of the year from Billboard, and OffBeat magazine. An energetic, crowd pleasing performer who easily blends R&B, jazz and second line cadences and rhythms into a combustible sonic stew he calls "Supafunkrock, " guaranteed to rock the house, Shorty comes to the stage for two shows on August 6 and 7 with his musical co-horts in crime; bassist Mike Ballard, Tim McFatter on tenor sax, guitarist Pete Murano, baritone saxophonist Dan Oestreicher, Joey Peebles on drums and percussionist Dwayne Williams.

Wynton Marsalis, Ambrose Akinmusire and Trombone Shorty all bring to this edition of the Newport Jazz Festival Presented by Natixis Global Asset Management the myriad inventions and dimensions of the life-affirming jump music powered by what noted author Albert Murray termed "the velocity of celebration;" the dancing, dark and lovely DNA of American music that animates pop, soul, rhythm & blues and of course, jazz!

Produced by George Wein and the Newport Festivals Foundation, the Newport Jazz Festival Presented by Natixis Global Asset Management takes over Newport, RI, August 5-7 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at Newport Casino and Fort Adams State Park. The Festival features Wynton Marsalis and Michael Feinstein "Come Fly with Me" with Special Guest Joe Negri on Friday, August 5. Don't miss Wynton Marsalis; Esperanza Spalding and Friends; Hiromi; Regina Carter's Reverse Thread; Al Di Meola World Sinfonia Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody Tour 2011 with Special Guest Gonzalo Rubalcaba; Eddie Palmieri Latin Jazz Band; Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue; Randy Weston's African Rhythms Trio; Michel Camilo "Mano a Mano with Giovanni Hidalgo and Charles Flores; Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet; Joey DeFrancesco Trio; Grace Kelly with guest Phil Woods; Steve Coleman and Five Elements; Mostly Other People Do the Killing; and New Black Eagle Jazz Band; on Saturday, August 6.

On Sunday, August 7, catch Angélique Kidjo; James Farm with Joshua Redman, Aaron Parks, Matt Penman and Eric Harland; Charles Lloyd's Sangam featuring Zakir Hussain and Eric Harland; Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue; Hiromi: The Trio Project featuring Anthony Jackson and Simon Phillips; Mingus Big Band; Ravi Coltrane Quartet; Esperanza Spalding and Friends; Brubeck Brothers Quartet with Special Guest Dave Brubeck; Ravi Coltrane Quartet; Apex: Rudresh Mahanthappa & Bunky Green; Miguel Zenón presents the Puerto Rican Songbook with conductor/arranger Guillermo Klein; John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble; Avishai Cohen's Triveni with special guest Anat Cohen; Berklee College of Music: Mario Castro Quintet; Plus a special bonus set: A Meeting of Saxophone Masters featuring Steve Coleman, Ravi Coltrane and Miguel Zenón.

Tickets for the Newport Jazz Festival Presented by Natixis Global Asset Management are on sale worldwide through www.ticketmaster.com and www.newportjazzfest.net as well as by phone, by mail and at the new Festival office at the Alex and Ani store at One Bowen's Wharf during limited hours. General admission tickets (single-day passes only) also can be purchased at the Newport Visitor Information Center, located at 23 America's Cup Avenue. For general information, craft vendor information or to leave a message for festival staff, call (401) 848-5055. For more information, log on to www.newportjazzfest.net.

Presenting sponsor Natixis Global Asset Management is one of the world's leading asset managers. The 2011 Newport Jazz Festival Presented by Natixis Global Asset Management also celebrates support from Alex and Ani (sponsor of the Alex and Ani Harbor Stage), Amstel Light, DownBeat, NPR Music, Jazz Times and travel partners JazzFest Travel Inc., Hyatt Regency Newport, The Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina, Marriott Newport and Hotel Viking Newport.

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The 2011 Newport Jazz Festival® is a production of Newport Festivals Foundation, Inc., a pending 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, under license from Festival Productions, Inc. and George Wein; all rights reserved

More Information: http://www.newportjazzfest.net

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