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Jordan Family of Jazz; Kidd, Kent, Stephanie, Rachel and Marlon featured at 50th Anniversary of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
(Published: January 20, 2019)

New Orleans' musical Jordan family, represented by Edward "Kidd" Jordan, Kent Jordan, Stephanie Jordan, Rachel Jordan and Marlon Jordan have been invited by perform for the 50th Anniversary of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival by Shell. The Jordan family is scheduled to perform on Friday, April 26, 2019 on the WWOZ Jazz Tent stage. In a recent feature story; In Kidd Jordan's family of musicians, it's practice, practice, practice, the New Orleans Times-Picayune writes of the Jordan's commitment to excellence. Together, the Jordans are a New Orleans' musical treasure that represents the breadth and depth of the Crescent City's musical talent.

Legendary saxophonist Sir Edward "Kidd" Jordan is acclaimed internationally as one of the true master improvisers still performing today. Knighthood was bestowed on Jordan by the Republic of France where he holds the title Chevalier des Artes et Lettres. Last year he received an honorary Doctor of Music from Loyola University New Orleans. Kidd earned a degree in music from Southern University Baton Rouge and a master's from Millikin University.

The list of artists he has performed with reads like a 40-year Grammy program; Cannonball Adderley, Fred Anderson, Ornette Coleman, Ed Blackwell, Ellis Marsalis, Ray Charles, Cecil Taylor, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Archie Shepp, Aaron Neville, Sun Ra, Peter Korvald, Alan Silva, Louis Moholo, Sunny Murray, Lena Horne, Gladys Knight, Big Maybelle, and Aretha Franklin... Jordan founded the Improvisational Arts Ensemble with Alvin Fielder, Clyde Kerr, Jr. and London Branch and later added Alvin Thomas.

Kidd Jordan headed the jazz studies program at Southern University New Orleans from 1972 - 2006. He has been documented by CBS 60 Minutes; received Offbeat's 1'st Lifetime Achievement Award for Music Education, SUNO Foundation BASH III honoree, and was a Lifetime Achievement Honoree at the Vision Festival XIII. In 2013 Jordan was designated a "Jazz Hero" by the Jazz Journalist Association. His teaching continues to build an everlasting legacy, former students includes; Bradford Marsalis, Jon Batiste, Donald Harrison, Charles Joseph, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, Leroy Adams, Calvin Johnson, Sammie "Big Sam" William, Courtney Bryan and a host of others.

Flutist Kent Jordan is one of an infinite number of prolific musicians that swells from within the concrete jungle of the Crescent City. Although often regarded as a fusion musician, he is an assertive, cogent player of modern jazz as well, particularly on alto flute. Jordan studied at the New Orleans' Center for the Creative Arts where he was inspired by jazz patriarch, Ellis Marsalis, then completed his education at the Eastman School of Music.

While Kent has toured and recorded with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Alvin Batiste and the legendary Elvin Jones, Jordan's sound is uniquely his own, developed through years of study, performing, teaching and maturing. As writer Khephra Burns states, "The clear, authoritative voice that was uniquely his from his debut recordings has grown richer..."

Kent presently heads the music department at Lusher Charter School, an arts intensive program in New Orleans, as well as serving as an instructor at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage School of Music. He also teaches the big band and flute curriculums at the Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp.

Vocalist Stephanie Jordan, whom critics have placed in the company of Diana Krall and Dianne Reeves, began to receive noted prominence following the national televised Jazz at Lincoln Center Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert for victims of Hurricane Katrina. "On that memorable night; none sang with greater authority or emotional resonance than Stephanie Jordan (accompanied by Kent, Marlon, and Rachel), who enthralled the packed house and a national PBS NPR audience of millions with an ascendant reading of "Here's to Life." Bill Milkowski of JazzTimes Magazine writes "Stephanie Jordan, a standout here, was the real discovery of the evening. Her haunting rendition of this bittersweet ode associated with Shirley Horn was delivered with uncanny poise and a depth of understated soul that mesmerized the crowd...Singing with a clarity of diction that recalled Nat "King" Cole."

Jordan brought the concert to its climax with impeccable diction, dead-center pitch, and a personal point of view, acknowledging Horn's antecedent version while drawing independent conclusions about tempo, phrasing, and dynamics. In the process, Jordan... revealed a fully evolved tonal personality, one that can be mentioned in a conversation about such distinguished mentors and influences as Horn, Abbey Lincoln, and Nancy Wilson."

Stephanie's current show continues her signature trademark of singing jazz standards from the Big Band era. It includes highlights from her self-produced CD; "Stephanie Jordan Sings A Tribute to Lena Horne" which honors the legendary Grammy Award winner who starred in many films. She has performed on such stellar stages as the Kennedy Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the NBA All-Star Game, Chicago's Harris Theater, the Marians Jazzroom in Bern, Switzerland, "The Palace" Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey, and the inaugural International Jazz Day which was celebrated by millions worldwide and live on NPR's Talk of the Nation. Audix microphones proclaimed her "Lady Jazz!"

A graduate of Howard University, Stephanie is also a certified fitness instructor and creator of Jazz Pilates. Jordan is Choir Director and Vocal Instructor at a local elementary school. (Note: The Stephanie Jordan Big Band will also perform on Sunday, April 27th)

Trumpeter Marlon Jordan was one of the "Young Jazz Lions" who were signed, recorded and promoted on major record labels. He recorded three impressive LPs for Columbia from 1998 to 1992, For You Only; named "one of the best debut albums of the year" by the Washington Post, Learson's Return, and The Undaunted, and one for the Arabesque label entitled Marlon's Mode in 1997. "The comparisons of Jordan's style to artists such as Charlie Parker and John Coltrane put him in the upper echelon of jazz history. He has the resume and the style that would be hard, if not impossible, for anyone of his own generation to beat."

His last album, Marlon Jordan featuring Stephanie Jordan, You Don't Know What Love Is announced the return of an exceptional trumpeter. "This dancing and delicious document reveals a mature artist who sounds like himself. You can hear Jordan's clean, boppish lines laced with power, and an encyclopedic knowledge of the entire jazz trumpet tradition, signed in own unique sonic signature. The setting for this session finds its precedent in the immortal jazz albums, Clifford Brown with Strings, and Bird with Strings."

During his earlier days, Marlon had the day to day inspiration of Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard, and many others to draw on. The young musicians often hung out at the Jordan household where they would practice music with Kent Jordan and take lessons from Kidd. "I started out playing saxophone, violin and drums," says Marlon, "but the trumpet was the instrument that stuck with me." Marlon recalls his father literally taking him on the bandstand "even before I really knew how to play. He'd introduce me to all the musicians, and they'd call me up on the stand. They'd say, 'Come on. That's Kidd's son. Let him play."

An accomplished classical musician as well, Marlon has performed solo with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra, but his true joy is his constant performance in the streets and nightclubs of New Orleans and Brazil. Marlon took his quintet on the road, joining Wynton Marsalis, Miles Davis and George Benson as a headlining act in a series of JVC Festivals produced by George Wein in Atlanta, Dallas and other cities. They also played in some of the country's top jazz clubs, including the Blue Note and the Ritz, highlighted by a run at the Village Vanguard.

Marlon graduated from the famed New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts.

Rounding out the Jordan clan is classical violinist Rachel Jordan who serves as the String Instructor for the Talented Music Program at Jefferson Parish Public School and is a member of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in Houston, Texas. Rachel has served as adjunct faculty at Xavier University, Southern University, and Dillard University, Loyola University, and a Professor of Music at Jackson State University. She is also a former member of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans. She received both her Bachelor of Music and her Master of Music from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland where she studied with Berl Senofsky.

Rachel has performed with her siblings for Jazz at Lincoln Center Higher Ground Hurricane Relief Benefit Concert, as well as numerous concerts throughout the United States. Ms. Jordan performs on and is the executive producer of the Marlon Jordan Featuring Stephanie Jordan CD titled "You Don't Know What Love Is." In addition, Ms. Jordan co-manages J Group Consulting, a family music management entity.

Rachel has been a featured performer in numerous solo recitals, most notable the Kennedy Center, the Mozart Festival in Salzburg, Austria, the Music Center of Houston, the Mozart Festival in Washington, D.C. While at Jackson State, Rachel performed, "The Lark Ascending" with Jackson State University Orchestra for the Congressional Black Caucus Inaugural Ceremony of President Barack Obama.

While at Dillard University, Rachel started the Jesse Dent Recital series, which features African American Musicians performing classical music. She also produces the annual "An Afternoon of Classical Music" chamber music series. She is also the founding director and artistic director of the "Music Alive Ensemble", a classical and jazz ensemble of musicians, composers, and arrangers.

Stephanie adds, it is always an honor to perform with the entire family, and in this instance, it is such an auspicious occasion being that it's for the 50th Anniversary of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. My family has done our best to help keep this art form alive and we are honored to have been selected to perform.

Producers of the 50th anniversary Jazz Fest have decided to mark the milestone event with something special: the addition of another day of the signature festival celebrating New Orleans music and culture. Thursday, April 25 will now be the opening day of the 2019 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell. Both of the event's weekends will run Thursday through Sunday, April 25 - 28 and May 2 - 5.

The Festival also announced that the new day will be "Locals Thursday," which allows anyone with a valid Louisiana ID to purchase up to two discount tickets at the gate on that day. "Locals Thursday" discount tickets will again be only $50.

Shell is the Presenting Sponsor of the Festival. Major Jazz Fest Sponsors are Acura, Miller Lite, and the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots (A Churchill Downs Company). IBERIABANK, Peoples Health, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, Coca-Cola and WWOZ are all also Official Jazz Fest Sponsors.

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell. The Foundation uses the proceeds from Jazz Fest, and other raised funds, for year-round activities in the areas of education, economic development and cultural enrichment.

More Information: http://www.nojazzfest.com/lineup/#/lineup_groupings/friday-april-26

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