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(Published: November 12, 2012)

November 10, 2012 [New York, NY] - Thirty jazz ensembles performed today at iconic locations throughout Central Park as part of the first-ever Jazz & Colors event, a free public concert set against the stunning backdrop of Central Park's fall foliage. The inaugural Jazz & Colors event was produced by independent music and film entrepreneur Peter Shapiro, in partnership with the City of New York and the Central Park Conservancy.

"Central Park in the fall is the perfect backdrop for jazz, a musical style as vibrant and diverse as the Park itself," said Peter Shapiro, Founder and Executive Producer, Jazz & Colors. "As a New Yorker, I think Jazz & Colors is a reflection of the incredible spirit and resilience of this city, as well as a celebration of the city's vibrant landscape and rich musical tradition. I'm proud to partner with the Parks Department and the Central Park Conservancy on what I hope will become an annual tradition for New Yorkers, music lovers and tourists alike."

Jazz & Colors, the first Park-wide public arts program since Christo & Jeanne-Claude's The Gates in 2005, transformed Central Park into a personal concert experience for visitors as they explored some of the Park's most beloved sites - from the Naumberg Bandshell to Duke Ellington Circle. The event featured an eclectic lineup of 30 jazz groups, ranging from small combos to big bands, performing the same set-list of jazz standards simultaneously. Programmed by talent producer Brice Rosenbloom (Music Director at Le Poisson Rouge, Producer of Winter Jazzfest), the line-up featured:

• JD Allen Quartet (at Olmstead Bed on the Mall)
• The Jamie Baum Quintet (at the East 96th Street Playground)
• Kahlil Kwame Bell (at The Arsenal)
• Lakecia Benjamin and Soul Squad (at Pinebank Arch/Bridle Path)
• Marc Cary Quartet (at Engineer's Gate)
• Sharel Cassity Quintet (at Glade Arch)
• Claire Daly Quartet (at Wild West Playground)
• Chris Dingman Quartet (at Frederick Douglass Circle)
• Rockjazz pianist ELEW (at Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir)
• The Wayne Escoffery Quartet with special guest Carolyn Leonhart (at Maine Monument/Merchant's Gate)
• Mitch Frohman's Latin-Jazz Quartet (at Stranger's Gate)
• Joel Harrison Quartet (at Delacorte Theater)
• Kevin Hays Trio (at Mount St. Vincent Landscape)
• JC Hopkins Quintet with special guest Jazz Horn (at East Meadow)
• Marika Hughes & Bottom Heavy (at Harlem Meer)
• Jason Kao Hwang Trio (at Seneca Village)
• Jazz at Lincoln Center All-Stars (at the Great Hill)
• The Klezmatics (at Cherry Hill)
• Gregoire Maret (at Tarr Family Playground)
• Jason Marshall Quartet with special guest Hilary Gardner (at the Dana Center)
• The Mingus Big Band (at Naumberg Bandshell)
• Mike Mo Quartet (at Summit Rock)
• Jacques Schwartz-Bart Quartet with special guest Stephanie McKay (at the Dairy)
• Bob Stewart Quintet (at The Pond)
• Knuffke Stacken duo plus Bill Goodwin (at Duke Ellington Circle)
• Roy Campbell Tazz Quartet (at the Metropolitan Museum of Art)
• Yosvany Terry Quartet (at The Pool)
• Kimberly Thompson Quartet (at Jose Julian Marti Statue)
• Doug Wamble Quartet (at Azalea Walk)
• YES! Trio with Aaron Goldberg, Omer Avital, and Ali Jackson (at Croquet/Bowling Green Lawns)

The first set began at noon and included: "Straight No Chaser," by Thelonious Monk for his Blue Note Sessions album in 1951; "Take The A Train," by Billy Strayhorn in 1939 for the Duke Ellington Orchestra; "Central Park West," John Coltrane's nostalgic song for his neighborhood; "Nature Boy," written by Eden Ahbez in 1947 and popularized by Nat King Cole; "Fall," a Wayne Shorter standard recorded by The Miles Davis Quartet in 1967; "Autumn Serenade," a ballad from the beloved 1963 Johnny Hartman / John Coltrane album; "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat," the Charles Mingus elegy for saxophonist Lester Young in 1959; "Manhattan," a popular Rodgers and Hart song written in 1925; and "Blue Train," the title track to John Coltrane's 1957 album.

The second set included: "Scrapple From The Apple," by Charlie Parker in 1947, which references George Gershwin's 'I Got Rhythm'; "The Blues Walk," by Clifford Brown and Max Roach, first recorded with their quintet in 1955; "Body and Soul," the most recorded jazz standard in history, recorded by Louis Armstrong in 1930; "Skating in Central Park," by John Lewis, written for the Modern Jazz Quartet in 1959; "Rhythm-A-Ning," by Thelonious Monk for his 1957 collaboration with saxophonist Gerry Mulligan; "Peace," by Ornette Coleman on "The Shape of Jazz To Come" in 1959, considered the first avant-garde jazz album; "Nostalgia in Times Square," by Charles Mingus originally for the 1960 film 'Shadows'; "Autumn In New York," the timeless New York City fall standard written by Vernon Duke in 1934; and "Empire State of Mind," s contemporary New York City anthem, a collaboration between hip-hop artist Jay-Z and soul/R&B singer Alicia Keys.

"Central Park has a rich history of public cultural projects - from permanent statues and monuments, to temporary public artwork and site-specific performances," said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Veronica White. "With Jazz & Colors, we are pleased to welcome visitors with live jazz music at every turn, whether they are entering at Columbus Circle, strolling the footpaths along the Harlem Meer, or exploring the Belvedere Castle."

"In the Conservancy's ongoing efforts to encourage visitors to experience Central Park in new and exciting ways, we are thrilled to partner with Jazz & Colors to introduce extraordinary music to the Park's extraordinary landscapes," said Doug Blonsky, President and CEO of the Central Park Conservancy. "The perfect complement to the art of Central Park's restored woodlands, rolling meadows, and cultivated gardens will be the art of music. Inspiration is what Central Park is all about, and we're proud to help inspire more than 40 million visitors every year."

For more information on Jazz & Colors, visit www.jazzandcolors.com

About Jazz & Colors
Jazz & Colors is a free public concert produced by independent music and film entrepreneur Peter Shapiro, in partnership with the City of New York and the Central Park Conservancy.

For updates and more information, visit www.jazzandcolors.com, follow us on Twitter @JazzandColors, and like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/JazzandColors.

About New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation is the steward of more than 29,000 acres of land including 1,700 parks, 14 miles of beaches, 500 community gardens, and 2,500 Greenstreets. Parks also manages the City's athletic fields, playgrounds, tennis courts, public pools, nature centers, golf courses, monuments, and historic house museums. Since 2002, Parks has committed more than $3.9 billion in capital enhancements and has $1.5 billion in the budget for future projects. The Department of Parks & Recreation plays a key role in the PlaNYC and MillionTreesNYC initiatives, Mayor Bloomberg's signature projects to green the city and develop a more sustainable future. Parks provides free public programs and services in coordination with New York City's local elected officials, community members, and non-profit partners.

About the Central Park Conservancy
The mission of the Central Park Conservancy is to restore, manage and enhance Central Park in partnership with the public, for the enjoyment of present and future generations. A private, not-for-profit organization founded in 1980, the Conservancy provides 85 percent of Central Park's $46 million park-wide expense budget and is responsible for all basic care of the Park. For more information on the Conservancy, please visit centralparknyc.org.

More Information: https://www.jazzandcolors.com

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