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“We can’t wait to tell you about this year’s Atlanta Jazz Festival,” says Camille Russell Love, Executive Director of the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “We’ve got jazz legends, international icons and young innovators, and here’s a sneak peek at three artists that we think you’ll love. We invite you to experience the stellar swing of saxophonist Benny Golson, soak up the sensuous stylings of Eliane Elias, and groove to the soulful rhythms of Jamison Ross. We’ve got delicious food, great shopping, and fabulous music on three stages. And admission is free! Make plans now to join us for the 39th Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival in Piedmont Park over Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-29.”
Here is more information about our sneak peek list of Atlanta Jazz Festival artists:
Internationally famous jazz legend, composer, arranger, lyricist, and tenor saxophonist Benny Golson was born in Philadelphia, PA on January 25, 1929. During his career he has wowed audiences with performances throughout the US, Europe, South America, the Far East and Japan. He has arranged music for and performed with icons like Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, and Art Blakey. He has recorded over 30 albums that include jazz standards such as Killer Joe, I Remember Clifford, Along Came Betty, Stablemates, Whisper Not, Blues March, Five Spot After Dark, Are you Real?
Golson’s prolific writing includes scores for hit TV series and films such as M*A*S*H, Mission Impossible, Mod Squad and The Partridge Family. He has also composed and arranged music for Count Basie, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Sammy Davis Jr., Mama Cass Elliott, Ella Fitzgerald, Shirley Horn, The Monkees, Quincy Jones, Peggy Lee, Carmen McRae, Itzhak Perlman, Oscar Peterson, Lou Rawls, Eric Burden &The Animals, and Diana Ross.
Grammy Award-winning pianist, singer, songwriter Eliane Elias is known for her distinctive style which blends her Brazilian roots and her sensuous voice. She started studying piano at age seven and her performing career began at seventeen, working with Brazilian singer-songwriter Toquinho. Her first album was a collaboration with Randy Brecker in 1984 entitled Amanda. Since then she’s released 25 albums, and garnered praise from critics and audiences worldwide, often topping the charts in Japan, France, Brazil and the US.
Highlights of Elias’ career include her nomination with Herbie Hancock for a Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Video for “The Way You Look Tonight” from her 1995 CD Solos and Duets; the lush 2008 CD Bossa Nova Stories which marked the fiftieth anniversary of the birth of Bossa Nova; 2011’s dazzling Light My Fire featuring compositions by Elias as well songs by The Doors, Stevie Wonder and Paul Desmond. Elias’ 2015 CD Made In Brazil won a Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album which was especially sweet since she served as producer, composer, lyricist, arranger, pianist and vocalist on the album.
The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz introduced Jamison Ross as an incredible young drummer in 2012 after he won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. Afterwards he toured and recorded with a variety of esteemed jazz artists including Cécile McLorin Salvant, Jonathan Batiste, Dr. John, and Christian McBride.
Jamison, his joyous 2015 soul-jazz debut, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album. The album presents him not only as a jazz musician who commands the drums, but also as a gifted composer, bandleader and singer. In fact, Ross sings on ten of the disc’s 12 sensational tracks.
“When I won the Monk competition, no one there knew that I was a singer,” says Ross, before revealing that he began singing in his grandfather’s church while growing up in Jacksonville, FL. “I grew up around the spirit of music but with hardly any level of formal education,” he recalls. With the support of his mother, Ross studied music, eventually earning a master’s degree in jazz studies.
Sponsors for this year’s Atlanta Jazz Festival include MARTA, PNC Bank, Loews Atlanta Hotel, the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Standard Press.To find out how your company or organization can be featured at this year’s festival contact Laura Moody at the Office of Cultural Affairs at LMoody@AtlantaGa.Gov.
Social Media: Find out about all the latest festival news, enter contests, and join the conversation! We’re on Facebook: AtlantaJazzFestival; Twitter: AtlantaJazzFest and Instagram: Atlanta Jazz Festival.
The 39th Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival is presented by the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. The mission of the Atlanta Jazz Festival is to educate and entertain a diverse audience of jazz fans and to nurture the next generation of jazz musicians. The festival is partially supported by Atlanta Jazz Festival Inc, a 501(c)(3) cultural, non-profit. For details about 31 Days of Jazz leading up to the festival, performance schedules, and more information visit: www.atlantafestivals.com.
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