NEW YORK, September 28, 2011 – Jazzmobile, Inc., the Harlem-based organization
that pioneered the concept of bringing jazz into the community and
creating new audiences with mobile jazz performances, hosts its first
annual Jazzy Awards Celebration: In Honor of Dr. Billy Taylor’s 90th Birthday (1921-2010) featuring a concert with special performances by Dianne Reeves, Frank Wess, Jimmy Heath, Wycliffe Gordon and the Jazzmobile Big Band conducted by Cecil Bridgewater on Monday, October 10, 7:00 pm, at the Hudson Theatre, 145 West 44th Street in New York City.
In addition to the performances, legendary Jazz Impresario, George Wein and JPMorgan Chase Foundation will be honored for their significant contributions to Jazz and their continuous support of Jazzmobile. Wynton Marsalis, Artistic Director for Jazz at Lincoln Center, will present the Jazzy Award to Chase while Dick Cashin,
Managing Director of One Equity Partners and a Board Member of the
Newport Festivals Foundation, will make the presentation to Wein.
Marsalis also will present an award created from a work by renowned
artist Leroy Neiman to Theodora Taylor in recognition of what would have been Dr. Taylor’s 90th Birthday and for his many contributions to Jazz including the founding of Jazzmobile.
The Honorable H. Carl McCall is the Committee Chair for the Jazzy Awards Celebration. Honorary Chairmen are Spike Lee and Wynton Marsalis, with Kathleen Battle, Ruby Dee, Honorable David Dinkins, Joyce Dinkins, Danny Simmons and Theodora Taylor serving as Honorary Committee Members. The Steering Committee includes Eileen A. Frank, H. Sidney Holmes III, and Kim Taylor-Thompson.
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About Jazzmobile, Inc.
Jazzmobile, Inc., America’s oldest not-for-profit arts organization created just for
Jazz, was founded in 1964 by NEA Jazz Master Dr. Billy Taylor and
Daphne Arnstein. Its mission is to present, preserve, promote, and
propagate Jazz – “America’s classical music.” This mission is
implemented through quality jazz education and performance programs,
workshops, master classes, lecture demonstrations, arts enrichment
programs, as well as out-of-doors mobile Jazz performances and those in
clubs and major concert halls here and abroad. Jazzmobile serves
approximately 100,000 people in New York City and its outlying areas
About the Artists
One of Jazz’s pre-eminent vocalists, multiple Grammy winner Dianne Reeves
is a powerful storyteller. With her unique R&B and Jazz stylings,
she has captured a huge following and tremendous critical acclaim
throughout the world. She has been featured frequently with the Lincoln
Center Jazz Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, and at Carnegie Hall with
Sir Simon Rattle and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Earlier this year,
Reeves performed at Carnegie Hall’s 120th anniversary celebration and is touring internationally with Sing the Truth!,
a production honoring the music and spirit of great female artists
including Odetta, Abbey Lincoln and Miriam Makeba. Her award-winning
recordings include When You Know, A Little Moonlight, The Calling and In the Moment – Live in Concert.
Prior to moving to New York in 1964 to lead his own groups, NEA Jazz Master Frank Wess
performed with the Count Basie Orchestra for 11 years. He used the
popularity of the Basie band to introduce the flute as an independent
voice to jazz audiences, becoming one of its first major soloists.
A mainstay on the New York Jazz scene and in local studios, Wess played
in various shows all over the city and held a contract with ABC for 10
years performing for “Saturday Night Live,” the Dick Cavett Show, the
Sammy Davis Show and others. For almost 20 years, he performed in a
quintet called “Two Franks” with Frank Foster, his colleague from the
Basie days. In the late 80s and early 90s, Wess led a stellar
Basie-style big band, which recorded the critically-acclaimed
albums “Dear Mr. Basie” and “Entre Nous.” Soon to celebrate his own 90th birthday (January 4), Frank Wess continues to travel around the world as a soloist and band leader.
NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath has long been recognized as a brilliant instrumentalist and a magnificent composer and arranger. He is the middle brother
of the legendary Heath Brothers (Percy/bass and Tootie/drums), and is
the father of Mtume. He has performed with nearly all the jazz greats
of the last 50 years, from Howard McGhee, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles
Davis to Wynton Marsalis. One of Heath’s earliest big bands (1947-1948)
in Philadelphia included John Coltrane, Benny Golson, Specs Wright, Cal
Massey, Johnny Coles, Ray Bryant, and Nelson Boyd; Charlie Parker and
Max Roach sat in on one occasion. During his career, Heath has performed
on more than 100 record albums including seven with The Heath Brothers
and a dozen as a leader. He also has written more than 125
compositions, many of which have become jazz standards and have been
recorded by other artists including Art Farmer, Cannonball Adderley,
Clark Terry, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, James Moody, Milt Jackson, Ahmad
Jamal, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie J.J Johnson and Dexter Gordon. His
autobiography, I Walked with Giants, is reaping rave reviews worldwide and was named 2011 Best Book of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association.
Renowned trombonist, composer and arranger Wycliffe Gordon has performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Tommy Flanagan, Shirley Horn, Joe Henderson,
Eric Reed, Randy Sandke and Branford Marsalis, plus many top players
from the swing and traditional jazz world. A continued supporter of
Jazzmobile, he recently premiered a Jazzmobile commission, Within Our Gates, a
composition to an Oscar Micheaux silent film. His work with young
musicians and audiences from elementary schools to universities all over
the world is extensive, and includes master classes, clinics,
workshops, children’s concerts and lectures – powerful evidence of his
unique ability to relate musically to people of all ages.
is a trumpeter who realizes the lineage of his instrument and has an
appreciation for its place in contemporary music. Throughout his more
than 30 years as a performer, composer, arranger, record producer and
educator, he has worked with Max Roach, Horace Silver, Thad Jones/Mel
Lewis Jazz Orchestra, Count Basie Orchestra, Duke Ellington Orchestra,
Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Heath, Sir Roland Hanna, Wynton
Marsalis and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, among others. At the Jazzy
Awards Celebration, Bridgewater will conduct the Jazzmobile Big Band
featuring some of New York’s top musicians and ongoing Jazzmobile
Tickets to the Jazzy Awards Celebration: In Honor of Dr. Billy Taylor’s 90th Birthday are
$90.00. VIP seating and pre-concert reception prices begin at $1,000
and are available through Dwight Johnson Design by calling (212)
889-4694. For more information, visit www.jazzmobile.org.