The 15th Annual Jazz In The Valley Festival | Aug. 16th, 2015

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Tia FullerRon Carter Trio

TRANSART & Cultural Services, Inc.
Celebrates the 15th Annual Jazz in the Valley Festival
Sunday, August 16, at Waryas Park in Poughkeepsie
Ron Carter Trio with Javon Jackson & Billy Drummond, Arturo O’Farrill, Tia Fuller, Bill Charlap Trio with Kenny Washington & Peter Washington and Steve Kroon

Poughkeepsie, NY, July 20, 2015 – Join TRANSART & Cultural Services on Sunday, August 16, at 11:00 am for an afternoon celebrating TRANSART’s mission to bring the legacy and future of jazz together at the 15th annual Jazz In the Valley festival at Waryas Park. Listen to traditional jazz with an ear towards the future performed by renowned musicians, while soaking up the exquisite views of the Hudson River Valley.

TRANSART, building on its own 15-year legacy, will honor legendary pianist Ahmad Jamal who was commissioned and created “Picture Perfect” for the first festival in 2000. This year the festival explores the significance of the piano to the language of jazz. Sharing that message will be one of the world’s premiere jazz pianists, Bill Charlap with compositions chosen as homage to the innovative Jamal.

Jazz in the Valley - 2015 Pianist

“Ahmad Jamal took in the natural beauty of the Hudson Valley and used it as inspiration when writing ‘Picture Perfect,'” said Greer Smith, founder of TRANSART & Cultural Services and producer of Jazz in the Valley. “We want to honor his contributions to jazz and celebrate the way he influenced so many other great jazz musicians.”

As is customary, the festival will feature two performance stages, giving festivalgoers the option of attending main stage concerts with ticketed festival seating as well as free concerts on the Pavilion Stage just outside the festival gates.

Artists performing on the Main Stage are Ron Carter Trio with Javon Jackson and Billy Drummond; Arturo O’Farrill Octet; Bill Charlap Trio with Kenny Washington and Peter Washington; Tia Fuller; and Steve Kroon.

Taking the Pavilion Stage are A Perfect Gift, Bottoms Up, Dixieland, the Dutchess Community College Jazz Ensemble and the Poughkeepsie Jazz Project.

“The city of Poughkeepsie is delighted to once again host this important jazz festival,” said Chris Petsas, chairman of the Poughkeepsie Common Council. “Jazz in the Valley has become one of our mid-summer traditions, a gathering of friends, neighbors, visitors and families who come together to appreciate jazz and the talented musicians who make it happen. It brings our community together.”

To kick off Jazz in the Valley, there will be a free concert on Saturday, August 15, at 5:00 pm on the lawn of City Hall sponsored by the city of Poughkeepsie’s Common Council Chairman Chris Petsas and the Exempt Firemen’s Association, featuring Sonando and the Mike Torsone Band with special guest Ernie Bruno and Ray Blue.

Frank M. Castella, Jr., President and CEO of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce noted the significance of Jazz in the Valley on the community. “This event attracts people from all over the county and beyond. It’s a great way to introduce young people to jazz while entertaining traditional fans. The Dutchess County region is home to many creative people. This festival is an event that celebrates music and the people who create it.”

Meet The Artists

Ron Carter Trio with Billy Drummond and Javon Jackson: Ron Carter is one of the most influential bassists in jazz with more than 2,000 albums to his credit. He has recorded with a plethora of jazz giants including Dexter Gordon, Tommy Flanagan, Wes Montgomery and Lena Horne. In addition to performing regularly, he was on the faculty of the music department of the City College of New York and has won two Grammy Awards. Billy Drummond is an accomplished drummer known for pushing the limits of jazz. He has toured and recorded with many jazz legends including Eddie Gomez, J.J. Johnson and Buster Williams. Known for his expertise on the saxophone, Javon Jackson toured and recorded with Elvin Jones, Freddie Hubbard, Betty Carter, Cedar Walton, Ron Carter, Donald Byrd, Dr. Lonnie Smith and Stanley Turrentine. A festival favorite, Javon is an exceptional leader and the Artistic Director of Jazz in the Valley.

Arturo O’Farrill Octet: Grammy-Award winning pianist for Best Latin Jazz Album in 2009, O’Farrill created the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra for Jazz at Lincoln Center. He has been a featured solo performer with Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie and Wynton Marsalis. In 1995, he directed members of his father’s Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Orchestra on a visit to their Cuban homeland as headliners of the Havana International Jazz Plaza Festival.

The Bill Charlap Trio with Kenny Washington and Peter Washington: One of the world’s leading jazz pianists, Bill Charlap is from a musical family. His mother is a singer with whom he’s recorded two duet albums. His father is Broadway composer Moose Charlap. Bill Charlap is known for his interpretation of the great American songbook. The trio, with Kenny Washington on drums and Peter Washington on bass, has recorded two Grammy-nominated albums for the Blue Note label including “Somewhere” featuring the music of Leonard Bernstein and “The Bill Charlap Trio: Live at the Village Vanguard.” Los Angeles native Peter Washington is a double bassist and founding member of the hard bop sextet One For All. Drummer Kenny Washington, though not related to band mate Peter, told the New York Daily News that, “The band is like family.” Kenny has also written liner notes for jazz albums and taught drumming at the New School in Manhattan.

Tia Fuller: Saxophonist, music professor, bandleader and touring member of Beyoncé Experience World Tour, Tia Fuller is a musical powerhouse. She is also the assistant Musical Director for Esperanza Spalding’s Radio Music Society Tour and Diane Reeve’s Beautiful Life Tour. As a performer, she’s shared the stage with artists such as Chaka Kahn, Dionne Warwick, Janelle Monáe, Patti Labelle and Aretha Franklin.

Steve Kroon has been a first-call percussionist for recording sessions with a diverse range of artists from Aretha Franklin to Diana Krall, The Temptations, Bette Midler, Paul Butterfield and Spyro Gyra, among numerous others. He enjoyed a 20-year association with Luther Vandross that highlights his reputation as one of the world’s most versatile and respected percussionists. However, when he fronts his own band, his musical tastes turn to Latin. When he takes the stage, it is easy to spot his Afro-Cuban and Brazilian influences from teacher Tommy López, Jr. and Dom Um Romão.

Tickets and Other Information

Early Bird discount tickets are $40 before July 17; after July 17, tickets are $50 and $60 at the gate. For tickets, online, group sales, directions and more information about Jazz in the Valley, contact TRANSART at (845) 384-6350 or log on to

For tickets in the Hudson Valley: The Mid-Hudson Civic Center, 14 Civic Center Plaza, Poughkeepsie NY; Box Office Monday -Friday 10am-5:30pm Saturday 12-4pm

Get a ticket and travel combination: Travel by bus to Jazz in the Valley and leave the driving to Rodeo Rich Washington (646) 220-9051 or Jazzy Jazz, Lorenzo Patton (917) 345-1357 and Tyrone Woods at (646) 643-3035.

Promotional partner for Jazz in the Valley is Metro North. Take the train from Grand Central Terminal to Poughkeepsie Station and walk one short block to the festival.

TRANSART & Cultural Services, Inc. is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to promoting awareness of the art, history and popular culture of people of African descent. For more information, please visit

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