California tour of "Jelly and George"
March 7 - Campbell Hall/Santa Barbara
March 10 - Disney Concert Hall/Los Angeles
March 11 - Bing Auditorium/Stanford
March 13 - Kuumbwa Jazz Center/Santa Cruz
March 14 - Mondavi Center/Davis
March 16-19 - Miner Auditorium/SFJAZZ
Great jazz composers whose lifespans overlapped, Jelly Roll Morton and George Gershwin were masters of the piano whose wide-ranging music captured the promise, energy and turmoil of the early 20th century. Rising stars of the 21st century, Grammy Award-winning vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant and pianist Aaron Diehl capture “Jelly and George” in an evening that combines lesser-known works of both masters with new arrangements of favorite tunes, all with stunning expressiveness. Joined by gifted keyboardist, composer and arranger and a Juilliard graduate Adam Birnbaum, the musical legacies of Jelly Roll Morton and George Gershwin have never had it so good.
The New York Times calls Cécile McLorin Salvant, “The finest jazz singer to emerge in the last decade.” Salvant has been impressing audiences everywhere with her interpretations of old, obscure jazz and blues tunes. Her 2009 recording, Cécile, first caught the ear of jazz fans shortly before she won the Thelonious Monk vocal competition and she has been winning converts ever since. Wynton Marsalis, Jacky Terrasson and Archie Shepp are just a few of the top musicians with whom she has sung. Her latest CD, For One To Love, received a 2016 Grammy Award for Best Vocal Jazz Album. The French jazz magazine Le Jazz Hot called her, “... an extraordinary revelation of contemporary vocal jazz.”
Cécile’s musical cohort, Aaron Diehl, is one of the bright lights in today’s jazz firmament. A gifted pianist, composer and arranger, Diehl has performed with Warren Wolf, Wynton Marsalis and Lew Tabackin. As Monterey Jazz Festival’s Commission Artist for 2014, the Juilliard graduate dedicated his composition to composer/pianist John Lewis of the Modern Jazz Quartet.
Adam Birnbaum—like Diehl—is also a gifted keyboardist, composer and arranger and a Juilliard graduate. He won the American Jazz Piano Competition in 2004. Since then, he has performed or toured with Greg Osby, Eddie Henderson, Wallace Roney and several other respected jazz musicians. As a bandleader, Birnbaum has recorded four albums. His most recent, Three of A Mind, received a coveted 4-star review from DownBeat.