The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) has announced the line-up of the highly anticipated TD James Moody Jazz Festival. This year’s program offers events combining jazz luminaries in collaboration with artists known for R&B, poetry, hip hop, and so much more.
The festival kick-starts November 10th with two powerhouse concerts: one of the today’s most creative forces in the contemporary jazz scene, Terence Blanchard, will be joined by his E-Collective and Turtle Island Quartet for a special tribute to Wayne Shorter; and American Idol winner Fantasia pairs up with one of the best new voices in jazz, Jazzmeia Horn (2013 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition winner).
The festival continues with a pair of contemporary dance-jazz collaborations: famed tap artist Savion Glover with jazz vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater (Nov 12) followed by a world premiere commissioned by NJPAC by Carolyn Dorfman Dance and renowned jazz violinist Regina Carter (Nov 16). On Nov 19, NJPAC hosts for a special night of leading voices in jazz, hip hop and poetry including The Last Poets, Rakim, Chuck D, Sonia Sanchez, and more. The future of jazz will be on full display on the final day of the festival (Nov 20) as up-and-coming singers compete in the 11th annual “The Sassy Awards.”
Working with NJPAC’s jazz advisor Christian McBride, NJPAC’s executive vice president and executive producer David Rodriguez has curated a festival honoring the jazz legacy of New Jersey while looking to the future of the music. “I love Newark’s history of jazz, all the legendary musicians who came from Brick City. Celebrating that history is a vital part of this festival — but so is shining a spotlight on new voices, young artists, and collaborations that honor the deep connections between jazz and hip hop, R&B, dance and the spoken word,” says McBride.
“I’ve often said that jazz is the most democratic form of music, because in order for a great jazz performance to happen, the artists need to listen to each other, share their creativity and collaborate to create unforgettable music. Jazz is a metaphor for our democracy. When we work together, when we listen to each other, anything is possible. This year’s Moody Festival is a testament to that principle,” says John Schreiber, President and CEO of NJPAC.
For the 11th consecutive year, the Festival is sponsored by TD Bank, which has supported the event since its inauguration, ensuring that the event annually includes free community performances and educational events, as well as mainstage concerts showcasing jazz superstars. “We know that music brings people together, and jazz, in particular, has a way of dissolving boundaries,” says Martin Melilli, Market President at TD Bank. “We believe in the power of the arts to connect us all, and we are proud to sponsor a Festival that offers everyone in New Jersey so many ways to find joy, community and inspiration.”
A Beautiful Bond (Nov 8)
Terence Blanchard featuring The E-Collective & Turtle Island Quartet (Nov 10)
Fantasia with Jazzmeia Horn (Nov 10)
Dee Dee Bridgewater & Savion Glover: Interpretations (Nov 12)
Bethany Baptist Church Jazz Vespers: Jon Faddis (Nov 12)
Trouble No More Eat A Peach (Nov 13)
Yellowjackets (Nov 13)
Regina Carter and Carolyn Dorfman Dance (Nov 16)
Jazz Jams at Clement’s Place (Nov 17)
NJMEA All-State Jazz Band and Choir with Christian McBride (Nov 18)
Issac Delgado and Alain Perez (Nov 18)
Oscar Peterson: Black + White (Nov 19)
Maria Schneider Orchestra (Nov 19)
Represent! A Night of Jazz, Hip-Hop and Spoken Word with Chuck D, Nikki Giovanni, Christian McBride, and More (Nov 19)
Dorthaan’s Place: Vanessa Rubin Trio (Nov 20)
11th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition (Nov 20)