Monty Alexander Jazz Festival - Easton, Maryland

Saxophone in motion


 EASTON, Maryland....Mark your calendars for Labor Day weekend, 2010, as Chesapeake Chamber Music presents the Monty Alexander Jazz Festival at Easton's Avalon Theatre on September 3 and 4 of Labor Day weekend. The festival will headline a Saturday evening concert featuring jazz pianist Monty Alexander and the Monty Alexander Trio. The event will also feature a Friday evening concert with the exciting young jazz saxophonist and composer Grace Kelly and the Grace Kelly Quintet. And on Saturday afternoon, an informal Conversation on Jazz will take place at the Avalon with Monty Alexander and Grace Kelly, led by jazz critic Bill Edgar.

 Chesapeake Chamber Music – which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2010 – has a rich history of hosting small ensemble classical concerts and competitions. Last September, the organization sponsored a concert featuring Monty Alexander as an experiment to test the Eastern Shore's enthusiasm for small ensemble jazz.

 The experiment was a rousing success. T.F. Sayles, Editor of Chesapeake Bay magazine, characterized the concert in a story as "two mesmerizing hours under the spell of jazz great Monty Alexander."

 Predictably, Monty Alexander had a similar reaction to Easton, a highly appreciative audience and the Avalon Theatre. Conversations ensued and concert became Festival. Labor Day weekend of 2010 will feature the inaugural Monty Alexander Jazz Festival. Alexander will be both performer and Artistic Director.

 The highlight of the Jazz Festival will be a Saturday evening concert featuring the Monty Alexander Trio. In a career spanning five decades, pianist Monty Alexander has built his reputation by exploring and bridging the worlds of American jazz, popular song, and the music of his native Jamaica, finding in each a sincere spirit of musical expression. In the process, he has performed and recorded with artists from every corner of the musical universe and entertainment world: Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, Quincy Jones, Ernest Ranglin, Barbara Hendricks, Bill Cosby and Bobby McFerrin, among others.

 The Friday evening concert will introduce an emerging young artist. Alto saxophonist Grace Kelly is a teenage phenomenon. At age 18, she has already released five CDs, one of which was listed among the best jazz CDs of the decade by Downbeat magazine. Winner of multiple jazz composition and performance awards, and recipient of accolades from the likes of Monty Alexander and Wynton Marsalis, 'rising star' might be too mild a phrase to describe Ms. Kelly. 'Meteoric' might be more appropriate.

 On Saturday afternoon the festival will present a Conversation on Jazz. This will be in an intimate and informal setting at the Avalon Theatre, and will present a real opportunity to get a glimpse into the art of jazz music as viewed by a jazz great. Monty Alexander and Grace Kelly will both be on hand and jazz critic and conversationalist, Bill Edgar, will lead the "Conversation." Dr. Edgar is Professor of Apologetics at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Coordinator of the Apologetics Department, and Chairman of the Faculty. A regular Trinity Forum moderator, he was named a Senior Fellow in 2004. He is also a jazz fan, jazz critic, and a jazz pianist who regularly plays with a professional jazz band.

 Details on ticket pricing and availability, as well as show times for the Monty Alexander Jazz Festival events can be found on the Festival web site at www.chesapeakechambermusic.org/jazz.

 Monty Alexander Jazz Festival event information for Easton, Maryland sourced from http://www.tourtalbot.org/showevent.asp?eid=6330

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