Los Angeles, CA (October 19, 2016) - The Los Angeles Philharmonic presents its Jazz series for the 2016/17 season - four concerts that pay homage to the history of jazz from its pioneers to the present with a selection of world-renowned musicians taking the stage at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
LA's own young jazz giant Kamasi Washington kicks off the series on November 6 with his decidedly contemporary musical approach, which combines influences from John Coltrane as well as soul, classical, hip-hop and gospel. Having performed and recorded with many of his musical heroes from various genres, including Gerald Wilson, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Burrell, George Duke, Lauryn Hill, Raphael Saadiq, Mos Def, Stanley Clark, Snoop Dogg and Chaka Khan, Washington released his own groundbreaking debut album The Epic on the tastemaking Brainfeeder label last year, earning #1 debuts on several iTunes Jazz charts, including the US, Canada, Australia, Russia and the UK. For his Walt Disney Concert Hall debut, Washington will be performing with choir and strings. Also performing is the Ron McCurdy Quartet, bringing their multimedia performance of Langston Hughes' "Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods For Jazz" 12-part epic poem, which pays homage to the struggle for artistic and social freedom in the early '60s. Described by The Guardian as "a raging, inspired revival that would make Langston Hughes proud," McCurdy's 21st century adaptation combines live music, storytelling, and video montage, as well as his originally composed score that includes everything from blues and gospel to boogie woogie, Dixieland, bebop and more.
On February 19, the LA Phil's own Creative Chair for Jazz Herbie Hancock teams up with two fellow world-renowned and multiple Grammy-winning jazz legends, saxophonist Wayne Shorter and trumpeter Terence Blanchard, for a performance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. They will perform a new commission by Blanchard, Herbie Hancock: By Himself, based on several of Hancock's improvised, impressionistic piano solos transcribed by Blanchard and arranged for orchestra. Opening the evening will be Grammy-winning, eclectic jazz/funk/global collective Snarky Puppy, bringing a rare and delicate mixture of sophisticated composition, harmony and improvisation for their Walt Disney Concert Hall debut.
March 10 will see the Aaron Diehl Trio with Cécile McLorin Salvant pay tribute to jazz pioneers Jelly Roll Morton and George Gershwin with "Jelly & George." American jazz pianist/composer Aaron Diehl is a leading force in today's generation of jazz contemporaries, spearheading a distinct union of traditional and fresh artistry with what The New York Times described as "melodic precision, harmonic erudition, and elegant restraint." Cécile McLorin Salvant is the extraordinary vocalist who won the 2016 Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album for her third album For One To Love. Since her breakout win of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals competition in 2010, Salvant has gone on to collect a host of additional accolades, including a Grammy nomination for her second album WomanChild, which also won the DownBeat Critics Poll Jazz Album of the Year and the NPR Music Jazz Critics Poll Top Vocal Album (which was also awarded to For One To Love). Opening the evening will be jazz innovator Jason Moran's supergroup Fats Waller Dance Party, bringing the legacy of singer/pianist Fats Waller into the 21st century with a mix of funk, hip-hop and dance.
Concluding the 2016/17 Jazz series on May 7 will be Sondheim & Jazz: Side by Side, a stunning jazz treatment created by Bill Charlap, acclaimed pianist who won the 2016 Grammy for Best Traditional Pop Album with Tony Bennett; renowned jazz pianist/composer Renee Rosnes, who orchestrated the string arrangements for the show, and has worked with a veritable who's who of jazz including Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, J.J. Johnson and Ron Carter; and Tony-nominated singer and platinum-selling songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway, whose songs are featured on seven of Barbra Streisand's recent CDs. Sondheim & Jazz: Side by Side will explore the sophistication, wit and genius of one of Broadway's most innovative artists. The evening will open with world-renowned Academy Award and multiple Grammy-winning pianist/composer Dave Grusin presenting his ingenious jazz interpretation of Bernstein's classic West Side Story.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant leadership of Music Director & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, presents an inspiring array of music from all genres - orchestral, chamber and Baroque music, organ and celebrity recitals, new music, jazz, world music and pop - at two of L.A.'s iconic venues, Walt Disney Concert Hall (www.laphil.com) and the Hollywood Bowl (www.HollywoodBowl.com). The LA Phil's season extends from September through June at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and throughout the summer at the Hollywood Bowl. With the preeminent Los Angeles Philharmonic at the foundation of its offerings, the LA Phil aims to enrich and transform lives through music, with a robust mix of artistic, education and community programs.