ERNIE ANDREWS, PATTI AUSTIN, TERENCE BLANCHARD, REGINA CARTER, NATALIE COLE, KURT ELLING, NNENNA FREELON, JAMES INGRAM, RAMSEY LEWIS, AND TOM SCOTT MAKE SPECIAL GUEST APPEARANCES
ARSENIO HALL HOSTS
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, AT 8 PM
Concert generously sponsored by Fidelity Investments
Media support provided by KKJZ
Legendary jazz vocalist Nancy Wilson celebrates her 70th birthday with special friends and colleagues on Wednesday, August 29, at 8:00 p.m. at the Hollywood Bowl. Since she began her professional singing career over fifty years ago, Nancy Wilson has built an inspiring repertoire, and continues to defy categorization with her versatile and sultry singing style. Arsenio Hall, who was discovered by Nancy Wilson in 1979, hosts this very special celebration.
Traditional labels are not enough for Nancy Wilson. Over the years her repertoire has included pop ballads, jazz and blues, show tunes, well-known standards, acting and television. Critics have described her as "a jazz singer," "a blues singer," "a pop singer, "and "a cabaret singer," but the descriptive title she prefers is song stylist. Although her lush and sultry vocals successfully lend itself to a variety of song styles, she is the epitome of a jazz singer.
In 1956, Wilson joined saxophonist Julian "Cannonball" Adderly for an impromptu jam, an unplanned meeting that started a longtime friendship and admiration that helped launch both their careers. Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderly was released in 1962, and earned Wilson a permanent star in the jazz constellation. Her first truly major hit, "Tell Me The Truth," followed in 1963, leading up to her 1964 performance at the Cocoanut Grove that garnered critical acclaim from coast to coast. Wilson spent many years with Capitol Records, during which she was second in sales only to the Beatles, surpassing even Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, the Beach Boys, and early idol Nat King Cole. Most recently, Wilson's 2005 release, R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs, Very Personal), and her 2006 release, Turned to Blue, each received a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album.
Wilson has forged many friendships throughout her career, and her 70th birthday celebration at the Hollywood Bowl is a testament to her talent and contributions to jazz music. Vocalists Ernie Andrews and Patti Austin; trumpeter Terence Blanchard; violinist Regina Carter; vocalists Natalie Cole, Kurt Elling, James Ingram and Nnenna Freelon; pianist Ramsey Lewis; and saxophonist Tom Scott come together for this very special occasion.
The Jazz at the Bowl series at the Hollywood Bowl concludes on September 5 with the return of B.B. King and the B.B. King Blues Festival featuring Robert Randolph & The Family Band, led by searing pedal-steel player Robert Randolph and soul-bluesman James Hunter.
NANCY WILSON's professional singing career began at the age of 15. She had her own television show, Skyline Melody, on a local station. Soon after, she began performing in clubs in the Columbus area. In 1956, she joined The Rusty Bryant Band. That same year she met Julian "Cannonball" Adderley when she accompanied Bryant's band to New York City for a recording session. Adderley, impressed with her talent and determination, took an immediate interest in her career and the two kept in touch. In 1959, Nancy moved to New York City. She wanted Cannonball's manager, John Levy, to represent her, and she wanted Capitol Records as her label. Within four weeks of her arrival in New York she got her first big break, a call to fill in for Irene Reid at The Blue Morocco. Nancy did so well that the club booked her on a permanent basis. John Levy went to a show, and the very next day, he called Nancy to record a demo. They recorded "Guess Who I Saw Today," her debut single. It was so successful that between April of 1960 and July of 1962 Capitol Records released five Nancy Wilson albums. Two of those remain in-demand reissues to this day: The Swingin's Mutual with George Shearing (1961) and Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderley (1962). In 1995, when NPR was looking for an articulate voice with both name value and jazz credibility to host their Jazz Profiles series, Nancy was the obvious choice. In 2004, R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs, Very Personal) won the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album and the 2005 NAACP Image Award for Best Jazz Artist. (This was her second Grammy, the first being in 1964 for "How Glad I Am," and her second Image Award, the first being in 1986.) Last year, Nancy retired from touring, but continues to perform select engagements. Nancy's 2006 album, Turned to Blue (MCGJ 1022), also received a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album.
It was the success of his Emmy-Award winning late night talk show "The Arsenio Hall Show" that made ARSENIO HALL a household name. The versatile actor, comedian, and producer first became involved in the arts at "The Cleveland Playhouse" and continued to hone his craft through his Kent State University years. In 1979, Hall moved from Ohio to Chicago, Illinois where he tried his hand at stand-up comedy and was discovered by Jazz singer Nancy Wilson. In the following few years Arsenio toured, opening for twenty major headliners including Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, and Stevie Wonder. A short time later, Arsenio attempted to diversify his career by making numerous appearances on television shows such as "Solid Gold" and "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson"…and doing his first film cameo in "Amazon Women on the Moon," directed by John Landis. In 1987, Arsenio was asked to replace Joan Rivers on the Fox Network series "The Late Show." On the strength of his work as interim host, he was signed to a film and television deal with Paramount Pictures, which subsequently led to the opportunity to co-write and co-star in the hit (Paramount) comedy "Coming to America." On January 3, 1989, "The Arsenio Hall Show" made its debut. Virtually overnight, Arsenio changed the face of late night television by captivating young viewers across the country. During his successful five-year run as Executive Producer, Arsenio provided a forum for cutting edge comedy, politics and the television debut of such pop superstars as Mariah Carey, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Boyz to Men, and countless others.
ERNIE ANDREWS was discovered by songwriter Joe Greene in 1947. Greene was so impressed that he immediately took Andrews into the studio to record at age 17. With a 300,000 seller hit "Soothe Me," and "Wrap It Up And Put It Away" on the flip side, Andrews became a singer to be reckoned with. In 1953, he had another big record with "Make Me A Present of You" with Benny Carter. In 1959, Andrews joined Harry James' band and toured with them for nine years. In 1967, he recorded the jazz classic "Big City" with Cannonball Adderley. In 1969, Andrews scored a big hit with "Bridge Over Troubled Waters." Andrews has been in the business of jazz for over 56 years, and still steps to the stage with vigorous energy. Today he is an international entertainer who consistently moves audiences to standing ovations. Ernie continues to play clubs, concerts and jazz festivals throughout the world.
PATTI AUSTIN has had a star-studded career that began at the age of four. During the 70s, Austin was the undisputed "queen" of the New York session scene; her voice was heard behind everyone from Paul Simon, Cat Stevens, James Brown and Joe Cocker to Bette Midler, Roberta Flack, Luther Vandross and Diana Ross and on countless commercial jingles. In the 80s, Patti participated on a series of albums with Quincy Jones including Stuff Like That, his Grammy-winning classic The Dude, and his From Q With Love Vols. 1&2 via the standout track, "If This Time Is the Last Time." Her solo career resulted in the Grammy-nominated hit "Baby Come To Me," a classic duet with James Ingram; the Jam-and-Lewis-produced R&B smash "The Heat of Heat"; and the Oscar nominated "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" Austin's 1988 album The Real Me, featured a collection of pop and jazz standards including "Cry Me A River," "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" and "Mood Indigo." A stint at GRP Records included 1991's Carry On, Love is Gonna Getcha, That Secret Place and Patti Austin Live. Her 1998 album In and Out of Love spent almost two years on the contemporary jazz charts. In 1999/2000, she recorded On The Way to Love. Now Rendezvous Entertainment presents Austin's Avant-Gershwin, an adventurous big band rendering of George Gershwin songs that celebrate the Gershwin jazz connection.
TERENCE BLANCHARD was born in New Orleans, and began playing piano at age five. After high school graduation, he attended Rutger's University where one of his professors brokered him a touring gig with Lionel Hampton's band. In 1983, Wynton Marsalis recommended Blanchard as his replacement in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. Two years later, Blanchard and fellow Jazz Messenger Donald Harrison split to form their own quintet. In 1990, Blanchard departed to pursue a solo career. His soundtrack to Mo' Better Blues and his album The Heart Speaks were nominated for Grammy Awards. Blanchard gained acclaim as a bandleader and composer of movie and television soundtracks, including Eve's Bayou, Malcolm X, Barbershop, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Clockers, Inside Man, Talk To Me, the Grammy-nominated Wandering Moon, and a Golden Globe nomination for his score for Spike Lee's The 25th Hour. In 2003, Blanchard released Bounce and Flow. Terence Blanchard's A Tale Of God's Will (A Requiem For Katrina), was released on August 14. Featuring thirteen original compositions written by Blanchard and members of his band, A Tale of God's Will is an evocative emotional journey of a city whose spirit lives on through the most devastating of circumstances, as told through the musical genius of one of New Orleans' proudest residents.
REGINA CARTER's career has been a veritable crescendo of success that shows no sign of letting up. During the 2006/2007 season, Ms. Carter continues to tour and perform music from her critically acclaimed release, Paganini: After A Dream, and music from her new release, I'll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey. In December 2001, Ms. Carter traveled to Genoa, Italy and was the first jazz musician and African American to play the legendary Guarneri del Gesu violin owned by classical music virtuoso and composer Nicolo Paganini. Less than a year later, Ms. Carter returned to Genoa to accomplish another milestone - using the treasured violin to record her classical-infused album. Carter's master classes with violin giants, Itzak Perlman and Yehudi Menuhin, as well as her association as a member of the Detroit Civic Symphony Orchestra and with the pop-funk group, Brainstorm, provided the needed experience to play with a range of artists. Ms. Carter has had the opportunity to perform with many jazz luminaries, pop icons and symphony orchestras. She has five discs under her own name, Regina Carter, Something for Grace, Rhythms of the Heart and Motor City Moments. Freefall, acollaboration with pianist Kenny Barron was released in the spring of 2001 and was nominated for a Grammy Award in February 2002. Paganini: After A Dream was released in April 2003 and her latest CD, I'll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey, made its debut, in June of 2006.
NATALIE COLE's album Leavin' is a bold point of departure and a moving return to form for one of music's most accomplished vocalists. Leavin' does not represent the second coming of Natalie Cole, more like the third or fourth coming, actually. Cole, the daughter of the late great Nat "King" Cole, first made her own good name with a series of albums for Capitol Records. Inseparable, Natalie, Thankful and Unpredictable included a stream of hit songs, including no less than five #1 hits on the Black Singles chart. In 1975, Cole won a Grammy for Best New Artist as well as the award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. The next year she won Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for "Sophisticated Lady (She's A Different Lady)." After leaving Capitol, Cole continued to record more hits like "Miss You Like Crazy" and a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Pink Cadillac." Her career took a major turn with the release of Unforgettable: With Love, an album that went to #1 on the Billboard Album charts and won the Grammy® Awards for Album Of The Year and Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance, while the song "Unforgettable," which used groundbreaking technology to allow Cole to duet with her late father's voice, received the Grammy® for Record Of The Year. Following this wildly popular release, Cole won further Grammy accolades, including Best Jazz Vocal for "Take A Look" in 1993 and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for "When I Fall In Love" in 1996.
KURT ELLING is the preeminent young male jazz singer today. Nightmoves, Elling's first recording for Concord/Universal, follows a ten-year stretch that saw Elling earn seven GRAMMY nominations for six Blue Note albums, six consecutive years at the top of the Down Beat Critics and Jazz Times Readers' polls, three Jazz Journalists' Association Awards for Best Male Vocalist and the Prix Billie Holiday from the Academie du Jazz in Paris. One of Kurt Elling's major contributions is as a writer and performer of vocalese, the art of putting words to improvised solos of jazz artists. The natural heir to jazz pioneers Eddie Jefferson, King Pleasure, and Jon Hendricks, Elling is the contemporary voice in vocalese, setting the solos of Wayne Shorter, Keith Jarrett, Dexter Gordon, Pat Metheny, and others to his own deeply spiritual and compelling lyrics. Elling infuses his lyrics with passion, humor, and a startling intellectual depth, often incorporating images and references from writers such as Rilke, Proust, Kerouac, Rumi, Neruda and Kenneth Rexroth into his work. Kurt Elling's recording career began at age 27 with the release of his first Blue Note recording, the Grammy-nominated Close Your Eyes. He subsequent Blue Note releases, The Messenger, This Time It's Love, Live at Chicago, Flirting with Twilight and Man in the Air all received Grammy nominations as well.
Six-time Grammy Award-nominee NNENNA FREELON has earned a well-deserved reputation as a compelling and captivating live performer. In 2001, she inspired an enthusiastic standing ovation from 20,000 music-industry insiders and celebrities when she took to the stage at the 43rd annual Grammy Awards telecast from Los Angeles. For anyone who has heard and seen Freelon sing knows she is a skillful interpreter of even the most familiar chestnuts. On her Grammy-nominated (for Best Jazz Vocal Performance) release, Blueprint Of A Lady: Sketches of Billie Holiday, Freelon pays tribute to the quintessential jazz vocalist Billie Holiday. On her fifth, and previous, Concord Records release, Live, Freelon brings all of her alluring talents to bear. The result is a beguiling and intimate achievement. Recorded at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, on February 21 and 22, 2003, Live marks a decade-long recording career for Freelon, as well as 20-years on the road.
JAMES INGRAM, one of contemporary music's premier vocalists, is the proud possessor of three Grammy awards, seventeen Grammy nominations, and two Oscar Nominations. Ingram's rich, soulful sound has endeared him to audiences around the world. In the early 70s, Ingram found himself working with the great Ray Charles. During this time, "Just Once" landed in the hands of Quincy Jones. A call from Quincy meant a change of musical plans and James began a working relationship with the musical icon that spans to this day. Ingram was featured on several songs for Jones' 1981 multi platinum album The Dude, which showcased James' talent on "Just Once" and "One Hundred Ways," which garnered James his first Grammy Award. James signed with Jones' Qwest Records and teamed up with label mate Patti Austin to record "Baby Come To Me," a # 1 pop hit. The duo repeated that success in 1983 with "How Do You Keep The Music Playing," featured in the movie Best Friends and nominated for both a Grammy Award and an Oscar. Ingram's debut album, It's Your Night, went on to earn James his second Grammy Award in 1984. He teamed up with Linda Ronstadt for "Somewhere Out There" in 1986, adding an astounding eleventh Grammy nomination to a recording career only in its fifth year. Throughout the 90s, James continued to record hit songs for both movies and albums, and added another Academy Award nomination to his list of growing achievements.
With a performance style that displays his early gospel playing and classical training along with his love of jazz and other musical forms, composer, pianist, and Chicago native RAMSEY LEWIS represents the great diversity of music for which his hometown is noted. Lewis began taking piano lessons at the age of four, studying the standard classical piano repertoire. Although he was exposed to the records by Duke Ellington, Art Tatum, and others that his father played around the house, Lewis had no experience playing jazz until he was 15. At that time a fellow church musician, Wallace Burton, asked him to join his jazz band and took the time to coach and help the young musician learn the language of jazz. The emerging Ramsey Lewis Trio had its roots in that seven-piece combo, a rhythm section comprising Lewis on piano, Eldee Young on bass, and Redd Holt on drums. The trio's first album, Ramsey Lewis and the Gentlemen of Swing, captivated audiences, and Lewis became one of the most in-demand pianists in jazz. He topped the charts with "The In Crowd," "Hang on Sloopy," and "Wade In the Water" and has three Grammy Awards and seven gold records to his credit.
TOM SCOTT is a renowned composer, arranger, producer, musical director and saxophonist. He has twenty-nine solo recordings to his credit and for these efforts has earned three Grammy Awards and thirteen Grammy nominations. Tom's career as a guest recording artist spans more than 450 recordings-by such diverse artists as Barbra Streisand, Quincy Jones, Thelonius Monk, Lalo Schifrin, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin and Chris Botti. His numerous contributions as a player and arranger include Joni Mitchell's Court And Spark, Steely Dan's Aja; hit singles like Carole King's
"Jazzman," Paul McCartney's "Listen To What The Man Said," Rod Stewart's "Do You Think I'm Sexy," Blondie's "Rapture," Captain & Tenille's "Do That To Me One More Time," Whitney Houston's "Saving All My Love For You;" and on movie soundtracks such as Taxi Driver, Bladerunner, Heaven Can Wait, Sea Of Love, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Toy Story 2 and Monsters, Inc. He is featured in highly acclaimed performances for the Grammy-winning movie Standing In The Shadows Of Motown. His newly recorded Concord Records CD-entitled Cannon Re-Loaded--A Tribute toCannonball Adderley is scheduled for release in January 2008.
One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the HOLLYWOOD BOWL has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and in 1991 gave its name to the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, a resident ensemble that has filled a special niche in the musical life of Southern California. The 2004 season introduced audiences to a revitalized Hollywood Bowl, featuring a newly-constructed shell and stage and the addition of four stadium screens enhancing stage views in the venue. To this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's concerts. While the Bowl is best known for its sizzling summer nights, during the day California's youngest patrons enjoy "SummerSounds: Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl," the Southland's most popular summer arts festival for children, now in its 39th season. Attendance figures over the past several decades have soared: in 1980 the Bowl first topped the half-million mark and close to one million admissions have been recorded. In February 2007, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the third year in a row at the 18th Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards; the Bowl's summer music festival has become as much a part of a Southern California summer as beaches and barbecues, the Dodgers, and Disneyland.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29 at 8 PM
HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood
Jazz at the Bowl
NANCY WILSON 70TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
ARSENIO HALL, host
Concert generously supported by Fidelity Investments
Media support provided by KKJZ
Tickets ($1 - $93) are on sale now at HollywoodBowl.com, at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office (Tuesday - Saturday, 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.), or by calling Ticketmaster at 213.480.3232, and at all Ticketmaster outlets. Groups of 10 or more may be eligible for a 20% discount, subject to availability; call 323.850.2050 for further details. For general information or to request a brochure, call 323.850.2000.
# # #
Adam Crane, email@example.com, 213.972.3034; Lisa Bellamore, firstname.lastname@example.org, 213.972.3689; For photos: 213.972.3034