This week, SFJAZZ – in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts – hosts the 2022 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert, honouring Stanley Clarke, Donald Harrison Jr, Billy Hart and Cassandra Wilson. This free concert also launches a year-long celebration of the 40th anniversary of the program.
The concert host will be the 2018 NEA Jazz Master Dianne Reeves and in addition to performances by this year’s Jazz Masters, it will also feature Jeremiah Collier, Joe Dyson, Ethan Iverson, Dan Kaufman, Salar Nader, Nori Naraoka, Ruslan Sirota, Ben Street, and Mark Turner. The SFJAZZ Collective is included in the line-up, as well as Skylar Tang, the 16 year-old trumpeter who also performs with the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars.
Bassist, composer, arranger and producer, Stanley Clarke is regarded as one of the most influential performers in modern jazz history. Founding member of the jazz-rock fusion band Return to Forever – which included Chick Corea, Lenny White and Al Di Meola, and became one of the most popular jazz bands of its day – Stanley Clarke also established a charitable organization through which talented young musicians are awarded scholarships each year.
Donald Harrison Jr is a cultural activist, saxophonist, composer and educator. Known for his hard-swinging improvisational style, he was the creator of “Nouveau Swing” – a blend of jazz with R&B, hip-hop, rock and soul. He is dedicated to preserving the music and culture of New Orleans and the survival of its legacy, creating employment opportunities in his own bands for young musicians who had remained in the city after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Among the world renowned jazz artists from New Orleans and beyond whom he has mentored are Jon Batiste, Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Trombone Shorty and Esperanza Spalding.
“The majestic drummer” (Detroit Free Press) Billy Hart is among the most sought-after and versatile jazz drummers of his generation, having recorded 12 albums in his own name, and performed as a sideman on more than 600 recordings. Also an educator, he teaches both nationally and internationally, and is the author of the book Jazz Drumming.
Vocalist, composer and guitarist, two-time Grammy-winner Cassandra Wilson has expanded the definition of jazz, using her distinctive voice and unusual arrangements to reinterpret standards into jazz, blues, country and folk numbers. As a leader, she has released more than 20 albums, and has been featured on recordings by artists such as Terence Blanchard, Bill Frisell, Charlie Haden, Angelique Kidjo and Luther Vandross. Her performance on Wynton Marsalis’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Blood on the Fields album has been widely acclaimed.
The NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship is the highest honor that the US bestows on jazz artists. Since 1982, the NEA program has elevated to its ranks a select number of living legends who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz -165 fellowships awarded to great figures in jazz, including Ella Fitzgerald, Sonny Rollins, Dianne Reeves, Miles Davis, Chick Corea and George Wein. For more information about the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters, visit arts.gov/honors/jazz.
The live webcast of the 2022 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert will begin at 7:30 pm PT/ 10:30 pm ET at arts.gov and sfjazz.org on 31st March 2022. In addition, a number of other websites will be screening the live webcast, and a number of radio stations will also be broadcasting the event. For a complete list of websites and radio stations, visit the SFJAZZ website. An archive of the webcast will also be available following the event at arts.gov.
In-person ticket reservations for this event are currently filled. Please click the ‘Check Ticket Availability’ button on the SFJAZZ website for any tickets that might have been returned. A limited number of walk-up tickets will also be available the night of the concert on a first-come, first-served basis. Patrons are encouraged to arrive from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. to receive tickets via the Box Office standby line. Once the concert hall is fully at capacity, the concert will be streamed live in the Joe Henderson Lab for the public to view.
Information sourced from:
SFJAZZ program notes