May 13, 1996
Press Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940
Concert Line: (202) 707-5502
Library of Congress Presents "Jazz '96" Series at Lincoln Theatre
June Concerts Feature Music of Benny Carter, Buddy Collette and Gerald Wilson
Free tickets will be distributed at the Lincoln Theatre beginning May 23
Benny Carter, Buddy Collette and Gerald Wilson, three musicians who have received worldwide acclaim as performers and composers, are the featured artists for a three-day jazz concert series to be presented by the Library of Congress on June 6, 7 and 8. The three bandleaders will bring their ensembles to Washington for "Jazz '96 at the Lincoln," a trio of concerts at the historic Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. N.W. The Lincoln is a newly restored performance space, built as a theater for Washington's African American community in the 1920s.
"Jazz '96 at the Lincoln" is being presented under the auspices of the Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund in the Library of Congress. Through the support of the Gershwin Fund, the Library has commissioned new works from each of the artists for the series.
All Library of Congress concerts are free, but tickets are required and will be available at the Lincoln Theatre box office beginning May 23, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tickets will be limited to two per person for each performance. The three concerts will begin at 8 p.m.; doors to the theater will open at 7:30 p.m.
"These are historically significant concerts honoring major figures in jazz," commented Jon Newsom, chief of the Library of Congress Music Division. "The generous support of the Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund has allowed us to present this series of free concerts at the Lincoln Theatre. It will be the first Library of Congress-sponsored appearance for Buddy Collette and Gerald Wilson, who have donated their personal collections to the Library."
Benny Carter spoke at a special "Benny Carter Evening" during the 1995 Library of Congress Jazz on Film series, co-sponsored by the Music Division and the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division. The June concerts will be recorded for the Library's sound archives, and plans are under way for a public radio broadcast in the "Concerts from the Library of Congress" series, distributed by Public Radio International.
Flutist, clarinetist, and saxophonist Buddy Collette opens the series on Thursday, June 6, with the premiere of his Friendships Suite: Sixty Years of Musical Togetherness, featuring or honoring such past and present colleagues as alto saxophonists and clarinettists Eric Dolphy and Jackie Kelson, trombonist Britt Woodman, guitarist Al Viola, pianist Gerald Wiggins, cellist Fred Katz, bassists Charles Mingus and Red Callender, and drummers Chico Hamilton and Ndugu Chancler. The concert will also feature both his big band and smaller ensembles in such Collette compositions as "Buddy Boo," "Blues in Torrance," "Fun City," "Hunt 'n Peck," "Blue Sand," and "Orlando."
Members of the Buddy Collette Big Band will include Jackie Kelson, Ann Patterson, Louis Van Taylor, Steve Carr and John Stephens, reeds; Ron Barrows, Anne King, Al Aarons, and Nolan Smith, trumpets; Les Benedict and Maurice Spears, trombones; Al Viola; guitar; Gerald Wiggins, piano; Richard Simon, bass; and Ndugu Chancler, drums. Chico Hamilton, Fred Katz and Britt Woodman will appear as guest soloists.
On Friday, June 7, Gerald Wilson and his orchestra will premiere an arrangement of music from Porgy and Bess. Mr. Wilson's arrangement is based on "Summertime," with echoes of "It Ain't Necessarily So," and "Bess, You Is My Woman Now."
The Gerald Wilson Orchestra will include John Stephens, Randall Willis, Carl Randall, Louis Van Taylor and Jack Nimitz, reeds; Snooky Young, Oscar Brashear, Ron Barrows and Frank Szabo,trumpets; Thurman Green, Charles Marillas, Alex Iles and Maurice Spears, trombones; Brian O'Rourke, piano; Trey Henry, bass; Mel Lee, drums; as well as Mr. Wilson's grandson, Eric Otis, and his son, Anthony Wilson, guitars. Anthony Wilson was the 1995 winner of the Thelonious Monk Institute Prize for composition. The program will include selections from Gerald Wilson's "State Street Sweet," with other works from the extensive library he has created for his orchestras of the past five decades, including "Viva Tirado," "Carlos," "Jammin' in C," and "Lighthouse Blues."
On Saturday, June 8, alto saxophonist Benny Carter will conduct the world premiere of his Peaceful Warrior, a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which features vocalists Joe Williams and Marlena Shaw, accompanied by a 40-piece ensemble that includes big band, string orchestra, and harp. Benny Carter's orchestra of New York- and Washington-based musicians will consist of Jerry Dodgion, Steve Wilson, Loren Schoenberg, Seldon Powell and Joe Temperley, reeds; Joe Wilder, John Eckert, Virgil Jones and Byron Stripling, trumpets; Britt Woodman, Benny Powell, Mike Christianson and Dennis Wilson, trombones; James Williams, piano; Joe Kennedy Jr., violin; Keter Betts, bass; and Kenny Washington, drums. His program will draw from a distinguished body of songs and extended works dating from the '20s, possibly including "Symphony in Riffs," "Central City Sketches," "Doozy," "Blues in My Heart," and "When Lights Are Low."
Tickets for the series will be available at the Lincoln Theatre Box Office, 1215 U St. N.W., beginning May 23; telephone (202) 328-6000. For further information about the "Jazz '96 at the Lincoln" series, contact the Library of Congress Concert Office at (202) 707-5502.
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