August-2nd-2005, 12:48 AM
Tanglewood Jazz Fest
The Boston Symphony Orchestra has announced the lineup for its annual Labor Day Weekend Tanglewood Jazz Festival, to be held September 2-4 at the orchestra’s summer home in the Berkshire hills of Lenox, Massachusetts. Jazz greats highlighting this year’s festival include Tony Bennett in a rare performance with the Count Basie Orchestra, saxophone legend Sonny Rollins, Madeleine Peyroux, Toots Thielemans, Kenny Werner, Oscar Castro-Neves, Airto, Marian McPartland, Chris Botti, the Yellowjackets, Skitch Henderson, Bucky Pizzarelli, Jay Leonhart, Diane Schuur, and the Caribbean Jazz Project.
Tickets are on sale now.
Opening the festival on Friday, September 2, at 8 p.m. in Tanglewood’s intimate 1,200-seat Seiji Ozawa Hall will be jazz vocalist Diane Schuur and the Caribbean Jazz Project performing songs from their new CD, “Schuur Fire,” on Concord Picante records. The CD was produced by and features Brazilian guitarist Oscar Castro- Neves, who will also be performing later in the evening with Toots Thielemans, Kenny Werner, and Airto.
Toots Thielemans is the preeminent master of the harmonica in jazz. The Belgian-born musician, who also plays guitar and whistles, has had a career that goes back to World War II. He has played with Benny Goodman,Charlie Parker, Paul Simon, Miles Davis, Milt Jackson, George Shearing, Nancy Wilson, Billy Joel, Ella Fitzgerald, Quincy Jones, and many others. In 1961, Thielemans recorded his classic composition, “Bluesette,” which remains a staple of live sets and has been recorded by scores of artists over the years.
On Saturday, September 3, at noon, pianist/composer Skitch Henderson will be featured in the Tanglewood Theatre, joined by guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli and bassist Jay Leonhart. Later on Saturday at 3 p.m. in Ozawa Hall, Marian McPartland returns to Tanglewood for another live taping of her popular radio program “Piano Jazz,” this year celebrating its 27th season on National Public Radio. McPartland’s guest this year will be vocalist Madeleine Peyroux, whose debut 1996 recording was hailed by Time magazine as “the most exciting, involving vocal performance by a new singer this year.” Her latest recording, “Careless Love,” is a blend of acoustic blues, country ballads, torch songs, and pop, featuring a diverse song list covering the music of W. C. Handy, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, Leonard Cohen, Elliott Smith, and Edith Piaf.
Headlining on Saturday evening at 8 p.m. in Tanglewood’s 5,100-seat Koussevitzky Music Shed – will be the legendary Tony Bennett, performing with the Count Basie Orchestra in a rare reunion to celebrate their landmark 1959 Capitol recording, “Basie & Bennett.” Bennett has sold over 50 million records worldwide and has platinum and gold albums to his credit as well as 12 Grammy Awards and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Directed by Bill Hughes, the Count Basie Orchestra has a big stomping sound. The Basie band of the 1930s created what would be known forever as swing. Today, the musical joy that Count Basie himself created lives on through the superb orchestra that bears his name.
On Sunday, September 4, at 2 p.m. in Ozawa Hall, “saxophone colossus” Sonny Rollins returns to Tanglewood for his first performance there since 2001. Rollins has played for nearly a half a century and today remains one of the few surviving icons from a golden era of jazz that will probably never be equaled.
The popular hot fusion/acoustic jazz group, the Yellowjackets will perform material from their new CD, “Altered States” from Heads Up Records, on Sunday, September 4, at 8 p.m. One of the most popular American jazz ensembles of the past 20 years, the Yellowjackets include keyboardist Russell Ferrante, saxophonist Bob Mintzer, bassist Jimmy Haslip, and drummer Marcus Baylor.
Also appearing on the Sunday-evening program will be trumpeter Chris Botti, a gifted composer and instrumentalist and a charismatic performer who has created a series of recordings that have made him a virtual genre-of-one in the realm of contemporary jazz. He toured with Sting in 2004 and was voted one of People magazine’s “2004’s 50 Most Beautiful People.”
Tickets for the 2005 Tanglewood Jazz Festival are on sale now through SymphonyCharge at 888-266-1200 or online through the BSO’s web site, www.bso.org, powered by EMC Corporation. All ticket prices include a $1 Tanglewood Grounds Maintenance Fee. For further information, please call the Boston Symphony Orchestra at 617-266-1492.
Friday, September 2, 8 p.m., Seiji Ozawa Hall.
DIANE SCHUUR WITH THE CARIBBEAN JAZZ PROJECT/TOOTS THIELEMANS, KENNY WERNER, OSCAR CASTRO-NEVES and AIRTO
Tickets: $55, $47, $40; lawn tickets: $17
Saturday, September 3, 12 noon, Theatre
THE LEGENDS TRIO FEATURING SKITCH HENDERSON, BUCKY PIZZARELLI
Tickets: $35, $25
Saturday, September 3, 3 p.m., Seiji Ozawa Hall
Live taping for NPR’s “Piano Jazz” with special guest MADELEINE PEYROUX
Tickets: $45, $37, $30; lawn tickets: $17
Saturday, September 3, 8 p.m., Koussevitzky Music Shed
TONY BENNETT AND THE COUNT BASIE ORCHESTRA
Tickets: $81, $61, $41; lawn tickets: $23
Sunday, September 4, 2 p.m., Seiji Ozawa Hall
Tickets: $45, $37, $30 lawn tickets: $17
Sunday, September 4, 8 p.m., Seiji Ozawa Hall
Tickets: $65, $55, $42; lawn tickets: $20