Now celebrating its Fifth Anniversary Season, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and Larry Rosen present JAZZ ROOTS: A Larry Rosen Jazz Series – GUITAR VIRTUOSOS on April 1, 2011 at 8 p.m. in the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall of the Adrienne Arsht Center. In honor of Jazz Appreciation Month, the program will spotlight two of the world’s leading guitarists in all of jazz: the legendary Al Di Meola and Lee Ritenour. Di Meola, who came to fame in 1974 as part of pianist Chick Corea’s landmark fusion band Return To Forever, is renowned internationally for mastering the art blending jazz and world music. Di Meola’s World Sinfonia will showcase the complex rhythmic syncopation and sophisticated harmonies of his latest ensemble, which is comprised of some of the most talented musicians from around the globe. Multi-Platinum guitar wizard Lee Ritenour, who earned the moniker “Captain Fingers” for his virtuosic performances, is considered the pioneer of West Coast contemporary jazz. His latest recording, 6 String Theory, was named “Guitar Album of the Year” by Guitar International magazine and Jazziz magazine’s “Publisher’s Album of the Year,” both in 2011.
“The final concert this season of our popular six-concert Jazz Roots series highlights a true ‘roots’ instrument, the guitar, which has been vital part of American popular music and has played a defining role in every form of music from the blues to R&B, jazz and rock. ” said M. John Richard, president and CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center.
A bona fide guitar hero, perennial poll-winner and virtuoso of the highest order, Grammy Award-winning Al Di Meola is a highly acclaimed composer and performer. His career spans over 30 years and includes numerous accolades, three gold albums, and more than six million in record sales. Di Meola is a pioneer in the art of blending jazz and world music, and his work reflects the rich influence of flamenco, tango, Middle Eastern, Brazilian, and African music. His creative output to date is staggering, whether it’s with his current World Sinfonia band or past musical endeavors such as the internationally acclaimed trio with fellow guitar superstars John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucia (with whom he recorded the best-selling live album Friday Night in San Francisco) or ’70s fusion supergroup Return To Forever with Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White. Di Meola’s dazzling acoustic and electric guitar technique has afforded him regal status among the hordes of fans that regularly flock to his concerts.
Lee Ritenour is a Grammy Award-winning guitar master who boasts a storied an eclectic 40-year career that legends are made of. From his first session with the Mamas and the Papas at the young age of 16 to his accompanying famed singers Tony Bennett and Lena Horne at 18, Ritenour has worked alongside the greats in jazz, pop, and even opera worlds. In the 1990s, he was a founding member of Fourplay, the most successful band in contemporary jazz, whose first album spent an unprecedented 33 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s contemporary jazz chart. Ritenour has recorded more than 40 albums, with 35 chart songs; garnered 19 Grammy nominations; and played on more than 3,000 sessions with a broad spectrum of stellar artists including Ray Charles, Pink Floyd, Dizzy Gillespie, Steely Dan, and Frank Sinatra. Guitar Player magazine awarded him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010, the year in which his highly acclaimed hit album Lee Ritenour’s 6 String Theory was released.
JAZZ ROOTS also features an in-depth educational partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools which will bring more than 900 music students to the Center for a unique behind-the-scenes experience, including a pre-concert sound check and a Q&A session with featured artists followed by a workshop with a local jazz expert that will highlight the music, the artistic process and the practical skills needed for a career in the arts. In addition, the Center has developed a curriculum which will be distributed to 800 music, English and social studies teachers throughout the MDCPS school system, potentially serving 24,000 children.
Heralded by Quincy Jones as “the most important new concert and educational jazz series in America!,” JAZZ ROOTS has the unique distinction of being the only major jazz series in America that has sold-out every one of its concerts since inception. More than 26,000 South Floridians have attended JAZZ ROOTS concerts at the Adrienne Arsht Center.
WPBT Channel 2, WDNA 88.9 FM Serious Jazz, WLRN 91.3 FM, and Capsule Media have generously agreed to be media sponsors of JAZZ ROOTS.