JAZZ ROOTS: JAZZ & SOUL Spotlighting Incomparable Jazz Legends — AL JARREAU and RAMSEY LEWIS at the Adrienne Arsht Center

In honor of Black History Month, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and acclaimed producer Larry Rosen will present two multi-Grammy Award-winning artists — the incomparable jazz vocalist Al Jarreau and NEA Jazz Master Ramsey Lewis — in a concert entitled JAZZ ROOTS: A Larry Rosen Jazz Series: JAZZ AND SOUL on Friday, February 26, 2010 at 8 p.m. in the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall. The program will feature current selections and hit tunes from the talents of these two illustrious musicians who took jazz, merged it with soul, and created their own signature sounds.

“As we celebrate Black History Month in February, this special concert will bring two world-renowned, multiple Grammy Award-winners to the stage of the Knight Concert Hall.  Al Jarreau and Ramsey Lewis represent the very best of this uniquely American musical expression, born out of the African Diaspora, and so beloved here in the South Florida community — Jazz,” said M. John Richard, President and CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center. “It is with great pride and enthusiasm that we present our tenth Jazz Roots performance, and continue our season-long celebration of events that showcase the music rooted in African-American traditions.”

“As part of our JAZZ ROOTS series we’re honored to bring Al Jarreau, one of the most unique vocal artists of our time, to the Adrienne Arsht Center,” said producer Larry Rosen. “Al has a stylistic range that goes from a pop song to a classic jazz standard, plus he has the ability to use his voice in a way that creates an incredible rhythmic percussive groove, elevating any audience into a frenzy.”  Rosen continued, “As part of our JAZZ and SOUL concert, we are also presenting NEA Jazz Master Ramsey Lewis, who brings the church, the blues, R&B, and straight ahead jazz to audiences, with a sense of class and sophistication. He is the complete performer and an American classic!”

Al Jarreau’s unique vocal style is one of the world’s most precious musical treasures. His innovative musical expressions have made him one of the most exciting and critically-acclaimed performers of our time with six Grammy Awards, scores of international music awards and popular accolades worldwide. Considered by many to be the greatest living jazz singer, Al Jarreau is an artist of stunning range. He has spent decades bending genres with his lithe voice, earning him the rare distinction of being the only artist to have won Grammy Awards in three different categories: pop, jazz, and R&B. His most recent recording, Al Jarreau – The Very Best of: An Excellent Adventure, was released by Rhino Records in 2009.

Al Jarreau has toured and performed with countless musicians, including Miles Davis, David Sanborn, and George Benson.  In the 1980s, he became a weekly guest in America’s living rooms singing the Grammy-nominated theme song for the hit television series Moonlighting.  An incredibly versatile artist, in 1996, he also performed the role of Teen Angel in the Broadway hit musical, Grease!  In 2001, he was awarded a star on the “Hollywood Walk of Fame,” solidifying his status as one of the pre-eminent singers of his generation.

In addition to his Arsht Center performance as part of the JAZZ ROOTS series, highlights of Mr. Jarreau’s 2010 schedule include performances at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and Weekend of Jazz in Broadmoor, Colorado.

Composer, pianist, and jazz legend Ramsey Lewis is affectionately known as “the great performer,” a title reflecting his performance style and musical selections which display his early gospel playing and classical training, along with his love of jazz and other musical forms.  Although primarily considered a jazz artist, he is known for mixing a variety of genres, including soul, blues, pop, and classical into his repertoire.

Ramsey Lewis’s recording history – more than 80 albums in his six-decade career – attests to his enduring popularity.  He first captivated fans with his debut album, Ramsey Lewis and the Gentlemen of Swing, by the Ramsey Lewis Trio in 1956.  By 1965, he was one of the nation’s most successful jazz pianists, topping the charts with his singles, “The In Crowd,” “Hang on Sloopy,” and “Wade in the Water.”

Mr. Lewis’s most recent release, Songs from the Heart: Ramsey Plays Ramsey, was released by Concord Records in 2009.  In addition to recording albums and performing live, Mr. Lewis continues to host the syndicated Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis radio program that airs in more than 75 cities throughout the U.S., as well as perform internationally with his trio, Larry Gray on bass and Leon Joyce on drums.  Mr. Lewis has three Grammy Awards and seven gold records to his credit and, in January 2007, he received the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award.

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.

The JAZZ ROOTS series is presented in partnership with Bank of America.

WPBT Channel 2, WDNA 88.9 FM Serious Jazz, WLRN 91.3 FM, Capsule Media and Daniel Azoulay Gallery have generously agreed to be media sponsors of JAZZ ROOTS.


Tickets for JAZZ ROOTS: JAZZ AND SOUL range from $25 to $125 and can be purchased through the Adrienne Arsht Center box office at 305.949.6722 or online at www.arshtcenter.org.


Adrienne Arsht Center and Larry Rosen present


Featuring Al Jarreau and Ramsey Lewis

Celebrate Black History Month with two renowned stars and the music born out of the African-American experience. Al Jarreau, six-time Grammy Award winner, possesses a voice that is recognized as one of the world’s most precious treasures. One of the most honored artists in the history of jazz, NEA Jazz Master Ramsey Lewis is often referred to as “the great performer.”

February 26, 2010 at 8 p.m.

Tickets: $25 – $125

Knight Concert Hall

Adrienne Arsht Center

1300 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, FL 33132

For tickets, visit www.arshtcenter.org or call 305.949.6722

Visit www.arshtcenter.org for up-to-date information for details and schedules. See highlights and video for the JAZZ ROOTS series at www.jazzroots.net.

JAZZ ROOTS series subscriptions, which include tickets to all six performances, are also available with seating priority given to renewed subscriptions and Adrienne Arsht Center members.

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