Concert

Grace Kelly

Thursday / August 25, 2011 / 12:00 p.m.
Kendall Square
300 Athenaeum Street
Cambridge
MA
United States
Grace Kelly

When it comes to saxophonist, vocalist, composer, lyricist, and arranger Grace Kelly, people seem to be divided into two groups: those who marvel at her proficiency, creativity, and ever-accelerating growth, and those who have yet to encounter the 18-year-old wunderkind. The ranks of the former are growing by the day. Trumpeter and Jazz at Lincoln Center artistic director Wynton Marsalis was so impressed with Kelly's three-night stand as guest of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in November that he invited her to join the ensemble at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater in Washington, D.C. for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day/Inauguration Eve concert. Harry Connick Jr. heard Kelly in a master class on a December afternoon and brought her on stage to sit in with his band that night. This capped an already exceptional end of 2008 in which Kelly's appearance on NPR's Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland was syndicated nationally, the Boston Music Awards declared her the city's Outstanding Jazz Act, and local ABC affiliate WCVB-TV named her one of five Bostonians to Watch in 2009. The 2009 Downbeat Critics Poll added to her list, naming her one of the Alto Saxophone Rising Stars, the youngest ever to be named so. She has numerous other awards to her credit.

To this astonishing list of kudos and credits, Kelly now adds Mood Changes, the fifth release on her PAZZ label. The album mixes six standards with four Kelly originals and features her working quintet (Jason Palmer, trumpet; Doug Johnson, piano; John Lockwood, basses; Jordan Perlson or Terri Lyne Carrington, drums), with guest appearances by guitarist Adam Rogers on two tracks and trombonist Hal Crook on one.

Adventure has been the watchword for the teenaged phenom, who was born Grace Chung on May 15, 1992. (She became Grace Kelly after her mother divorced and remarried and her stepfather, Bob Kelly, legally adopted Grace and her sister Christina.) The strong classical music background of her mother's family led her to begin piano lessons at age six, and she still does much of her composing at the piano as she sings wordlessly. Singing, dancing, writing songs, and theater were also early passions, soon joined by a fascination with the recordings of Stan Getz and other jazz saxophonists that her parents played during Sunday brunches. She began to study the clarinet at her elementary school in the fourth grade, and began private saxophone lessons a few months later. Further inspiration was provided by Ann Hampton Callaway, who detected "the boundless spirit and imagination of a natural artist" when she met Kelly in 2002. Another early champion, middle school music teacher Ken Berman, was so inspired by the pre-teen's playing and writing that he insisted, "you have to record." What followed was her first disc, Dreaming. "The CD release took place on March 17, 2004, when I was 12," she recalls, "and as soon as I walked on stage, I realized that performing was my favorite thing to do."

A growing list of triumphs and testimonials to Kelly's brilliance followed. Times Too (2005), a two-disc set, found her expanding her musical pallet while interpreting such classics as "Isfahan" and "'Round Midnight" with the gravitas of a veteran. The title track of her next disc, Every Road I Walked (2006), garnered the first of her ASCAP Foundation awards and an invitation to perform with the Boston Pops. When conductor Keith Lockhart asked her to play the composition at the concert with just a rhythm section, Kelly countered by suggesting that she write an arrangement for the full orchestra.

Kelly continued to garner accolades from artists she revered, sitting in with the likes of Dave Brubeck, Frank Morgan, and Phil Woods. ("I gave her my hat, that's how good she sounded," Woods enthused. "She's the first alto player to get one.") Perhaps her most intensive connection has been with Lee Konitz, who Kelly has studied with for the past three years. "The biggest lesson that Lee taught me has been spontaneity, from day one," she emphasizes, while Konitz has referred to Kelly as "all ears and all heart." Kelly asked Konitz to guest on two tracks for her fourth album, an invitation that led to the joint composition "GRACEfulLEE" and an entire disc of the same name. GRACEfulLEE, with the all-star support of guitarist Russell Malone, bassist Rufus Reid, and drummer Matt Wilson, garnered a rare four-and-a-half-star review in Down Beat, and has been widely acclaimed as one of the best jazz recordings of 2008.

Kelly received a full scholarship to Berklee and started college at the age of 16. Since age 12 Grace has performed over 500 concerts as a leader all around the world.

Admission: 
Free

Grace Kelly

Thursday / August 25, 2011 / 6:00 p.m.
Institute of Contemporary Art
Putnam Investment Plaza, 100 Northern Avenue
Boston
MA
United States
02210
Grace Kelly

When it comes to saxophonist, vocalist, composer, lyricist, and arranger Grace Kelly, people seem to be divided into two groups: those who marvel at her proficiency, creativity, and ever-accelerating growth, and those who have yet to encounter the 18-year-old wunderkind. The ranks of the former are growing by the day. Trumpeter and Jazz at Lincoln Center artistic director Wynton Marsalis was so impressed with Kelly's three-night stand as guest of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in November that he invited her to join the ensemble at the Kennedy Center's Eisenhower Theater in Washington, D.C. for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day/Inauguration Eve concert. Harry Connick Jr. heard Kelly in a master class on a December afternoon and brought her on stage to sit in with his band that night. This capped an already exceptional end of 2008 in which Kelly's appearance on NPR's Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland was syndicated nationally, the Boston Music Awards declared her the city's Outstanding Jazz Act, and local ABC affiliate WCVB-TV named her one of five Bostonians to Watch in 2009. The 2009 Downbeat Critics Poll added to her list, naming her one of the Alto Saxophone Rising Stars, the youngest ever to be named so. She has numerous other awards to her credit.

To this astonishing list of kudos and credits, Kelly now adds Mood Changes, the fifth release on her PAZZ label. The album mixes six standards with four Kelly originals and features her working quintet (Jason Palmer, trumpet; Doug Johnson, piano; John Lockwood, basses; Jordan Perlson or Terri Lyne Carrington, drums), with guest appearances by guitarist Adam Rogers on two tracks and trombonist Hal Crook on one.

Adventure has been the watchword for the teenaged phenom, who was born Grace Chung on May 15, 1992. (She became Grace Kelly after her mother divorced and remarried and her stepfather, Bob Kelly, legally adopted Grace and her sister Christina.) The strong classical music background of her mother's family led her to begin piano lessons at age six, and she still does much of her composing at the piano as she sings wordlessly. Singing, dancing, writing songs, and theater were also early passions, soon joined by a fascination with the recordings of Stan Getz and other jazz saxophonists that her parents played during Sunday brunches. She began to study the clarinet at her elementary school in the fourth grade, and began private saxophone lessons a few months later. Further inspiration was provided by Ann Hampton Callaway, who detected "the boundless spirit and imagination of a natural artist" when she met Kelly in 2002. Another early champion, middle school music teacher Ken Berman, was so inspired by the pre-teen's playing and writing that he insisted, "you have to record." What followed was her first disc, Dreaming. "The CD release took place on March 17, 2004, when I was 12," she recalls, "and as soon as I walked on stage, I realized that performing was my favorite thing to do."

A growing list of triumphs and testimonials to Kelly's brilliance followed. Times Too (2005), a two-disc set, found her expanding her musical pallet while interpreting such classics as "Isfahan" and "'Round Midnight" with the gravitas of a veteran. The title track of her next disc, Every Road I Walked (2006), garnered the first of her ASCAP Foundation awards and an invitation to perform with the Boston Pops. When conductor Keith Lockhart asked her to play the composition at the concert with just a rhythm section, Kelly countered by suggesting that she write an arrangement for the full orchestra.

Kelly continued to garner accolades from artists she revered, sitting in with the likes of Dave Brubeck, Frank Morgan, and Phil Woods. ("I gave her my hat, that's how good she sounded," Woods enthused. "She's the first alto player to get one.") Perhaps her most intensive connection has been with Lee Konitz, who Kelly has studied with for the past three years. "The biggest lesson that Lee taught me has been spontaneity, from day one," she emphasizes, while Konitz has referred to Kelly as "all ears and all heart." Kelly asked Konitz to guest on two tracks for her fourth album, an invitation that led to the joint composition "GRACEfulLEE" and an entire disc of the same name. GRACEfulLEE, with the all-star support of guitarist Russell Malone, bassist Rufus Reid, and drummer Matt Wilson, garnered a rare four-and-a-half-star review in Down Beat, and has been widely acclaimed as one of the best jazz recordings of 2008.

Kelly received a full scholarship to Berklee and started college at the age of 16. She has already performed over 500 concerts as a leader all around the world.

Admission: 
Free

Hailey Niswanger Quartet

Saturday / August 13, 2011 / 5:00 p.m.
Derby Square
Front Street
Salem
MA
United States
01970
Hailey Niswanger Quartet

Berklee student Hailey Niswanger has an impressive list of accomplishments that reach far beyond the borders of her home in Portland, Oregon and well beyond her years. She has shared the stage with DeeDee Bridgewater, George Duke, George Garzone, Red Holloway, Terell Stafford, Phil Woods, James Moody, Steve Nelson, Christian McBride, McCoy Tyner, Maceo Parker, Wynton Marsalis, Mark Whitfield, and other jazz greats. She leads her own quartet, which has performed at the Portland Jazz Festival, Jimmy Mak's Jazz Club, Mt. Hood Jazz Festival, and other jazz venues around Portland.  In September 2009, she was selected as the new alto saxophonist in the internationally acclaimed big band the Either/Orchestra, occupying the chair previously held by Miguel Zenon and Jaleel Shaw, among others.

Hailey's June 2009 recording debut as a leader-the self-produced and self-released CD Confeddie-was promoted to both U.S. and Canadian press and radio, establishing her throughout North America. The album was reviewed in such leading jazz magazines as JazzTimes and Jazziz and inspired veteran jazz critic Nat Hentoff to profile her in the Wall Street Journal. It was programmed on more than 100 radio stations in North America and was on the CMJ (College Music Journal) Jazz Top-40 chart for 11 consecutive weeks, four in the top-10 and three in the top-5-including two weeks at its peak position of No. 4 and was the No. 1 jazz add during its add week. Confeddie also appeared on the JazzWeek Top-50 chart three times and was among the top 100 jazz CDs in the country for two months.

Admission: 
Free

Hailey Niswanger Quartet

Saturday / June 25, 2011 / 6:15 p.m.
Lani Maile at Kauai Lagoons Resort
3351 Hoolaulea Way
Lihue
HI
United States
96766
Hailey Niswanger Quartet

Berklee student Hailey Niswanger has an impressive list of accomplishments that reach far beyond the borders of her home in Portland, Oregon and well beyond her years. She has shared the stage with DeeDee Bridgewater, George Duke, George Garzone, Red Holloway, Terell Stafford, Phil Woods, James Moody, Steve Nelson, Christian McBride, McCoy Tyner, Maceo Parker, Wynton Marsalis, Mark Whitfield, and other jazz greats. She leads her own quartet, which has performed at the Portland Jazz Festival, Jimmy Mak's Jazz Club, Mt. Hood Jazz Festival, and other jazz venues around Portland.  In September 2009, she was selected as the new alto saxophonist in the internationally acclaimed big band the Either/Orchestra, occupying the chair previously held by Miguel Zenon and Jaleel Shaw, among others.

Hailey's June 2009 recording debut as a leader-the self-produced and self-released CD Confeddie-was promoted to both U.S. and Canadian press and radio, establishing her throughout North America. The album was reviewed in such leading jazz magazines asJazzTimes and Jazziz and inspired veteran jazz critic Nat Hentoff to profile her in the Wall Street Journal. It was programmed on more than 100 radio stations in North America and was on the CMJ (College Music Journal) Jazz Top-40 chart for 11 consecutive weeks, four in the top-10 and three in the top-5-including two weeks at its peak position of No. 4 and was the No. 1 jazz add during its add week. Confeddie also appeared on the JazzWeek Top-50 chart three times and was among the top 100 jazz CDs in the country for two months.

Admission: 
$40

Hailey Niswanger Quartet

Friday / June 17, 2011 / 8:00 p.m.
Jimmy Mak's
221 Northwest 10th Avenue
Portland
OR
United States
97209-3108
Hailey Niswanger Quartet

Berklee student Hailey Niswanger has an impressive list of accomplishments that reach far beyond the borders of her home in Portland, Oregon and well beyond her years. She has shared the stage with DeeDee Bridgewater, George Duke, George Garzone, Red Holloway, Terell Stafford, Phil Woods, James Moody, Steve Nelson, Christian McBride, McCoy Tyner, Maceo Parker, Wynton Marsalis, Mark Whitfield, and other jazz greats. She leads her own quartet, which has performed at the Portland Jazz Festival, Jimmy Mak's Jazz Club, Mt. Hood Jazz Festival, and other jazz venues around Portland.  In September 2009, she was selected as the new alto saxophonist in the internationally acclaimed big band the Either/Orchestra, occupying the chair previously held by Miguel Zenon and Jaleel Shaw, among others.

Hailey's June 2009 recording debut as a leader-the self-produced and self-released CD Confeddie-was promoted to both U.S. and Canadian press and radio, establishing her throughout North America. The album was reviewed in such leading jazz magazines asJazzTimes and Jazziz and inspired veteran jazz critic Nat Hentoff to profile her in the Wall Street Journal. It was programmed on more than 100 radio stations in North America and was on the CMJ (College Music Journal) Jazz Top-40 chart for 11 consecutive weeks, four in the top-10 and three in the top-5-including two weeks at its peak position of No. 4 and was the No. 1 jazz add during its add week. Confeddie also appeared on the JazzWeek Top-50 chart three times and was among the top 100 jazz CDs in the country for two months.

Admission: 

Hailey Niswanger Quartet

Monday / June 13, 2011 / 7:00 p.m.
Boxley's
101 West North Bend Way
North Bend
WA
United States
98045
Hailey Niswanger Quartet

Berklee student Hailey Niswanger has an impressive list of accomplishments that reach far beyond the borders of her home in Portland, Oregon and well beyond her years. She has shared the stage with DeeDee Bridgewater, George Duke, George Garzone, Red Holloway, Terell Stafford, Phil Woods, James Moody, Steve Nelson, Christian McBride, McCoy Tyner, Maceo Parker, Wynton Marsalis, Mark Whitfield, and other jazz greats. She leads her own quartet, which has performed at the Portland Jazz Festival, Jimmy Mak's Jazz Club, Mt. Hood Jazz Festival, and other jazz venues around Portland.  In September 2009, she was selected as the new alto saxophonist in the internationally acclaimed big band the Either/Orchestra, occupying the chair previously held by Miguel Zenon and Jaleel Shaw, among others.

Hailey's June 2009 recording debut as a leader—the self-produced and self-released CD Confeddie—was promoted to both U.S. and Canadian press and radio, establishing her throughout North America. The album was reviewed in such leading jazz magazines as JazzTimes and Jazziz and inspired veteran jazz critic Nat Hentoff to profile her in the Wall Street Journal. It was programmed on more than 100 radio stations in North America and was on the CMJ (College Music Journal) Jazz Top-40 chart for 11 consecutive weeks, four in the top-10 and three in the top-5—including two weeks at its peak position of No. 4 and was the No. 1 jazz add during its add week. Confeddie also appeared on the JazzWeek Top-50 chart three times and was among the top 100 jazz CDs in the country for two months.

Admission: 

Zac Zinger Group

Sunday / August 7, 2011 / 12:30 p.m.
Spectacle Island
Boston Harbor Islands
Quincy
MA
United States
02171
The Zach Zinger Group

The Zac Zinger Group is a quartet made up of four progressive jazz musicians with a passion for exploring new music in ways that challenge both the musicians and the listener. Formed in 2007, signed to Jazz Revelation Records in 2009 and 2011, and a featured band at the 2010 Falmouth Jazz Festival, the Group is influenced by elements of jazz, soul, funk, gospel, fusion, and R&B, but does not quite fit into one specific genre.

Composer/saxophonist/EWI player Zac Zinger is a 2011 graduate the Berklee College of Music. Born and raised just outside of Pittsburgh, he picked up the saxophone at age 9 and has since received a number of awards, including the Herb Pomeroy Award two times, the Pittsburgh Jazz Society Award for Musical Excellence, the Irene S. and Harry Louik Theatre Arts Award, and the Melville Alexander Eberhardt Award. He has performed in 10 countries and written and had performed works for ensembles ranging in size from jazz quartets to a 90-piece orchestra. Zinger currently writes music for movies and video games, as well as all of the music in the ZZG repertoire.

Zinger is joined by virtuoso Puerto Rican pianist Abraham Olivo, a veteran of the Monterey Jazz Festival who has played with the likes of Floetry, Chaka Kahn, and Hugh Masekela; bassist Kellan Thomas, a full scholarship recipient and graduate of the Berklee College of Music; and drummer Alex Melcher, a 2010 recipient of the Steve Gadd Award. Together ZZG boasts a fresh contemporary sound that has been compared to artists as prominent as the Yellowjackets, Michael Brecker, and David Sanborn.

 

Admission: 
Free

Mario Castro Quintet

Sunday / August 7, 2011 / 11:00 a.m.
Newport Jazz Festival
Fort Adams State Park
Newport
RI
United States
Mario Castro Quintet

Before Mario Castro even discovered his passion for music he was a shy little boy who loved to see his father perform and rehearse with his band. Although it was his mother who took him to his first saxophone lesson, he originally started playing music with the intentions of creating a better relationship with his father. He attended the famed Escuela Libre de Musica in Puerto Rico.

His first exposure to jazz was two years after he started taking lessons, when he first laid ears on Dexter Gordon's huge and soulful sound; later he got the opportunity to perform in the Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Festival with the Berklee in Puerto Rico student big band. His performance earned him a full scholarship to attend Berklee's 2005 five-week program. Today he attends Berklee, where he has the honor of studying with Jeff Stout, Greg Badolato, George Garzone, Tony Germain, Shannon Leclair, Greg Hopkins, Phil Wilson, Dave Santoro, and more.

Although Castro's primary interest is jazz, that has not stopped him from learning his Afro-Caribbean roots and how to play various styles of music. This attitude led him to perform with a great variety of artists and gain a reputation among the veteran musicians in the Puerto Rican music scene. He has played in Puerto Rico's most important theaters and stages, including with the Puerto Rico Philharmonic Orchestra.

Admission: 
$100

Will Wells and Dynamic Sound

Thursday / August 4, 2011 / 6:00 p.m.
Institute of Contemporary Art
Putnam Investment Plaza, 100 Northern Avenue
Boston
MA
United States
02210
Will Wells

William F. Wells was born and raised in Sicklerville, New Jersey, just across the water from Philadelphia. He discovered his passion for songwriting and composition early in his high school years, and that same passion was set on fire when he came to the Berklee Five-Week Summer Program in 2005. After graduating high school, Wells entered Berklee for full-time study in the fall of 2007. He has since emerged as a songwriter, composer, arranger, engineer, and musician and has had the opportunity to work with such renowned artists as John Mayer, Wyclef Jean, Bobby McFerrin, and Patrice Rushen.

Admission: 
Free

Will Wells and Dynamic Sound

Thursday / August 4, 2011 / 12:00 p.m.
Kendall Square
300 Athenaeum Street
Cambridge
MA
United States
Will Wells

William F. Wells was born and raised in Sicklerville, New Jersey, just across the water from Philadelphia. He discovered his passion for songwriting and composition early in his high school years, and that same passion was set on fire when he came to the Berklee Five-Week Summer Program in 2005. After graduating high school, Wells entered Berklee for full-time study in the fall of 2007. He has since emerged as a songwriter, composer, arranger, engineer, and musician and has had the opportunity to work with such renowned artists as John Mayer, Wyclef Jean, Bobby McFerrin, and Patrice Rushen.

Admission: 
Free

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