Litchfield Jazz Festival Features Music Legends and Rising Artists

Carmen Staaf, Claudio Roditi, Curtis Fuller, Anthony Strong, Kirk Whalum, Jimmy Greene, Mike Stern and Jane Bunnett are featured performers.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Anthony Cecena
    Jazz legend Curtis Fuller is bringing his trombone to Goshen for the Litchfield Jazz Festival on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014.

    After a successful opening night, the Litchfield Jazz Festival continues throughout the weekend with more performances from acclaimed and up-and-coming jazz artists.

    Cecile McLorin Salvant and Cyrus Chestnut had people dancing on Friday night under clear skies on the main stage at the Goshen Fairgrounds and jazz aficionados flocked to the Friends Gala.

    The fairgrounds opened Saturday at 11 a.m. for more jazzy fun, which will include performances by the Carmen Staaf Sextet at noon, Grammy-nominated trumpet and flugelhorn player Claudio Roditi, a Litchfield Jazz Camp faculty member, and his Brazilian Jazz Sextet at 1:45 p.m., trombonist Curtis Fuller and Friends at 3:30 p.m. and  Anthony Strong at 6 p.m., making his United States debut.

    Fuller, who grew up in a Detroit orphanage after his parents died, rose to success after getting a start in music when the U.S. Army "provided his ticket to ride with his membership in a band" also featuring "future jazz stars" trumpet player Donald Byrd and bassist Paul Chambers, according to the jazz festival's website. He moved to New York when he was 23 and recorded his first album, later performing with jazz legends Miles Davis and John Coltrane in the late 1950s, the website stated. You can hear him on Coltrane's famous "Blue Train" album.

    Strong studied music at London's Guildhall School of Music, paying for his education through "gigs and sessions with artists like Michael Bolton, Marti Pellow and Beverley Knight," according to the jazz festival website.

    Eleven-time Grammy-nominated saxophonist Kirk Whalum, who won Best Gospel Song at the Grammy Awards for his original song "It's What I Do," closes Saturday's lineup with a 7:45 p.m. main stage performance, according to the website. He is also scheduled to do a talk on Saturday from 4:45 to 5:30 p.m.

    The music doesn't stop there. Concertgoers are invited to intend an after party and open jam after the last performance.

    Litchfield Jazz Orchestra Django Reinhardt Project opens the festival on Sunday at noon in its debut performance, according to the festival's website. Doug Munro, twice nominated for a Grammy and founder of SUNY Purchase College's Jazz program, started the resident orchestra for the festival. The orchestra will play the music of Django Reinhardt, the "Belgian-born French guitarist" known for co-creating Gypsy Jazz, a fusion of "Romani folk music and American swing," according to the website.

    Litchfield Jazz Festival and jazz camp board member and bassist/composer Mario Pavone's Street Songs: The Accordion Project is next in the Sunday lineup at 1:45 p.m., featuring the sound of "front stoop" Italian, Portuguese and Polish accordions he remembered from "postwar Waterbury" and cornet, flugelhorn, trombone, tuba, piano, bass, French horn, tuba and drums,  according to the event website.

    Sunday's 3:45 p.m. act, Hartford saxophonist and composer Jimmy Greene, named a DownBeat's Critics Poll "Rising Star," is featured on more than 70 albums and has toured or recorded with renowned artists like Horace Silver, Tom Harrell, Freddie Hubbard, Harry Connick Jr., Avishai Cohen and Kenny Barron, Lewis Nash, Steve Turre, according to the festival's website. Now you can hear him close to home performing with his quartet right at the Litchfield Jazz Festival.

    Mutli-Grammy nominee and guitarist Mike Stern is scheduled to play for the first time at the festival at 5:30 p.m. with bassist Janek Gwizdala, saxophonist Bob Franceschini and drummer Lionel Cordew.

    Soprano saxophonist and flutist Jane Bunnett, who has been nominated for Grammy awards twice and who is known for her "Cuban music and jazz" style, will close the festival with her 7:15 p.m. performance. Earlier in the evening, she is scheduled to do a talk from 4:50 to 5:35 p.m.

    Kids from the Litchfield Jazz Camp will also perform at the festival. Other family-friendly events include Kids Zone, artist talks, food, art and crafts displays. Beer and wine will also be sold at the event for the adults.

    The festival runs into the evening on Saturday and will reopen on Sunday at 11 a.m.

    Tickets cost $79 for a single ticket in the tent and $40 for the lawn. Students 25 and under can get buy lawn tickets for $20. More information on ticket packages and the festival is available on the Litchfield Jazz Festival website.

    The Goshen Fairgrounds is located at 116 Old Middle Street in Goshen.

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