Litchfield Jazz Festival Sponsors Virtual Concerts

Litchfield Jazz Festival is a stickler for doing whatever we do first-rate. With 25 years of Festivals showcasing the talents of people like Wayne Shorter, Tito Puente, Ray Charles, Dave Brubeck, Christian McBride, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Gregory Porter, Hubert Laws, Roy Haynes, Ahmad Jamal, and hundreds of others, allowing a pandemic to cancel their 25th anniversary was not an option. Ditto for Litchfield Jazz Camp. So, we determined to put together the best virtual programs they could with just three months lead time and no excuses for anything less than the best a virtual platform could support.

So, by July we were ready and able to run a virtual version of the acclaimed Litchfield Jazz Camp, complete with free live-streamed concert each evening. Additionally, there was the 25th Anniversary Festival featuring top artists from a soundstage with the best microphones money can buy, ten cameras to cover the action from every possible angle, and a live stream with extraordinary production values thanks to a solid relationship with Telefunken Elecktroakustik in South Windsor Ct.

Both programs were so successful that literally minutes after they wrapped, we began planning how to extend virtual offerings across the calendar year. Litchfield Jazz is proud to present, beginning October 23rd, Litchfield Jazz Fest Presents, a live stream concert series from the Telefunken Soundstage, and beginning Oct 24 and continuing for 8 Saturdays, Litchfield Jazz Camp – Fall Semester.

The concert series Litchfield Jazz Fest Presents – currently has 3 scheduled performances. Each show will be streamed live from Telefunken Soundstage in South Windsor, CT — the concerts will be offered free, thanks to the generous support of several members of our Litchfield Jazz community. You can tune into the shows on the Litchfield Performing Arts YouTube page, Litchfield Jazz Camp or Festival Facebook pages, or you can use the links on the homepage.

Mario Pavone & his Dialect Trio – OCTOBER 23, 2020 @ 7:30pm
The first of these presents Mario Pavone and his Dialect Trio. The program will mark the 80th birthday of the iconic avant garde bassist whose career spans 60 years with collaborators like Wadada Leo Smith, Anthony Braxton, Bill Dixon, Paul Bley, Dewey Redman, and Thomas Chapin. For this performance, he will be paired with Matt Mitchell on piano and Tyshawn Sorey on drums. Pavone is in great company here with two top players half age— he is an inveterate mentor and always has been—whose laurels include a MacArthur (Sorey) and a Pew Fellowship (Mitchell). To date, the Trio has three critically acclaimed CDs to their credit.

Pavone used the lockdown created by the pandemic to compose some exciting new work he will introduce here which he says “reflects the sheer joy of playing and the importance of this political moment.”

Emmet Cohen Trio – DECEMBER 17, 2020 @ 7:30pm
On December 17, Emmet Cohen, the extraordinarily gifted 30-year-old jazz pianist and winner of the 2019 American Pianists Awards and Monk Competition finalist at just 21, will present the Emmet Cohen Trio. As it is smack dab in the middle of the holiday season he is looking forward to arranging jazzy renditions of some treasured tunes. Emmet, who as a 16-year-old attended Litchfield Jazz Camp where he says he decided to become a professional has, since earning his Master’s at Manhattan School of Music, appeared on just about every important Jazz Festival from Monterey to North Sea and played every concert hall from Kennedy to Lincoln Center and every iconic jazz club worldwide.

Now an artist on the Max Jazz label, his magnum opus so far is arguably his self-produced series, the “Masters Legacy Series.” This project had as its purpose to bring together talented young musicians like himself and others like alto player Godwin Louis (another one-time Litchfield Camper) with jazz masters at the pinnacle of their careers late in their lives. Emmet wasted no time laying down tracks, and for that we are grateful. Destined to become classics, the first was with drummer Jimmy Cobb of Kind of Blue fame. Later he recorded with saxophonist Jimmy Heath, and both have recently passed away. Emmet has also recorded with saxophonist George Coleman, another Miles Davis alum, and Ron Carter, who according to the Guinness Book of World Records is the “most recorded jazz bassist” in the history (2221X).

While his trio is a bit of a moveable feast including outstanding players like drummer Joe Saylor of the Tonight Show’s Stay Human Band and renowned bassist Yasushi Nakamura, his principal working group has Kyle Poole on drums and Russell Hall on bass. Their latest enterprise begun when touring was no longer an option, is “Live from Emmet’s Place,” a Monday evening series that has run for more than half a year already. Cohen’s brainchild, the program is supported by 430 members and counting with up to … listening in.

Chad LB Quartet – FEBRUARY 26, 2021 @ 7:30pm
On February 26, Litchfield Jazz Fest Presents will host the ChadLB Quartet. The New York Daily News called Chad Lefkowitz-Brown (Chad LB these days) a “sax phenom.” At 31, he has already toured globally as a soloist and with jazz stars and pop icons like Arturo O’Farrill, Chris Botti, and Taylor Swift. Litchfield is proud to claim Chad as one of its own. Like Emmet Cohen, he, too, was a Litchfield Jazz Camper back in the day. He went on to be selected for the prestigious scholarship program by the Dave Brubeck Institute at the University of the Pacific. Then he set out to conquer the world and did a pretty fine job of it. In addition to his performance career, Chad continues to be a visiting artist at the renowned San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

A native of Elmira, New York, Chad established himself as a jazz prodigy at age 11, performing across New York State under the mentorship of local jazz hero, George Reed, who was known for backing legends like Teddy Wilson, Buddy Tate, and Marian McPartland.

Chad will appear on the Litchfield Jazz live stream, offered for free to the public, with Manuel Valera on piano, Dan Chmielinski, bass, and Bryan Carter, drums.

Chad LB, concert, Emmet Cohen, jazz music, mario pavone, Virtual concert

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