Jazz Festival
Saturday July 20 All Day

Jazz Festival

Presented in Collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center

Day Only: $15, $30
Full Festival: $40, $53, $59, $66, $72, $78

Overview

Celebrating its 5th year in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center, Caramoor’s Jazz Festival is a highly anticipated highlight of the summer with jazz performed by phenomenal talent amid lush gardens and distinctive venues on our 90 acres of grounds. Treat yourself and stay for a whole day of music leading up to the evening headliner — ten-time Grammy Award winner Eddie Palmieri, one of the finest pianists of the past 60 years and recognized as a true American musical icon.

Artists

Evening Artists 8:00pm
Eddie Palmieri Salsa Orchestra

Daytime Artists beginning at noon
Etienne Charles & Creole Soul
Lakecia Benjamin Quartet Plays Coltrane
Michela Marino Lerman’s Love Movement
Sammy Miller and The Congregation
The Isaiah J. Thompson Quartet
Andrea Motis Quintet
and many more to be announced!

 
Members’ Jazz Lounge in the Pavilion available for all Membership levels

New! Summer Series
This performance is part of the Festival Series.
Save 15% on tickets to this performance when you add tickets to American Roots Music Festival.


Eddie Palmieri

Eddie Palmieri Salsa Orchestra

Artist Website  Watch

Known as one of the finest pianists of the past 60 years, Eddie Palmieri is a bandleader, arranger, and composer of salsa and Latin jazz. His playing skillfully fuses the rhythm of his Puerto Rican heritage with the complexity of his jazz influences: Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner as well as his older brother, Charlie Palmieri.

Palmieri’s parents emigrated from Ponce, Puerto Rico to New York City in 1926. Born in Spanish Harlem and raised in the Bronx, Palmieri learned to play the piano at an early age, and at 13, he joined his uncle’s orchestra, playing timbales.

Palmieri’s professional career as a pianist took off with various bands in the early 1950s including Eddie Forrester, Johnny Segui’s, and the popular Tito Rodriguez Orchestra. In 1961, Palmieri formed his own band, La Perfecta, which featured an unconventional front line of trombones rather than the trumpets customary in Latin orchestras. This created an innovative sound that mixed American jazz into Afro-Caribbean rhythms, surprising critics and fans alike. Palmieri disbanded La Perfecta in 1968 to pursue different musical endeavors, though he would return to the band’s music in the 2000s.

Palmieri perfected his arranging skills in the 1970’s releasing several impressive recordings that reflected his unorthodox approach to music. His unconventional style would once again surprise critics and fans with the 1970 release entitled Harlem River Drive. This recording was the first to merge what were categorized as “Black” and “Latin” music into a free-form sound that encompassed elements of salsa, funk, soul, and jazz. In 1975, Palmieri won the first-ever Grammy for Best Latin Recording for The Sun of Latin Music (he’s won ten Grammys altogether to date), including two for his influential recording with Tito Puente, Obra Maestra/Masterpiece.

Recognizing Palmieri as an American icon, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, recorded two of Palmieri’s performances for its archives in 1988. Because of Palmieri’s proclivity for creating music in funk Latin style, Little Louie Vega invited him to record on Nuyorican Soul (1997), a release that became very popular in the house and underground music scenes.

In addition to the Grammys, Palmieri has received numerous honors: Eubie Blake Award (1991); Most Exciting Latin Performance, presented by the BBC in London (2002); Yale University’s Chubb Fellowship, usually reserved for international heads of state, but given to Palmieri in recognition of his work building communities through music (2002); Harlem Renaissance Award (2005); Jay McShann Lifetime Achievement Award (2008), induction into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame (2008). A year later, the Library of Congress added Palmieri’s composition “Azucar Pa’ Ti” to the National Recording Registry, which at the time only included 300 compositions documenting the history of all of recorded music history in the U.S. With his widely popular eight-and-a-half minute “Azucar Pa’ Ti” Palmieri changed the format of the recording industry, breaking the three-and-a-half minute barrier imposed by the recording industry.

In 2012, Palmieri continued to innovate, celebrating 75 years with new music included in the original score for a documentary co-directed by Bobbito Garcia called Doin it in the Park that explores the cultural influence of playground basketball on sports and music.

Palmieri’s music recorded for the documentary was released as a soundtrack in November of 2013. This was Eddie’s first time recording his own new music since winning back-to-back Grammys in 2005 and 2006. The songs featured in the documentary are part of Eddie’s next full-length album, Sabiduria, which was released in 2017. Sabiduria is a fusion of Jazz, funk, and Latin fused with Afro-world rhythms.

In 2013, Eddie Palmieri was awarded the coveted Jazz Master award by the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA). The NEA Jazz Master award is the highest honor an American Jazz artist can receive.

In 2013, Palmieri was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.

In 2015, Palmieri released a new Big Band version of his classic composition, Vámonos P’al Monte, along with the first ever studio recording of another popular Palmieri original, Pa’ La Ocha Tambo.

In 2016/17, Palmieri also recorded a Big Band album, entitled Mi Luz Mayor, which features Carlos Santana and Gilberto Santa Rosa.

In the Spring of 2017, Palmieri released Sabiduria/Wisdom, rolling out his new music in successive volumes.

Palmieri followed up the release of Sabiduria/Wisdom in 2018 by releasing Full Circle as a salsa album and the world’s first interactive Salsa app.

Eddie Palmieri celebrated his 81st Birthday on December 15, 2017 after concluding a year-long tour entitled “EP @ 80” and continues an active touring and recording schedule.

 

Etienne Charles

Etienne Charles & Creole Soul

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Over its century-plus history, jazz has forged its shape-shifting identity by encompassing a rainbow of musical dialects in an improvisation-infused setting. While jazz’s potency launched into popular appeal based on the integration of the European classical music sensibility and the grassroots of African-American cultural heritage, it has not remained a static idiom. Indeed, jazz has become organically enlarged, expanded and revitalized by cultivating new influences into the tradition, from the Afro-Cuban movement of the ’40s to today’s artists embracing their ethnic heritage.

One of the most compelling and exciting young jazz artists ushering the genre into groundbreaking new territory is trumpeter/bandleader Etienne Charles, who, still in his 20s, has already recorded three impressive and well-received albums for his own Culture Shock Music imprint. His most recent album, Creole Soul, is a captivating journey of new jazz expression. It buoyantly taps into a myriad of styles rooted in his Afro-Caribbean background and plumbs the musical depths of the islands, from calypso to Haitian voodoo music. Also in the jazz amalgam mix are rock steady, reggae, belair, kongo, and rock as well as the influence of Motown and R&B music Charles listened to on his parents’ record player when he was growing up.

“Jazz is Creole music,” says Charles who was born in Trinidad, relocated first to Florida and then New York to further his jazz studies (graduating, respectively, from Florida State’s and Juilliard’s jazz programs) and today teaches jazz trumpet at Michigan State University. “As a person in the new world, I’ve been influenced by so much music. And my family has a mixed background, with French Caribbean, Spanish and African roots as well as Venezuelan influences. I come from a fusion of rhythms, a fusion of cultures. That’s what this album is all about: focusing on soul music that is Creole at heart.”

As befitting an artist who excels with such a diversity of musical styles, Charles has performed with a range of musicians, from Roberta Flack, Rene Marie, and David Rudder to Wynton Marsalis, Johnny Mandel, the Count Basie Orchestra, and Maria Schneider. He also worked with steel pan all-star Len “Boogsie” Sharpe as well as jazz masters Frank Foster and Benny Golson.

The New York Times calls Charles an auteur who is “one of [jazz’s] more ambitious soloists and composers,” JazzTimes applauds him as a “daring improviser” and DownBeat celebrates his tone as “melodically captivating” and “rhythmically agile” that makes his music “immediately pleasing.” After three albums, released on Culture Shock, Charles has garnered a welcomed response to his Caribbean roots-informed jazz. Creole Soul, his most accomplished recording so far in his young career, holds great promise to a future of more ebullient and intimate artistry.

 

Lakecia Benjamin

Lakecia Benjamin Quartet Plays Coltrane

Artist Website Listen Watch

Charismatic and dynamic saxophonist/bandleader Lakecia Benjamin’s electric stage presence and fiery sax work, has shared stages with Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, The Roots, Macy Gray, and many others, brings the soul and funk up to a fever pitch in a show that’s guaranteed to keep crowds dancing day or night. Though her own music with her band Lakecia Benjamin and Soul Squad is immersed in the vintage sounds of James Brown, Maceo Parker, Sly and the Family Stone, and the Meters as well as classic jazz, Benjamin’s soaring, dance floor-friendly grooves take the classic vibe to a whole new level. The constant throughout it all is Benjamin’s summery, sultry alto saxophone, adding something special on every cut — be it a smoldering late-night ambience, an erudite, forceful jazz intensity, or the tight funk multi-horn harmony sections that pepper the proceedings throughout.

A streetwise New York City native born and raised in Washington Heights, Lakecia Benjamin has become one of the most highly sought-after players in soul and funk music. She first picked up the saxophone at Fiorello LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts, after which she joined the renowned jazz program at New York’s New School University. By that time, she was already playing with renowned jazz figures like Clark Terry and Reggie Workman, which led to gigs and tours with a wide array of artists such as Rashied Ali, the David Murray Big Band, Vanessa Rubin and James “Blood” Ulmer. With her deep jazz roots, she was soon in demand as an arranger and horn section leader, landing stints with such acclaimed artists as Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Macy Gray, the Roots, and Anita Baker.

Currently, Benjamin is a featured musician for Gregory Porter as well as a featured musician and arranger for comedy star Craig Robinson and the Nasty Delicious. (Robinson, best known for his work on TV’s The Office as well as such popular films as Pineapple Express and Hot Tub Time Machine, tours regularly with the Nasty Delicious band serving as the main foil in his popular comedy act). Benjamin has also had the honor of performing at the White House at President Obama’s inaugural ball. She’s performed on four continents and her extensive recording credits include saxophone and arrangements for Santigold, Maurice Brown, the Clark Terry Big Band, Krystle Warren and Talib Kweli, among others.

 

Michela Marino Lerman

Michela Marino Lerman’s Love Movement

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Love Movement is not your ordinary band. This ensemble, led by tap dancer Michela Marino Lerman, is a hybrid of the highest levels of musicianship and hoofing. This group incorporates original music, spirituals, jazz, traditional and electronic tap boards, which will surely challenge your thoughts, uplift, and send you dancing all the way home.

Love Movement reflects a journey through the seven levels of love we experience throughout life starting with familial love, self-love and realization, protest, prayer, spiritual love, and finally romantic love. Love Movement is an immersive musical experience that will leave the audience feeling moved and empowered.

 

 

Sammy Miller and the Congregation

Sammy Miller and The Congregation

Artist Website Listen Watch

Sammy Miller and The Congregation are on a mission to put the generosity back into jazz and bring art back to the people.

We play joyful jazz — music that feels good. It’s a style that entertains, enriches, but most of all uplifts.

A native of Los Angeles, Grammy®-nominated drummer Sammy Miller has become known for his relentless focus on making music that feels good as a drummer, singer, and bandleader. Upon completing his Master’s at The Juilliard School, Sammy formed his ensemble, The Congregation. As a band, they share the power of community through their music — joyful jazz.

Award winning theatre incubator, Ars Nova selected The Congregation for the ‘Makers Lab’ in 2017 to develop their genre-bending show, Great Awakening. While independently the band members have performed and recorded with notable artists including Wynton Marsalis, Lady Gaga, and Queen Latifah at venues including the White House, Lincoln Center, and the Hollywood Bowl, they have opted to stick together to spread joy throughout the world. Get onboard. @smcongregation

 

Isaiah J Thompson

The Isaiah J. Thompson Quartet

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Isaiah J. Thompson is a jazz pianist, bandleader, and composer. He began studying classical piano at the age of five and quickly branched out to other styles. He was admitted to The Juilliard School at the age of 18 and since has performed with major artists, including Christian McBride, Joe Farnsworth, Rodney Whitaker, and was featured on Handful of Keys with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.

Isaiah believes that artistry is a direct channel into the mind and soul of an artist, and as such, feels that it is important to not lose sight of one’s individuality or that of others. This had led to his ardent advocacy for diversity both in and outside of his field. As a performer, he tries to emit a feeling of joy and convey his personal experiences through music, and through his everlasting love of jazz.

 

Andrea Motis

Andrea Motis Quintet

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After recording six acclaimed albums the trumpeter, singer and composer Andrea Motis makes her solo debut on Impulse! Records with Emotional Dance.

Emotional Dance is co-produced by Brian Bacchus and Jay Newland (winner of 10 Grammys) and Joan Chamorro. And thanks to the wise suggestion of Bacchus and the artistic director of Universal Records, Jean-Philippe Allard, Andrea Motis completes the band with the collaboration of a group of prominent American musicians: vibraphonist Warren Wolf, accordionist Gil Goldstein, baritone saxophonist Scott Robinson, and percussionist Café Da Silva. The famous American tenor saxophone Joel Frahm, who has previously collaborated with Motis and Chamorro, also participates in three themes. “We invited him [Joel] to play with us in Barcelona in 2016. His performance was so memorable that we knew that we wanted to have him on the album,” says an enthusiastic Motis.

Even though, Motis is only 23-years-old, she displays a mature musicality beyond her years. That’s because she began playing the trumpet at age seven; three years later she began studying jazz at the Municipal School of Music of Sant Andreu under Chamorro, who soon after recruited her for his band while she was still a teenager. While at the school, she was also a member of the Sant Andreu Jazz Band for nine years with which she recorded eight discs and played with such acclaimed musicians as trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, saxophonist Jesse Davis, clarinetist Bobby Gordon, and saxophonist Dick Oatts, among others. In addition to trumpet, Motis plays alto saxophone. But it was with Chamorro’s band that she began singing. “The trumpet will always be my first instrument,” Motis says when asked if she likes being a singer or an instrumentalist the most. “Playing the trumpet is like mediating; it’s such a part of my life. But I never want to choose just one side of my artistic sides because I love doing them all.”