Jazz: 2009-2010 Season
KC Jazz Club: Melissa Walker Group featuring Christian McBride and Clarence Penn
Fri., Sep. 25, 2009
With her rich, multi-octave vocal textures and impeccable phrasing, Melissa Walker has been lauded by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for her "range and flexibility," rating her as "one of the best voices in jazz."
Kenny Barron Trio
Fri., Oct. 2, 2009
Nine-time Grammy nominee Kenny Barron's unmatched ability to mesmerize audiences with his elegant playing, sensitive melodies, and infectious rhythms is what inspired the Los Angeles Times to name him "one of the top jazz pianists in the world."
KC Jazz Club: An Evening with Christian Scott
Sat., Oct. 3, 2009
Considered one of the brightest new jazz stars, 22-year-old Grammy-nominated trumpeter Christian Scott was named one of the "Top Ten to Watch in 2006."
The Overtone Quartet featuring Dave Holland, Chris Potter, Jason Moran, & Eric Harland
Sat., Oct. 10, 2009
Multi-award–winning composer, arranger, and bandleader Dave Holland, "one of the finest jazz bassists of his generation" (BBC), plays with pianist Jason Moran, saxophonist Chris Potter, and drummer Eric Harland.
Bill Frisell Trio featuring Tony Scherr & Kenny Wollesen
Fri., Oct. 16, 2009
Guitarist Bill Frisell is renowned for his compositions that interpret American music. "Mixing rock, country, jazz, and blues, he's found what connects them: improvisation and a sense of play" (The New York Times).
KC Jazz Club: Giacomo Gates and Trio
Fri., Oct. 23, 2009
Baritone Giacomo Gates is "a singer who combines the mellow conversational elegance of a crooner with the hipster outlook of a bebop scat and vocalese singer" (Newark Star-Ledger).
KC Jazz Club: Michael Wolff Trio with special guest Steve Wilson
Sat., Oct. 24, 2009
Pianist/composer Michael Wolff, "one of the most innovative and dynamic pianists of his generation" (JazzTimes), brings his trio--bassist Chip Jackson and drummer Victor Jones--and special guest saxophonist Steve Wilson to the KC Jazz Club.
KC Jazz Club: Jon Irabagon Group featuring Victor Lewis
Fri., Oct. 30, 2009
The winner of the 2008 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon has played with such musical luminaries as Billy Joel, Wynton Marsalis, Bright Eyes, Frank Wess, and Lou Reed.
McCoy Tyner with the Howard University Jazz Ensemble, Fred Irby III, HUJE Music Director
Fri., Nov. 6, 2009
McCoy Tyner's blues-based piano style, replete with sophisticated chords and an explosively percussive left hand, has transcended conventional styles to become one of the most identifiable sounds in improvised music.
KC Jazz Club: Stefon Harris and Blackout
Sat., Nov. 14, 2009
Grammy Award-nominated vibraphonist-composer Stefon Harris is heralded as "one of the most important young artists in jazz" (Los Angeles Times). He brings his band Blackout back to the KC Jazz Club.
Lee Konitz Quartet
Sat., Nov. 21, 2009
Considered one of the driving forces of Cool Jazz, American jazz composer and alto saxophonist Lee Konitz is "able to erase context and preconceptions, and more or less blow your mind" (The New York Times).
NPR's A Jazz Piano Christmas
Fri., Dec. 11, 2009
Join the Kennedy Center and National Public Radio for this annual treat when jazz pianists Dr. Billy Taylor, Ramsey Lewis, Joe Sample, Patricia Barber, Eldar, and Robert Glasper perform their favorite holiday songs.
Christmas Time Is Here: Dianne Reeves
Fri., Dec. 18, 2009
Four-time Grammy Award winner Dianne Reeves, "the only jazz singer with a voice big enough to rival Sarah Vaughan's" (The New York Times), returns to the Center for a special Christmas program.
A Jazz New Year's Eve featuring John Pizzarelli: Dear Mr. Sinatra
Thu., Dec. 31, 2009
Ring in the New Year in style with a sizzling jazz performance by John Pizzarelli as he salutes Ol' Blue Eyes in Dear Mr. Sinatra.
Grappelli & Reinhardt: Hot Jazz
Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing & Dorado Schmitt's Django 100
Sat., Jan. 16, 2010
Inspired by the 1930s pairing of Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt, Hot Jazz finds fiddler extraordinaire Mark O'Connor and his band Hot Swing joining with popular French guitarist Dorado Schmitt of the Django Reinhardt Festival.
Ella! featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater, Janis Siegel, Al Jarreau, & The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, Antonio Hart, Music Director
Sun., Jan. 24, 2010, 7:00 PM
Grammy-winning vocalists Dee Dee Bridgewater, Janis Siegel, and Al Jarreau are featured in this all-star celebration of the music of Ella Fitzgerald, with the Dizzy Gillespie™ All-Star Big Band, Antonio Hart, music director.
KC Jazz Club: Jonathan Batiste Quintet
Fri., Feb. 26, 2010
With his unique voice on piano and dapper sense of style, Jonathan Batiste "has already been turning heads as an up-and-coming pianist with an ebullient style" (The New York Times).
KC Jazz Club: Carl Allen–Rodney Whitaker Project
Sat., Feb. 27, 2010
Drummer Carl Allen and bassist Rodney Whitaker "present straightahead jazz with a great deal of composure…sharp, snappy, and expressive jazz" (DownBeat).
KC Jazz Club: An Evening with Delfeayo Marsalis
Fri., Mar. 12, 2010
A multiple Grammy Award winner as a producer, trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis "solos with authority, inserting musical quotes spontaneously as the mood takes him in different directions" (All About Jazz).
KC Jazz Club: Alison Brown
Sat., Mar. 13, 2010
A musical pioneer, banjo player Alison Brown has pushed beyond bluegrass. "Like James Taylor's voice or B.B. King's guitar, Alison Brown's banjo is an instrument possessed of a unique sonic signature and an inescapable beauty" (Billboard).
KC Jazz Club: Maurice Brown Effect
Fri., Mar. 19, 2010
When Maurice Brown, the first place winner in the 2001 National Miles Davis Trumpet Competition, "blows his trumpet, folks notice. His irrefutable energy, talent, and focus continually surprise audiences" (JazzTimes).
KC Jazz Club: Shelly Berg
Sat., Mar. 20, 2010
The Los Angeles Times says pianist Shelly Berg "burns hard, his fingers flying over the keyboard while his body nearly levitates off the bench, [leaving the] crowd breathless!"
KC Jazz Club: Toshiko Akiyoshi Trio
Sat., Mar. 27, 2010
Renowned for her bebop mastery and for infusing traditional Japanese music into bold, original arrangements, Toshiko Akiyoshi is a pianist, composer, and bandleader with "unmistakable lyrical gifts" (The New Yorker).
Sun., Apr. 11, 2010, 7:00 PM
Ten-time Grammy Award–winning guitarist and vocalist George Benson is "an extraordinary musician by any standard" (JazzTimes).
Fri., Apr. 23, 2010, 7:30 PM
Soul and gospel legend Mavis Staples is one of the most recognizable and treasured voices in contemporary music. Part of Joyful Sounds: Gospel Across America.
Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival - 15th Anniversary
May 20 - 22, 2010
The 15th Annual Women in Jazz Festival marks the 100th anniversary year of Williams's birth with three evenings of star-studded performances featuring the world's top female jazz artists.
Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Emerging Artist Showcase
Sat., May 22, 2010, 6:01 PM
Witness the future of jazz in this concert featuring five exceptional pianists selected as the inaugural class of the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Emerging Artist Workshop.
Mon., Jun. 7, 2010, 7:30 PM
Singer-songwriter, pianist, and guitarist Melody Gardot returns to the Kennedy Center with Latin rhythms, finger-snapping blues, and deep, smoldering torch songs as part of the 2010 International VSA Festival.
Matt Savage Trio
Tue., Jun. 8, 2010, 7:30 PM
Seventeen-year-old jazz pianist Matt Savage has been heralded by Dave Brubeck as "amazing" and "another Mozart," and by Chick Corea as "delightful and inspiring."
Fri., Jun. 11, 2010
Last seen at the Center in 2006, two-time Grammy Award winner Diane Schuur brandishes the power to amaze with her supreme vocal versatility and sensational 3-1/2 octave range. Part of the 2010 VSA International Festival.
Paquito D'Rivera: The Jelly Roll Morton Latin Tinge Project
Sun., Jun. 13, 2010
The world premiere performance of Paquito D'Rivera's The Jelly Roll Morton Latin Tinge Project features new arrangements of Morton compositions played by D'Rivera, Michael Philip Mossman, Pernell Saturnino, and Akua Dixon's Quartette Indigo.
All programs are subject to change. List of all Jazz Performances