Saturday, October 1, 2016

Jazz 100

Lizz Wright
On September 30, 2016, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts opened their Jazz Series with the World Premiere of Jazz 100 at the Merriam Theater.  2017 marks the centennial celebration of four jazz greats: Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Mongo Santamaria and Thelonious Monk and Jazz 100 delivers the flavor of all four artists with an exciting approach.  The band, led by musical director and pianist Danilo Perez, includes Chris Potter on the saxophone, Avishai Cohen on the trumpet, Wycliffe Gordon on the trombone, Ben Street on bass, Adam Cruz on drums and Roman Díaz on percussion and vocals.  Lizz Wright, with her deep, rich, melodic voice joins the band as a vocalist and sings several of Ella Fitzgerald’s songs with a purity not heard since the Queen of Jazz has died. The band is extremely versatile. To enliven the program, the tempo of the pieces presented constantly changes. Several of the musicians are given an opportunity to be prominent. The pianist has a few entertaining solos pieces. Chris Potter’s solo on the saxophone is magnificent and Wycliffe Gordon has a duet between himself and his trombone as it trills and slides and Gordon scats. Master percussionist Roman Díaz from Havana Cuba has the audience in an uproar, foot-tapping to the beat of his bongos and participating with the vocals he chants aloud. This entire program is nothing short of electrifying. The Kimmel Center’s Jazz Series includes 10 performances and allows patrons to pick 4 or 5 show packages. For information or tickets, call 2215-593-1993, visit online at or visit the Kimmel Center Box Office.

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