Chicken Bone Beach Jazz Series kicks off June 27 in AC


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ATLANTIC CITY – The 20th annual Chicken Bone Beach Jazz on the Beach Series – a popular Atlantic City summertime tradition that showcases some of the nation’s top jazz artists – returns to Kennedy Plaza at the Boardwalk after three years on June 27.

The Chicken Bone Beach Historical Foundation, Inc.(CBBHFI) will have 10 free concert series, starting June 27, 2019 and every Thursday in July and August from 7-10 p.m. at Kennedy Plaza, located on the Atlantic City Boardwalk between Mississippi and Georgia avenues. This was made possible by a Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) grant.

 In case of rain events to be held in Claridge Hotel Celebrity Theater.

The schedule features:

• Nicholas Payton Quartet, Thursday, June 27: Nicholas Payton began his professional career at ten years old.  He enrolled at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and then at the University of New Orleans.  After seven albums on Verve, Payton signed with Warner Bros. Records, releasing Sonic Trance, his first album on the new label, in 2003. Besides his recordings under his own name, other significant collaborations include Trey Anastasio, Ray Brown, Ray Charles, Daniel Lanois, Dr. John, Stanley Jordan, Herbie Hancock, Roy Haynes, Zigaboo Modeliste, Marcus Roberts, Jill Scott, Clark Terry, Allen Toussaint, Nancy Wilson, Dr. Michael White, and Joe Henderson. Opening artists – CBB IDEA Youth Jazz Collective. 

• Sean Jones Quartet on Thursday, July 4:  Sean Jones is the former lead trumpeter for Wynton Marsalis’ Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and he played on jazz diva Nancy Wilson’s Grammy Award-winning album “Turned to Blue.” All About Jazz once wrote, “Jones possesses his own style that can deliver blistering notes or silky tones at the drop of a hat.” The Chicken Bone Beach Youth Jazz Ensemble is the opening act. Opening artists – Kameelah Samar Quintet.

• Carmen Lundy Thursday, July 11: Carmen Lundy’s work as a vocalist and composer has been critically acclaimed by The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Los Angeles Times, Variety, The Washington Post, Jazz Times, Jazziz, Downbeat and Vanity Fair among many others, as well as numerous foreign publications. Opening Artists – Lee Smi, Jason Marsalis with the Odean Pope Quartet

• Jason Marsalis – July 18: Jason Marsalis studied percussion at Loyola University New Orleans. He worked as a sideman in mainstream jazz, funk, and jazz fusion groups; a Brazilian percussion ensemble (Casa Samba); and a Celtic music group. He and his brothers and their father were named NEA Jazz Masters.[2] He is one of the artists featured in Tradition Is a Temple, a 2013 documentary film about New Orleans. Opening Artists – Greg Moore & Lotus Jazz Quartet.

• Charlie Sepulvedea – July 25: Charlie Sepulvedea World-Class Trumpeter, Composer, Bandleader, Educator, and Latin Grammy Winner,  He stands as one of the few remaining pivotal figures in Latin Jazz music today.  A graduate of New York City College, where he studied with such masters as William Fielder and Ron Carter, He is the musical director of the Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Rockefeller Foundation in Puerto Rico, and a professor of the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. He has two Grammy nominations and a Billboard Award, Charlie Sepulveda is recognized as one of the premiere artists in Latin Jazz. Opening Artists: Edgardo Cintron Latin Jazz Band.

• Helen Sung Quartet on Thursday, Aug. 1: Helen Sung Winner of the Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams Piano Competition, Helen Sung has worked with such jazz masters as Clark Terry, Slide Hampton, Benny Golson and Buster Williams. Helen stays involved in music education through residencies and workshops/clinics. She has served on the faculties of the Brooklyn-Queens Conservatory of Music, the Newark Boys Chorus School, and the Berklee College of Music. She is currently a member of the jazz faculties at the Juilliard School and Columbia University. Opening Artists – The Ella Gahnt Quartet.

• Nneenah Frelon – Aug. 8:  Nnenna Freelon is an American jazz singer, composer, producer, and arranger. She has been nominated for six Grammy Awards for her vocal work,[2] and has performed and toured with such top artists as Ray Charles, Ellis Marsalis, Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, Dianne Reeves, Diana Krall, Ramsey Lewis, George Benson, Clark Terry, Herbie Hancock, and Terence Blanchard.  She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Ellington Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Apollo Theater, Montreux Jazz Festival, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and more. Opening Artists – Vertical Current.

• Harvey William Mason – Aug. 15: Harvey Mason is an American jazz drummer, record producer, and member of the band Fourplay. He has worked with many jazz and jazz fusion artists, including Bob James, Dave Grusin, Chick Corea, the Brecker Brothers, Chuck Loeb, Nathan East, Lee Ritenour, Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters and almost all the Mizell Brothers productions with Donald Byrd, Johnny Hammond, Bobbi Humphrey, and Gary Bartz. He is featured on George Benson’s multi-platinum-selling breakthrough jazz to pop crossover album of 1976, Breezin’. Mason grew up in Atlantic City, New Jersey and attended Atlantic City High School.  Opening Artists – CBB IDEA Youth Jazz Collective. 

• Matthew Whitaker Aug. 22: Matthew Whitaker of Hackensack, New Jersey was diagnosed with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), which caused his blindness at an early age. Whitaker began taking piano lessons when he was 5 as the youngest student at Lighthouse International, a New York school for the blind and visually impaired. With perfect pitch, he learned to play piano mainly by listening, although he learned to read Braille music as well. He later studied at The Harlem School of the Arts, and in addition to taking lessons in classical and jazz piano, he learned to play the organ, percussion instruments, the clarinet and bass guitar. At 9, he earned the support of the Jazz Foundation of America, and as a teenager, he attended the Manhattan School of Music’s Pre-College Jazz program.  On March 6, 2017, he released his first album, Outta the Box.   He performed on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and competed on Fox’s Showtime at the Apollo, winning first place. Whitaker has toured Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Among other venues, he has performed at the main concert hall at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C and the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.[13][12] Opening Artist: Tony (TNT) Jones, featuring Shayne Fredrick, Special guest Norman Conners.

• The Yellowjackets Aug. 29: In 1977, guitarist Robben Ford was recording his first solo album when he assembled for his band keyboardist Russell Ferrante, bass guitarist Jimmy Haslip, and drummer Ricky Lawson. They were then signed to Warner Bros. Records by producer Tommy LiPuma, who chose the name “Yellowjackets” from a list that band members compiled.   In 1984, the band’s second album, Mirage a Trois, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Fusion Performance.  Ford left the band after the second album, and saxophonist Marc Russo was hired. The Yellowjackets celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2011 with the album Timeline for Mack Avenue. When bassist Jimmy Haslip left, he was replaced by Felix Pastorius, son of bassist Jaco Pastorius.[2] The band released A Rise in the Road with Pastorius. Opening Artists: Keith Hollis Special guest Cedric Napoleon, formerly of Pieces of a Dream.

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