February 10, 2003

Jazz Fest blows horn, Feb. 13–15


By Deb Hammacher

Acclaimed saxophonist Joe Lovano will headline this year’s annual Emory Jazz Festival, Feb. 13–15, part of the Schwartz Center Opening Festival.

The 18-piece Fort McPherson Jazz Guardians will open the festival on Thursday, Feb. 13; Lovano performs Friday, Feb. 14; and the traditional “Big Band Night” will take place on Saturday, Feb. 15. All performances are at 8 p.m. in the Schwartz Center’s Emerson Concert Hall.

Joining Lovano on the second night of the festival will be Atlanta-based favorite the Gary Motley Trio. Lovano’s album, 52nd Street Themes, won a 2001 Grammy Award. He received four previous Grammy nominations, and other awards include Downbeat Magazine’s Readers’ Choice Awards for Jazz Musician of the Year and Album of the Year in 1995 and 1996, and two Critics’ Choice Awards from the Jazz Journalists’ Association in 2001.

Lovano’s alma mater, Berklee College of Music in Boston, asked him to fill its first endowed chair in 2001. His many recordings include Joe Lovano Celebrating Sinatra, Flights of Fancey and Trio Fascination.

Motley, a jazz pianist and composer, has been recognized with awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Great American Jazz Piano Competition and the American Composers’ Forum. His recording credits range from his debut CD Peaceful Moments (1994) to his latest trio recording, Compassion (2000).

Motley also has established a professional association with many of today’s leaders in jazz, including Dave Brubeck and Wynton Marsalis, and is a member of the music faculty at Emory. He has just completed recording music with Whoopi Goldberg for the current Broadway production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

“Joe Lovano is a world-class jazz saxophonist, the Gary Motley Trio is a world-class jazz trio, and when they get together and perform it will be a magical night of jazz for the audience,” said Schwartz Center Managing Director Bob McKay. “It’s going to be an amazing combination.

The festival will close Feb. 15 with Big Band Night, traditionally one of Atlanta’s most energetic jazz showcases, featuring Emory’s own jazz combos and Georgia State University’s jazz ensembles.

“What I want to do programmatically is bring more jazz to Emory,” said McKay, who came to Emory in fall 2001. “Students enjoy it, and it’s a very popular form of music. All of our jazz events, from Herbie Hancock to Dave Brubek, have been very popular.”

Prices vary for jazz festival events. Feb. 13 is free; Feb. 14 is $15 general admission, $6 students; and Feb. 15 is $5 general admission, $2 students. For tickets and information, call 404-727-5050 or visit www.emory.edu/ARTS.






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