The Yale Undergraduate Jazz Collective is excited to announce the lineup for our fifth annual Jazz Festival at Yale, a student-organized weekend of musical events, to be held April 22-23. The Jazz Festival is one of the highest quality free festivals in the country, bringing world-class musicians to give concerts and talks on Yale’s campus with no tickets required, free and open to the public. This year’s lineup will feature our most diverse and celebrated artists yet: Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, M’Balia Singley, Adam O’Farrill’s Stranger Days, Richard Bona, and Randy Weston.
The Yale Undergraduate Jazz Collective seeks to promote a community of music education on Yale’s campus and in New Haven. We serve as the hub of Yale’s jazz community by organizing concerts, talks, and events throughout the year, lobbying for a formal jazz curriculum at Yale, and of course, by hosting our fast-growing annual Jazz Festival. Last year’s Jazz Festival, which featured Grammy Award-winning artists Wayne Escoffery and Arturo O’Farrill, drew in hundreds of audience members and was extremely well received by the Yale, New Haven, and greater New England communities. You can read more about the Collective in this recent New York Times Article or on our website.
This year, we are proud to be hosting a new lineup of phenomenal musicians and educators. Each artist will present in conjunction with their performance a talk, discussion, or masterclass. For more info on each our amazing performers and a detailed schedule,* please check out artists bios and posters attached below or head to our website!
The Collective is excited to once again partner with the Yale University Art Gallery. Our headlining acts will perform in the Gallery’s beautiful Robert L. McNeil, Jr., Lecture Hall. The Yale University Art Gallery has long supported Jazz on our campus and we are very thankful that they will be hosting Jazz Festival events for the the third year in a row!
All events are funded by our sponsors, the University, local New Haven businesses, and the Yale University Art Gallery. The Jazz Collective would like to particularly thank our Platinum Sponsor the Side Door Jazz Club in Old Lyme, CT, one the country’s best clubs which programs amazing music all year round, as well as our Gold Sponsor, WPKN (89.5 FM), listener supported community radio.
We are excited to make all these events free and open to the public! We hope to see you all there!
*event locations and start times are subject to change, please check our website for an updated schedule closer to the date
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On Saturday, April 22nd, the Collective is thrilled to be hosting Yale alumnus M’Balia Singley (SY’94), as the festival opening headliner. M’Balia is a singer who approaches jazz standards with a “fiercely individualistic style and a generous dollop of gospel grounding,” and an “ace” songwriter with a caustic wit and piquant attitude born of lived experience. Her infectious bluesy vocals have been likened to those of Cécile McLorin Salvant, and her list of collaborators includes such renowned artists as John Legend and Orrin Evans. She will bring her powerful and unique artistry to the stage alongside her longtime pianist Sarah Slonim, who she performs with bimonthly at Smalls, NYC. Before her performance she will be leading a discussion and Q&A about her time studying at Yale and her prolific artistic journey since then.
Our Sunday headliner, performing and giving a talk on the afternoon of April 23rd, is Grammy Award-nominated New Orleans trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah. Scott, hailed by critics as “Jazz’s young style God,” is a beacon of innovation in jazz today and the architect of a new genre called Stretch Music. He is known for developing the harmonic convention known as the “forecasting cell” and for his use of an un-voiced tone in his playing, emphasizing breath over vibration at the mouthpiece, widely referred to as his “whisper technique.” Over the past decade Scott has also scored award-winning films, designed an interactive media player called the Stretch Music App, and has collaborated with McCoy Tyner, Prince, Marcus Miller, Mos Def, and Solange Knowles among others. He will be performing and delivering a pre-concert talk at the Jazz Festival at Yale in promotion of his newest record, Ruler Rebel, which will be the first in a three album set that Scott is producing to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the very first Jazz recordings of 1917.
This year’s Festival will also feature the young powerhouse group, Adam O’Farrill’s Stranger Days. Trumpeter and composer Adam O’Farrill has been featured on Grammy Award-nominated and Latin Grammy Award-winning albums. His own group’s 2016 release, Stranger Days earned the New York Times’ acclaim; they wrote that, “Mr. O’Farrill establishes both a firm identity and a willful urge to stretch and adapt.” The band is comprised of some the most talented young players in the New York jazz scene today–O’Farrill is joined by the notable Chad Lefkowitz-Brown on tenor saxophone, the seasoned Walter Stinton on bass, and O’Farrill’s own brother, Zack, on drums. In conjunction with their performance, the ensemble will be conducting a performance workshop with current Yale students.
Finally, we have the pleasure of co-hosting the incredible Cameroonian bassist, vocalist, and composer, Richard Bona, as well as the visionary pianist composer, Randy Weston at the closing event of the Festival. The two artists will perform consecutive sets on the evening of Sunday the 23rd at Toad’s place. This final concert is organized by the Yale Department of Music as part of the Africa Into Jazz/Jazz Into Africa series. Richard Bona has been described by the Los Angeles Times as “an artist with Jaco Pastorious’s virtuosity, George Benson’s vocal fluidity, Joao Gilberto’s sense of song and harmony, all mixed up with African culture.” A Grammy Award Winner, Bona has collaborated with top jazz artists such as Pat Metheny and Bobby McFerrin. Randy Weston has been said to have “the biggest sound of any jazz pianist since Ellington and Monk, as well as the richest most inventive beat.” His long list of honors and awards include NEA Jazz Master (2001) and a spot in the “DownBeat Hall of Fame.”
Will you tell your friends and family members so that we can continue the great work we do in our community?
The 2016 New Haven Jazz Festival – Sat, August 27th – 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Presented by JAZZ HAVEN in association with New Haven Mayor Toni Harp, the New Haven Department of Arts, Culture & Tourism, the New Haven Board of Alders; the Mfund; The Owl Shop; Yale University; First Niagara Bank; and Brandfon Honda.
The 2016 Festival will be held on Saturday, August 27th on the New Haven Green in downtown New Haven. This event is FREE and open to the public.
- 6:00 – 6:30 p.m. – Neighborhood Music School Premier Jazz Ensemble
- 6:45 – 7:45 p.m. – The Mitch Frohman Quartet
- 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. – The Christian Sands Quartet
This festival on the green is FREE and open to the public. Food plus arts & crafts vendors will be on hand.
|Six-Time Grammy Winner Mitch Frohman and Quartet||Four-time Grammy Nominee Christian Sands|
Jazz Week gigs in New Haven’s restaurants, bars, clubs and venues occurring the week of the festival – August 26 – September 3.
For eight years, from 2008 through 2015, Jazz Haven produced the New Haven Jazz Festival in cooperation with the City of New Haven and its sponsors. Every August, for eight years, folks were treated to a delightful evening of jazz for free right on the New Haven Green. Yes the Green was the showcase and the people came out, with their lawn chairs, blankets and families in tow. The musicians were often internationally famous “stars” in the world of jazz, but many others had their roots right here in New Haven. In fact each festival began by showcasing our youth performers, including children who played their instruments or simply recited jazz poetry to the assembled crowds. We believe that all jazz is local and that educating people about the culture of jazz is an important part of our mission. For the past five years, from 2011 through 2015 Jazz Haven successfully extended the concept of a festival to provide a week to ten days of live jazz in New Haven’s restaurants, clubs, bars and venues.
Artists who have performed at the New Haven Jazz Festival under the direction of Jazz Haven include (…and we are updating this list):
Giacomo Gates, T.S. Monk, Wayne Escoffery, Joe Lovano, Harold Mabern, Hamiet Bluiett, Helen Sung, Bobby Sanabria, Karrin Allyson, Jay Hoggard, Christian Sands, Matthew Whitaker, Joe Morris, Candido Camero, Nat Reeves, Steve Davis, Joe Farnsworth, Bobby Watson, Winard Harper, Natalie Fernandez, Javon Alexandre, Joe Morris, Matthew Shipp, Jim Hobbs, Nick Biello, Gerald Cleaver, Tina Fabrique, Larry Wills, Annette Aguilar, Claudia Acuna, Robby Ameen, Noah Baerman, Isabella Mendes, Ryan Sands, Ed Fast, Jonathan Barber, Jeremy Pelt, Jesse Hammen II, Wycliffe Gordon, Zaccai Curtis, Luques Curtis, Adam O’Farril, Daryl Johns, Gabe Schnider, Stephen Porter, Joshua Bruneau, Gil Hawkins, Jr., Godwin Louis, Matt Oestreicher, George Lesiw, Harold Zinno, Tim Moran, Barry Ries, The Brubeck Brothers, Jonathan Blake, Tony Lombardozzi, Jeff Fuller, Ali Bello, Rex Cadwallader, Orrin Evans, Rachel Z, Mike DiRubbo, Judi Silvano and many, many more.
The revival of the New Haven Jazz Festival in 2008 by Jazz Haven is told in this YouTube video.
This WTNH TV-8 link from 2009 tells part of our story …. CLICK HERE.
This video by Alex Vishno tells the story in 2013.
The 2015 New Haven Jazz Festival — Celebrating WOMEN IN JAZZ
The 2015 Festival will be held on Saturday, August 22nd on the New Haven Green in downtown New Haven. This event is FREE and open to the public. This festival is dedicated to the memory Martha Meng, our friend, colleague and avid jazz supporter.
- 6:00 – 6:30 p.m. – local area youth band TBA
- 6:45 – 7:45 p.m. – Isabella Mendes & Sambeleza
- 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. – The Karrin Allyson Quartet
This festival is FREE and open to the public. Food plus arts & crafts vendors will be on hand.
|4 Time Grammy Nominee Karrin Allyson||Isabella Mendes|