Rockport Music presents its 2nd Annual Rockport Music Jazz Festival August 14 through 18. The Jazz Festival offers something for all jazz lovers—including the astounding jazz interpretations of Grammy Award-winning vocalist Kurt Elling, the warm vocal timbre of Roberta Gambarini, the 1950s vocal jazz of the Four Freshmen, the African-inspired jazz of violinist Regina Carter, and culminating with three-time Grammy Award winning jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis. New this year for the Jazz Festival—Jazz Chats! The Jazz Chats are informal gatherings starting at 7 pm for concert attendees to delve deeper into the subject of jazz—its beginnings, its growth, and its future with such jazz leaders as Eric Jackson, Steve Schwartz, Rich Tennant, and Ron Della Chiesa. Additionally, several of the Jazz Festival artists have agreed to join the Jazz Chats for their concerts, including the Four Freshmen, Kurt Elling, and Branford Marsalis!
The Jazz Festival opens with Roberta Gambarini on Wednesday, August 14, at 8 pm, whose warm vocal timbre and impeccable timing earned her a Grammy nomination for her album Easy to Love. Selected as DownBeat Magazine’s 2009 Rising Star Female Vocalist of the Year and the Jazz Journalists Associations’ Female Jazz Singer of the Year, Gambarini has performed with such jazz greats as Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, and Christian McBride. The Boston Globe hails her as, “a true successor to Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Carmen McRae.” Tickets: $31-$52
Performing on Thursday, August 15, at 8 pm, the Four Freshmen dominated the airwaves in the 1950s and influenced major groups like The Beach Boys. Open-harmonic jazz arrangements blended with a classic big band sound have earned the group six Grammy nominations and a place in the Vocal Hall of Fame. Enjoy pop tunes and jazz standards from the Great American Songbook. The Wall Street Journal hails them as, “an ultra-talented quartet of vocalists.” Tickets: $31-$52
Grammy Award winning jazz vocalist Kurt Elling performs on Friday, August 16, at 8 pm. With a perfected four octave range, astonishing technical mastery, and a knack for storytelling, Elling is among the world’s foremost jazz vocalists. Every one of his ten albums has been nominated for a Grammy, and, year after year, he has won DownBeat’s Critics Poll and the Jazz Journalists Association’s “Male Singer of the Year.” Enjoy unique interpretations of songs by The Beatles, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, and more from his latest album 1916 Broadway—The Brill Building Project. “In an era when bona fide jazz singers are in perilously short supply…Elling seems hellbent on rewriting the definition of what jazz singing is all about.” Chicago Tribune Tickets: $39-$58
Pre-eminent jazz violinist Regina Carter returns to Rockport Music on Saturday, August 17, at 8 pm, to showcase her album Reverse Thread, traditional African folk music brilliantly fused with the expressive contemporary twist for which she’s known. Lauded as one of the finest violinists of her generation, Carter tours around the world and has performed with artists as diverse as Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill, Billy Joel, and Mary J. Blige. Tickets: $45-$65
On Sunday, August 18, at 5 pm, renowned Grammy® Award-winning saxophonist and Tony Award® nominee Branford Marsalis and with longtime pianist Joey Calderazzo perform at Rockport Music. Their spectacular duo collaboration Songs of Mirth and Melancholy reveal an ever deepening musical relationship and provide the listener with a glimpse into their musical journey. “Saxophonist Branford Marsalis consorts with Joey Calderazzo… for a session that is surprisingly sublime. Marsalis and Calderazzo sound classical in the best jazz sense: handsome melodies creating beauty and lots of free space for interaction.” Philadelphia Inquirer Tickets: SOLD OUT