Jazz in July features concerts, talks and special events

This year, Jazz in July is representing various styles and periods of jazz with a series of public performances, lecture-demonstrations and special events.

The annual Jazz in July All Stars Concert on Thursday, July 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Bowker Auditorium features an ensemble of instrumental and vocal performers hosted by pianist and composer Billy Taylor.

The lineup includes the Geri Allen (piano), New York-based freelance musicians Chip Jackson (bass) and Sheila Jordan (vocals), Steve Johns (drums), plus Five College resident musicians Fred Tillis (saxophone), Jeff Holmes (piano and trumpet), Catherine Jensen-Hole (vocals), Bruce Diehl (saxophone), Bob Ferrier (guitar), along with The Bezanson Trio: Matt Richard (piano), Dave Shapiro (bass) and Mark Holovnia (drums).

Tickets are $20 general public, $10 students and seniors and are available in advance from the Fine Arts Center Box Office (545-2511) or at the door.

Club Jazz in July is back on two successive Wednesdays, July 12 and 19, from 7-10 p.m. at the Blue Wall in the Campus Center. There is a $5 cover charge.

Jamsations! features performances by Jazz in July participants in a daylong concert of instrumental and vocal jazz in Bezanson Recital Hall. The free concerts are scheduled for Friday, July 14, and Friday, July 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Jazz fans are also invited to attend a lecture and performance series events held Monday through Thursday, July 10-14 and July 17-20 from 10:45 a.m. to noon in Bezanson Recital Hall.

From Billy Taylor hosting a “best of” collection of interviews he conducted with legendary jazz musicians on “CBS Sunday Morning” to “Jazz and Hip Hop 411,” a lecture by Jazz in July director Mark Baszak and MC and beatbox performer Napoleon Maddox demonstrating the new jazz fusing improvisation with elements of hip-hop, the series offers an opportunity to connect with the music and musicians who teach and perform at Jazz in July each summer. Every lecture features one or more faculty members sharing insights and approaches to topics within the broader scope of what is jazz. A complete list of topics and descriptions can be found online www.jazzinjuly.com. Tickets are $10 per lecture or $50 for all eight.

New this summer is a special night of music and dance at a Caribbean Jazz Parranda on Thursday, July 13, 8:30-11 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center lobby. DJ Thonsey will be spinning a contemporary Latin Caribbean dance mix for all ages enhanced by select Jazz in July participants and New WORLD Theater’s Project 2050 participants performing live at this mid-week party inspired by Puerto Rican tradition. There is a $5 cover charge and a non-alcoholic cash bar will be available.

For 25 years, Jazz in July has been giving participants from diverse musical backgrounds the opportunity to join with other musicians in lectures, combos, master classes, film screenings, performances and jam sessions.

Many participants have gone on to pursue major musical careers, including Grammy-nominated jazz vocalists Nnenna Freelon and Paula West, pop vocalist Paula Cole, Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio, Tony-nominated actress and singer Tsidii LeLoka, plus jazz drummers Patrick Forero, Daniel Freedman, Alvester Garnett, pianist Jason Lindner, bassist-composer Kevin O’Neal, and alto saxophonist Myron Walden.