The good vibes will be flowing throughout downtown White Plains as JazzFest presents over 20 free and affordable concerts from September 11-15. Headlining this year’s celebration of music and culture are rising stars and jazz legends including Pete Malinverni, Joel Ross’s “Good Vibes” featuring Melissa Aldana, and the Emmet Cohen Quartet featuring two of jazz’s greatest players, George Coleman and Jimmy Cobb.
Wednesday, Sept. 11
The festival begins on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at noon with a free half-hour concert at Downtown Music at Grace Church, 33 Church St. with the Nanny Assis Trio.
Bahia native Nanny Assis is a singer, drummer, percussionist and songwriter. He is a master of Brazilian Jazz, Afro-Brazilian music and other popular and folkloric sounds from his homeland.
At 12:30 p.m. another free concert will entertain out of the band shell at the Court Street Farmer’s Market with Kristina Koller.
As a vocalist, arranger and composer, Kristina Koller pushes “vocal jazz” in a new direction. Her music melds different genres with uplifting traditional jazz standards.
The Wednesday afternoon concerts continue with Downtown White Plains Jazz Stroll
5:30 to 9:30 p.m. featuring free concerts at participating venues.
Mediterraneo White Plains, 189 Main St., 5:30 p.m. Albert Rivera Quartet. Saxophonist Albert Rivera has toured North America and played at venues such as the River Room in Harlem and Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Lincoln Center. In 2009, he was the recipient of the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award.
Morton’s The Steakhouse, 5 Mamaroneck Ave., 6:30 p.m. Pablo Mayor’s Folklore Urbano NYC Trio. Pablo Mayor is one of the leading contemporary voices of Colombian music. His trio combines the native rhythms of Colombia with Jazz, Salsa, and Cuban Charanga. The Folklore Urbano NYC Trio has been heard throughout the USA, including renowned venues across the NYC area, as well as Canada and Colombia.
The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester, 3 Renaissance Square, 7:30 p.m. The Brian Carter Quartet. Jazz drummer Brian Carter has affiliations with many musicians, including Bob Baldwin, Gil Parris, Bernie Williams, Eddie Henderson, Wali Ali, Nico Morelli and the late Didier Lockwood.
Sunset Restaurant Bar, 49 Mamaroneck Ave., 8:30 p.m. Gilberto Colon Jr. & Ensalada De Pulpo. Gilberto “Pulpo” Colón Jr. is a pianist, composer, arranger, producer and band leader, best known for his role as Musical Director for salsa superstar Héctor Lavoe. Colón has worked and recorded with Latin music’s most popular artists including Pete ‘El Conde’ Rodríguez, Francisco ‘Kako’ Bastar, Louie Ramirez, and many more.
Thursday, Sept. 12
Kicking off the ArtsWestchester performances on Thursday, Sept. 12, is Pete Malinverni’s Jazz-Chester, featuring Ralph Lalama, Wayne Tucker, Mikey Migliore and Aaron Seeber.
Malinverni is Head of Jazz Studies at the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College. He has been a fixture on the New York City jazz scene since moving there in the early 1980s, and has recorded and performed with a host of masters, including Joe Lovano, Vernel Fournier, Charles Davis, Mel Lewis, Dennis Irwin, Jon Faddis, Karrin Allyson, Steve Wilson and many others.
The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $25. A Jazz Jam will immediately follow at 10 p.m. Entry is only $10 and audience members are invited to sign up to join the jam.
Free concerts on Thursday include: Jazz at Noon with Eunha So Quartet at White Plains Public Library Plaza, 100 Martine Ave.
Pianist and composer Eunha So plays across genres, from classical to jazz. She has trained under several prominent artists, including Eric Gunnison, Art Lande, and Pete Malinverni. She is a graduate of SUNY Purchase’s graduate program in Jazz Studies.
At 6:30 p.m. Keyon Harrold will play at the Outdoor Plaza at 5 City Place.
Keyon Harrold, who was raised in Ferguson, Missouri, was schooled in the straight-ahead jazz tradition. The trumpeter has been featured on more than one hundred jazz, R&B, hip-hop, gospel and blues albums, in addition to Miles Ahead, the Grammy Award-winning movie about Miles Davis. Harrold has recorded or performed with Gregory Porter, Prince, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige and many others. Rain location: City Center, 3rd floor lobby.
Friday, Sept. 13
Friday night’s ArtsWestchester performance on Sept. 13 will feature two sets, 7:30 and 9 p.m., with Chicago native and rising star Joel Ross.
Twice selected as a Thelonious Monk Institute National All-Star, Ross has performed with established artists such as Herbie Hancock, Louis Hayes and Christian McBride, as well as with cutting-edge contemporaries like Gerald Clayton, Jon Batiste and more. He’s also performed at the Brubeck, Monterey, Seattle and Chicago Jazz Festivals, and recently completed a two-year fellowship with the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet in California. The 7:30 p.m. performance will feature his ‘Good Vibes’ band in a quintet formation.
Ross will be joined for a 9 p.m. performance by Chilean saxophonist and composer Melissa Aldana.
In 2013, Aldana became both the first female instrumentalist and the first South American to win the Thelonious Monk Competition. She is also a recipient of the Martin E. Segal Award from Lincoln Center and a double recipient of the Altazor Award, Chile’s prestigious national arts prize.
Tickets are $20 for the 7:30 p.m. performance or $35 for both performances.
Friday free concerts include: Jazz at Noon with The Marcio Garcia Trio at White Plains Public Library Plaza, 100 Martine Ave.
Dominican pianist, composer and educator Marcio Garcia has performed at the Stanford Jazz Institute, the 2016 Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, Five Points Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall, Blue Note NYC, Birdland and Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.
At 5 p.m. Kotoko Brass will play at White Plains Plaza, 1 N. Broadway.
Kotoko Brass melds the traditional drum rhythms of Ghana, the sturdy bass and keyboards of the Caribbean, and the joyous horns of New Orleans to forge a new sound of its own. The band has shared the stage with Femi Kuti, the California Honeydrops, Vieux Farka Toure, Innov Gnawa, Take 6, the Boston Pops and more.
Saturday, Sept. 14
On Saturday, Sept. 14, JazzFest heads to the White Plains Performing Arts Center for a highlight performance of the Emmet Cohen Quartet featuring George Coleman and Jimmy Cobb. Showtime is 8 p.m. and tickets range from $29 to $44.
Recognized as a prodigy who began playing at the age of three, multifaceted American jazz pianist and composer Emmet Cohen has emerged as one of his generation’s pivotal figures in music. Cohen is the recent winner of the American Pianists Association’s prestigious 2019 Cole Porter Fellowship. George Coleman, among many accomplishments, was recognized as a National Endowment of the Arts “Jazz Master.” He has played in Max Roach’s band, was a member of the Miles Davis quintet with Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams, and played on Hancock’s landmark Blue Note recording, Maiden Voyage. Jimmy Cobb made his name in support of Dinah Washington, Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery and Sarah Vaughan, and on hundreds of studio sessions. As the drummer on Davis’ legendary album Kind of Blue, Cobb may be the most frequently heard drummer in jazz history.
Saturday’s free afternoon events begin at 2 p.m. and include the Galleria Youth Showcase at
Galleria White Plains, 100 Main
St. Drop by the Galleria and enjoy Westchester’s top young jazz musicians. Groups include the Sleepy Hollow Jazz Combo with Austin Day, The Hoff-Barthelson Jazz Ensemble with Ed Palermo and the Tim Veeder Quartet with students from the White Plains High School.
Hands-On Jazz for Families with teachers from The Music Conservatory of Westchester will be held at the White Plains Public Library, 100 Martine Ave.
Sunday, Sept. 15
The celebration will culminate with the White Plains Jazz & Food Festival from 12 to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 15. Music and entry are free, with food and beverage vendors taking over Mamaroneck Avenue in front of the ArtsWestchester building.
Five bands will grace the stage throughout the day, ending with the New Orleans sounds of two-time Grammy-nominated trumpeter Alphonso Horne and The Gotham Kings.
Lagond Music All-Stars, 12 to 12:45 p.m.; Art Bennett and The Organic Ensemble, 1 to 1:50 p.m.; Mwenso & The Shakes, 2:10 to 3 p.m.; Camille Thurman with the Darrell Green Trio, 3:20 to 4:10 p.m.; and Alphonso Horne and The Gotham Kings, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
For the full 5-day JazzFest White Plains concert schedule or to purchase tickets, visit: artsw.org/jazzfest.