Returning to the city of White Plains for its seventh year, 2018 JazzFest White Plains is a five-day celebration (Sept. 12 through Sept. 16) of jazz for music lovers of all ages.
A partnership between ArtsWestchester, the City of White Plains and the White Plains BID, JazzFest has become a signature White Plains event of free and affordable jazz performances attracting jazz enthusiasts from throughout Westchester and beyond.
Thursday, Sept. 13
Carl Viggiani, Jazz & Java, White Plains Public Library, 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Start your morning at the Library’s Everyday Healthy Café with jazz duo HRIDAYA. Pianist and composer Carl Viggiani and drummer Jon Doty present a program of original compositions and improvisations that are influenced by Zen meditation practice.
The Burr Johnson Band, The Galleria at White Plains, 12:15 p.m. A lively trio of guitar, bass, and drums, the Burr Johnson Band is best known for fusing jazz, funk, blues, and rock into fun and highly energetic performances. They have played at the Montreux Jazz festival and have opened for artists including Ray Charles, BB King, Spyro Gyra and others.
The Emmet Cohen Trio, ArtsWestchester, 7 p.m. Recognized as a prodigy who began playing at age three, multifaceted American jazz pianist and composer Emmet Cohen has emerged as one of his generation’s pivotal figures in music. Christian McBride has referred to him as “one of the most dynamic young musicians on the scene today.” He has already shared the bandstand with Joshua Redman, Patti Austin, Maceo Parker, Billy Hart, Anat Cohen, Christian McBride and others.
Veronica Swift with The Emmet Cohen Trio, ArtsWestchester, 8:30 p.m. Veronica Swift, a 2015 winner of the Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition, is one of the top young singers in jazz today. The 23-year old has been gaining attention throughout the jazz world, performing every Saturday night at New York City’s famed Birdland Jazz Club, where she was also recently featured as a special guest with John Pizzarelli. Veronica is also a passionate devotee of 20s and 30s music and has sung with Vince Giordano, Terry Waldo, and Drew Nugent. For this performance, she will be joined by the Emmet Cohen Trio.
Friday, Sept. 14
Carl Viggiani, Jazz & Java, White Plains Public Library, 7:30-9:30 a.m. Start your morning at the Library’s Everyday Healthy Café with jazz duo HRIDAYA. Pianist and composer Carl Viggiani and drummer Jon Doty present a program of original compositions and improvisations that are influenced by Zen meditation practice.
Rocky Middleton Jazz Ensemble, White Plains Plaza, One N. Bwy, 5 p.m. Enjoy a performance by this sextet led by world-travelled ambassador of music and bass player Rocky Middleton.
The Rudresh Mahanthappa Trio, ArtsWestchester, 8 p.m. Named alto saxophonist of the year for six years running, Downbeat Magazine’s International Critics’ Polls, Rudresh Mahanthappa is widely known as one of the premier voices in jazz of the 21st century. Enjoy an evening of music alive with rhythmic urgency, steeped in the lineage of jazz saxophone and responsive to traditions and practices of the wider musical world. Performance will feature Rudresh Mahanthappa on sax, Francois Moutin on bass and Jonathan Blake on drums.
Jazz Jam, ArtsWestchester, 10 p.m. to Midnight. Join in a Jazz Jam led by Jake Robinson from the Music Conservatory of Westchester, Ed Palermo at Hoff-Barthelson Music School, and faculty from SUNY Purchase.
Saturday, Sept. 15Brian Carter, Court Street Farmer’s Market, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Brian Carter is known throughout the Westchester music scene. A professional drummer since 1976, with affiliations with Bob Baldwin, Gil Paris, Bernie Williams, Eddie Henderson, Jack Dijonette, Wali Ali, Nico Morelli and the late Didier Lockwood. Brian now is introducing 424 Studios, a recording studio with warmth and “The Listening Room” with a vinyl collection of over 1400 records.
Hands On Jazz for Families, White Plains Public Library, 2 to 4 p.m. Join teachers from The Music Conservatory of Westchester for a participatory event. After a short set featuring classic Jazz standards, the teachers will be available to help young people try the instruments they are playing. Extra instruments for people to use will be available. Supported by Sam Ash Music Corp.
Arturo O’Farrill Sextet, White Plains Performing Arts Center, 8 p.m. Arturo O’Farrill, pianist, composer, educator, and founder and Artistic Director of the nonprofit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. A multi-Grammy award winner in the Best Latin Jazz Album category (2009/20015/2016), O’Farrill is widely recognized as one of the most important figures in Latin Jazz today. Most recently, he was awarded a 2018 Grammy in Best Instrumental Composition for his “Three Revolutions” from the album “Familia – Tribute to Chico and Bebo.”
Sunday, Sept. 16
White Plains Jazz & Food Festival. Mamaroneck Avenue at Main Street, Noon to 5:30 p.m.
Pete Malinverni & the SUNY Purchase Jazz All-Stars, Noon to 12:45 p.m.
Jay Hoggard Quartet, 1:05 to 1:50 p.m. The music of vibraphonist and composer Jay Hoggard is positive, spiritual and uplifting. He masterfully draws on a traditional and contemporary musical vocabulary to develop new directions for the vibraphone. Hoggard was born and raised in Mt. Vernon.
Samba New York!, 2:10 to 3 p.m. An internationally recognized samba company, Samba New York! has helped to change the culture of New York City and beyond through the joyful music and dance of Brazil.
Lakecia Benjamin & Soulsquad, 3:30 to 4:10 p.m. Charismatic and dynamic saxophonist/bandleader Lakecia Benjamin’s electric stage presence and fiery sax work, has shared the stage with Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, The Roots, Macy Gray and many others. She brings the soul and funk up to a feverish pitch that’s guaranteed to keep crowds dancing day or night.
Marquis Hill Blacktet, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Chicago native trumpeter and composer Marquis Hill is widely recognized as one of the preeminent voices on the instrument of his generation. Winner of the 2014 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Trumpet Competition, Hill has described as “a dauntingly skilled trumpeter” (New York Times) whose “music crystallizes the hard-hitting, hard-swinging spirit of Chicago jazz” (Chicago Tribune).