On Sunday October 6, the Angel City Jazz Festival returns to the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, co-presented by The Jazz Bakery in association with acclaimed four-part documentary series Icons Among Us®: jazz in the present tense. The festival kicks off at 4:00 PM with the first episode of the doc, “The Quiet Revolution” screening in the [Inside] the Ford theater space. Music begins in the Ford Amphitheatre at 5:00 PM with the Richard Sears Group featuring Tootie Heath. The second doc episode “12 Notes in Real Time” begins at 5:45 PM. Then it’s all music outdoors with Kneebody at 6:15 PM, the Yosvanny Terry Quintet at 7:30 PM, and the Greg Osby Group with Anat Cohen at 8:45 PM. The theme for the 2013 festival is “Metamorphosis: Artists on the Cutting Edge of Change.”
Icons Among Us: jazz in the present tense is a four-part documentary film series that examines the world of resonant jazz by looking at today’s brightest talent. The series captures the essence of today’s most inspirational, exciting and talented jazz artists. Jazz is undergoing changes of monumental magnitude and importance; Icons Among Us: jazz in the present tense captures the metamorphosis of jazz by showcasing the words, music, and spirit of the artists that are paving the way for an unprecedented musical evolution. The series was selected by the American Film Institute program 20/20 to represent the United States in a global cultural exchange sponsored by The President’s Council on the Arts and Humanities, NEA, NEH and The Institute for Museum and Library Services. It stars John Medeski, Terence Blanchard, Dianne Reeves, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Esperanza Spalding, Robert Glasper, Bill Frisell, Anat Cohen and many more of today’s top artists.
The Angel City Jazz Festival’s presentation of the Richard Sears Trio with Tootie Heath is made possible in part by a commission by the Los Angeles Jazz Society. Pianist and composer Richard Sears grew up in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Northern California. In 2005, Richard received a scholarship to attend the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, where he studied with Shelly Berg, John Clayton, and Alan Pasqua. Richard has recorded and performed with a diverse array of artists including Joshua Redman, Tootie Heath, Dave Binney, Ambrose Akinmusire, and Azar Lawrence. In 2012 and 2013, Richard competed as one of five finalists in the International Jacksonville Jazz Piano Competition.
Sear’s special guest is jazz legend Albert “Tootie” Heath. The younger brother of Percy and Jimmy Heath, Tootie Heath has long been a top hard bop-based drummer with an open mind toward more commercial styles of jazz. After moving to New York in 1957, he debuted on record with John Coltrane. Tootie Heath was with J.J. Johnson’s group (1958-1960) and the Jazztet (1960-1961), worked with jazz trios of Cedar Walton and Bobby Timmons in 1961, and recorded many records as a sideman for Riverside during that era. He lived in Europe in 1965-1968, working frequently with Kenny Drew, Dexter Gordon, and backing touring Americans, and, after returning to the U.S., he played regularly with Herbie Hancock’s sextet (1968-1969) and Yusef Lateef (1970-1974). After an additional year in Europe, he joined the Heath Brothers band (1975-1978) and settled in Los Angeles, where Tootie Heath continues freelancing, and recording with the Riverside Reunion Band.
By combining sophisticated compositions and virtuosic improvising, the Grammy®-nominated group Kneebody has created a diverse, loyal fan base in the United States and Europe. Founded in 2001, Kneebody has built upon an impressive array of individual resumes and conservatory training to create a truly singular voice within the instrumental world. While members of Kneebody have appeared at the Angel City Jazz Festival numerous times, this is the full group’s second appearance at the festival. In 2005, Kneebody released their self-titled debut album on Dave Douglas’ Greenleaf Music Label. In 2007, they followed up with Low Electrical Worker on the Colortone Label. A collection of 13 original songs, it was hailed by saxophonist Joshua Redman as one of his “favorite albums of 2007.” In the spring of 2009, Kneebody and vocalist Theo Bleckmann released the Grammy®-nominated 12 Songs of Charles Ives and in 2010 they released their third studio album, You Can Have Your Moment, both on the Winter & Winter label. Kneebody is releasing The Line, their first release on Concord Records this month.
Born in Cuba, Yosvany Terry received his earliest musical training from his father, Eladio Don Pancho Terry, violinist and Cuba’s leading player of the chekere. His father was also known as the founder and director of the Orquesta Maravillas de Florida, one of Cuba’s most important charanga bands. Yosvany went on to receive his classical music training and graduated from both the prestigious National School of Art (ENA) and Amadeo Roldan Conservatory. While in Cuba, Yosvany was known for his musical innovation performing with the likes of Chucho Valdez, Silvio Rogriguez, Fito Paez, and Cubanismo, as well as forming the influential group, Columna B. Their work represented the new voice of young Cuban jazz players. Columna B toured throughout the U.S. and Europe, and in 1998 premiered their Inroads Commissioned-piece by Arts International (through the Ford Foundation) at the Stanford Jazz Festival. Yosvany came to New York in 1999 and was immediately recognized as a spectacular talent in the jazz scene, playing with Roy Hargrove, Steve Coleman, Eddie Palmieri, Dave Douglass, Jeff Tain Watts, Horacio El Negro Hernandez, and bassist Avishai Cohen. Yosvany’s latest production, Metamorphosis, represents the work he’s being doing since arriving in New York.
Saxophonist, composer, producer and educator Greg Osby has made an indelible mark on contemporary jazz as a leader of his own ensembles and as a guest artist with other acclaimed jazz groups for the past 20 years. Highly regarded for his insightful and innovative approach to composition and performance, Greg is a shining beacon among the current generation of jazz musicians. He has earned numerous awards and critical acclaim for his recorded works and passionate live performances. Born and reared in St. Louis, Greg Osby began his professional music career in 1975. In 1978 Greg furthered his musical education at Howard University where he majored in Jazz Studies. He continued his studies at the Berklee College of Music from 1980 to 1983. Upon relocating to New York in early 1983, Greg quickly established himself as a notable and in demand sideman for artists as varied as Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, and Jack DeJohnette, as well as with many ethnic and new music ensembles in the New York area. In 1985 Greg was invited to to join Jack DeJohnette’s innovative group, “Special Edition.” Greg signed with Blue Note Records in 1990 and recorded fifteen outstanding recordings for that label as a leader. In 2008, Greg launched his own label, “Inner Circle Music,” which serves as a platform for many of today’s brightest artists.
Clarinetist-saxophonist Anat Cohen has won hearts and minds the world over with her expressive virtuosity and delightful stage presence. Reviewing Anat’s 2008 headlining set with her quartet at the North Sea Jazz Festival, DownBeat said: “Cohen not only proved to be a woodwind revelation of dark tones and delicious lyricism, but also a dynamic bandleader who danced and shouted out encouragement to her group – whooping it up.” Anat has been voted Clarinetist of the Year six years in a row by the Jazz Journalists Association, as well as 2012’s Multi-Reeds Player of the Year. That’s not to mention her topping of critics and readers polls in DownBeat magazine several years running. Anat has toured the world with her quartet, headlining at the Newport, Umbria, SF Jazz and North Sea jazz festivals as well as at such hallowed clubs as New York’s Village Vanguard.
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Tickets prices start at $40, $17 for full-time students with ID and $12 for children 12 and under. VIP seating is $70 and includes a CD, festival T-shirt, and reception with the artists. Purchase by September 29 and save $5. Tickets are available at www.FordTheatres.org or 323 461-3673 (for non-visual media 323 GO 1-FORD). For groups of 8 or more, please call 323 769-2147. For more information, visit: http://fordtheatres.org/en/events/details/id/383.