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Blue Note Launches Inaugural Jazz Fest

bnj-HendricksThe Blue Note Jazz Club celebrates its 30th Anniversary with its inaugural Blue Note Jazz Festival from June 1 - 30, 2011 in the heart of Greenwich Village, New York City.

This is the year’s largest New York jazz festival, with several jazz greats, many of whom have performed at the Blue Note for years, set to perform, including

  • Dave Brubeck
  • Chris Botti
  • Nancy Wilson
  • Bobby McFerrin
  • Brian Wilson
  • The Roots
  • Chaka Kahn
  • Roberta Flack
  • El Gran Combo
  • Jon Hendricks
  • Kathleen Battle bnj-Brubeck2
  • McCoy Tyner
  • Youssou N’Dour
  • Bill Frisell
  • Meshell Ndegeocello
  • Madeleine Peyroux

and many more. 

Since its inception in 1981, the Blue Note has become a cultural institution in New York and one of the premier jazz clubs in the world. Jazz is undoubtedly America's music, and while the Blue Note strives to celebrate the music's great history, the club is a place where progression and innovation - the foundation of jazz - are encouraged and practiced on a nightly basis.

"Thirty years ago, I never could have dreamed that the Blue Note would becobnj-Wilson2me what it is today," owner and operator Danny Bensusan said of his famed jazz club.

"It wasn’t easy to convince the artists to play here at first. We had help from some of the musicians who believed in what we were trying to do -- Ray Brown and Dizzy Gillespie, in particular -- and as we started bringing in bigger names, the reputation of the club grew. Once they played the Blue Note, they always wanted to come back, because there is an intimacy here between the audience and the musician that is appealing to everyone."

While the Blue Note Jazz Festival celebrates the club’s accomplishments and legendary artists, Bensusan believes the Blue Note’s future success will come from exposing new artists, captivating new audiences and investing in jazz education.

In light of this, the Blue Note Jazz Festival includes a series at the Mercury Lounge devoted to young up-anbnj-McFerrind-coming artists in a variety of genres, as well as the new Spontaneous Construction Series at the Blue Note presented by Search & Restore, which pairs young, experimental artists together for the first time.

Additionally, the Blue Note Jazz Festival will sponsor educational programs for the non-profit organization JazzReach and its "ELLINGTON!" program at the Highline Ballroom, which will host hundreds of New York City Public School students each day over a period of three afternoons.

For Bensusan, the Blue Note Jazz Festival is a reflection of where the Blue Note has been, but most importantly, an indication of what lies ahead.

"I’m proud that after 30 years, the Blue Note has become an important institution in New York and that with the Blue Note Jazz Festival, we are continuing to expand and work toward making the Blue Note as good as it can be."

Shows are also scheduled at

  • BB King Blues Club & Grill
  • Beacon Theatre
  • Highline Ballroom
  • Joe’s Pub
  • Le Poisson Rouge
  • The Lehman Center for Performing Arts
  • Mercury Lounge
  • Rose Hall at Lincoln Center
  • Terminal 5
  • Town Hall

For more information, go to

Blue Note Jazz Festival
June 1 - 30, 2011

Blue Note Jazz Club
131 W. 3rd St. (betw 6th Ave & McDougal St.)
New York City

B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
237 West 42nd St
New York City

The Beacon Theatre
2124 Broadway
New York City

Highline Ballroom
431 West 16th Street
New York City

Joe’s Pub
425 Lafayette Street
New York City

Mercury Lounge
217 E Houston Street # A
New York City

Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street
New York City

Rose Theater
in Frederick P. Rose Hall
Broadway at 60th Street
Columbus Circle
New York City

The Town Hall
123 West 43rd Street
New York City

Terminal 5
610 West 56th Street
New York City

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts
250 Bedford Park Blvd West
Bronx, New York

Vision Festival: Take a Stand

The 16th annual Vision Festival is on from June 5 - 11, 2011 at Abrons Art Cevf-MBrownnter, the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center and Campos Plaza Playground in Manhattan, New York.

The Vision Festival draws people from around the world who are interested in what is great, creative and innovative.

Arts For Art (AFA) leads the way in building opportunities for uniting the spectrum of creative arts. AFA has been working to strengthen the artistic communities by holding town meetings, panel discussions and creating opportunities for artists to perform and come together, so as to build a power through unity.

Special Events:

Peter Brötzmann - A Lifetime of Achievement
This year, Arts For Art and The Vision Festival celebrate a Lifetime of Achievement by Peter Brötzmann, one of the first practitioners of the Free Jazz movement in Europe. The 70-year-old has programmed his own evening to reflect his ongoing pursuit of musical innovation. Brötzmann is not interested in looking back -- only in looking forward and being as creative as possible in the present time. 

The Opening Night of the Festival is a tribute to another Giant of Jazz, Marion Brown, the great alto saxophone legend, visual artist and ethnomusicologist. The Groupvf-BBang, an all-star collective featuring Andrew Cyrille, Hamiet Bluiett, Ahmed Abdullah, Charles Burnham, Bob Stewart.

Billy Bang – Honored
Violin legend Billy Bang was honored in last year‛s Festival with a special award for his leadership, vision, and musical genius. This year he was scheduled to perform on the last night of the festival. The music world lost Bang in April.

The Festival Finale is a Tribute performance of Bang‛s composition Mystery of the Mekong, featuring a 25 piece string ensemble, plus special guests, under the direction of William Parker.

Four tracks make up the Festival -- Music, Dance, Visual Arts, Word -- with such acts as:


  • Tchicai's Ascension Unending – In the footsteps of John Coltrane
  • Josh Roseman's Water Surgeons
  • Dawn of Midivf-Peter
  • Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up
  • Pulverize the Sound
  • Planetary Unkown
  • Connie Crothers Quartet
  • Geraldine Eguiluz's Albedo Solo


  • Action Theory
  • Emily Coates Dancers & Charles Burnham Violin
  • Raging Waters, Red Sands

Visual Arts:

  • The Films of Robert O'Haire and Jeff Burns
  • Going to the Center, dir. Bill Dixon
  • Earthtones, dir. Joseph Daley
  • Rwanda 15, documentary by Kivu Ruhorahozavf-JenShyu
  • The Pied Cow /a rip improvisation
  • Art Installations: Jeff Schlanger, Jorgo Schaeffer, Jackson Krall,
  • Photo Exhibit: Gannushkin, Luciano Rossetti, Mark Sheldon, Michael Wilderman


  • Invocation
  • David Henderson & Bob Marshall
  • Obama, Class Struggle, The Media & The Arts – Panel
  • Imagining a Culture of Resistance & Radical Vision: Artists & Social Action – A panel of artists and activists from different perspectives
  • Music and Politics – A Black Perspective with Amiri Baraka
  • Organizing today/unions/artists/social action with Marc Ribot

For more information, visit

Vision Festival
June 5 - 11, 2011

Abrons Arts Center
466 Grand Street
New York, NY 10002

Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center
107 Suffolk Street
New York, NY 10002

Campos Plaza Playground
13 Street between Ave A & Ave B
New York, NY

Sacramento Jazz Festival

The 38th annual Sacramento Jazz Festival and Jubilee runs Memorial Day Weekend, May sjf-LHaley27 - 30, 2011 at numerous venues in Old Sacramento, including the refurbished Delta King River Boat (afloat on the Sacramento River), and The Convention Center Area at the Hyatt Regency and the Sheraton Grand Hotels along with other venues in Sacramento, California.

THe 2011 "Emperor" of the 38th annual Sacramento Jazz Festival & Jubilee is Tom Rigney, who appears with his band, Flambeau.

Specialty concerts and events:

  • Opening Day Parade on Friday
  • Swing Dance Contest on Saturday
  • Gospel Sets on Sunday
  • Memorial Day Salute to Service

With more than 400 sets of live music in 20 venues with over 70 bands, Featured Music covers all the bases, including:

  • Traditional jazz, also known as Dixieland or classic jazz, inspired by Louis Armstrong
  • Swing music, inspired by big band music of the '30s and '40s.
  • Blues, inspired by American roots music of the Mississippi Delta
  • New Orleans 2nd-line & street beat
  • Zydeco party musicsjf-Banu
  • Soulful rhythm & blues
  • Ragtime and early jazz
  • Straight-ahead & mainstream jazz
  • Latin jazz and mariachi music
  • Marching bands
  • Jazz orchestras
  • Youth bands
  • Tributes and specialty concerts
  • Banjo performances

Featured Artists:

  • Banu Gibson & New Orleans Hot Jazz
  • Black Dogs
  • Carl "Sonny" Leyland, 2010 Inductee, Boogie-Woogie Piano Hall of Fame
  • Hal Smith's International Sextet
  • Lisa Haley & the Zydekats, Grammy nominee for Best Zydeco/Cajun CD
  • Neville Dickie & Danny Coots
  • The Tin Men (Matt Perrine, Alex McMurray, Washboard Chaz)
  • Vince Bartels’ Swing Quintet

Classic Jazz & Swing Bands include:

  • 101st Army Dixieland Jazz Band sjf-Royal
  • Big Mama Sue Quartet
  • Catsnjammer Jazz Band
  • Dr. Bach & the Jazz Practitioners 
  • Dutch's Gramercy Six
  • Fulton Street Jazz Band
  • Miss Margie & the Hot Five
  • Natural Gas Jazz Band
  • Pearl Django
  • Red Skunk Jipzee Swing Band
  • Royal Society Jazz Orchestra
  • Shelley Burns & Avalon Swing
  • Wally's Warehouse Waifs

Straight-ahead & Mainstream Jazz:

  • Capital Jazz Project 
  • Beth Duncan Quintet
  • Jerry Krahn Band
  • Vivian Lee Quintet
  • Jim Martinez Quintetsjf-Food

Zydeco Bands:

  • Gator Beat 
  • Mark St. Mary Louisiana Blues & Zydeco Band
  • Tom Rigney & Flambeau

Blues Bands:

  • Catfish & the Crawdaddies 
  • Delta Wires
  • Mick Martin & the Blues Rockers
  • Sacramento Blues Revue

Tribute Bands:

  • James Garner "Johnny Cash Tribute"
  • Rhythm Vandals "Tribute to Santana"
  • Steelin' Dan "The Music of Steely Dan"

In addition, Drexel University's Jazz Master Class Series presents well-known musicians speaking at the high-tech campus in Old Sac.

For more information, go to

Sacramento Jazz Festival and Jubilee
Memorial Day Weekend, May 27 - 30, 2011

Delta King Paddlewheel Saloon
1000 Front Street
Sacramento, CA

Hyatt Ballroom
209 L Street
Sacramento, CA

Sheraton Ballroom
1230 J Street
Sacramento, CA

plus other venues in Sacramento

Elektra 12: Visualizing Sound

The 12th edition of Elektra, the Digital Arts Festival, powers up May 4 - 8, 2011 in ekf-GirlsMontreal (QC), Canada at Usine C, Cinémathèque québécoise and other venues around Montreal. Elektra is dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of digital art in all its forms.

This year‛s theme is Visualizing Sound, with audio-visual and immersive performances by over 30 artists presenting robotic, interactive and sound installations of state-of-the-art electronic music and visual creations using the latest technology.

Read more: Elektra 12: Visualizing Sound

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