Adrienne Arsht Center. Feb 26th, 2010. 8:00 p.m.
In honor of Black History Month, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and acclaimed producer Larry Rosen will present two multi-Grammy Award-winning artists, the incomparable jazz vocalist Al Jarreau and NEA Jazz Master Ramsey Lewis. The program will feature current selections and hit tunes from the talents of these two illustrious musicians who took jazz, merged it with soul, and created their own signature sounds.
Al Jarreau’s unique vocal style is one of the world’s most precious musical treasures. His innovative musical expressions have made him one of the most exciting and critically acclaimed performers of our time with six Grammy Awards, scores of international music awards and popular accolades worldwide. Considered by many to be the greatest living jazz singer, Al Jarreau is an artist of stunning range. He has spent decades bending genres with his lithe voice, earning him the rare distinction of being the only artist to have won Grammy Awards in three different categories: pop, jazz, and R&B. His most recent recording, Al Jarreau – The Very Best of: An Excellent Adventure, was released by Rhino Records in 2009.
Al Jarreau has toured and performed with countless musicians, including Miles Davis, David Sanborn, and George Benson. In the 1980s, he became a weekly guest in America’s living rooms singing the Grammy-nominated theme song for the hit television series Moonlighting. An incredibly versatile artist, in 1996, he also performed the role of Teen Angel in the Broadway hit musical, Grease! In 2001, he was awarded a star on the “Hollywood Walk of Fame,” solidifying his status as one of the pre-eminent singers of his generation.
In addition to his Arsht Center performance as part of the Jazz Roots series, highlights of Mr. Jarreau’s 2010 schedule include performances at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and Weekend of Jazz in Broadmoor, Colorado.
Composer, pianist, and jazz legend Ramsey Lewis is affectionately known as “the great performer,” a title reflecting his performance style and musical selections which display his early gospel playing and classical training, along with his love of jazz and other musical forms. Although primarily considered a jazz artist, he is known for mixing a variety of genres, including soul, blues, pop, and classical into his repertoire.
Ramsey Lewis’s recording history – more than 80 albums in his six-decade career – attests to his enduring popularity. He first captivated fans with his debut album, Ramsey Lewis and the Gentlemen of Swing, by the Ramsey Lewis Trio in 1956. By 1965, he was one of the nation’s most successful jazz pianists, topping the charts with his singles, “The In Crowd,” “Hang on Sloopy,” and “Wade in the Water.”
Mr. Lewis’s most recent release, Songs from the Heart: Ramsey Plays Ramsey, was released by Concord Records in 2009. In addition to recording albums and performing live, Mr. Lewis continues to host the syndicated Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis radio program that airs in more than 75 cities throughout the U.S., as well as perform internationally with his trio, Larry Gray on bass and Leon Joyce on drums. Mr. Lewis has three Grammy Awards and seven gold records to his credit and, in January 2007, he received the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award.
Adrienne Arsht Center Knight Concert Hall
1300 Biscayne Boulevard
Miami, FL 33132