New World School of the Arts presents Puttin’ on the Ritz

Hilton Miami Airport Hotel. Feb 25, 2011. 8:00 p.m.

On the crest of its reputation gained nationally as a repeat prizewinner of New York’s prestigious Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Competition, the New World School of the Arts (NWSA) High School Jazz Ensemble will host and perform at its annual Puttin’ on the Ritz signature benefit dinner, dance and concert featuring guest artist Jazz singer Allan Harris.

Puttin’ on the Ritz will take place on Friday, February 25th, at 8:00 p.m. at the Hilton Miami Airport Hotel. Reserved seating is $60 per person. Pre-dinner festivities will include complimentary dance lessons and silent auction preview from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Directed by Peter Francis, this year’s jazz ensemble will perform with world-renowned jazz singer Allan Harris. Francis comments, “It is an honor and pleasure to work with the New World High School Jazz Ensemble. They are simply one of the best and hardest-working high school groups in the country and I am extremely proud of their efforts this year.”

“Allan has a global following both as a composer and performer. His singing reflects a broad and deep commitment to the history of jazz vocal music and the blues. His music is deeply soulful, relaxed and powerful – all at the same time”, commented Jim Gasior, Interim Dean of Music at New World. “This is an incredible opportunity for our students to work with a vibrant world-class musician.”

Allan Harris is a world-class singer, guitarist and songwriter, perhaps best known for his interpretations of jazz standards, Allan’s smooth vocals and guitar-styling easily cross genres, from jazz to rock to blues. Allan has cultivated a global following, playing for packed audiences and receiving outstanding reviews throughout the United States, Europe, Russia and the Far East. A three-time winner of the New York Nightlife Award for “Outstanding Jazz Vocalist,” Allan is regularly featured at the world’s great music festivals, e.g. Jazz Aspen, Wien Jazz Festival in Austria and the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy. Allan’s artistry transcends his diverse vocal performances. He has composed “Cross That River,” a full-scale musical celebrating the Old West as told through the words and music of a black cowboy, and has received a prestigious Chamber Music America Grant for that work. The theatrical production of “Cross That River” played to rave reviews during the 2009 New York Musical Theater Festival and is currently in pre-production for a long-term run in early 2011. Several original songs from “Cross That River” are also frequently featured in The Allan Harris Band’s concert performances.

Numerous students in the NWSA High School Jazz Ensemble have earned national recognition for their talents. Among their most recent honors, several students have received Downbeat Student Music Awards and have been selected to perform with the High School Grammy Band in Los Angeles.

Funds raised through Puttin’ on the Ritz are used for the high school ensembles to perform and compete at national conferences and competitions and for instruments and other needs that are above and beyond budgeted school funds.

Tickets are available on NWSA’s website at under “Events and Tickets.” For more information or to purchase tickets please call 305.237.3532.

New World School of the Arts at the Hilton Miami Airport Hotel
5101 Blue Lagoon Drive
Miami, FL 33126

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