New Faces and Old Favorites at Monty Alexander Jazz Festival

New Faces and Old Favorites at Monty Alexander Jazz Festival
By Becca Newell.

The sensational Monty Alexander returns to Easton this Labor Day weekend for the eponymous three-day jazz festival, along with his hand-picked selection of musical companions—all newcomers, save for past festival favorite René Marie.

“Bringing all these guests and friends to Easton makes for a fun happening,” Alexander says, excitedly. “[The festival] has an unbelievable history; it’s gone so well. I’m proud of that.”

On Friday, September 1st, trumpeter/vocalist Bria Skonberg brings her trademark “trad fusion” to the stage for her 8 p.m. performance, Shaking Up the Jazz World. Though her music draws upon elements of early jazz, blues, swing, and even pop, the Canadian songwriter is heavily influenced by the legendary Louis Armstrong, whom she frequently draws comparisons to.

The fun continues into the weekend, starting with Saturday’s free community concert at 11 a.m., featuring the United States Navy Band Commodores. The 18-member group, recognized as the Navy’s premier jazz ensemble, will perform an eclectic mix of traditional big band music and exciting jazz vocal arrangements.

Trumpeter Sean Jones and his band take the stage Saturday afternoon for their 2 p.m. performance, titled Without Compromise, From Miles to Wynton to Sean Jones. Attendees can expect to hear the evolution of music from their recently released album, “Live from Jazz at the Bistro.”

“As the music is performed in each city, new life is breathed into it as each audience helps to mold the character of each piece,” says Jones.

Jazz vocalist René Marie wraps up Saturday’s lineup with her 8 p.m. performance, A Remarkable Experience as René Marie Electrifies. With a style that borrows elements from folk, R&B, classical, and country genres, Marie’s body of work explores the human experience. Through her creative lyricism and sensual vocal delivery, Marie offers an enlightening experience for audience members.

Headliner Monty Alexander closes out the festival weekend on Sunday, September 3rd, with a “Sunday matinee spectacular,” kicking off at 2 p.m. The Jamaican-born musician is renowned for his vibrant personality and musical expression that result in an energetic, swingin’ performance. For this year’s festival, Alexander has invited a slew of musicians to join him on stage for The River, a reference to his album, released in the early ‘90s. Alexander says this performance will be somewhat of a revisitation of his repertoire and a reflection of his long-standing career in which he has shared the stage—or recording studio—with many of the jazz greats.

“Let me take you on a beautiful journey up the river that is about renewal and inspiration,” he adds, describing the concert. “I’m going to be a little bold and say ‘you don’t want to miss it!’”

 

The Monty Alexander Jazz Festival is partially underwritten by the Maryland State Arts Council and the Talbot County Arts Council. Jazz on the Chesapeake is a program of Chesapeake Music. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Jazzonthechesapeake.com or call 410-819-0380.

Categories: Jazz, Press Releases