Jazz on the Chesapeake

The Most Harmonious Jazz Weekend of the Year!

Monty Alexander Jazz Festival


Friday, August 31, 8 p.m.
Dominick Farinacci & Shenel Johns

Saturday, September 1, 11 a.m.
Matthew Whitaker, Free, no tickets needed

Stan Getz Retrospective, 2 p.m.
Featuring Maucha Adnet, Harry Allen and Chuck Redd

Monty Alexander, 8 p.m.

Sunday, September 2
Brianna Thomas, 2 p.m.

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16 hours ago

Jazz on the Chesapeake

Monty Alexander Jazz Festival Spotlights High School Talent
EHS’ Warrior Chorale to open for Brianna Thomas

By Becca Newell

It’d be a dream for any high schooler in a choir to share a stage with a professional jazz vocalist. For members of the Easton High School Warrior Chorale, it’s soon to be a reality.

The 20 or so singers will perform an opening set on Sunday, September 2nd, at Brianna Thomas’ matinee performance during the last day of the Monty Alexander Jazz Festival.

“They’re wonderful chorally and they sing four-part harmonies really well. Their timing is really tight and they’re really very professional,” says John Malin, recalling his first time seeing the Warrior Chorale. “I was very impressed with them.”

Over the last few years, Malin and Festival Founder Al Sikes have discussed expanding the Festival beyond its professional bill and extending its community outreach efforts. Each year, MAJF offers a “community concert” —a free performance that was originally established to provide an introduction to jazz, familiarizing concert-goers with the incredibly diverse and somewhat misunderstood genre.

And while that program continues to blossom with exciting performances, like this year’s Saturday morning concert featuring piano prodigy Matthew Whitaker, there was a local element that was missing. That led Malin and Sikes to discuss incorporating a high school choir into the program. When Malin attended a choir competition hosted by Easton High School last fall, he knew he’d found something special.

“They did a sort of gospel number and I thought ‘Wow! They are fabulous,” he says, explaining how he immediately approached director Andrea Davis after the performance about the choir’s participation in the Festival. “It all just flowed from there.”

Comprising high schoolers—from 14- to 18-year-olds—the group will perform about a handful of numbers, Malin says. The setlist includes some relatively traditional jazz numbers, along with a gospel song.

“The kids are really excited,” he adds.

After what is sure to be an incredible set by the Warrior Chorale, Thomas will take the stage. With a soulfully strong voice—often likened to Mahalia Jackson, a comparison only accomplished by the most gifted singers—Thomas has played clubs and festivals for over a decade.

The singer-songwriter made her initial entrance into the professional jazz world with ‘30s-style swing, but later focused her musical finesse on ballad standards, scatting, and blues.

In 2014, Thomas released her debut album “You Must Believe in Love”. Critics alike raved how the album wonderfully demonstrated her impressive vocal range, envy-inducing scat skills, and emotional depth.

“[She] may be the best young straight-ahead jazz singer of her generation,” wrote Will Friedwald in a review for the Wall Street Journal.

Like the Warrior Chorale’s musical selections, Thomas’ performance will blend two genres, gospel and jazz. Titled “Traces of Mahalia and Ella,” it’ll be the perfect accompaniment for a Sunday afternoon.

Catch the Easton High School Warrior Chorale and Brianna Thomas at 2 p.m. Sunday, September 2nd, at the Avalon Theatre. Tickets are $25. Tickets are available online chesapeakechambermusic.secure.force.com/ticket/?orderSource=FB0813 or call 410.819.0380. See MoreSee Less

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Dominick Farinacci See MoreSee Less

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Kicking off the Monty Alexander Jazz Festival on Friday 8/31 at the Avalon Theatre in Easton, MD, trumpeter Dominick Farinacci will be joined by vocalistShenel Johns.Their performance “Lady Sings the Blues”will focus on women’s contributions to the blues over the years . Audience members can expect to hear selections by Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Nina Simone and more. “I think our take on women in the blues will be a little different than what you might expect, “ Farinacci says. Tickets are available online chesapeakechambermusic.secure.force.com/ticket/?orderSource=FB0812 or call 410.819.0382.www.dominickfarinacci.com / www.twitter.com/dominick83 / www.facebook.com/dominick.farinacci Dominick Farinacci, trumpet Ryan Scott, guitar Zaccai Curtis, pi… See MoreSee Less

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The Ninth Annual Monty Alexander Jazz Festival returns to Easton, MD on Labor Day weekend. The festival kicks off Friday night 8/31 with trumpeter Dominick Farinacci and vocalist Shenel Johns . The duo’s performance “ Lady Sings the Blues” will celebrate the music of Dinah Washington, Nina Simone, and Billie Holiday.

Saturday’s performances begin at 11:00 with a FREE concert featuring jazz pianist Matthew Whitaker. Saturday’s matinee show at 2:00 will feature saxophonist Harry Allen in a salute to Stan Getz and the Getz/ Gilberto collaboration with Antonio Carlos Jobim . Later that evening, Monty Alexander takes the stage. Considered one of the top five jazz pianists ever, Alexander’s musical expression combines elements of the blues, gospel, calypso, and reggae.

Wrapping up the festival weekend on Sunday at 2:00 is Brianna Thomas whose soulful voice is often likened to Mahalia Jackson .
All concerts will be at the historic Avalon Theatre in Easton.
Tickets are available online chesapeakechambermusic.secure.force.com/ticket/?orderSource=FB0807 or call 410.819.0380.Produced by : Zycopolis Productions We’re a TV production company, created in 2002 with a unique goal – filming live shows and musical documentaries. Fully i… See MoreSee Less

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