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NJPAC's Season Jazz Calendar: 2009-2010

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ALL EVENTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE: Visit the NJPAC website at njpac.org for program notes and updates.

3rd Annual ENCUENTRO! Latin Jazz Festival * October 30-November 1
An NJPAC Alternate Routes event

Baila Mi Gente | Latin Dance Party
Friday, October 30 at 7:30 * Victoria Theater * Tickets: $28
Step out of your seat and onto the dance floor! Mix, mingle and dance the night away at this special event that kicks off a weekend of sizzling Latin jazz at NJPAC. The evening will feature live music courtesy of Cubanoson, a traditional Cuban dance orchestra created by pianist Leonel “Papo" Ortega. This high-energy evening will also welcome the sounds of DJ Jose Rodriguez. Cash bar and refreshments will be available.

Paquito D'Rivera
Saturday, October 31 at 7:30 * Victoria Theater * Tickets: $39
Experience the artistry and energy of Latin jazz with one of the music's master practitioners. NJ-based clarinetist, saxophonist and composer Paquito D'Rivera is the recipient of the National Medal for the Arts and the first artist in history to win Latin Grammy Awards in both the Classical and Latin Jazz categories. “One of the woodwind giants of our time -- his sounds are truly sublime!" says Jazz Times. This season, he debuts his latest project, entitled Paquito's Cuban Band, the Next Generation.

Spanish Harlem Orchestra & Tito Puente, Jr. Orchestra
Sunday, November 1 at 5:00 * Prudential Hall * Tickets: $18-$60
This exclusive double-bill brings together two of today's standard bearers of Afro-Cuban music. The all-star Spanish Harlem Orchestra, comprised of veterans of New York's most legendary salsa outfits, is led by world-renowned pianist-arranger Oscar Hernndez. Their 2008 CD, United We Swing, just earned them a second Grammy for “Best Salsa Album." Every time he steps on stage, Tito Puente Jr. proudly walks in his father's footsteps. That legendary Puente fire is sure to heat-up NJPAC when Puente, Jr. and his orchestra make their NJPAC debut with a program drawn from In My Father's Shoes, their recent CD.

All-State Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Choir Concert
New Jersey Music Educators Association
Friday, November 13 at 7:00 Victoria Theater Ages 8 & up
This annual concert brings together some of the very best young jazz musicians and vocalists from across the state for a dynamic group performance.

Keith Jarrett, piano; Jack DeJohnette, drums; Gary Peacock, bass
Friday, November 20 at 8:00 * Prudential Hall * Tickets: $25-$109
No group applies the fine art of jazz improvisation to the Great American Songbook like this trio. Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette, and Gary Peacock began playing standards together way back in 1977, when those songs were still considered pass to most listeners. They were way ahead of the curve back then, and have since immortalized their smooth, scintillating sound on a series of best-selling recordings. The New York Times recently classified them as “the standout jazz piano trio of the last 25 years." Please note there are no discounts for this performance.

Branford Marsalis Quartet | Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra
Saturday, December 5 at 8:00 * Prudential Hall * Tickets: $21-$82
For this NJPAC exclusive, Grammy-winning saxophonist and composer Branford Marsalis leads his longtime group -- pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Jeff “Tain" Watts -- in music from their recent Metamorphosen, a CD loaded with scintillating original compositions by each member of the quartet. In recent years, Grammy winner Maria Schneider has risen to become the most acclaimed big-band jazz composer of her generation, mentioned in the same breath as greats like Duke Ellington and Gil Evans. The Los Angeles Times credits Schneider's evocative work for taking “the first truly novel approach to big jazz band composition of the new century."

Kenny Garrett Band | Ravi Coltrane Quartet
Saturday, February 20 at 7:30 * Victoria Theater * Tickets: $39
Expect major sax appeal at this exclusive Alternate Routes pairing. Saxophonist supreme Kenny Garrett's latest CD, Sketches of MD, is a new excursion that reflects the artistry of key sidemen from Miles Davis' many groups -- from John Coltrane to Kenny himself. The last time Ravi Coltrane visited NJPAC, he performed alongside his mother, the late, great Alice Coltrane. Here, he returns to lead his own cutting-edge unit. “Ravi Coltrane is what jazz sounds like now in New York," says The New York Times. An NJPAC Alternate Routes event.

Cassandra Wilson with special guest Esperanza Spalding
Saturday, March 6 at 8:00 * Prudential Hall * Tickets: $21-$82
Two contemporary jazz sirens share one night of unforgettable music. One of the most distinctive vocalists of our time, Cassandra Wilson slides gracefully from standards to jazz-fusion to delta blues and self-penned originals, all delivered with a sultry touch that's all her own. Sharing the bill is fast-rising vocalist-bassist-composer Esperanza Spalding, inarguably one of the hottest new stars on the scene, whose self-titled debut album takes a bold approach to jazz by incorporating elements of soul, pop, world music and more.

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