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Princeton University Jazz Festival 2023 Features Artemis, Rudresh Mahanthappa And Bird Calls, and Rufus Reid on April 15

Princeton University Jazz Festival 2023 Features Artemis, Rudresh Mahanthappa And Bird Calls, and Rufus Reid on April 15

Courtesy Ebru Yildiz


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Jazz at Princeton University, helmed by acclaimed saxophonist/composer Rudresh Mahanthappa, presents the annual Princeton University Jazz Festival on Saturday, April 15. The festival features Artemis, Jazz at Princeton’s chair Rudresh Mahanthappa and his Bird Calls ensemble, jazz greats playing with Princeton’s exceptional student groups, and the legendary Rufus Reid with the Creative Large Ensemble.

Free daytime performances, to be held outdoors on Richardson Lawn in front of Princeton’s Richardson Auditorium, begin at noon. A ticketed event with the Creative Large Ensemble and special guest Rufus Reid takes place at 8 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium. More information.

Schedule of free daytime performances

• Noon-1 p.m., saxophonist Greg Tardy

• 1:20-2:20 p.m., trombonist Michael Dease

• 2:40-3:40 p.m., Artemis featuring pianist Renee Rosnes, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, tenor saxophonist Nicole Glover and alto saxophonist/flutist Alexa Tarantino, bassist Noriko Ueda and drummer Allison Miller

• 4-5 p.m., saxophonist Jon Irabagon

• 5:20-6:30 p.m., saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and Bird Calls with trumpeter Adam O’Farrill, pianist Matt Mitchell, bassist François Moutin, drummer Rudy Royston

Evening Concert

8 p.m. Rufus Reid with the Creative Large Ensemble

“It’s exhilarating and gratifying to see the jazz festival become an eagerly awaited tradition that offers a full day of music by today’s most creative and accomplished jazz artists along with our remarkably talented students,” says Mahanthappa. “I’m especially thrilled to return with my band Bird Calls, and to welcome the great Rufus Reid for an evening performance. We look forward to hosting the community at large for another wonderful event.”

About Artemis

The brainchild of pianist and composer Renee Rosnes, Artemis is a powerful ensemble of modern masters. Named for the Greek goddess of the hunt, the multinational, multigenerational band was founded in 2017 under the banner of International Women's Day. Artemis' performance at the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival was so dynamic, Blue Note Records President Don Was signed the group to the label. Tour dates across Europe and North America followed, including performances at such iconic stages as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, SFJAZZ, Chicago Orchestra Hall, as well as at the Detroit Jazz Festival, Saratoga Jazz Festival, and the Monterey Jazz Festival among others. Artemis has been featured on the cover of DownBeat, in Vanity Fair, on NPR’s Jazz Night in America. Their eponymously titled debut album contained a superb nine song set and was released in 2020. The recording was described by NPR as “a killer line-up of players who hail from all over the world... they all converge on this extremely cosmopolitan, sleek, rhythm-forward, modern sound." Artemis will deliver their second album in Spring 2023. Each member of the band is a virtuoso player, composer and bandleader and the group's repertoire reflects each individual's sound. From original music to mind-bending arrangements of eclectic material, Artemis performs with power, passion, and high-wire intensity. ARTEMIS is now comprised of pianist Renee Rosnes, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, newcomers tenor saxophonist Nicole Glover and alto saxophonist/flutist Alexa Tarantino, as well as original members bassist Noriko Ueda and drummer Allison Miller.

About Michael Dease

Michael Dease is one of the world’s eminent trombonists, lending his versatile sound and signature improvisations to over 200 recordings and groups as diverse as Grammy-winning artists David Sanborn, Christian McBride, Michel Camilo and Alicia Keys. Born in August, Georgia, he played the saxophone and trumpet before choosing trombone at age 17. In 2001, Dease moved to New York City to become part of the historic first class of jazz students at The Juilliard School, earning both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, and quickly established a reputation as a brilliant soloist, sideperson and bandleader. His newest release, 2022’s Best Next Thing, interactively explores the essence of the blues and reframes the abstract truths of jazz for today’s audience of listeners. Dease is the winner of the 69th DownBeat Magazine poll for Trombonist of the Year, and has won many honors including multiple Grammy Awards. He’s performed with Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, Nicholas Payton, Rufus Reid, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, Bill Charlap, Lewis Nash and many others.

About Jon Irabagon

First-generation Filipino-American Jon Irabagon (b. 1978, Chicago) has been influenced by the self-empowering and individualistic philosophies and aesthetic of the great AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) ensembles as well as the historic world-class tenor saxophone lineage from his hometown. Equally adept at composing for rising stars in new music and the most intricate modern jazz ensemble, Irabagon builds on this foundation by adding modern classical and late-period John Coltrane to his compositional base, focusing primarily on mixed chamber ensembles to take advantage of hand-chosen musicians' voices and attitudes. His honors include being winner of the 2008 Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition, winner of DownBeat Magazine’s Rising Star award in alto and tenor saxophones, and recipient of a Philippine Presidential Award, the highest civilian honor an overseas Filipino can receive in commemoration for their contributions to the perception of Filipinos worldwide. Named one ofNew York City's 25 Jazz Icons by Time Out New York, Irabagon composes for his ensemble Outright!, the Jon Irabagon Trio, and his quartet with Matt Mitchell, Chris Lightcap and Dan Weiss. Irabagon has been an integral part of ensembles such as the Dave Douglas Quintet, the Mary Halvorson Quintet, Septet and Octet, Barry Altschul's 3Dom Factor, Ralph Alessi's This Against That, Mostly Other People do the Killing and Uri Caine's Catbird.

About Rufus Reid

Bassist and composer Rufus Reid is one of a handful of true renaissance figures in the arts. An active presence in the jazz world since the 1970’s, he has recorded over 500 albums, 25 under his own name. The 2022 release Celebration features jazz trio with a string quartet. Reid can be heard on recordings with Dexter Gordon, Andrew Hill, The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Quartet, Kenny Barron, Stan Getz, J.J. Johnson, Lee Konitz, Jack DeJohnette and many others. Reid has written for strings, chamber ensembles, solo bass, jazz ensembles of varying sizes and symphony orchestras and has had the privilege of having all of them performed. His book “The Evolving Bassist” remains the industry standard for double bass methodology. Reid has received the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and the MacDowell Colony Grant among others. His 2014 release, Quiet Pride – The Elizabeth Catlett Project, received two Grammy nominations.

About Gregory Tardy

Saxophonist, multi-reedist, and composer Gregory Tardy is one of the most versatile jazz musicians of his generation, equally comfortable in a variety of musical and improvisational situations. Born into a musical family, he began his musical career studying classical clarinet. In his early 20s, while preparing for a symphony career he discovered jazz saxophone and hasn’t looked back. As a sought after sideman he has played with many prominent jazz artists including: Andrew Hill, Tom Harrell, Dave Douglas, Wynton Marsalis, Jay McShann, Nicholas Payton, Roy Hargrove, Steve Coleman, Betty Carter, Don Byron, Bill Frisell, Rashied Ali, Ellis Marsalis, Brian Lynch, John Patitucci, and many more. He has also performed and/or recorded along with many other notable saxophonists, such as Joe Lovano, Mark Turner, Chris Potter, Dewey Redman, Ravi Coltrane, and others. In more recent years, Tardy has gone full circle, by focusing on his clarinets more, using them on recordings by Tom Harrell, Ohad Talmor/Steve Swallow, Stefan Harris, Chris Potter and Andrew Hill. His performance schedule has taken him all over the world, playing at all of the major jazz festivals and on some of the biggest stages in jazz. As a sideman, he has been featured on several DownBeat Albums of the Year and also several Grammy-nominated recordings; including a Grammy-winning CD with Brian Lynch in 2006. He also has recorded fourteen CDs under his own name featuring his unique compositions, blending his love of traditional jazz with a more modern seeking style.

About Rudresh Mahanthappa

Hailed by Pitchfork as “jaw-dropping… one of the finest saxophonists going,” alto saxophonist, composer and educator Rudresh Mahanthappa is widely known as one of the premier voices in jazz of the 21st century. He has over a dozen albums to his credit, including the acclaimed Bird Calls. His release Hero Trio was considered to be one of the best jazz albums of 2020 by critics and fans alike. Rudresh has been named alto saxophonist of the year for seven of eight years running in DownBeat Magazine’s International Critics’ Polls, and six times by the Jazz Journalists’ Association. He won alto saxophonist of the year in the 2015-2017 JazzTimes Magazine Critics’ Polls and was named the Village Voice’s Best Jazz Artist in 2015. He has also received the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, among other honors, and is currently the Anthony H.P. Lee ’79 Director of Jazz at Princeton University. Mahanthappa has worked with artists including Jack DeJohnette, Mark Dresser, Danilo Pérez, and Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra.

About Jazz at Princeton

Jazz at Princeton University serves to promote this uniquely American music as a contemporary and relevant art form. Its goals are to convey the vast musical and social history of jazz, establish a strong theoretical and stylistic foundation with regard to improvisation and composition, and emphasize the development of individual expression and creativity. Offerings of the program include academic course work, performing ensembles, master classes, private study, and independent projects. They also have the opportunity to participate in academic courses from the music department curriculum that encourage the study of the historical, social, theoretical, stylistic, and creative issues that pertain to the jazz idiom.

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