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Third Annual Williamsburg Jazz Festival to be Held in Williamsburg, Brooklyn


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The Festival Will Feature Performances by Dave Douglas, Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra, and Rachel Z Among Others

New York - The organizers of The Williamsburg Jazz Festival are pleased to announce this years Third Annual event on September 8th-11th, 2005 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Started in 2003 by organizer Jesse Selengut, the festival is entering its third year of presenting jazz music and entertainment in the hipster mecca that is Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The festival provides emerging talent an opportunity to express their ideas with passion, creativity, and ingenuity alongside nationally recognized jazz touring acts such as past participants, Nellie McKay and Chris Potter to name a few.

“We are so inspired by the upward growth of the Festival since its inception in 2003. Local musicians, national touring acts and the community all come together to enjoy this truly American music, Jazz. The plans for this year’s festival are even more exciting with scheduled performances by some of jazz music’s most interesting artists. I am psyched to be the organizer and one of the performers in what we hope will become a continuing tradition for musicians as well as the community in Williamsburg,” said Jesse Selengut, organizer of the event.

Confirmed performances for the festival are Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestera, Dave Douglas, Steve Coleman and 5 Elements, Rachel Z, MK Groove Orchestra, Jesse Selengut and NOIR, The Poma-Swank, Gerry Eastman, Manuel Valera, Michael McGinnis, Chris Tarry, and Rick Parker.

Please read individual descriptions for each artist below:

Travis Sullivan's Bjorkestra
Blending Bjork’s visionary techno pop with the harmonic and improvisational elements of modern jazz, composer/arranger/multi-instrumentalist Travis Sullivan has created a truly unique ensemble that transcends genre and style. Comprised of New York City’s finest jazz musicians, this eighteen-piece ensemble features full horn and rhythm sections as well as talented vocalist Diana Kazakova, performing Sullivan’s arrangements that span Bjork’s entire catalogue. Individual members of the Bjorkestra have performed/toured with the likes of Charlie Hunter, Clark Terry, Ray Charles, The Spam Allstars, Jessica Simpson, and the Saturday Night Live Band.

Dave Douglas
Dave Douglas is widely recognized as one of the most important and original American musicians to emerge from the jazz and improvised music scene of the last decades. His collaborations as a trumpeter read like a who's who of important contemporary artists: John Zorn, Joe Lovano, Bill Frisell, Don Byron, Steve Lacy, Fred Hersch, Anthony Braxton, Myra Melford, Andy Bey, Nick Didkovsky, Trisha Brown, Terry Winters, Jennifer Tipton, Louis Sclavis, Henry Grimes, Tim Berne, Tom Waits, Rabih Abou-Khalil, DJ Olive, Ikue Mori, Han Bennink, Misha Mengelberg, Chris Potter, Uri Caine, Mark Turner, Roswell Rudd, Andrew Cyrille, Marc Ribot, Karsh Kale, Mark Dresser, Mark Feldman, Marty Ehrlich, and many others.

In addition to his work as a trumpeter, composer and bandleader leading a wave of innovative, ground breaking and socially and politically aware artists, Douglas is also a sought after educator. He has given master classes and workshops at universities and schools worldwide, including Harvard College, University of North Texas, Eastman College, and New York University. Douglas recently accepted the position as Artistic Director at the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, where he will direct the faculty and programming this summer.

Steve Coleman and 5 Elements
Experimenter, innovator, philosopher and inspiring transmitter of genre bending explorations into what music can do, Steve Coleman has long been appreciated for his original vision in music. Coming up through the ranks playing with Sam Rivers, Dave Holland, and Michael Brecker, and then forming his own groups with luminaries such as Greg Osbly, Graham Haynes and Ravi Coltrane, Coleman coalesced his version of reality around a music concept he coined as M-Base. On stage, Coleman combines hip-hop, jazz, rappers, and dancers into an ultra-funky, complex, urban sound.

Rachel Z
Manhattan-born and raised Rachel Nicolazzo (aka Rachel Z) had music practically ingrained in her genetic code. Groomed to follow in her mother's operatic footsteps, she began voice lessons at two. Later on, listening to Herbie Hancock's harmonies over Wayne Shorter’s compositions helped her bridge the gap from her classical training to jazz. Rachel Z graduated from the New England Conservatory with a 'Distinction in Performance' award while working professionally in the Boston area with performers like Bob Moses, Miroslav Vitous and George Garzone. Returning to New York in 1988, she toured with New England Conservatory schoolmate turned rhythm & jazz superstar saxman Najee and later co-wrote album Tokyo Blue. Rachel returned to acoustic music, in an all-female trio setting, with On the Milky Way Express, her well-received tribute to Wayne Shorter, in 2000.

MK Groove Orchestra
The Spectrum Newspaper had this to say about MK Groove Orchestra: “Comprised of a rotating ensemble of approximately 13 members, the Mk Groove Orchestra encompasses a massive entirety of sound. Possessing 8 horns, MK Groove can become full-blown chaotic polyphony one moment and straight funk the next. Flexibility and resourcefulness characterize this young band with a tremendous knack for song writing and structure...”

Jesse Selengut and NOIR
Jesse Selengut is a Brooklyn-based trumpeter, composer and multi-instrumentalist. Still in his early thirties, he has had success as a bandleader, film scorer, producer and sideman on over a dozen albums, most noticeably, Huge Voodoo’s Affordable Magic (’03). Recently, Selengut has been splitting time between the Williamsburg Jazz Festival (which he founded) and Noir, a quartet blending electronica and groove-infused jazz. Selengut’s first musical memory is as a boy at his mother’s piano, tapping out imagined melodies. That searching never slowed and led him to Cornell (BA, ’90) and NYU (MA,Jazz Studies, ’93). He had the good fortune of studying with Joe Lovano, Ted Nash, Don Friedman, Tim Hagins, Laurie Frink and Eddie Henderson. Selengut cites influences enveloping 20th century improvised music, from Armstrong, Miles, Lee Morgan and Eddie Henderson to Nils Molvaer, Sly & Robbie and Ornette Coleman.

The Poma-Swank
Formed in Brooklyn, New York, Poma-Swank brings truth to its name. The root poma, meaning good, precedes swank, the term for elegance. Modern jazz now has a new, graceful talent to add to it’s vault. The band offers a wide range of instrumental talents, and a fresh, lively approach to jazz. With inspiration sprawling from The Beatles to Bjork, the group embodies originality and spirit.

Gerry Eastman
An ambitious student and musician, Gerry Eastman worked from age 17 to become a successful arranger, composer, and historian. However, his recent work with guitars has brought him to the attention of the prestigious New York jazz scene. Eastman’s performances effortlessly to unify Delta-blues and avant-garde jazz. Studying musical theory at both Cornell University and Ithaca College, Eastman has a very impressive slate. Perhaps Eastman’s greatest accomplishment is the establishment of the Williamsburg Music Center, home to this very Jazz Festival.

Manuel Valera
Leading the path for Latin-Jazz musicians everywhere, Valera is an accomplished pianist, composer and innovator. Billboard and Latin Beat both reviewed his debut album “Forma Nueva” with high marks as well as complements to his unique and developed style. His work thrives on various cultural jazz styles from all over the globe, particularly South America. Valera has released many albums and compilations in the past two years, working with respected artists such as Ben Street and Antonio Sanchez. It is no surprise then, that Valera received the 2005 ASCA Young Composers Award as well as the nomination for Jazz Journalist Association’s Up and Coming Musician of the Year.

Michael McGinnis
Both a solo and group artist, Michael McGinnis is a skilled saxophone/clarinet player as well as composer. Working closely on projects with The Four Bags, Between Green, Allison Tartalglia, DDYGG, Matt Classmeyer Marching Band, and OK|OK, McGinnis is certainly keeping busy. From Sanford, Maine, McGinnis attended the University of Southern Maine as well as the Eastman School of Music. There, he progressed his jazz talents through the inspiration of all artists, such as musician Steve Lacy and painter Pablo Picasso.

Chris Tarry
Although Chris Tarry is a native Canadian, he now resides in New York City, and attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. His days in Canada brought his country honor and status in the music world, as he received two JUNO awards and his album won “Jazz Album of the Year” at the 2001 Independent Music Awards. A huge contributor to sensation Metalwood, Tarry has worked with Donny McCaslin, the Jay Collins Band, Mahavishnu Project, and many more. His success in the United States has been equally successful; he received the runner-up for the high-status 2002 National Jazz Awards. Tarry is also an adept author of instructional books and founder of high-quality production company, Maximum Music Ltd. JazzReview.com writes, “Just over half of the program [Album Project 33] is composed by Tarry and he demonstrates, both in his writing and his playing, the same rich lyrical sense and unfailing sense of groove that anchor Metalwood so well.”

Rick Parker
“Rick Parker and his band are the best-kept secret in New York right now…”, reviewed All About Jazz. His style is often noted with adjectives such as “creative” and “advanced”. Parker has an endless list of bands he has performed with, including the well-known trombonist/composer Ku-umba Frank Lacy's 14-piece Vibe Tribe and famous drummer Charlie Persip's big band. A student at Georgetown University and NYU, Parker is well informed on composition of music, especially in the jazz genre. Parker is in the progress of releasing the Rick Parker Collective, a compilation of his most notable pieces.

Galapagos ­ 70 North 6th Street - (718) 782 ­ 5188
Laila Lounge ­ 113 North 7th Street - (718) 486 ­ 6791

Sunday: After-Party Featuring the Williamsburg Jazz Festival All-Stars
Club Europa - 98-104 Meserole Ave

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