Monday, October 20, 2008

Mike Longo celebrates Dizzy's 91st birthday

Join us tomorrow, October 21, at Jazz Tuesdays for a very exciting evening to celebrate Dizzy Gillespie's 91st birthday with Mike Longo's swinging 18-piece Big Band, "NY State of the Art Jazz Ensemble", with jazz legend Annie Ross, trumpeter Jimmy Owens, hot young vocalist Hilary Gardner, plus a film showing some moments of Dizzy's 70th Birthday Concert at Wolftrap, released on LaserDisc but not yet reissued on DVD. THERE WILL BE ONE SHOW AT 8:00 P.M.

Pianist/composer/arranger Mike Longo (pictured above), who has earned many accolades as a jazz pianist, formed the New York State of the Art Jazz Ensemble in 1999 to play the Jersey Jazz Festival when they wanted to feature him in a setting of composer/arranger. The program was received so enthusiastically that Mike was prompted by jazz fans and the members of the band to keep it going. As a result, he began composing new material and arranging it for the band, which was booked back each year at the Jersey Festival, followed by several appearances at New York City's famed Birdland jazz club. Their latest CD, “Oasis”, released last winter climbed to #7 and remained on the charts for an unprecedented 20 weeks. We are proud to present this fabulous group of musicians, featuring jazz vocalist Hilary Gardner.

Jazz singer and actress Annie Ross moved with her aunt, singer Ella Logan, to Los Angeles at the age of three, where she became a juvenile film actress, starting on the "Our Gang" series at five. As a teenager, she moved to New York to study acting, then back to England, where she became a nightclub and band singer. She returned to the U.S. and gained attention in 1952 for her song "Twisted," a "vocalese" setting of humorous lyrics to what had been a saxophone solo by Wardell Gray. (More than 20 years later, Joni Mitchell made a popular recording of the song.) In 1958, Ross teamed with Dave Lambert and Jon Hendricks in the vocalese trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, and they toured and recorded successfully, their best-known album being their first, "Sing a Song of Basie" (produced by Creed Taylor for ABC-Paramount and reissued on CD in 1993 by CTI). Ross left the trio in 1962 and settled in England, continuing to sing and work as an actress. She returned again to the U.S. in 1985. In 1993, she had a featured role in the Robert Altman film "Short Cuts."

Trumpeter Jimmy Owens, a fine hard bop soloist, started on the trumpet when he was ten and later studied with Donald Byrd. Owens has played as a sideman with many major players, including Lionel Hampton, Hank Crawford, Charles Mingus, Herbie Mann, Duke Ellington, Gerry Mulligan, Count Basie, the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, and the Dizzy Gillespie Reunion Band. He was one of the founders of the Collective Black Artists and closely involved with the Jazzmobile in New York.

Admission is 15.00, $10.00 for students.
Tickets will be sold at the door, or call 212-222-5159 for reservations and information.
Jazz Tuesdays
in the John Birks Gillespie Auditorium
The New York Baha'i Center
53 East 11th Street (between University Place & Broadway)

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