FINAL

Kenny Garrett Returns to Blues Alley

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” Someone should post a storm warning before a Kenny Garrett concert”

                                                                                        – The Washington Post


      Legendary saxophonist Kenny Garrett recently returned to the DMV for an in-demand (eight shows in four nights) at the historic Blues Alley in Georgetown. As crowds lined the alley outside of the venue and down the alley, it became apparent that DC was well aware of the high-energy inspiring set that Garrett continues to deliver and knew they were in for a treat. As the summer festival season begins to heat up, so does the intensity of Kenny Garrett’s musical prowess touring across the globe and particularly in the U.S. Just days after a four night run to celebrate the grand opening of the newly opened premier jazz venue Keystone Korner in Baltimore, MD, Garrett was just down I-95 in the nation’s capital playing the intimate Blues Alley for a stellar series of shows with his powerhouse quintet giving devoted jazz lovers an amazing performance which seems to be even better than his uplifting performances just last year at Blues Alley. 

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Kenny Garrett has played alongside some of the jazz greats including Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard, Pharoah Sanders, and McCoy Tyner just to name a few. A ferocious saxophonist exuding all of his might into every note, Garrett is truly in a league of his own when it comes to the saxophone. His extensive catalog of works portray his breadth of music experience, knowledge, and creativity. Garrett is an avid listener of all types of music, expanding his ear beyond the realm of jazz and incorporating it into a beautiful melody that we can all identify and relate to. Essentially, Kenny Garrett bridges the gap between traditional jazz and progressive jazz while adding in every other genre in between. One could argue that Garrett is one of the greatest saxophone players around today.



 

His current quintet line-up includes: DC native Corcoran Holt (bass), Vernell Brown, Jr. (piano), Samuel Laviso (drums), and veteran Rudy Bird (percussion). The quintet incorporates the perfect mix of veteran musicians along with  younger creative minds to deliver a sound that could only compliment Garrett’s fierce style of playing. His set included favorites as “Chasing the Wind“, “Haynes Here” (a tribute to Roy Haynes), “Sing a Song of Song“, and “Wayne’s Thang” ( a tribute to Wayne Shorter). Garrett closed the show with the help of the audience in moving renditions of “Wheatgrass Shot”, “Do Your Dance“, followed by an exceptional five minute saxophone solo that totally brought the house down! And finally after the band exited the stage, Garrett enlisted the crowd once again in an acoustic vocal exchange of syncopated melodies bringing the crowd to a thunderous applause. 

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 Kenny Garrett’s performances bring to mind a quote by The Washington Post,                            –  “Someone should post a storm warning before a Kenny Garrett concert.” 

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For more info / tour dates:  www.kennygarrett.com

 

 –   Jamaal Bailey 

 

Jazzmeia Horn’s D.C. Hang

    Dynamically empowering vocalist, Jazzmeia Horn, recently graced the DMV  with a stunning performance at The Library of Congress‘ historic Coolidge Auditorium followed by an amazing impromptu appearance on stage at Takoma Station with DC’s own Vybe Band. Clearly, the Grammy nominated jazz vocalist made the most of her birthday visit to the nation’s capital sharing her remarkable voice while gaining an immediate following of fans in the process. A truly magical day of music in the DMV with historic vibes to remember for quite some time.

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    Jazzmeia Horn, a Dallas native now living in New York City, recalls singing “This Little Light of Mine” at 3 years old for her grandmother Harriet Horn – a jazz pianist who named her Jazzmeia. Deeply rooted in the church, music was always a constant in the tightly-knit Horn household. An alumni of Dallas’ famed Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts along with the likes of noted alumni Erykah Badu, Norah Jones, and Roy Hargrove. Jazzmeia Horn’s mesmerizing voice gained global attention after winning the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Competition in 2013 and the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2015. Her debut album, “A Social Call”, is a beautiful blend of Horn’s subtly smooth voice along with a powerful defining message in her music of spiritual, cultural, and social awareness that immediately received worldwide accolades among the jazz community earning a Grammy Award nomination. Her musical influences include Betty Carter, Sarah Vaughan, and Rachelle Ferrell (All highly respected vocal giants that Horn’s exceptionally gifted voice affectations bring to mind). Jazzmeia performs around the world, from jazz festivals in France, South Africa, and Australia to jazz clubs in Moscow, Tokyo, and Taiwan. 



 

     As part of the Library of Congress Concert Series, Horn performed in the Coolidge Auditorium with her quintet: Tadataka Unno (piano), Henry Conerway III (drums), Barry Stephenson (bass), and Irwin Hall (saxophone). An exceptional group of young musicians that compliment Horn’s undeniable voice. She keeps them on their toes with her call and response among her band, often directly matching note for note and beat for beat with each musician. A dynamic that Sarah Vaughan and Betty Cater perfected. Horn captivated the audience delivering an inspiring set and even including a heartwarming rendition of DC’s own Marvin Gayes‘ classic “What’s Going On” which drew thunderous applause from the audience. How fitting to have Jazzmeia Horn performing on the very stage that Jelly Roll Morton recorded some of the very first jazz recordings some 80 years ago.

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After a stellar performance at The Library of Congress, Jazzmeia stopped by Takoma Station in uptown DC to check out the DMV’s go-go scene and celebrate her birthday with the Vybe Band while in town. What followed was nothing short of EPIC! Horn is invited onstage after the band’s first set and brings the house down with a soulful rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “Rock Steady”! Using her vocal talents, Horn scats and belts out rhythmic harmonies all so familiar in the go-go realm. Her saxophonist, Irwin Hall joined in with a rousing solo while mixing it up with the Vybe Band brass section. It was an experience that brought together two very important genres of music for an amazing night that would have made Chuck Brown, Sarah Vaughan, and Betty Carter proud!

Jazzmeia Horn is set to release her highly anticiapted sophomore album this summer. With her extensive touring and cultural awareness, Jazzmeia is developing an already promising career as a powerhouse vocalist able to cross musical genres and inspire the future of jazz! Thank you for sharing your gift with the DMV and making your performance a very memorable one in the go-go community. We look forward to the return of Jazzmeia Horn here in the DMV! 

 

For more info on Jazzmeia Horn:   www.theartistryofjazzhorn.com

 

 

-Jamaal Bailey (Urban Heat Advisory)

 

 

The 2018 DC Jazz Festival Merges Traditional, Modern and Emerging Jazz Excellence

      The 2018 DC Jazz Festival, held on the beautifully renovated  District Wharf waterfront, proved to be one of the most successful and vibrant jazz showcases the area has experienced in many years. A week long exhibition of many various jazz artists capped off with a free weekend festival on the DC waterfront and closing show at the newly opened Anthem Theater. This year’s festival introduced an array of exceptionally talented artists that are taking the jazz world by storm. 


 


     Urban Heat Advisory was in attendance to capture this year’s festival and share some of the highlights of one of the most distinguished jazz events on the east coast. Featured artists included: Leslie Odom, Jr., Maceo Parker, Robert Glasper, Christian Scott,  Pharaoh Sanders, Terrance Blanchard, Terri Lynn Carrington, Roy Hargrove, and a countless mixture of seasoned and emerging jazz artists. This years event will definitely go down as one of DC’s best, thanks to the tireless work and meticulous planning from DC Jazz Festival Executive Director Sunny Sumter and Artistic Director Willard Jenkins. 


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Christian Scott  (aTunde Adjuah) performs a stellar set @ The 2018 DC Jazz Festival                        District Wharf Pier – 6/16/18
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Addison Frei of AMP Trio featuring Tahira Clayton @ The 2018 DC Jazz Festival performing at DC Wharf Pier  6/16/18

 

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Robert Glasper speaking during the DC Jazz Festival meet & greet session at DC Wharf Pier 6/16/18
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AMP Trio featuring Tahira Clayton at the DC Jazz Festival 6/16/18
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Leslie Odom, Jr. electrifying the crowd @ The 2018 DC Jazz Festival at The Anthem, DC 6/16/18

 

Behind the Scenes at The 2018 DC Jazz Festival 6/16/18


 

 

– Jamaal Bailey (Urban Heat Advisory) 

photo / video: Eric Bailey / William Bailey (Urban Heat Advisory) 

Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival 2018 Brings Caribbean Music, Cuisine and Culture to DC

 



 

Washington, DC has long been recognized as a capital city with a large reggae following. A city that has hosted almost every major and emerging reggae act from Bob Marley & the Wailers @ Capital Centre in Landover (1978) to Peter Tosh live at the Bayou in Georgetown (1979). Bunny Wailer has played the MCI Center in Chinatown and Third World has frequented various different venues in and around DC. Reggae music thrives in a politically driven city with a remarkably diverse mix of culturally and conscious music lovers, making it perfectly fitting that the capital city hosts a definitive festival showcasing Caribbean culture. An annual event giving locals and tourist the opportunity to taste delicious island jerk cuisine while watching performances from an array of reggae artists. The Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival does just that – placing DC on the map among reggae festivals nationwide and continuing to grow each year. 


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   Now in it’s third year, the DC Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival 2018 continued to deliver an excellent showcase of reggae artists, delicious island cuisine, cultural exhibitions, and a Caribbean themed marketplace – making it the largest Caribbean Food Festival in the country.  Held at the RFK Stadium Lot – this years sponsors included: Grace Foods, VP Records, Shoppers Food, PNC Bank, Giant Food, Guinness, and Ablazin Radio. Festival-goers enjoyed free cooking demonstrations and food tastings from various celebrity chefs at the Shoppers Food Culinary Pavilion. Along with a host of Jerk infused dish options offered by food vendors from many different Caribbean eateries based in and around DC. 


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    This years festival presented a powerhouse line-up of both veteran and emerging reggae heavyweights – Third World, Elephant Man, Alison Hinds, New Kingston, and Xyclone. Additional performers included Sounds of Culture, DJ Ricky Platinum, and the Malcolm X Drummers & Dancers.

Vendors lined the festival trail around the transformed stadium lot with beautifully hand-crafted merchandise and memorabilia. But it was the inviting aroma of island cuisine that permeated throughout the festival, luring festival-goers to experience delicious jerk dishes from Caribbean eateries representing the entire DMV and beyond! Offering up savory dishes of jerk chicken, curry goat, oxtail, rice & peas, jerk shrimp, and almost any island dish you could imagine. The festival also included a beef patty eating contest in which one lucky young winner walked away with the $500 grand prize! 

On a weekend where the forecast called for thunderstorms and heavy rain, the festival endured under a cloudy overcast setting without a single drop of rain – making the perfect setting for this years Jerk Festival!  Festival organizers did an excellent job of transforming the huge RFK Stadium Lot into an island-themed park complete with a cozy VIP area and impressive stage sound and lighting set-up. 

Opening the show were the locally-based Sounds of Culture and the Malcolm X Drummers & Dancers, setting the vibes early providing an excellent cultural demonstration of percussive song and dance representing the sounds of the African diaspora. Another local act, Xyclone warmed up the growing crowd with selections from his Billboard chart hit release. In between artistst sets, DJ Ricky Platinum kept the swelling crowd moving spinning reggae and dancehall favorites. Emerging young group New Kingston delivered an inspiring set bringing their trademark sound to the DMV audience. The group, based out of Brooklyn New York, consists of three brothers (Tahir, Courtney Jr., and Stephen Panton) along with their father (Courtney, Sr.) and are rapidly making their imprint in the reggae community.


Reggae artist Xyclone (top left); Malcolm X Drummers and Dancers (top right), and New Kingston performing at the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival, RFK Stadium Lot, Washington, DC   6/10/18


Veteran reggae legends Third World opened their set with a medley of chart topping hits from their extensive catalog of music which spans some 45 years. Many festival onlookers sang along with the group on hits such as “96 Degrees in the Shade”, “Now That We Found Love”, “Try Jah Love”, and “Committed”. Founding member Stephen “Cat” Coore later performed a heartwarming solo rendition of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song” on cello – honoring past reggae legends Bunny Rugs (former Third World lead vocalist), Peter Tosh, Bob Marley as well as dedicating the tune to former president Barack Obama. Third World continues to deliver their signature classics and bring the energy and crowd to its peak. They still remain true “Reggae Ambassadors” as their signature song implies.


     Third World performing at the 2018 Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival @ RFK Stadium Lot, Washington, DC   6/10/18


The Caribbean Queen – Alison Hinds brought the crowd to it’s feet with high energy soca hits including “Roll it Gal”, “High”, and her newly released “Shellings”. Hinds, the Queen of Soca, delivered a sizzling set transforming the festival into a frenzy of soca dancing. Closing out the show was “The energy God” Elephant Man. His electrifying performance transformed the festival into full dancehall mode with popular hits including “Signal the Plane”, “Pon Di River”, and “Sweep”. Towards the end of his set Elephant Man called audience members onto the stage to show off his signature dance moves, but it was his daughter Haley who stole the show taking center stage and showing the jerk festival that she had a few dance moves of her own. 


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“The Energy God” Elephant Man firing up the crowd at Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival DC

     The energy and crowd turnout undoubtedly made this years Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival one of DC’s most successful Caribbean themed festivals this city has ever hosted, leaving fans eagerly anticipating next years festival. For those who may want to experience this high-energy event or who may have missed out on this years DC festival, Grace Foods will host another installment of the Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival at Roy Wilkins Park in Jamaica-Queens, New York on July 22nd followed by a closing Grace Jamaican Jerk Festival on November 11th at Markham Park in South Florida. 

For more info:       (NYC Festival) www.jerkfestivalny.com 

                     (South Florida Festival) www.jerkfestival.com



    Special thanks to all of the hard-working festival staff for brilliantly coordinating and executing a remarkable day of delicious food, amazing live entertainment and cultural awareness. Of note, we would also like to thank Richard Lue (VP Records) and Naisha Nicholson (Urban Relations) for graciously allowing Urban Heat Advisory access to this years amazing festival experience! 

 

 – Jamaal Bailey (Urban Heat Advisory) 

 

An Evening with Esperanza Spalding @ Library of Congress

Four – time Grammy Award winner, activist, educator, and multi-talented musician Esperanza Spalding was recently recognized by the Library of Congress in Washington, DC – where she performed a stellar set in front of a sold-out Coolidge Auditorium. Spalding –  a composer, vocalist, lyricist, bassist and violinist has established herself as a progressively innovative artist who continues to inspire and uplift her listeners. A voracious live performer – she has shared the stage with musical legends like Herbie Hancock, Prince, Alicia Keys and performed for former President Barack Obama several times at the White House and during his Nobel Peace Prize awarding ceremonies. It was only fitting that during her recent performance, Spalding was recognized and honored with a beautiful piano and violin commissioned by the Library of Congress.



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   The historical element of Coolidge Auditorium at The Library of Congress will always hold significant value. It was where Jelly Roll Morton – one of the jazz music’s first arrangers, spent countless days and nights recording his catalog of compositions back in 1938 (which many consider one of the first jazz recordings). Renovated many times over the years, the auditorium overlooks the U.S. Capitol and is remarkably elegant and cozy. Concertgoers rushed inside the halls on a warm Friday evening in May to get a seat at this special concert which was free by rsvp but sold out in minutes!


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    Spalding’s ensemble included Francisco Mela on drums, Leonardo Genovese on piano, and Olivia de Prato on violin. Opening the concert, Genovese and dePrato gave a rousing artistic demonstration on both piano and violin bringing the crowd to laughter and ending with dePrato slamming her violin to the stage floor destroying it in comedic frustration. Esperanza opened with an intimate conversation with the audience while sitting on the steps of the stage and reading some of her collection of poetry inspired by those whom she draws inspiration from which included a beautiful poem dedicated to jazz singer Cassandra Wilson.  After her poetry reading, Spalding delivered a soulful set of arrangements by both Genovese, dePrato, as well as her own. With an amazingly smooth voice and exceptional vocal range, Spalding danced around the stage while singing a Brazilian inspired tune. Soon after, she grabbed the bass and delivered a rousing set of selections bringing the crowd to a thunderous applause. Spalding was awarded a commissioned piano and violin from the Library of Congress (which explains the smashing of the violin early in the show).


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    Esperanza Spalding is a truly remarkable artist with an abundance of creativity and talent. Her stage presence is overwhelming yet so laid back. A beautiful young lady with a beautiful spirit. It’s unfair to simply call her a musician, because her many works cover all aspects of the artistic scope. But her voice is golden and her musicianship is extraordinary! Esperanza Spalding is focused and passionately driven to share her work with the world. 

 

www.esperanzaspalding.com

 

*** Special thanks to Ann McLean @ Library of Congress!

 

-Jamaal Bailey (Urban Heat Advisory) 

 

 

 

URBAN HEAT ADVISORY’S 2018 MUSIC FESTIVAL GUIDE

Looking for a musical getaway this summer? Or maybe a quick trip to check out your favorite artist? Take a look at Urban Heat Advisory’s Annual Summer Festival Guide and plan your next music festival.


TD JAMES MOODY JAZZ FESTIVAL

November 4th – 18th

@ NJPAC New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark, New Jersey

For more info:  https://www.njpac.org/moodyjazz

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iii POINTS ALTERNATIVE MUSIC FESTIVAL

February 15th – 17th 

@  Mana Wynwood Convention Center, Miami, Florida 

For more info: www.iiipoints.com

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JAMMING FESTIVAL 2019

February 16th 

@ Hotel Paraiso Estudios, Ricuarte, Columbia

For more info:  www.jammingfestival.com.co/

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Legendary Jazz Drummer Billy Cobham brings his Crosswinds Project to Birchmere

 


Urban Heat Advisory’s Preview Video of Billy Cobham’s Live Performance @ The Birchmere, Alexandria, VA   4/2/18


 

 

World renowned drummer and fusion jazz pioneer Billy Cobham has recorded and performed with countless greats in the music industry. From his early works with Miles Davis, Horace Silver and John McLaughlin to his later collaborations with Quincy Jones, George Duke and Joe Sample. Not only is he a drumming virtuoso, but also a well-respected percussionist, composer, producer, photographer and educator. Cobham, who will celebrate his 74th birthday next month, continues to travel the world sharing his musical creativity. On April 2nd, he returned to The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA with his Crosswinds Project commemorating the release of his 1974 Crosswinds album. Playing in front of a packed house of drummers, musicians, and longtime fans – Cobham reminded listeners why he remains one of the few remaining pioneers of a remarkable era of fusion jazz that showcases pure musical talent and creativity. 


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Billy Cobham’s Crosswinds Project @ The Birchmere, Alexandria, VA   4/2/18

“Crosswinds” (released in 1974) was Cobham’s sophomore album following his debut release “Spectrum“. It featured Billy Cobham on drums with George Duke (keyboards), John Abercrombie (guitar), Michael Brecker (woodwinds), Randy Brecker (trumpet), Garnett Brown (trombone), Lee Pastora (percussion), and John Williams (bass). The album is a strong reflection of Cobham’s musical prowess and intellect along with an enormously talented group of supporting musicians. Not to mention the album’s cover art – a beautiful photo of a beach skyline photographed by Cobham himself. 



Fast forward to today – Some 40+ years and over thirty albums later, Billy Cobham brings his group of seasoned musicians to The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA while finishing up the last few dates of the American leg of his Crosswinds Project 2018 tour. The line-up: Scott Tibbs (keyboards), Tim Landers (bass), Fareed Haque (guitar), and Paul Hanson (bassoon / sax). All of which have substantial musical resumes. 


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      Billy Cobham and his Crosswinds Project perfectly revisited the Crosswinds album – paying homage to those original musicians that recorded it some forty plus years ago. Scott Tibbs, a musical virtuoso himself, delivered riveting keyboard solos complimenting Cobham’s lightning-quick rudiments with sharp deliverance and an array of different overtones and melodies. Veteran guitarist Fareed Haque added the perfect blend of lead and occasional acoustic guitar to each song and stirred up the crowd with an amazing solo. Bassoonist Paul Hanson’s unique effects brought back memories of the late great George Duke’s earthly harmonized style of playing. All the while, Billy Cobham’s drumming provided each composition a layer of meaning and remembrance making the performance even more special. 


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    After delivering a stellar set of compositions from Crosswinds, Cobham performed a touching piece he wrote after the deadly 2011 tsunamis in Japan. An amazing medley that began slow and haunting and builds with Cobham’s tom rudiments ultimately ending just as slow as it begins. For an encore, fans were thrilled to hear Cobham’s most popular hits “Red Baron” and “Stratus” resulting in a well-deserved standing ovation from the crowd. Cobham’s international popularity among jazz fans worldwide makes catching a live performance rare. His next performances will take him through Hungary, Ronnie Scott Jazz Club in London and a return tour in the States over the spring and summer months. In September at the Blue Note in New York City, Cobham joins a trio including Donald Harrison and Ron Carter. Keeping busy touring and educating aspiring drummers has kept Billy Cobham quite occupied doing what he loves – and to be able to share that with the world makes it all the more gratifying.


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Urban Heat Advisory briefly spoke with Cobham after the show. He remains a humbled and focused musician with a past history of musical experiences that could fill volumes of books, having worked with the likes of Miles Davis, James Brown, Chaka Khan, Stanley Clarke, George Benson, even playing with Grateful Dead – just to name a few. If you’re in the NYC area this fall, be sure to calendar in Cobham’s next appearances in mid-September. 

For Tour Dates & Info: www.billycobham.com

 

-Jamaal Bailey 

 


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Urban Heat Advisory with Billy Cobham @ The Birchmere, Alexandria, VA 4/2/18