Friday, February 11, 2011

Jazz at Orchestra Hall 2011-12 lineup announced

Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis has featured jazz as part of its regular annual programming since 2007–08, soon after Lilly Schwartz became director of Pops and Special Projects in 2006. 

Schwartz, who came to the Minnesota Orchestra after a tenure at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, believes that jazz belongs at Orchestra Hall. Her debut jazz series in 2007–08 featured a tribute to Louis Armstrong with Delfeayo Marsalis, an all-star program hosted by trumpeter Sean Jones, and a "Jazz at the Movies" event featuring the Terence Blanchard Quintet.

Irvin Mayfield
In 2008, New Orleans trumpeter Irvin Mayfield was named artistic director of jazz at Orchestra Hall. At the time, Schwartz told me, "We have an artistic director for Sommerfest, Andrew Litton, and Osmo Vänskä for the orchestra," Schwartz says. "I thought it was important to have an artistic director for jazz." That year, the series grew from three concerts to five. 

Now a frequent visitor to the Twin Cities and a popular presence at Orchestra Hall, both onstage (performing and encouraging people to subscribe to the series) and in the lobby (greeting fans), Mayfield has remained artistic director of jazz and will continue in that post for the 2011–12 season. 

Fiscal realities have brought the number of concerts in the jazz series back down to three, but if you browse the Orchestra's coming pops season, you'll find a number of events that walk like jazz, talk like jazz, and swing like jazz: Chris Botti, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Doc Severinsen, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

The 2011–12 jazz series was announced today. All concerts will take place in Orchestra Hall, which will close soon after for a $43 million renovation.

Sunday, October 2, 2011, 7 p.m.
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

Saturday, February 18, 2012, 8 p.m.
Lizz Wright and Kurt Elling: Be My Valentine
Wright and Elling will each perform separately, then come together as a duo to celebrate the romance of the season.

Friday, April 6, 20912, 8 p.m.
A Love Letter to New Orleans
with Irvin Mayfield, hosted by Soledad O'Brien
This concert will celebrate the release of Mayfield's new book and CD, A Love Letter to New Orleans, for which O'Brien wrote the foreword. I've heard hints that special guest artists may appear.

1 comment:

  1. why do we have an artistic director who is clearly in love with wynton and new orleans? it'd be really cool to represent the fantastic musicians who live here (like the current ridiculous mingus series at macphail) instead of calling people from new york or the big easy.
    love letter to new orleans? give me a break.


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