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The Concord Jazz Festival is back for 2019.
The iconic festival, which got its start in 1969 and helped give birth to the Concord Jazz record label, returns in celebration of its 50th anniversary on Aug. 3 at the Concord Pavilion.
The lineup features such well-known acts as Dave Koz & Friends Summer Horns, Esperanza Spalding, Chick Corea Spanish Heart Band, the Legendary Count Basie Orchestra featuring Patti Austin, Jamison Ross, Carmen Bradford and special guests in a special Celebrating Ella set, and Poncho Sanchez & his Latin Jazz Band.
Show time is 4 p.m. Tickets for the 50th anniversary Concord Jazz Festival are $39.50-$149.50 and go on sale at 10 a.m. April 19, www.livenation.com.
“The Concord Jazz Festival was a cornerstone of the Concord Pavilion concert season for years and we’re thrilled to bring this iconic event back for the 50th Anniversary celebration.” said Aaron Siuda, senior vice president of promoter Live Nation Northern California. “In conjunction with Concord Jazz, we’ve put together a stellar lineup that showcases many of the great artists that Concord Jazz represents.”
The festival actually got its start in a city park, but found a new home at the Concord Pavilion in 1975. Over the years, the festival attracted thousands of fans to witness performances by such artists as Oscar Peterson, George Shearing, Ella Fitzgerald and Dave Brubeck.
The last festival was held 15 years ago, in 2004, but organizers are happy to see it return for the milestone anniversary celebration.
“The creation of this festival by visionary Carl Jefferson in 1969 led directly to his formation of the Concord Jazz label just a few years later,” said Concord Records President John Burk. “Therefore, we at Concord Jazz owe a great debt to Jefferson and the City of Concord, and we are thrilled to partner with Live Nation in bringing the festival back home for its 50th anniversary.”
Here’s a look at some of the acts performing:
Dave Koz & Friends Summer Horns
Koz is one of the genre’s best-known artists, who most recently topped the contemporary jazz charts with his latest project, “Summer Horns II From A to Z,” on Concord Records. His talented Friends include Gerald Albright (alto saxophone), Rick Braun (trumpet), R&B star Kenny Lattimore (vocals) and Aubrey Logan (trombone and vocals).
The stellar bassist shocked the music world in 2011 when she became the first (and only) jazz artist to win the Grammy for best new artist, triumphing in a star-studded field that included Justin Bieber, Drake, Mumford and Sons and Florence and the Machine.
Chick Corea Spanish Heart Band
Corea is one of the greatest jazz musicians of the last 60 years, known equally for his work as a sideman (especially alongside Miles Davis), in the fantastic fusion outfit Return to Forever and his own solo career. The pianist-composer celebrates the 1976 classic “My Spanish Heart” and its soon-to-be-released follow-up, “Spanish Heart Band-Antidote,” in Concord. The Chick Corea Spanish Heart Band includes bassist Carlitos Del Puerto and drummer Marcus Gilmore.
Legendary Count Basie Orchestra
The orchestra has worked with some of the greatest vocalists of all time, including Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan and, of course, Ella Fitzgerald – who the big band celebrates with the forthcoming “Ella 100.” Joining the Orchestra on stage will be Patti Austin, Carmen Bradford, Jamison Ross and special guests.
Poncho Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band
Sanchez, a master conguero and acclaimed band leader, has been on the Concord label for 37 years – longer than any other artist. Sanchez and his Latin Jazz Band are due to release their 27th album on the label later this year.