Festival producers Rocco Somazzi and Jeff Gauthier continue to explore new and provocative avenues of creative jazz at the 3rd annual Angel City Jazz Festival (www.angelcityjazz.com), spanning over a week at six different venues around Los Angeles. The centerpiece production of the festival will take place on Sunday, October 3rd at 5:00 pm at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd East, Hollywood, CA 90068. The show will feature the leaders of Modern/Creative Jazz including Kneebody, Vinny Golia’s Sextet, Sons of Champignon, Wadada Leo Smith’s Golden Quartet and the Ravi Coltrane/Ralph Alessi Quintet.
Tickets are $40 for adults, $17 for full-time students with ID and $12 for children 12 and under and are available at www.FordTheatres.org or 323 461-3673 (for non-visual media, 323 GO 1- FORD). Through the Ford’s early buyer incentive program, adults who buy tickets on or before September 25th pay only $35.
This event is produced in association with the L.A. County Arts Commission.
Sited in the historic Cahuenga Pass in the world famous Hollywood Hills, the John Anson Ford Amphitheater was originally known as the Pilgrimage Theatre and is one of the oldest performing arts venues in Los Angeles still in use. The Amphitheater has a rich jazz tradition which includes several Jazz Bakery productions and the legendary LA jazz club The Baked Potato’s 40th Anniversary concert.
Appearing at the 2010 Angel City Jazz Festival are some of the most original voices in the forward looking jazz landscape. Headlining the festival is the Ravi Coltrane/Ralph Alessi Quintet. Born in New York City, the second son of John and Alice Coltrane, Ravi was raised in L.A. and studied at CalArts before moving back to New York, where he has worked extensively with M-BASE guru Steve Coleman. In addition to leading his own group, Ravi has recently performed with McCoy Tyner, Pharoah Sanders, Carlos Santana, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Michael Brecker, George Duke, Stanley Clarke, Branford Marsalis, Jacky Terrasson and many others. Joining him is frequent collaborator and influential NYC-based trumpeter Ralph Alessi.
Lauded as "one of the most vital musicians on the planet" by top jazz magazine Coda, Wadada Leo Smith, playing at the festival with his Golden Quartet, is one of the most visionary, boldly original and artistically important figures in contemporary American jazz and free music, and one of the great trumpet players of our time. As a composer, improviser, performer, music theorist, writer and educator, Smith has devoted a lifetime to navigating the emotional heart, spiritual soul, social significance and physical structure of jazz, integrating free, composed and world music to create new music of infinite possibility and nuance.
Formerly known as BBC, the ironically named Sons of Champignon is an improvising trio comprising three of the most influential instrumentalists of our time: saxophonist Tim Berne, guitarist Nels Cline and drummer Jim Black. Described by Black as "rocking acoustic/electronic improv," The Sons of Champignon will light it up with committed freewheeling improvisations.
The recordings of multi-woodwind performer Vinny Golia, performing at the festival with his Sextet, is consistently picked by critics and readers of music journals for their yearly "ten best" lists. As a composer Golia fuses the rich heritage of jazz, contemporary classical and world music into his own unique compositions. As a bandleader, Golia has presented his music to concert audiences in Europe, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
Kneebody flies above the label zone, crafting postmodern instrumental music that jukes convention and genre. If the group's intricate compositions had to be filed away in a record bin, chances are they would rest in the jazz corner, but the Los Angeles/NYC quintet touches on post-rock, classical and avant-garde forms as often as it flirts with swing. Last year's Low Electrical Worker found the band stretching out in odd meters with equally odd instruments, getting loud, having a blast -- and maybe even reinventing music a little in the process.