|Hudson, N.Y.— Hudson Hall is proud to announce the 3rd Annual HUDSON JAZZ FESTIVALTM, FRIDAY FEBRUARY 14, SATURDAY FEBRUARY 15 and SUNDAY FEBRUARY 16 (President’s Day Weekend). Presented by Hudson Hall and curated by the distinctive Hudson-based pianist Armen Donelian. The 2020 Festival offers jazz enthusiasts and contemporary music fans a packed weekend of masterful artists performing music from around the globe.
Tickets for the 2020 Hudson Jazz Festival are now on sale to Friends of Hudson Hall, and they go on sale to the public on Friday, November 29. Prices start at $25 for single tickets. Weekend Passes are $95 and include priority entry and seating to every performance. Online ticket purchases can be made at hudsonhall.org, or by calling (518) 822-1438.
“We are thrilled to present an array of such musical quality, in a venue as immaculate as Hudson Hall,” says Festival curator, Armen Donelian. “Music communicates where words fail by speaking directly to the heart and spirit. For this reason, I’m convinced that Jazz music and those who play it are some of America’s best ambassadors.”
The Hudson Jazz Festival opens with a decidedly romantic vibe in Hudson Hall on Valentine’s Day evening with singer Aimée Allen, accompanied by the engaging Donelianon piano, the superb bassist Jay Anderson and veteran Jeff Siegel on drums. Allen, who the Jazz Times called “a brilliant singer and even more thoughtful lyricist,” cut her teeth in Paris jazz clubs and brings to our stage a contemporary spin on jazz standards and bossa-nova infused tunes, along with striking original compositions.
On Saturday morning, young, budding musicians and students of all ages are invited to a free, hands-on Jazz workshop in the West Room of Hudson Hall led by pianist Armen Donelian and saxophonist Marc Mommaas, co-founders of Hudson Jazzworks.
Saturday afternoon’s Piano Summit in Hudson Hall highlights the eclectic and singular talent of three unique and gifted pianists: NYC-based Kevin Hays is a Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist, composer, and singer/songwriter who has appeared on over 60 albums and collaborated with such artists as Al Foster and Joshua Redman and was one half of a widely-acclaimed piano duo project with Brad Mehldau (Modern Music – Nonesuch). Francesca Tanksley is an acclaimed jazz pianist and composer, who has performed with Billy Harper Quintet as well as her own trio, and is known for her “…mesmerizing, captivating and monumental music” (Jazzreview.com). Brazilian born, and now NYC-based pianist, Cidinho Teixeira has worked with Brazilian musical legends such as Gal Costa and Gilberto Gil, and has made a name for himself recording and performing within the spirited Brazilian musical community of NYC, including being one of the leaders of the popular group Terra Brasil.
Saturday evening brings the legendary and singularly talented saxophonist Billy Harper to the Hudson Hall stage with his formidable quintet, featuring trumpeter Freddie Hendrix, Francesca Tanksley on piano, Hwansu Kang on bass, and drummer Aaron Scott. Harper’s stirring compositions infuse brilliant hard bop technique with gospel spiritual overtones that uplift and heal. Not to be missed!
With no rest for the talented, the Festival continues Sunday morning when Billy Harper returns to the Hall to introduce the free screening of I Called Him Morgan, a Kasper Collin film about Harper’s friend and former collaborator, celebrated trumpeter Lee Morgan whose prolific and whirlwind life was tragically cut short at the age of 33.
The 2020 Hudson Jazz Festival concludes on Sunday afternoon with a resounding bang when Slavic Soul Party! take over the stage at Hudson Hall at 4pm. This highly energetic collective mixes European folk forms with the energy and irreverence of punk rock. Time Out NY says, “Of all the NYC dance bands that draw on Eastern European music, Slavic Soul Party! is the coolest…” Slavic Soul Party! has played everywhere from Serbian school yards to Carnegie Hall, and their Tuesday night residency at Barbes in Brooklyn has become a destination for music fans from around the world, famous for “delivering a great time.” (New York Times).
Adding extra spice throughout the Festival lineup is the return to Hudson Hall of James Beard Award-winning chef Zak Pelaccio (of Hudson’s Fish & Game) and his Southeast Asian-inspired Backbar. Jazz lovers can delight in Southeast Asian treats and sip award-winning cocktails, beer and wine while enjoying world-class performances in an intimate, cabaret-style setting.
HUDSON JAZZ FESTIVAL, FEBRUARY 14-16 FULL LINE UP:
Friday, February 14 at 7pm
Aimée Allen, vocals
Armen Donelian, piano
Jay Anderson, bass
Jeff Siegel, drums
“A fully fledged composer, lyricist and vocalist, her ideas are filled with depth and meaning and her lyrics profoundly unique.”
– Constance Tucker, All About Vocals
Hudson Jazz Festival opens its doors on Valentine’s eve to a very special evening of jazz standards and original compositions with NYC-based vocalist Aimée Allen, with Festival Curator Armen Donelian on piano, Jay Anderson on bass and Jeff Siegel on drums. While the vibe promises to be romantic for the holiday, Allen playfully mixes up jazz traditions with hints of bossa nova and some original material from her 2018 release, Wings Uncaged. The evening provides a much needed warm musical embrace to counterbalance the enduring winter.
Armen Donelian and Marc Mommaas
Saturday, February 15, 11am – 1pm
For intermediate-level middle-school age or higher
Registration required at hudsonhall.org/hudson-jazz-festival-workshop-2020/.
Join Hudson Jazzworks co-founders pianist Armen Donelian and saxophonist Marc Mommaas for a free hands-on workshop exploring the language of jazz performance and composition based on the curriculum and methods of the annual Hudson Jazz Workshop. Donelian and Mommaas offer a supportive and focused atmosphere conducive to intensive study and mutual encouragement. Students will participate in individual and group instruction with two of today’s leading Jazz artist/educators. This multi-generational workshop is open to all musicians of middle school age or higher. Bring your instrument! Intermediate playing and reading ability recommended. Email email@example.com for more information.
PIANO SUMMIT: Kevin Hays, Francesca Tanksley, Cidinho Teixeira
Saturday, February 15 at 2pm
Saturday afternoon’s Piano Summit highlights the eclectic and singular talent of three gifted pianists. NYC-based Kevin Hays is a Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist, composer, and singer/songwriter who has appeared on over 60 albums, collaborated with Joshua Redman and was one half of a widely-acclaimed piano duo project with Brad Mehldau. Francesca Tanksley is an acclaimed jazz pianist and composer who has had her music referred to as “…mesmerizing, captivating and monumental music” (Jazzreview.com). Brazilian born, and NYC-based pianist, Cidinho Teixeira has worked with Brazilian musical legends such as Gal Costa and Gilberto Gil, and has made a name for himself recording and performing within the spirited Brazilian musical community of NYC.
BILLY HARPER QUINTET
Billy Harper, tenor saxophone
Freddie Hendrix, trumpet
Francesca Tanksley, piano
Hwansu Kang, bass
Aaron Scott, drums
Saturday, February 16 at 7pm
“One of the strongest tenor saxophonists of his generation”
– The New York Times
“One of a generation of Coltrane-influenced tenor saxophonists” Harper arrived in New York in 1966 – just the right time to attract attention from some of jazzdom’s giants – Gil Evans, Max Roach, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis, Lee Morgan, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Harper is an explosive tenor saxophonist and a distinctive hard bop composer, and this one night only engagement promises to be a dazzling display of the quintet’s talent and inarguable artistry. He is joined by his formidable quintet, featuring trumpeter Freddie Hendrix, Francesca Tanksley on piano, Hwansu Kang on bass, and drummer Aaron Scott.
I Called Him Morgan
Directed by Kasper Collin (2016, 92min)
Sunday, February 16 at 11am
Reservations at hudsonhall.org
“Magic. The movie is like a record you could spin again and again.”
– David Edelstein, New York Magazine
On a snowy night in February 1972, celebrated jazz musician Lee Morgan met his tragic end after a gig at a club in New York City. Morgan’s sudden death sent shockwaves through the jazz community, and the memory of the event still haunts those who knew Morgan, including saxophonist Billy Harper who was there with Morgan at the time of his death. Billy Harper will return to the Hudson Hall stage on Sunday to introduce this documentary by Swedish filmmaker Kasper Collin (My Name Is Albert Ayler) and speak to his memories of Morgan and his demise. This documentary, which draws together a wealth of archival photographs and footage, notable talking heads and incredible jazz music to tell the story of this beloved musician, is a love letter to a lost era and a lost musical genius. A film about love, jazz and America
Saxophonist Billy Harper will be in attendance for an introduction and a post-screening Q&A with Festival curator, Armen Donelian, who performed as the pianist in the Billy Harper Quintet from 1979 to 1983.
Slavic Soul Party!
Sunday, February 17 at 4pm
Peter Stan, accordion
Peter Hess, saxophone
John Carlson, trumpet
Kenny Warren, trumpet
Tim Vaughn, trombone
Adam Dotson, trombone
Kenny Bentley, tuba
Chris Stromquist, percussion
Matt Moran, percussion
With razor-sharp precision, juggernaut force, and a healthy dose of playfulness, these guys start out in overdrive and never let up… Slavic Soul Party! offers a gut punch to preconceptions about traditional music, world music, pop music, dance music, but I’ll tell you, this is one gut punch you’ll enjoy.”
—NPR’s All Things Considered
Fiery Balkan brass, throbbing funk grooves, Roma (Gypsy) accordion wizardry, and virtuoso jazz chops make Slavic Soul Party! (SSP!) NYC’s official #1 brass band for Balkan Soul Gypsy Funk. SSP! feeds a strong Balkan brass sound through the filter of life in New York’s outer boroughs, making new music out of the unplanned results of immigration, proximity, and globalization. Over the past 15 years the band has released 7 full-length albums, and toured in the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Turkey, and Zimbabwe, from palaces to dive bars, Carnegie Hall to Serbian schoolyards, festival stages to prison courtyards. The band’s music has fans on both sides of the Atlantic, and their tunes have been covered by Serbian brass stars, New Orleans funk stalwarts, and legendary street bands. SSP!’s Tuesday night residency in Brooklyn has become a destination for music fans from around the world, and is famous for “delivering a great time.” (New York Times)
HOT JAZZ, SPICY TREATS & COOL DRINKS
Adding extra spice to the festival lineup is the return of James Beard Award-winning chef Zak Pelaccio (of Hudson’s Fish & Game) and his Southeast Asian-inspired Backbar to Hudson Hall for the 2020 Hudson Jazz Festival. Jazz lovers can delight in Southeast Asian treats, and sip award-winning cocktails, beer and wine while enjoying world-class performances in an intimate, cabaret-style setting.