Upcoming JWLS events
(Fri, 6 September, 8:00PM)
When Kamasi Washington released his tour de force LP, The Epic, in 2015, it instantly set him on a path as our generation’s torchbearer for progressive, improvisational music that would open the door for young audiences to experience music unlike anything they had heard before. The 172-minute odyssey featuring his 10-piece band, The Next Step, was littered with elements of hip-hop, classical and R&B music, all major influences on the young saxophonist and bandleader, who exceeds any notions of what “jazz” music is.
Released to critical acclaim, The Epic won numerous awards, including the inaugural American Music Prize and the Gilles Peterson Worldwide album of the year. Washington followed that work with collaborations with other influential artists such as Kendrick Lamar, John Legend, Run the Jewels, Ibeyi and the creation of “Harmony of Difference,” a standalone multimedia installation during the prestigious 2017 Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.
In June 2018, Washington released Heaven and Earth to wide praise. The album garnered “best of” awards from Pitchfork, NPR, Variety, GQ, MOJO, and Complex among others. Collaborating with cutting edge filmmakers Bradford Young, Jenn Nkiru, Terence Nance, and Marc Thomas, Washington helped direct AS TOLD TO G/D THYSELF, a film inspired by Heaven and Earth.
The fulfillment of Washington’s destiny begin when at age 13, Washington picked up his musician father’s horn and proceeded to play the Wayne Shorter composition “Sleeping Dancer Sleep On” despite never touching a saxophone or knowing how to play. A Los Angeles native, he was lead tenor saxophone chair in the top jazz ensemble at the Grammy Award-recognized Academy of Music and Performing Arts at Alexander Hamilton High School, and as a senior, started his first band—Young Jazz Giants—with pianist Cameron Graves, and siblings Thundercat and Ronald Bruner, Jr.
Washington received a full scholarship to the University of California at Los Angeles, where he studied ethnomusicology. He recorded his first album with Young Jazz Giants during the summer following his freshman year. The quartet’s self-titled debut was dripping with maturity well beyond the players’ collective age, and with Washington penning four of the album’s seven original songs, became a platform to spread the “now” sound of jazz all around the country.
Following his sophomore year at UCLA, Washington went on his first national tour with West Coast hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg, performing alongside some of the most talented young jazz musicians in the country. Later that year, the young saxophonist joined the orchestra of Gerald Wilson, one of his biggest heroes. After graduation, Washington toured with Grammy Award-winning producer, singer and songwriter Raphael Saadiq, and later that year, returned to Wilson’s band on the album In My Time.
His mass appeal continues to grow drawing vibrant, multi-ethnic and multi-generational crowds with tour stops at the world’s most prominent festivals such as Coachella, Glastonbury, Fuji Rock, and Bonnaroo. A prominent journalist summed it up best when he wrote “in a millennium largely absent of anything new or captivating in the jazz idiom, Washington has just unleashed a musical hydra grounded in respect and intimate knowledge of the past and striking far out into a hopeful future.”
(Thurs, 12 September, 8:00PM)
Marcus Miller has been dubbed one of the most influential artists of our time. At the top of his game for over 30 years, he is a two-time Grammy award winner, (U.S.), winner of the 2013 Edison Award for Lifetime Achievement In Jazz (Holland), winner of the 2010 Victoire du Jazz (France) and in 2013, was appointed a UNESCO Artist For Peace. His characteristic bass sound can be heard on a limitless catalog of musical hits from Bill Wither’s “Just The Two Of Us” , to Luther Vandross’ “Never Too Much”, to songs from Chaka Khan, David Sanborn, Herbie Hancock, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, George Benson, Elton John and Bryan Ferry to name a few. With his distinctive style – a unique combination of funk, groove, soul and pure technical skills – Miller has been referred to as one of the most significant bass players in jazz, R &B, fusion and soul. Bass Player Magazine includes him on its list of ten most influential jazz players of this generation.
(Wednesday, 2 October, 8:00PM)
Venue: Hong Kong Arts Center
Four European jazz stars for the very first time as a quartet: 4 Wheel Drive as an ensemble is like a high-performance four-cylinder engine with all the gears meshing perfectly. And the fuel: jazz.
Nils Landgren / trombone & vocals
Michael Wollny / piano
Lars Danielsson / bass & cello
Wolfgang Haffner / drums
(Sun, 10 November, 3:00PM)
Venue: Hong Kong Arts Center
Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin will return to Hong Kong on Sunday November 10th, 2019!
The pioneer of contemporary jazz and legendary ‘Captain Fingers’ Lee Ritenour, along with his long-time collaborator Dave Grusin, a rare musician who is equally talented as a pianist, composer, arranger and producer, will perform with Tom Kennedy (bass) and Wesley Ritenour (drums) at the Hong Kong Arts Centre.
Growing up in Los Angeles in the 60s, Ritenour received a rich cross-section of exposure to jazz, rock and Brazilian music. After graduating from the University of South California, Ritenour began his own solo career which now includes more than 30 albums and collaborations. His list of some 2,000 session works is awesome, but some of his notable performances were with Paul Simon, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Steely Dan, and Pink Floyd.
Along the way, Ritenour has received 17 Grammy nominations, earned several gold albums, many number one spots in guitar polls and the prestigious “Alumnus of the Year” award from USC. His album “Harlequin”, with Dave Grusin, won him a Grammy award.
In the early 90s, Ritenour teamed up with Bob James, Harvey Mason and bass player Nathan East under the name of Fourplay. He was a founding member of the band and participated in the first three releases which remain their biggest hits to date. Their first album in 1991 spent an unprecedented 33 weeks at number one on Billboard’s contemporary jazz chart.
Check out Lee’s bio here http://leeritenour.com/biography/
Interview with Lee and Dave Grusin
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JWLS: BOB JAMES TRIO – 27 Feb 2019
JWLS: Halie Loren – 17 Jan 2019
JWLS presents Harmonica Summit – 12 Nov 2018
JWLS presents Stacey Kent in Hong Kong – 24 Sep 2018
JWLS: Adam Rogers Dice Trio – 28 May 2018
JWLS: Moon « Kiss Me » CDs Release Concert – 12 Apr 2018
JWLS: Blicher Hemmer Gadd featuring Steve Gadd – 28 Feb 2018
JWLS: Simon Phillips Protocol – 11 Jan 2018
JWLS: The Guitar Legacy – 14 Dec 2017
JWLS: Hiromi & Edmar Castañeda – 10 Dec 2017
JWLS: Eric Marienthal with Hong Kong Sax Assault – 13 Nov 2017
JWLS: Danilo Rea “solo et duo” with Oona Rea – 10 Sep 2017
JWLS: Giovanni Mirabassi Trio – 26 May 2017
JWLS: Sylvain Luc / Jean-Michel Pilc Duo – 14 Jun 2017
JWLS: Sinne Eeg/Ted Lo Duo – 21 Apr 2017
JWLS: The Chick Corea Elektric Band – 22 Mar 2017
JWLS: Paolo Fresu “Devil Quartet” – 4 Mar 2017
Jazz World Presents: Andy Timmons Band – 16 Nov 2016
Jazz World Presents: Leszek Mozdzer Solo – 3 Nov 2016