Exit Zero Jazz Festival 2017 Passes

The Exit Zero Jazz Festival takes place in Cape May, NJ, November 10-12, 2017. World class performances are held on stages both big and small, including headline concerts in the 1,177 seat Schmidtchen Theater, featured performances in the 800 capacity Cape May Convention Hall, and in numerous clubs and restaurants in the beach resort throughout the Festival weekend.

Avid festival goers find the ALL EVENT and DAY Passes provide the most economical way to attend multiple Festival events including headline and featured performances.

The ALL EVENT PASS includes:
*Reserved seat Fourplay & Gregory Porter
*General Admission Seat Cape May Convention Hall shows Nov 10-12
*First-come, first-served entry Festival clubs Nov. 10-12, 2017.

CAPE MAY BREWING COMPANY HOPS PASS includes first-come, first-serve entry into all Festival clubs Nov. 10-12, 2017

FRIDAY PASS includes Reserved Seat Fourplay performance Nov. 10 at 9:00PM
General Admission Seat Lizz Wright performance Nov 10 at 7:00PM
First-come, first served entry Festival clubs Nov. 10, 2017.

SATURDAY/SUNDAY PASS includes Reserved Seat Gregory Porter show Nov. 11
General Admission Seat Etienne Charles, Brian Blade Felllowship, Arturo O'Farrill, Ranky Tanky
First-come, first-served entry Festival clubs Nov. 11-12, 2017.

SUNDAY PASS includes General Admission Seat Ranky Tanky performance Nov 12.
First-come, first-served entry Festival clubs Nov.12, 2017.

No advance purchase for individual club performances. A $20.00 admission to club shows day of show at the door where the performance takes place is available ONLY if space permits.

Friday, November 10, MusicConnects Stage at Schmidtchen Theater, 9:00PM

Longevity among jazz groups is a surprisingly rare commodity. With relatively few exceptions, a run of a few years, at most, is standard; for a collective of jazz musicians to stick together for a decade or more is almost unheard of. That puts Fourplay in a league of their own. Since 1990, bassist Nathan East, keyboardist Bob James, guitarist Chuck Loeb (who joined five years ago) and drummer Harvey Mason have continued to explore together, their efforts resulting in what All Music Guide called one of “the most intuitive, forward-thinking and focused groups in modern jazz.

Saturday, November 11, MusicConnects Stage at Schmidtchen Theater, 7:00PM

An artist whose music is at once timeless yet utterly of its time, Gregory Porter solidifies his standing as his generation’s most soulful jazz singer-songwriter with Take Me to the Alley, winner of the 2017 GRAMMY Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album, and the much-anticipated follow-up to his sensational 2013 Blue Note debut Liquid Spirit. Yet in his remarkable career, Porter has time and again demonstrated an innate ability to transcend genre and connect with audiences from all walks of life, and his new music reflects the singer’s continued and mindful growth as an artist and as a person amidst the constant touring demands that have resulted from tremendous international success. Recently Porter moved his family from Brooklyn back to his hometown of Bakersfield, California, where he can be closer to his brothers and sisters. “The intensity of the road has caused a desire for me to be grounded,” Porter explains.

Acclaimed vocalist Lizz Wright is a steward of American music bringing brilliant color and vibrancy to singular original works and compositions by some of the greatest songwriters of our time. Wright has garnered widespread attention as one of the most venerable popular singers of her generation through the release of five critically acclaimed albums. From her breakout Verve debut album Salt to her forthcoming album GRACE on Concord Records, Wright lives life filled with beautiful possibilities centered on the power of song.

Through an inimitable voice that The New York Times touts as, “a smooth, dark alto possessed of qualities you might associate with barrel-aged bourbon or butter-soft leather,” Wright sings with a soaring reflection of the cultural fabric of America. She lies beneath the script of human history transcending social divides with an offer of love and deep sense of humanity. Her music accepts the beauty of reality and a collective experience of belonging. For the listener, Wright’s songs embody a tradition that allows us to always feel at home, wherever we might be physically or emotionally.

Wright culls inspiration from her Southern upbringing in Georgia where she was the musical director of a small church in which her father was the pastor. Gospel music, and the call and response singing with the church congregation, informed her first brushes with music. Singing classical repertoire with Dr. Dwight Coleman while attending Georgia State University (Atlanta), studying jazz and spirituals with Dr. Richard Harper of The New School (New York), personal study of the folk tradition, and traversing through the Great American Songbook all fostered a keen interest to discover her own voice across diverse genres.

At the age of 22, Wright made a name for herself nationally as a vocalist with a touring concert tribute to Billie Holiday, where her poised performance stole the show. At 23, she signed with Verve Records for the release of Salt, which topped Billboard’s contemporary jazz charts. Her subsequent albums (Dreaming Wide Awake, The Orchard, Fellowship, and 2015’s Freedom & Surrender) continued to top the charts and her latest single “Lean In” (from Freedom & Surrender) landed on President Obama’s 2016 Summer Playlist. NPR critic Ann Powers included Freedom & Surrender on her list of “Favorite Albums in 2015,” and the album has received rave reviews from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and many other publications.

Dedication to the long form and the cultivation of a balanced life with strong roots has brought Wright from New York City to the countryside outside of Asheville, North Carolina. A respite from the bustling city streets, the beautiful mountain woods provide the perfect backdrop for her writing. Rustic hikes and river swimming, living amongst lovers of the land, growing essential foods in the garden, and harnessing an appreciation for the earth. Wright lives and breathes with the freshness of the country air. In turn, her music remains vital and dynamic growing along with nature’s elements.

Wright’s upcoming full-length studio recording GRACE reveals the web of deep running roots of story and song that bind together the vastly diverse traditions that are the soul of the American South. Produced by Americana icon Joe Henry, GRACE features an expansive collection of 10 covers and an original co-write with Maia Sharp. Wright offers singular arrangements of music by Ray Charles, Allen Toussaint, Nina Simone, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, k.d. lang, Bob Dylan, Frank Perkins and Mitchell Parish, as well as emerging artists Rose Cousins and Birds of Chicago.

GRACE is set for national release on Concord Records on Friday, September 15, 2017.

Exit Zero Jazz welcomes Etienne Charles & CreoleSoul back to Cape May, Saturday, November 11, 2017.

Hailed by The New York Times as “an auteur” and by JazzTimes as “A daring improviser who delivers with heart wrenching lyricism,” NPR’s All Things Considered calls Etienne, “a great young trumpeter…his records filter calypso, reggae and other Afro-Caribbean musics into a modern jazz conception.” Critics and audiences alike continue to praise the Trinidadian’s exciting performances, thrilling compositions, and his charismatic onstage presence. Etienne is a Guggenheim Fellow in the Creative Arts, Associate Professor of Jazz Trumpet and Teacher Scholar at Michigan State University, and has been written in to US Congressional Record for his musical contributions to Trinidad & Tobago and the World.

Brian Blade Fellowship

Arturo O'Farrill Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra

Jazz pianist. Son of Chico O'Farrill

Terrance Simien

American zydeco musician, vocalist and songwriter, born 3 September 1965 in Mallet, Louisiana, USA.

Pedrito Martinez Group

Jazzmeia Horn

American jazz singer

Spuyten Duyvil

American six-piece old-time music/folk rock band based in Yonkers, New York, and led by singer/songwriting couple Beth Kaufman and Mark Miller.


A 14-piece group formed by Edgardo Cintron, a talented Latin-jazz percussionist, Cintron made its debut with the release of Absolutely on March 20th, 2001, featuring Latin classics such as "Oye Como Va" and "Suavecito." Led by singer and executive producer Rocco de Persia and keyboardist Jimmy López, the band combines big band jazz style, traditional Latin rhythms, and contemporary pop/rock. Citron performed live at the New Millennium Diversity Inaugural Ball in Washington, D.C., on January 20th, 2001, to honor President George W. Bush. Hit Men followed in 2003, reprising many of the tunes that were contained on Absolutely. Back in the Day was next in 2005, with a handful of new tracks appearing alongside previously released ones.

Michael Pedicin Quintet

As It Should Be: Ballads 2, the 14th album of tenor and soprano saxophonist Michael Pedicin’s prolific career, is in many ways akin to his acclaimed 2011 CD, Ballads…searching for peace. Ballads showcasing the exquisitely lyrical aspects of Pedicin’s playing are again the focus, but with a difference. Other than the John Coltrane classic “Crescent” and an especially tender treatment of Paul Simon’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (a tune rarely performed in a jazz context), eight of the disc’s 10 songs were composed as ballads by the saxophonist’s longtime collaborator, guitarist Johnnie Valentino. Several of them, however, were treated to somewhat brighter grooves than had been originally intended after the musicians got to the recording studio, particularly “From Afar,” which was double-timed at a bossa-nova-like clip by drummer Justin Faulkner and percussionist Alex Acuña.
The themes of Ballads…searching for peace and As It Should Be both reflect Pedicin’s abiding concern with issues of peace and justice. “I’m one of those diehard Sixties kids that grew up concerned about peace and togetherness and acceptance,” he explains. “I think about that every day of my life. We’re all one. This is probably a necessary component in our world more than ever, at least more than ever in my lifetime. I believe that we’re all human beings more than anything else: race, ethnicity, nationality.”
Everyone in the current quintet, save for Peruvian-born, Los Angeles-based Acuña, has close connections to Philadelphia. Michael Pedicin was born on July 29, 1947, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and raised in nearby Ardmore. Both towns are suburbs of Philadelphia. Philly native Johnnie Valentino has lived in Southern California for many years and works as a guitarist and composer. Pianist Frank Strauss and bassist Mike Boone are both much-in-demand players on the contemporary Philadelphia jazz scene. Pedicin feels lucky to have been able to recruit longtime Branford Marsalis drummer Justin Faulkner for the session because he happened to be at home in Philadelphia for a winter break. Alex Acuña, of course, is best known in jazz circles for his three-year stint with Weather Report, although his eclectic credits also include work with Elvis Presley, Diana Ross, Paul McCartney, Madonna, and the Christian jazz band Koinonia.
Michael Pedicin is a second-generation saxophonist. His dad, alto saxophonist and singer Mike Pedicin, was an extremely popular entertainer and bandleader in the Philadelphia area for more than six decades until his retirement at age 80.
“I idolized my dad as a saxophonist,” Pedicin says. “I used to walk around with a saxophone strap around my neck before I could even play a C scale. I wanted to be like him and look like him. He was a matinee-idol-looking guy.”
Mike Pedicin and his combo worked nightly for decades around Philadelphia. He recorded prolifically for RCA Victor, 20th Century, ABC-Paramount, Federal, and other labels during the 1950s and early ’60s, yet he seldom toured. Even though his 1957 Cameo recording of “Shake a Hand” became a big hit, he started turning down offers to perform, preferring to remain in Philly and work there.
Michael received few pointers from his father. “He didn’t want to teach me,” he says. “He wanted to be my dad. He passed away in June [1916] at 98. He had a wonderful and very healthy life. Five weeks before my dad left us to join my mother, he was still driving his beloved convertible, and continues to inspire his family, including me.”
When Michael was 13, his father took him to the Harlem Club in Atlantic City to hear and meet the bluesy jazz saxophonist Willis “Gator Tail” Jackson, who became his hero on the horn. Then he heard records by John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley, and he knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life: play the saxophone.
Michael would later see and shake Coltrane’s hand at Pep’s in Philadelphia. “He was a gentle soul,” Michael recalls. He studied theory with guitarist Dennis Sandoli and saxophone with Philadelphia Orchestra clarinetist Mike Guerra, both of whom had once taught Coltrane, as well as with onetime Woody Herman saxophonist Buddy Savitt. While attending Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, where he majored in composition, he began competing—and winning—at collegiate jazz festivals around the country. Down Beat magazine raved about his playing on alto saxophone, and Stan Kenton, a judge at many of the festivals, offered him a job.
“Kenton harangued me for a year to go with his band,” Pedicin recalls. “I was in school, and I didn’t want to give up my education.”
Pedicin, who switched from alto to tenor as his main instrument at age 20, earned a living throughout the 1970s as a member of the horn section at Philadelphia’s Sigma Sound Studios, where he worked for producers Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Thom Bell, playing on countless sessions by such artists as the Spinners, O’Jays, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, and Lou Rawls. Don Renaldo, the contractor for the sessions, was kind enough to give Pedicin leaves of absence to go on the road with Maynard Ferguson, the O’Jays, Rawls, Stevie Wonder, and David Bowie. The saxophonist’s first album, simply titled Michael Pedicin Jr., was released in 1980 on Gamble and Huff’s Philadelphia International label.
Pedicin taught at UArts from 1976 to 1981, and during much of the ’80s, he juggled teaching duties at Philadelphia’s Temple University and two years of touring with Dave Brubeck (with whom he recorded one album for the East World Jazz label in Japan). At the same time, he was contracting musicians for his orchestras in five hotel/casino theaters in Atlantic City, and also played behind singers such as Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett.
Putting Atlantic City behind him gave Pedicin more time to focus on playing straight-ahead jazz. Besides leading his own quintet, he also toured from 2003 to 2006 with Pat Martino and in early 2011 with the Dave Brubeck Quartet in which son Darius Brubeck filled in for his ailing father. Pedicin continued his education, however, and in 2002 earned a Ph.D in psychology from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine/International University for Graduate Studies.
Pedicin was a professor of music at Richard Stockton College in Galloway, New Jersey, from 2008 until 2016. He currently divides his time between a home in Linwood, New Jersey and an apartment in New York City. While in Linwood, he sees patients in his Linwood office.
The shingle above his psychology office now reads “Dr. Michael Pedicino.” He recently had his last named changed back to the one that had been taken away from his grandfather when he arrived at Ellis Island from the Italian province of Foggia in 1906. He also is in the process of obtaining dual American-Italian citizenship. He has no plans, however, to change his name in the world of music.
As It Should Be is the latest chapter in the master musician’s ongoing quest to help bring the motto of the City of Brotherly Love to fruition for human beings of all races, ethnicities, and nationalities through its sweet melodies and gentle improvisations.
“My approach for this CD,” Pedicin explains, “is to create some pretty and accessible jazz in ballad form. This is not about revolutionizing the art form we so love, but providing a soft and relaxing platform on which to enjoy it.” •

$38.00 - $195.00


Festival ALL EVENT, DAY & HOPS Passes are the most economical way to see a wide variety of Festival performances. Upon ALL EVENT, DAY,or HOPS PASS purchase confirmation, a second email from Ticketfly will arrive with bar coded reserved seats for the concerts associated with the Pass you have purchased. There are no reserved seats associated with the Cape May Brewing Company Hops Pass. All Reserved Seats associated with a Pass are selected by Ticketfly in order of purchase. All Festival Passes and reserved seat tickets associated with a Festival Pass may be picked up at Cape May Convention Hall, 714 Beach Ave., Cape May, NJ. Will Call Pickup begins Thursday, Nov 9 at 10AM and continues each Festival day from 10am-9pm, Friday, Nov 10-Sunday, Nov 12, 2017. Please have photo ID and receipt. All sales final.

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