Fri, Nov 9
Sun, Nov 11
2018 Autumn Exit Zero Jazz Festival Weekend & Single Day Passes
Dianne Reeves, Stefon Harris & Blackout, Terell Stafford Quintet, Kurt Elling, Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra Conducted by Carla Bley, Bob James Trio, Marcus Miller, The Exit Zero Jazz Festival Cape May Brewing Company Hops Pass, Davina & The Vagabonds, Banda Magda, Conjunto Philadelphia, Joanna Pascale, Big Sam's Funky Nation, New Breed Brass Band, Kermit Ruffins, Ameranouche, Robin McKelle, Matt Cappy, Daisy Castro
Multiple Venues Throughout
Cape May, NJ, 08204
Watch & Listen
2018 Autumn Exit Zero Jazz Festival Weekend & Single Day Passes
A superb interpreter of lyrics and a skilled scat singer, Reeves’s delivery is intensely soulful and full of finesse. Her uncanny range — from a smoky contra-alto to a soaring soprano — can cast a spell on ballads and invigorate on uptempo romps. Expect her to do both in her return to the Exit Zero Festival while also blurring the line that separates jazz from pop and contemporary R&B. “There’s always a sense of freedom and playfulness onstage,” noted London Jazz News about a recent risk-taking Reeves performance at Wigmore Hall. “And like Gregory Porter, she has a preacher’s skill in stirring up the audience.” Whether she’s swinging, summoning up a wealth of emotion on a sensitive ballad, dealing in sophisticated R&B or incorporating the sounds of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Reeves’ proves that she has few vocal rivals on the current jazz scene.
Stefon Harris & Blackout
His passionate artistry, energetic stage presence and astonishing virtuosity have propelled vibraphonist/percussionist Stefon Harris to the forefront of the current jazz scene. Chosen Best Vibes in the 2017 Downbeat Critic’s Poll, the four-time Grammy Award nominee makes his Exit Zero Jazz Festival debut.
The vibes virtuoso can shift easily from funky to fusion to straight ahead swingers, but with Blackout (named thus because they are “about blacking out the narrow views surrounding and constricting the definition of jazz”) you can expect him to groove mightily on the strength of Terreon Gulley’s backbeat. Solo sparks will be provided by alto saxophonist Casey Benjamin, who also performs on vocoder, and by Harris himself, who remains a leading light on his instrument.
Terell Stafford Quintet
Hailed as “a fabulous trumpet player” by no less an authority than piano legend McCoy Tyner, Terell Stafford is recognized as one of the premier straight ahead players on the scene today. A gifted and versatile player who combines a deep love of melody with his own brand of spirited and adventurous lyricism, Stafford has performed with groups such as Bobby Watson’s Horizon, Benny Golson’s Sextet, McCoy Tyner’s Sextet, Kenny Barron Quintet, Frank Wess Quintet, Jimmy Heath Quintet and Big Band, Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Alumni Band and more recently has been an integral part of bands led by Cedar Walton, Sadao Watanabe, Gerald Wilson, John Clayton and Matt Wilson.
Expect a compelling set of old school hard bop swingers and engaging melodies from Stafford and his powerhouse group along with a healthy dose of blues and graceful ballads that trigger the trumpeter’s lyrical side.
Hailed by the New York Times as “the standout male vocalist of our times,” Grammy-winning jazz singer Kurt Elling has an uncanny sense of commitment and authenticity in delivering passionate interpretations of material ranging from John Coltrane to U2, Cole Porter to King Crimson, Irving Berlin to the Beatles, Hoagy Carmichael to Rodgers & Hart, Sam Cooke to Duke Ellington. A brilliant vocalist, composer, lyricist and vocalese performer, Elling represents the créme de la créme of jazz singing today.
Part Sinatra, part Mark Murphy, part Jack Keruoac, Elling weaves a spell with his resonant baritone voice, four-octave range and suave delivery, whether he’s playing the sensual crooner, scatting firebrand or beatnik jivester. As London’s The Guardian wrote: “When it comes to expressiveness, technique and sheer beauty of voice, I can think of no male singer alive to equal Kurt Elling. As they used to say of Sinatra, he could sing the Manhattan phone book and have the audience on the edge of their seats. An Elling song can be a meditation, a demand, a lament, an expression of wonder, but never naive and rarely simple.”
Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra Conducted by Carla Bley
Under the artistic direction of pianist-arranger and NEA Jazz Master Carla Bley, the 12-piece Liberation Music Orchestra celebrates the life and music of the late bassist-composer and NEA Jazz Master Charlie Haden (1937–2014). Formed in 1969, the original band was Haden’s vehicle for sociopolitical statements about the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement wrapped in folk, world music and avant-garde jazz. Haden’s inspiration for the Liberation Music Orchestra came from hearing songs from the Spanish Civil War.
From the grandiose sweep of Haden’s “Silence” to a poignant take on Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman” to a reworking of David Bowie’s “This Is Not America,” a raucous reimagining of “America the Beautiful” and a tender reading of Antonin Dvorak’s “Goin’ Home” (from his New World Symphony) this ensemble under Bley’s direction is a must-see. Stellar solos and stirring arrangements prevail when the Liberation Music Orchestra takes the stage.
Bob James Trio
Smooth jazz pioneer Bob James brings his appealing hook-laden instrumental music to the Exit Zero Jazz Festival for the first time this November. Joined by bassist Michael Palazzalo and drummer Billy Kilson, the Grammy-Winning pianist-composer will perform material from his latest recording, The New Cool, along with classics like “Angela,” the instrumental theme from the sitcom Taxi and his best known work, as well as tunes by the smooth jazz supergroup Fourplay, of which James has been a founding member since 1991.
Upbeat, hook-laden and brimming with improvisation, Bob James’ signature sound has continued to capture smooth jazz fans for the past five decades. His acoustic piano trio is a far more swinging affair, which should appeal deeply to straight ahead jazz fans.
One of the most highly regarded and influential electric bass players on the scene today, two-time Grammy Award winner Marcus Miller is the classic triple-threat. As a poll-wining bassist, accomplished composer-arranger and longtime bandleader, Miller has made his indelible mark on the music since his days as valued sideman to Miles Davis back in the early 1980s. Bass Player magazine includes him on its list of ten most influential jazz players of this generation.
With his distinctive style — a unique combination of slapping, deep groove playing and melodic improvisation in a post-Jaco Pastorius mode — Miller has brought his impressive technical skills to countless sessions as a first-call studio musician. His characteristic bass sound can be heard on pop hits from Bill Wither’s “Just The Two Of Us” to Luther Vandross’ “Never Too Much” to recordings by Chaka Khan, Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin, Al Jarreau, Lala Hathaway, David Sanborn, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Eric Clapton, George Benson, Elton John and Bryan Ferry. That same signature sound has fueled Miller’s 20 albums as a leader, his most recent being 2018’s Laid Back, a followup to 2015’s acclaimed Afrodeezia, where he collaborated with musicians west and north Africa, Brazil and the Caribbean to honor the ancestors brought from the Motherland to these shores during the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Says Miller of his latest project, “After Afrodeezia, where I did a lot of traveling all over the world, I thought it would be cool to bring into the mix, some of the influences of our time that I was listening to right here at home. My band and the guest artists I recruited to collaborate with on this album are all versatile enough to play music ranging from be-bop to hip-hop. That made the musical mix I wanted to pursue on this album very possible.”
Born in Brooklyn on June 14, 1959 and raised in Jamaica, Queens, Miller was a multi-instrumentalist in his teenage years, eventually focusing on the electric bass in his earliest gigs during the mid ‘70s with the likes of flutist Bobbi Humphrey, keyboardist Lonnie Liston Smith, Polish violinist Michal Urbaniak, saxophonist Grover Washington Jr. and drummer Lenny White. He was a member of the Miles Davis comeback band of 1981, appearing on a succession of albums — The Man with the Horn, We Want Miles, Star People, Decoy and You’re Under Arrest — before emerging as a primary composer-arranger on 1986’s Tutu and subsequent Davis recordings, 1987’s Music from Siesta and 1989’s Amandla. His 1993 album The Sun Don’t Lie contained his original tribute tunes “King Is Gone (For Miles)” and “Mr. Pastorius” along with an incredible slap version of Jaco Pastorius’ chops-busting anthem, “Teen Town.” He further distinguished himself as a multi-instrumental virtuoso and seasoned composer-arranger with 1994’s Tales, 2001’s Grammy-winning M2, 2005’s Silver Rain, 2007’s Free and 2008’s Marcus Miller. In addition to his acclaimed albums, Miler has a lengthy list of film and television credits to his name, including Spike Lee’s 1988 film School Daze, Chris Rock’s 2009 film Good Hair, Kevin Hart’s 2014 starring vehicle About Last Night, 2017’s Oscar nominated Marshall, starring Chadwick Boseman as a young Thurgood Marshall, and the TV series Everybody Hates Chris, currently in syndication. Miller is also the host of the weekly radio show “Miller Time” on SiriusXM and he hosts the popular Blue Note At Sea jazz cruise each January.
The Exit Zero Jazz Festival Cape May Brewing Company Hops Pass
The Cape May Brewing Company Hops Pass is the Official Club Pass of the Exit Zero Jazz Festival. On tap in Cape May November 9-11, 2018, more than 40+ sets of world class, finger snappin', rump shakin', good timin' feel good music! Plus, the Official Brew of Exit Zero Jazz on tap in all Fest club venues, the Cape May Brewing Company King Porter Stomp!
The Cape May Brewing Company Hops Pass is available for pick-up at the Festival Will Call beginning Thursday, November 8. Please bring ticketfly receipt and I.D. to Will Call at Cape May Convention Hall, 714 Beach Avenue, Cape May, NJ.
Please drink and jazz responsibly.
Davina & The Vagabonds
Davina Lozier is a two-fisted, piano-pumping, boogie woogie red hot mama who sings like a combination of Etta James, Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin and Billie Holiday. As the Minneapolis Post noted: “She purrs and growls, whispers and wails. Sweet and seductive one moment, she’s in your face the next, and then she makes you laugh. Her voice is a complex, expressive, flexible instrument made of sugar and grit.”
Led by Greek-born singer, accordionist, film scorer and composer Magda Giannikou, Banda Magda moves easily from Brazilian baiao to jazz manouche, Greek dance rhythms, Afro-Peruvian lando and scintillating samba beats. Their songs, sung in French (with forays into six other languages), harken back to the golden age of Brazilian bossa, the best of cinematic orchestration and bouncy French pop, all while drawing on the band’s global background. The New York-based group unites an Esquivel-loving vibes player from Japan, an Argentinean jazz guitarist, a Nagasaki-born percussionist with contemporary classical cred, a hand drummer with every South American rhythm at his fingertips and a rock-solid Greek multi-instrumentalist/bassist, all led by the sweet-voiced, exotic-looking frontwoman Giannikou, who sells her story songs with passion and panache.
Philly-based specialists in Pre-Revolutionary Cuban music, Conjunto Philadelphia is an exciting party band that appeals to dancers and those who appreciate infectious Afro-Cuban grooves. Inspired by the legendary Buena Vista Social Club, the Grammy-winning group from Havana featuring veteran singers Compay Segundo, Ibrahim Ferrer and Omara Portuondo, Conjunto Philadelphia’s mission is to maintain the authenticity of the music while performing it in a way that pays homage to Cuba's deep and treasured musical history. Founded in 2010, the septet is fronted by charismatic singer Andrés Cisneros and includes trumpeter Marcell Bellinger, tres player Greg Kettinger, bassist Mike Boone, percussionists Francis Gattis and Christian Noguera and pianist and musical director Jeff Torchon. Favorites in Philly, they have played Chris’ Jazz Cafe, performed at the Penn Museum and had a monthly residency at World Cafe.
A singer of rare sophistication, Philadelphia native Joanna Pascale delivers timeless standards with spellbinding power and intimacy. After honing her style and repertoire during a decade-long engagement at the Lowes Philadelphia Hotel, Pascale showcases her unique way of interpreting a lyric on her fourth album, Wildwood, which features fellow Philadelphians Orrin Evans on piano and Christian McBride on bass, along with Donald Edwards on drums. “If I don't connect with a lyric, I can’t sing the song,” she says. “I love to dig into the words and find all the different shades, the stories within the story, and then try to interpret that.”
Big Sam's Funky Nation
New Orleans trombonist-vocalist “Big Sam” Williams is one of those Crescent City characters for whom funk is a birthright. Fronting a funky crew consisting of Drew “Da Phessah” Baham on trumpet, Keenan McRae on guitar, Jerry “JBlakk” Henderson on bass and Alfred Jordan on drums, Big Sam’s Funky Nation will bring the funk in a big way in their Exit Zero Jazz Festival debut. The powerhouse funksters, currently touring in support of their sixth album Songs in the Key of Funk, Volume I, deliver an energized show that can best be described as ‘noladelic.’ “We’re going to keep the funk alive,” says Big Sam. “Funk is life for me. Funk is everything. We all need some of it in our lives, so guess who’s here to give it to you?”
New Breed Brass Band
Infusing funk, rock, jazz and hip-hop into a custom-made enhancement of second-line brass band tradition, the New Breed Brass Band lives and breathes the culture of New Orleans. “That’s what we came up under,” says 26-year-old snare drummer Jenard Andrews, pointing to successful second line bands like ReBirth, Dirty Dozen and Lil’ Rascals Brass Bands that they emulated. “Now we’re trying to take that sound and bring in some new stuff and expand it. We bring outside influences like Earth Wind & Fire and Brass Construction, trying to interpret a different song for every genre, and make it all our own sound.”
A bona fide goodwill ambassador for post-Katrina New Orleans, trumpeter-singer Kermit Ruffins continues to carry the spirit of Louis Armstrong in his performances around the world while also pushing the envelope into some new musical territory. On emulating Armstrong throughout his career, Ruffins says, “That’s someone who really led one of America’s true art forms. He was really the cherry on top of New Orleans music. Now I see it being passed on to younger kids, and for me to have a role in that and to maybe do the things he did is so spiritual to me.” Ruffins and his Barbecue Swingers will spread the syncopated joy in their return engagement at the Exit Zero Jazz Festival.
A Night In New Orleans benefits Music Connects, the educational outreach initiative of the Exit Zero Jazz Festival. Music Connects presents cultural and music programming in the Lower Township School District. Initiatives include the Music Connects Big Band, a county wide Big Band under the direction of John Drechen, student entry to Exit Zero Jazz Festival concerts, cultural programming, and hands on experience with the KREWE.
American jazz vocalist
$48.00 - $209.00
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Festival 3 DAY, SINGLE DAY, CLUB PASSES, CLUB BANDS, and tickets to Festival concerts can also be purchased in person at Cape May Convention Hall, located at 714 Beach Avenue, Cape May, NJ. or Call 609-849-9202 to save service fees.
WILL CALL: Festival Central is located at 714 Beach Ave, Cape May, NJ. Hours are 10:00am-10:00pm November 8-11, 2018.
Email Exit Zero Jazz Festival for group rates. Limited supply.