Acclaimed Group Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary –
First New York City Performance Since 2008
“The most dynamic ensemble in jazz, focused on communion, empathy
and overarching values more so than set compositions.”–Larry Blumenfeld, Wall Street Journal
Absolutely Live Entertainment, LLC will present the Wayne Shorter Quartet In Concert on Wednesday, February 9 at 8:00 p.m. at Town Hall [123 West 43rd Street, New York, NY]. The acclaimed group performs in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of their formation and makes its first New York City appearance since December 2008 – a Carnegie Hall performance that celebrated Shorter’s 75th birthday (produced by Absolutely Live Entertainment).
Regarded as one of the most significant and prolific performers and composers in jazz and modern music, National Endowment for the Arts’ “American Jazz Master” Wayne Shorter, now 77, has an outstanding record of professional achievement in his historic career as a musician and composer. He has received substantial recognition from his peers, including 9 Grammy® Awards and 13 Grammy® nominations to date.
In the summer of 2001 Shorter began touring as the leader of a talented young lineup featuring pianist Danilo Pérez, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade. The group’s uncanny chemistry was well documented on 2002’s acclaimed Footprints Live! Shorter followed in 2003 with the ambitious Alegria, an expanded vision for large ensemble, which earned him a Grammy® Award. The quartet then released another live recording, entitled Beyond the Sound Barrier.
The ensemble is considered to feature one of the finest rhythm sections in jazz, three musicians are known as individual jazz masters as well as the collective voices of the Wayne Shorter Quartet.
Danilo Pérez recently released a Grammy®-nominated album entitled Providencia, his “. . . most ambitious album since Motherland,” notes the Wall Street Journal in a recent article by Larry Blumenfeld. “The album, which includes a two-part piece scored for a wind quintet, succeeds largely due to Mr. Pérez’s sustained sense of musical purpose. His career reflects a larger mission. The Panama Jazz Festival, which he founded in 2003, has brought American musicians to his homeland and raised more than $1 million for student scholarships. His directorship of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, at his alma mater, stresses the social power of music,” Blumenfeld continues.
This Fall, drummer Brian Blade collaborated with Daniel Lanois on his Black Dub CD and tour project. Jon Pareles of The New York Times describes Blade: “He’s an improviser, continuously remaking grooves from New Orleans, Memphis, reggae and the blues, and reacting instantaneously to guitar or vocal phrases.” In between Wayne Shorter Quartet gigs and concerts and recording with Lanois, Blade has also been performing with his own Fellowship Band featuring keyboardist Jon Cowherd, alto saxophonist and bass clarinetist Myron Walden, tenor saxophonist Melvin Butler and bassist Chris Thomas; in addition, Blade recently completed a tour in a trio consisting of Chick Corea and Christian McBride.
A Grammy®-winning acoustic and electric bassist, John Patitucci is not only known for his work with Shorter, but has attracted worldwide acclaim as one of today’s most influential musicians and composers. He was a longstanding and pivotal member of Chick Corea’s Elektric Band and Akoustic Band – a creative association that has been in place since 1986. Additionally, he is a band leader in his own right. In 2009, Patitucci, released a project for Concord Jazz, Remembrance, a remarkable Grammy® nominated outing of 11 straight-ahead-to-funky-to-classical-tinged originals featuring an astounding trio comprising saxophone maestro Joe Lovano and brilliant drummer Brian Blade. The CD was the bassist’s 13th as a leader and seventh for Concord, with which he made his debut in 1997 with One More Angel.
Born in August of 1933, Wayne Shorter, a Newark, New Jersey native, attended Arts High School and later graduated from New York University. He served in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1958, after which he joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. His five-year tenure as one of Blakey’s Messengers clearly established him as a newcomer to watch and earned him the “New Star Saxophonist” award in the 1962 DownBeat Poll. That same year he came in second place for “Best Composer,” one spot behind Duke Ellington.
In 1964 Miles Davis invited Shorter to go on the road with his band, which included Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams and Ron Carter. He stayed with Davis for six years, recording a dozen albums with him, and creating a new sound with a bandleader who changed the face of music during that tumultuous decade.
In 1970, Shorter co-founded the group Weather Report with keyboardist and Miles Davis alum, Joe Zawinul. It remained the premier fusion group through the ’70s and into the early ’80s before disbanding in 1985 after 16 acclaimed recordings, including 1980’s Grammy® Award-winning double-live LP set, 8:30. Shorter formed his own group in 1986 and produced a succession of electric jazz albums for the Columbia label — 1986’s Atlantis, 1987’s Phantom Navigator, 1988’s Joy Ryder. He re-emerged on the Verve label with 1995’s High Life, and then released 1997’s 1+1, an intimate duet recording with Herbie Hancock. The two spent 1998 touring as a duet.
Shorter has received credit for saxophone performances in the motion picture soundtracks Glengarry Glen Ross (1983), The Fugitive (1993), and Losing Isaiah (1995). He was commissioned to write a piece for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Millennium Concert, which was highly acclaimed by the critics. Most recently, Shorter was commissioned by the La Jolla Music Society to compose a piece for the Imani Winds Ensemble, further solidifying his place as one of the most important composers of the 20th century and beyond.
Through his musicianship and compositions, Wayne Shorter has radically changed modern music, and influenced generations of countless other musicians and composers. The events in his incredible life’s journey have been compiled by author Michelle Mercer in Footprints: The Life And Music of Wayne Shorter (A Tarcher/Penguin).
About Absolutely Live Entertainment
Absolutely Live Entertainment (ALE) is a festival, tour and concert production company led by industry veteran Danny Melnick. This season ALE will produce the American tour of a night in Tremé, (the Musical Majesty of New Orleans) in association with HBO and Wendell Pierce; the 34th annual Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival at Saratoga Performing Arts Center on June 25 & 26; the United Sounds of America concert series at Chicago Orchestra Hall from June 10-18; Keith Jarrett – Solo Piano at Carnegie Hall on January 16; Wayne Shorter in Boston and New York City; the Kodo Drummers of Japan at Avery Fisher Hall on March 20; and many other events to be announced shortly.
Melnick proudly serves as the Artistic Director of The Shape of Jazz a jazz series held at Zankel Hall and presented by Carnegie Hall, now in its 8th season. The remaining two concerts feature the duo pianos of Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes in their New York City concert debut on February 9 and Toshiko Akiyoshi in solo, trio and quartet performances on April 6. He also serves as a consultant to the Duc des Lombards Jazz Club in Paris, France.
Further information on ALE can be found online at absolutelylive.net.
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