A photo of Brianna Thomas.

JAZZ & CHIHULY:
Celebrating 100 Years of Jazz

Friday, July 14, 2017

6:30–10:30 p.m.

Celebrating the first 100 years of jazz, this stunning all-star retrospective explores the music’s international roots and influences from traditional folk songs to early American jazz pioneers such as Scott Joplin, WC Handy, Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith and beyond.

This cross-contemporary and cross-cultural extravaganza features a galaxy of jazz stars including the brilliant young vocalist Brianna Thomas, trumpeter Dominick Farinacci, master Creole clarinetist Evan Christopher, and pianist Dan Tepfer.

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Evening Schedule

6 p.m. | Doors Open
7–8:30 p.m. | Concert
8:30–10:30 p.m. | CHIHULY Viewing

ENSEMBLE:

Chris Washburne, trombone and bandleader
André Mehmari, piano and bandleader
Brianna Thomas, vocals
Dominick Farinacci, trumpet
Evan Christopher, clarinet
Dan Tepfer, piano
Vince Cherico, drums

About Chris Washburne:

Chris Washburne is one of those rare musicians whose musical activities cross many styles and cultural borders. From early in his career he refused to be pigeon-holed as just being a jazz or classical player, but instead has continually pursued a diverse path. Chris is currently Associate Professor of Music and Found Director of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Performance Program at Columbia University in New York. He also tours extensively with various groups and has concertized throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, Central America and the Caribbean.

Chris has published numerous articles on jazz, Latin jazz, and salsa. He is author of the book “Sounding Salsa: Performing Latin Music in New York” (2008) and editor of the book “Bad Music” (2004). He has performed with the Duke Ellington Orchestra, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Justin Timberlake, Celia Cruz, Ruben Blades, Marc Anthony, Celine Dion, Anthony Braxton, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, the Bang On A Can All-stars, David Byrne, Bjork, Muhal Richard Abrams, Gloria Estefan, They Might Be Giants, among many others. He leads his own highly acclaimed groups SYOTOS and NYNDK and is a member of FFEAR (Forum for Electro-Acoustic Research).

About André Mehmari:

André Mehmari is considered one of the most talented young musicians of his native Brazil. His activities as pianist, composer, arranger and instrumentalist are highly regarded both in popular and classical music. As his compositions and arrangements have been performed by important Brazilian orchestras (OSESP) and chamber ensembles (São Paulo String Quartet), his career in jazz and Brazilian popular music has also attained wide attention as he has gained wide recognition for his music in jazz festivals and concerts.

About Brianna Thomas:

Brianna Thomas’  talents have propelled her to many successes including performances at the Montreux, North Sea, and Umbria Jazz Festivals and in venues ranging from the Bahamas to Geneva, Switzerland. Brianna was a resident in both the 2001 and 2002 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Programs – an international artist-in-residence program that assembles a select group of jazz musicians to perform their original compositions at the Kennedy Center. At “Jazz Ahead” she worked with a host of premier jazz educators and performers including renowned vocalist Carmen Lundy, Winard Harper and Nathan Davis.

Brianna’s extensive list of stateside performances includes appearances with Fred Anderson, Von Freeman, Houston Person and the Barber Brothers. She has performed across the country from New Orleans to Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center. In 2001, Thomas was awarded “High School Jazz Vocalist of the Year” by DownBeat magazine. Notably, Brianna Thomas is the youngest person ever to be inducted into Peoria’s African-American Hall of Fame at the age of thirteen in 1996. She has also received a certificate of excellence from the state of Illinois in recognition of her musical accomplishments.
“Brianna Thomas is the complete package.” (Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz)