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Showtime: 1:30PM
Doors Open at 1:00PM

$15.00 $25.00

**Price is for Entry to Show Only, Does Not Include Food or Drink
Brunch will be served à la carte**

[ Complete Show Schedule... ]
Jon Hendricks 93rd Birthday w/ The Dizzy Gillespie™ All Stars
Jon Hendricks

Jon Hendricks

Jon Hendricks is not only one of the world’s favorite jazz vocalists, but is widely considered to be the “Father of Vocalese”, the greatest innovator of the art form. Vocalese is the art of setting lyrics to recorded jazz instrumental standards (such as the big band arrangements of Duke Ellington and Count Basie), then arranging voices to sing the parts of the instruments. Thus is created an entirely new form of the work, one that tells a lyrically interesting story while retaining the integrity of the music. Hendricks is the only person many jazz greats have allowed to lyricize their music, for no one writes hipper, wittier, or more touching words, while extracting from a tune the emotions intended by the composer, more sympathetically than Hendricks.

Born in 1921 in Newark, Ohio, young Jon and his fourteen siblings were moved many times, following their father’s assignments as an A.M.E. pastor, before settling permanently in Toledo. As a teen Jon’s first interest was in the drums, but before long he was singing on the radio regularly with another Toledo native, the extraordinary pianist Art Tatum.

Hendricks recorded several critically-acclaimed albums on his own, some with his wife Judith and daughters Michele and Aria contributing. He collaborated with old friends The Manhattan Transfer for their seminal 1985 album, Vocalese, which won seven Grammy Awards. He’s served on the Kennedy Center Honors committee under Presidents Carter, Reagan, and Clinton.

In 2000, Hendricks returned to his hometown to teach at the University of Toledo, where he was appointed Distinguished Professor of Jazz Studies and received an honorary Doctorate of the Performing Arts.

The Dizzy Gillespie™ All Stars

History has produced its share of great artists and great people—John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie was both. As a performer, he left behind an incredible record of innovation and inspiration. As a composer, a broad repository of musical masterpieces, and as a man, a legion of friends, colleagues and compatriots who remember him with the same degree of love and esteem they reserve for his work.

For Dizzy Gillespie, playing in a small combo was never enough. His artistry compelled him to seek and to create larger ensembles because as a composer and arranger, a big band was the ultimate vehicle for self-expression. Given that the majority of his career took place after 1950 when the big band era was over, it’s especially notable that Dizzy Gillespie continued to create brilliant music using the grand-scale formats of jazz big band and orchestra right up to the end of his life in 1993.

The Dizzy Gillespie™ Big Band and Alumni All-Star group (small group) is the direct descendant of these ventures, and happily, the tradition lives on, nurtured by Gillespie alumni and executive director, producer, and bassist John Lee.

The Big Band and the Alumni All-Stars feature some of Dizzy’s closest compatriots: senior statesmen and NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath and veteran Gillespie alumni Roy Hargrove, Roberta Gambarini, Cyrus Chestnut, Steve Davis, Lewis Nash, and musical director John Lee. All of them are band leaders, educators, and recording artists in their own right.

The small group debuted in 1996 while the Big Band debuted in 1998. Together they continue to delight audiences around the world with the enduring power and freshness of Dizzy Gillespie’s music. This is the legacy the master would have wanted—and a living tribute from the many extraordinary musicians in this group who exemplify his style, range, and commitment

Together, the Dizzy Big Band and small group All-Stars have recorded five critically acclaimed CDs, “Dizzy's 80th Birthday Celebration” (Shanachie), “Dizzy's World” (Shanachie), and, as a big band,“Things to Come” (MCG-Jazz), and“Dizzy’s Business” (MCG-Jazz). “Dizzy’s Business” features new arrangements by musical director Slide Hampton, tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath, drummer Dennis Mackrel, vocalist Roberta Gambarini, and two vintage Ernie Wilkin’s arrangements originally commissioned by Dizzy himself.

The Dizzy Gillespie™ Big Band's latest CD, titled I'm BeBoppin' Too, was released on Half Note Records in June 2009. The big band CD features arrangements by Slide Hampton and a vocal appearance by Roy Hargrove on the title track. AllAboutJazz called the recording "a remarkably proficient and invariably engaging outing."

The Dizzy Gillespie™ Big Band's latest CD, titled I'm BeBoppin' Too, was released on Half Note Records in June 2009. The big band CD features arranagements by Slide Hampton and a vocal appearence by Roy Hargrove on the title track. AllAboutJazz called the recording "a remarkably proficient and invariably engaging outing."

The Dizzy Gillespie™ Big Band's musical home would have to be New York’s famed Blue Note Jazz Club, which was for many years Dizzy’s favorite jazz club not only in New York City, but in the world. The All-Star Big Band performs there for a week every summer, and the Alumni All-Star small group celebrates Dizzy’s birthday for a week every October.


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