Since arriving in New York three and a half decades ago, Jazz at Lincoln Center has worked to define jazz as a high art form that could only have been made in America. But in recent years, the center has increasingly embraced the role of music on the international stage, and the ways in which jazz has been adopted, passed on and reshaped.
That will be the focus of the 35th season of Jazz at Lincoln Center, which will feature 22 programs from late September through June next year, featuring artists from five continents, the center announced Tuesday.
Many of the season’s headliners will be anchored by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, who remains as Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center.
The band will be joined by prominent artists and guest band leaders, including Naseer Shamma, an Iraqi former virtuoso, who will perform with the orchestra (January 20-21); Japanese-born pianist and big band leader Toshiko Akiyoshi, who will play her compositions with the orchestra (March 10-11); and Cuban pianist Elio Villafranca and Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda, each of whom will present new commissioned work with the orchestra (April 14-15). The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra kicks off the season with its own performance, September 30 and October 1: the American debut of Marsalis’Shanghai Suite.
Some of the season’s other headliners include French guitarist Stephane Wrembel, who pays tribute to Django Reinhardt (November 4-5); South African pianist Nduduzo Makhathini and Brazilian mandolinist Hamilton de Holanda, performing together (24-25 February); and Brazilian singer and guitarist Rosa Passos, who will perform March 24-25 with National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Ron Carter on bass and Kenny Barron on drums, plus Brazilian percussionist Rafael Barata.
Some of the leading lights of the jazz crowd under 40 will lead their own bands, something that doesn’t always happen on Jazz at Lincoln Center’s concert stages. Among them are pianist Emmet Cohen (Oct 21), singer Cécile McLorin Salvant (May 19-20) and trumpeter Etienne Charles (June 9-10).
A number of educational events will cater to audiences of all ages: programs honoring jazz legends Charles Mingus (October 22) and Thad Jones (March 25), and a few engagements in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Journey Through Jazz series, featuring the orchestra gives lessons on jazz history in the form of live performances (17-19 November and 16-18 February).
All shows of the season take place on one of the two large stages of the center: the Rozentheater or the Appelzaal. Nightly bookings continue year-round at Dizzy’s Club, a more intimate venue that is also downtown. Tickets are available at jazz.org.