Chaka Khan, Roberta Flack among performers slated
New York’s Blue Note Jazz Club has recruited an array of stars from the jazz and pop worlds to celebrate the club’s 30th anni with the maiden Blue Note Jazz Festival.Artists, many affiliated with the club for years, include jazz stalwarts Dave Brubeck, Jon Hendricks, Lee Konitz, Nancy Wilson, McCoy Tyner and Bobby McFerrin, as well as jazz voices of a more recent vintage like Chris Botti and Madeleine Peyroux. Pop, hip-hop and R&B acts to perform include Brian Wilson, Chaka Khan, Roberta Flack, the Roots, Youssou N’Dour and Meshell Ndegeocello. The shows will take place throughout the city during June, kicking off June 1 at the Blue Note itself with Konitz, Bill Frisell, Gary Peacock and Joey Baron heading a five-night bill. Other venues include Town Hall, Beacon Theater, Terminal 5 and the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts. “Thirty years ago, I never could have dreamed that the Blue Note would become what it is today,” owner and operator Danny Bensusan said of the Greenwich Village club (which has no affiliation with the storied jazz label of the same name). “We’re presenting musicians all over New York who have played the Blue Note since the beginning, as well as new ones who we hope will continue to come back for many years.” Fest will include a series at the Mercury Lounge devoted to up-and-coming artists in a variety of genres, as well as the new Spontaneous Construction Series at the Blue Note, which will put young, experimental artists together for the first time.Additionally, the BNJF will sponsor educational programs for non-profit org JazzReach and its Ellington! program at the Highline Ballroom, which will host hundreds of NYC public school students over three afternoons. For complete fest schedule, go to BlueNoteJazzFestival.com.
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more