The Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival will celebrate its 12th anniversary on Nov. 16 at the Sugar Hill Supperclub (609 DeKalb Ave.). The celebration will feature the music of Ahmed Abdullah’s Diaspora, with an award presentation to the Noel Pointer Foundation. The restaurant opens at 5 p.m. and the performance will run until 9 p.m.
The Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium founded the festival in 1999 in an effort to affirm its commitment to preserving and promoting jazz and making it accessible to all people.
As a trumpeter, composer and educator, Abdullah leads many creative ensembles. His group, Ahmed Abdullah’s Diaspora (Dispersions of the Spirit of Ra), mixes vocals and poetry that touch the roots of Africa and hits the soul.
Joining Abdullah’s ensemble for the celebration will be Dr. Salim Washington, tenor saxophone and flute; D.D. Jackson, piano; Radu, bass; Reggie Nicholson, drums; Miles Griffith, vocalist; Monique Ngozi Nri, poet and vocalist; and Louis Reyes Rivera, poet.
Tribute will be paid to 2000 Brooklyn Jazz Hall of Fame inductee Noel Pointer’s string music organization, the Noel Pointer Foundation. For more information, call (718) 467-1527 or visit brownpapertickets.com.
Chick Corea, a genius pianist who built his career on creative innovation, celebrates his 70th birthday with a monthlong series of concerts now through Nov. 27 at the Blue Note Jazz Club (131 W. 3rd St.).
Corea will be performing in 10 different musical configurations with 30 all-star musicians, including the Bobby McFerrin Duet (Nov. 8-10); Corea & Gary Burton with the Harlem String Quartet (Nov. 11-13); From Miles with Corea, Eddie Gomez, Jack DeJohnette, Wallace Roney and Gary Bartz (Nov. 15-17); Chick’s Flamenco Heart with Corea, Nino Josele, Carles Benavent, Jorge Pardo, Jeff Ballard and vocalist Concha Buika (Nov. 18-20); the Corea & Herbie Hancock Duo (Nov. 23); and the Chick Corea Original Elektric Band with John Patitucci, Eric Marienthal, Dave Weekl and Frank Gamble (Nov. 25-27).
Corea is a 16-time Grammy Award-winner, NEA Jazz Master and the 2010 DownBeat Artist of the Year. In 2010, Corea toured with the Corea, McBride, Blade Trio; Gary Burton; and the Freedom Band with Kenny Garrett, Christian McBride and Roy Haynes.
He kicked off 2011 with a gala performance of his compositions with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. He then assembled the supergroup Return to Forever IV for the biggest jazz tour of the year, a 70-date globe-spanning celebration, and released the CD, “Forever with Corea, Clarke & White.”
Corea plays everything from straight-ahead, classical, fusion and children’s songs to chamber music. This month at the Blue Note, catch what Corea does best: playing great music!
For ticket information, visit bluenote.net.
Today, the famed Harlem Cotton Club has lost most of its glitter and lives on nostalgia, but Nov. 18-22, the many who missed out on the club’s heyday can experience the “Cotton Club Parade” at New York City Center in celebration of Duke Ellington’s years at the famous nightclub, when the joint was swinging with revues featuring big bands, dancers, singers and novelty acts.
“Cotton Club Parade,” conceived by Jack Viertel, with selected texts by Langston Hughes, will be directed by Warren Carlyle and will feature the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with music director Wynton Marsalis. The revue will include vocalists Carla Cook, Brandon Victor Dixon and Adriane Lenox and tap dancer Jared Grimes.
This is a new producing partnership between City Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center that combines the organizations’ specialties: musical theater and jazz. “Cotton Club Parade” will play for six performances. City Center is located on 55th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues.
With Ellington’s music as the centerpiece, “Cotton Club Parade” reimagines one of the composer’s floor shows. Ellington and his orchestra began a four-year residency at the club in 1927 and continued making guest appearances throughout the 1930s. Performers such as the Nicholas Brothers, Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, Snake Hips Tucker, Peg Leg Bates and a 16-year-old Lena Horne all performed at the club.
As in the original revues, “Cotton Club Parade” will feature singers, dancers and variety acts as well as songs by the greatest jazz composers of the time, including Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields (“I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” “Digga Digga Doo”), a young Harold Arlen (“Stormy Weather,” “I’ve Got the World on a String,” “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,”) and, of course, Ellington (“Rockin’ in Rhythm,” “Cotton Club Stomp,” Black and Tan Fantasy,” “Creole Love Call”).
The cast also includes Alexandria “Brinae Ali” Bradley, Everett Bradley, Andrew “Dr. Ew” Carter, Nicolette DePass, DeWitt Fleming Jr., Carmen Ruby Floyd, Jeremiah “Showtyme” Haynes, Rosena Hill, Rachael Hollingsworth, Kendrick Jones, Monroe Kent, Adriane Lenox and T. Oliver Reid, with Shani “Virgo” Alston, Jason E. Bernard, Tanya Birl, Braxton Brooks, Christopher Broughton, Chanon Judson, Karine Plantadit, Monique Smith, Daniel J. Watts, Joseph Monroe Webb, Christian Dante White and J.L. Williams.
Ellington influenced many generations. During his 50-year career, he composed more than 3,000 songs and played more than 20,000 performances in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia.
He gave American music its own sound for the first time with popular hits such as “It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got That Swing,” “Sophisticated Lady,” “Mood Indigo,” “Solitude,” “In a Mellotone” and “Satin Doll.” Ellington was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1966 and later earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969 and the Legion of Honor of France in 1973.
The six performances will take place on Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Sunday at 6:30 p.m. and Monday and Tuesday at 7 p.m. For tickets, call (212) 581-1212 or visit nycitycenter.org or jalc.org.