39th Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival at Piedmont Park

"The Bassist"
Photography by Bonnie M. Morét
Assaf Kahati Trio performed on the International Stage
Sunday, May 29th

Piedmont park was THE place to be on Sunday, May 29th, as it was the final day of the 39th Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival.

Camille Russell Love, Executive Director of the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs stated, “As our city becomes more international and our population younger, we have booked the festival to welcome these new audiences.  From the soulful groove of Gregory Porter, the hip-hop inspired brass of Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, the funk-soul-jazz of songstress JOI and the sensuous stylings of Brazilian artist Eliane Elias, we’ve got a wide variety of jazz flavors on three stages. And ... admission is free!

Picnics and coolers are always welcome

Savvy attendees came prepared.
 
Georgia Public Broadcast handed out RayBan-like sunglasses
 that came in handy for the gorgeous, sunny day.

Jazz lovers come in all ages.

Chris Reed, Elisha Reed, two-time Family Feud champions (May 2015) and owner of Jazzy's Essentials with Antonette Benford and Terrance Benford, owners of Top Shelf BBQ. Y'all the BBQ is TO DIE FOR!!!
They hooked me up and shared a little libation, too.  I WILL be ordering more because I'm so busy working I don't always have time to cook. Oh, and Jazzy's Essentials is sending me a pair of beautiful cross earrings.  I'll rock those at the next concert!

The handsome King Ace Beats grooved the International Stage.
Good vibes and hot sounds!  This super producer can actually play 15 musical instruments, y'all!
 
The Navy Band Southeast V.I.P. Protocol Combo returned this year.

Navy Band Southeast V.I.P. Protocol Combo
 
Navy Band Southeast V.I.P. Protocol Combo

Navy Band Southeast V.I.P. Protocol Combo

Navy Band Southeast V.I.P. Protocol Combo

Navy Band Southeast V.I.P. Protocol Combo
 
The WRFG crew.

Israeli artist Assaf Kehati.

His wife has him in "Time Out!"

Lots of food and libations from which to choose.

Speaking of libations ... these were awesome!

Eugenie Jones belting the notes.

After her performance, Eugenie Jones graced the media with photos.
 
Tatran was amazing.

Chris Severin  of The Headhunters.

Donald E. Harrison, Jr. of The Headhunters.

The Headhunters co-leader, Mike Clark.

Jerry Z of The Headhunters.
 
The Headhunters co-leader, Bill Summers.

Don't be that guy ...
 
Journalistorian Christopher A. Daniel chats with Bill Summers
about his work with Quincy Jones.

Curator-Cultural Producer Robin Lignon-Williams discusses
music and New Orleans with Bill Summers.

Time for a break ...

The legendary Benny Golson.
 
Few jazz musicians can claim to be true innovators and even fewer can boast of a performing and recording career that literally redefines the term “jazz”. Benny Golson has made major contributions to the world of jazz with such jazz standards as: Killer Joe, I Remember Clifford, Along Came Betty, Stablemates, Whisper Not, Blues March, Five Spot After Dark, Are you Real?   Benny Golson is the only living jazz artist to have written 8 standards for jazz repertoire. These jazz standards have found their way into countless recordings internationally over the years and are still being recorded.

He has recorded over 30 albums for many recording companies in the United States and Europe under his own name and innumerable ones with other major artists. A prodigious writer, Golson has written well over 300 compositions.
For more than 60 years, Golson has enjoyed an illustrious, musical career in which he has not only made scores of recordings but has also composed and arranged music for: Count Basie, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Sammy Davis Jr., Mama Cass Elliott, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Shirley Horn, David Jones and the Monkees, Quincy Jones, Peggy Lee, Carmen McRae, Anita O’Day, Itzhak Perlman, Oscar Peterson, Lou Rawls, Mickey Rooney, Diana Ross, The Animals (Eric Burden), Mel Torme, George Shearing, Dusty Springfield.  His prolific writing includes scores for hit TV series and films: M*A*S*H, Mannix, Mission Impossible, Mod Squad, Room 222, Run for Your Life, The Partridge Family, The Academy Awards, The Karen Valentine Show, Television specials for ABC, CBS and NBC. Television specials for BBC in London and Copenhagen, Denmark. Theme for Bill Cosby’s last TV show, a French film ‘Des Femmes Disparaissent” (Paris).

He has written music for national radio and television spots for some of the major advertising agencies in the country. Some of these commercials were for: Borateem, Canada Dry, Carnation, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Clorox, Dodge, General Telephone, Gillette, Heinz Foods, Jack in The Box, Liquid Plum’r, MacDonald’s, Mattel Toys, Monsanto, Nissan, Ohrbachs, Ore-Ida Frozen Potatoes, Parliament Cigarettes, Pepsi Cola, Texaco.  Benny Golson has absolute mastery of the jazz medium. He has not only blazed a trail in the world of jazz but is passionate about teaching jazz to young and old alike. He has lectured at the Lincoln Center through a special series by Wynton Marsalis. He has lectured to doctoral candidates at New York University and to the faculty at National University at San Diego.

Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Elias’ musical talents began to show at an early age. She started studying piano at age seven and at age twelve was transcribing solos from the great jazz masters. By the time she was fifteen, she was teaching piano and improvisation at one of Brazil’s most prestigious schools of music. Her performing career began in Brazil at age seventeen, working with Brazilian singer/songwriter Toquinho and the great poet Vinicius de Moraes, who was also Antonio Carlos Jobim’s co-writer/lyricist. In 1981, she headed for New York and in 1982 landed a spot in the acclaimed group Steps Ahead.  Together with Herbie Hancock, she was nominated for a GRAMMY® in the Best Jazz Solo Performance category for her 1995 release, Solos and Duets. This recording was hailed by Musician magazine as “a landmark in piano duo history.” In the 1997 DownBeat Readers Poll, her recording The Three Americas was voted Best Jazz Album. Elias was also named in five other categories: Beyond Musician, Best Composer, Jazz Pianist, Female Vocalist and Musician of the Year. Considered one of the great interpreters of Jobim’s music, Elias has recorded two albums solely dedicated to the works of the composer, Plays Jobim and Sings Jobim. Her 1998 release Eliane Elias Sings Jobim won Best Vocal Album in Japan, was the number one record on Japan’s charts for over three months and was awarded Best Brazilian Album in the Jazziz Critics Poll.

Jazz Fest Plein Air painting.

Aaron James, bassist for Gregory Porter.

Pianist and music director Chip Crawford and bassist Aaron James chill before
Gregory Porter takes the stage.

Headliner Gregory Porter is greeted with a warm Atlanta welcome.

Even in the Atlanta heat, Gregory Porter wears his "jazz hat."

Gregory Porter telling the crown he is looking forward to BBQ, collard greens,
mac & cheese and some sweet tea!

Camille Russell Love, executive director, Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs
helps this adorable boy find his mom.
 
All good things must come to an end.  The 39th Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival
is now a memory.  See you next year ...
The 39th Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival was presented by the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. The mission of the Atlanta Jazz Festival is to educate and entertain a diverse audience of jazz fans and to nurture the next generation of jazz musicians. The festival is partially supported by Atlanta Jazz Festival Inc, a 501(c)(3) cultural, non-profit.  For more details about the Atlanta Jazz Festival, visit: www.atlantafestivals.com.

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Bonnie Morét is an award-winning photographer recognized by The Georgia Council of the Arts as "an exceptional representation of contemporary Georgia art work." Her photography is featured on Georgia Public Broadcast's Georgia Traveler. Her exhibitions include Fifth Annual Exposure Awards at Musee du Louvre in Paris, France, Art Takes Miami at Scope Art during Art Basel Miami, Metro Montage XIII at the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art, World of Water at the Georgia Aquarium, Open Walls at Black Box Gallery in Portland, Oregon, Wholly Georgia: A Look at the Effects of Southern Religious Culture, sponsored by the Art History League and Georgia State University, at Mint Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia, 6x6 at the Rochester Contemporary Arts Center in Rochester, New York, @Phonography: Dialogue in the Wireless Age, at 3 Ring Circus in New Orleans, Louisiana, and About Lands and Lives of the Civil War at the 6th Cavalry Museum in Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia. Her photography appears in Modern Luxury/The Atlantan, Jezebel Magazine, and hangs in the executive offices at the Georgia State Capitol as part of the Art of Georgia exhibit. Corporate clients include Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta History Center, Chanel Cosmetics, Christian Dior Cosmetics, Sharp Mountain Vineyards, PM Realty Group, Granite Properties, Road Atlanta, Patrón Tequila, Georgia's Own Credit Union, StubHub, CBM Records and The Washington Auto Show.