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Chick Corea says, “I write music to celebrate life.”

Jazz in July present an evening honoring one of the most positive—and playful—forces in jazz, Chick Corea. With music filled with joy, lyricism and a lightning-bolt imagination, he inspired generations of artists, including young pianists Bill Charlap and Renee Rosnes.

Tonight, Bill leads a powerhouse ensemble including Renee in fresh takes on Corea standards like “Windows,” “Tones for Joan’s Bones,” “Spain” and “You’re Everything.”

Joining them are former Corea bandmates Steve Wilson on alto sax & flute and Jeff Ballard on drums—they know Chick’s music down to their soul. Making his 92Y debut is tenor sax giant Chris Potter, who also recorded with Corea.

Corea says that music is “the joy of creating. It's a way of life.” Join Jazz in July for a night of joy. 

Bill Charlap, piano
Renee Rosnes, piano
Chris Potter, tenor sax
Steve Wilson, alto sax & flute

Diego Urcola, trumpet
Jeff Ballard, drums
Scott Colley, bass

 

Join us for more Jazz! This event can be purchased as part of a 2-concert package.

 

Jazz in July is partially endowed by a generous gift from Simona and Jerome A. Chazen.

Documentary on Chick Corea, featuring Sting, Bobby McFerrin, Bela Fleck, Herbie Hancock and others, 2010.

Video interview with Chick Corea by Mitch Gallagher on “Sweetwater Minute,” Apr 26, 2013.

Chick Corea performing his “Armando’s Rhumba,” from the public television series “Legends of Jazz,” hosted by Ramsey Lewis, “NEA Jazz Masters” episode, Mar 22, 2007.

Chick Corea & Herbie Hancock performing Corea’s “Malagueña,” followed by interview, from “The Merv Griffin Show,” 3/18/85 (Warning: First several seconds promote licensing of “Merv Griffin Show”).

Chick Corea performing “Spain,” featuring Gayle Moran & Al Jarreau on vocals, from PBS’s “Soundscape (1979).

Blood Sweat & Tears performing Corea’s of “Spain,” featuring Al Jarreau on flute, from Live & Improvised—audio only (1976).

On the Blog

(Click the names below to expand info.)

On chickcorea.com

Visit Chick’s official website for a lengthy biography, an on-tour blog by Chick, Q&A with Chick, comprehensive discography and more. Also visit Chick’s Facebook page.

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On examiner.com

In honor of his 70th birthday, the Blue Note Jazz Club invited Chick Corea as its artist in residence for the entire month of November 2011. Before the residency, Justin Tebaldi did a Q&A with Corea for examiner.com:

I’ve noticed that the more adventurous and in that mode that I am, it seems that the more the audience really likes it. To me, that’s a real vote of confidence and a real plus that demonstrates a very important principle about living, because usually we’re in a mood of just barely trying to make it and just pushing through and trying to change things around to please others and all of that, and this demonstrates that people—not just me, but others, meaning audiences—really respond to being an individual, like having your own mind, creating, expressing yourself, having the freedom to choose how you want to express yourself. People respond to that. To me, that’s very, very encouraging. So that’s what I’ve noticed: people like that, When I do that well, it’s appreciated and I’m very happy with that.


Click here for the full Q&A.

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On jazzwax.com

Also prior to the Blue Note residency, award-winning jazz blogger Marc Myers conducted an extensive interview with Chick Corea for JazzWax.com, which he posted in three parts and included extensive photos, sound clips and recommended recordings.

In Part 1, Corea begins by recalling his first real job—working with Cab Calloway:

When I was a junior in high school—I guess I was 15 or 16 years old—I was called to do a gig with Cab's band for a week at Boston’s Mayfair Hotel…All of a sudden I had to wear a tuxedo and it was like a big show with lights on the stage. It was kind of scary, you know? He had a dance line of ladies who were only dressed a little bit. They seemed huge to me…Cab was cool. He was fun. After a little while I got into the swing of it and started really loving being out on my own like that. As for the entertainment value of it all, I was just thrilled to be there.

In Part 2, Corea discusses the emergence of jazz fusion.
In Part 3, he remembers the creation of his band Return to Forever:

The first piece I wrote for what I call the "Grand Sound" was “Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy,” the opening piece for that record. We all remember the first rundown of that song at our first rehearsal…The hair stood up on my arm. It was so exciting and it worked so great and everyone was so enthusiastic about it. It really set a new direction, and it developed from there. The venues we were playing were bigger and the audiences picked up on the vibe. There was a synergy going on between what we were creating and how audiences were digging it. That kind of grew.

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Artist Bios

(Click the names below to expand info.)

Bill Charlap, artistic director & piano

This year marks Bill Charlap’s ninth summer as artistic director of 92nd Street Y’s Jazz in July summer festival. One of the world’s premier jazz pianists, Mr. Charlap has performed with many leading artists of our time, ranging from Phil Woods and Tony Bennett to Gerry Mulligan and Wynton Marsalis. He is known for his interpretations of American popular songs and has recorded albums featuring the music of Hoagy Carmichael, Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin. Time magazine wrote, “Bill Charlap approaches a song the way a lover approaches his beloved…no matter how imaginative or surprising his take on a song is, he invariably zeroes in on its essence.”

In 1997, Mr. Charlap formed the Bill Charlap Trio with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington (no relation), now recognized as one of the leading groups in jazz. In 2000, he signed with Blue Note Records and has since received two Grammy nominations, for Somewhere: The Songs of Leonard Bernstein and The Bill Charlap Trio: Live at the Village Vanguard. The Trio performs all over the world; their New York engagements include regular appearances at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and they will return to the Village Vanguard for a two-week run this fall. In 2009, Mr. Charlap was pianist and musical director for The Blue Note 7, an all-star jazz septet celebrating the legacy of Blue Note Records on its 70th anniversary. The septet performed a 50-city tour and released the CD, Mosaic: A Celebration of Blue Note Records.

Mr. Charlap’s experience as concert producer extends beyond Jazz in July. In the mid-1990s, he was the musical director of “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, A Celebration of Johnny Mercer,” part of New York’s JVC Jazz Festival. He has produced several concerts for Jazz at Lincoln Center and an evening of George Gershwin’s music at the Hollywood Bowl.

Born in New York City, Mr. Charlap began playing the piano at age three. His father was Broadway composer Moose Charlap, whose credits include Peter Pan, and his mother is singer Sandy Stewart, who appeared on the Ed Sullivan and Perry Como shows and earned a Grammy nomination for her recording of “My Coloring Book.” In 2006, Mr. Charlap and Ms. Stewart released the acclaimed CD, Love Is Here to Stay on Blue Note; their second release, Something to Remember, on Ghostlight, was released this past January. They have appeared at The Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel and Feinstein’s at the Regency and they have won New York Bistro and Nightlife awards. In February 2012, they appeared on the 92Y Jazz series.

Mr. Charlap is married to renowned jazz pianist Renee Rosnes. The two artists often collaborate in a duo piano setting. In 2010, Mr. Charlap and Ms. Rosnes made Double Portrait, released on the Blue Note label and recorded at 92nd Street Y.

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Renee Rosnes, piano

Renee Rosnes has toured and recorded with many leading jazz masters, including Joe Henderson, J. J. Johnson, Wayne Shorter, James Moody and Bobby Hutcherson. She was a founder and member of the all-star ensemble SFJAZZ Collective, and she is currently a member of the Ron Carter Quartet: Foursight. She also leads her own quartet and trio, which toured Japan last month. As a leader, the Vancouver native has released 14 recordings, four of which have garnered Juno Awards, the Canadian equivalent of the Grammy. The two most recent are Manhattan Rain, which features Ms. Rosnes in ensemble settings and includes four original compositions; and Double Portrait, a CD of two-piano duets with her husband Bill Charlap. As a distinguished composer and arranger, many of her arrangements are featured at Jazz in July concerts. Her website is reneerosnes.com.

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Chris Potter, tenor sax

Making his Jazz in July debut is Chris Potter, the Jazz Journalists Association’s 2013 Tenor Saxophonist of the Year. The youngest winner of Denmark's Jazzpar Prize, Mr. Potter worked with bebop icon Red Rodney in New York while in his teens. He has performed or recorded with such jazz figures as Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Jim Hall, Paul Motian, Ray Brown and John Scofield, as well as the Mingus Big Band. His discography includes 15 albums as a leader and over 150 as a sideman. He received a Grammy Award nomination for his work on Joanne Brackeen’s Pink Elephant Magic and is featured on Grammy–winning recordings by Steely Dan and Dave Holland. Mr. Potter’s latest CD is The Sirens, a cycle of songs without words inspired by The Odyssey. His website is chrispottermusic.com.

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Steve Wilson, alto sax/flute

Steve Wilson has brought his distinctive sound to more than 100 recordings led by such celebrated artists as Chick Corea, Christian McBride and Maria Schneider. Mr. Wilson quickly became a first-call choice for veteran and emerging artists, prompting a New York Times profile, “A Sideman’s Life.” He is featured, including the cover photo, in Blowin’ the Blues Away, a new book that examines the New York jazz scene. Wilson leads his own quartet Wilsonian’s Grain and co-leads a trio with pianist Renee Rosnes and bass player Peter Washington. He is one half of three duos, pairing with drummer Lewis Nash, pianist Billy Childs and pianist Bruce Barth, as documented on their recent recording Home. Mr. Wilson has made seven recordings as a leader, with artists including Nicholas Payton, Larry Grenadier and Mulgrew Miller. His website is stevewilsonmusic.com.

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Diego Urcola, trumpet

Three–time Grammy Award nominee Diego Urcola has been a member of the Paquito D’Rivera Quintet since 1991. He has also been a member of the Caribbean Jazz Project and has worked with the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All Star Big Band and Calle 54 All Star Band. In great demand as a sideman, Mr. Urcola has worked with such artists as Jimmy Heath (who had been his advisor while he was earning his master’s degree at CUNY/City College-Queens), Conrad Herwig, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Slide Hampton, Joe Henderson, Milt Jackson and Steve Turre. Mr. Urcola’s CDs as a leader are 2011’s Appreciation, a collection of original works, each dedicated to a different artist; Viva; featuring such guests as Heath, Herwig and Rivera; Soundances and Libertango. Born in Buenos Aires, his website is diegourcola.com.

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Scott Colley, bass

Scott Colley has been the bassist of choice for such jazz legends as Herbie Hancock, Jim Hall, Andrew Hill and Michael Brecker. In recent years he has flourished as composer and bandleader in his own right. Born in Los Angeles, Mr. Colley attended the California Institute for the Arts, then moved to New York, where he toured with Carmen McRae, Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson and Art Farmer. Since 2000, he has toured with Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny and John Scofield; last month he joined Bobby McFerrin for his Spirityouall tour of central Europe. He will also be touring Europe this summer with his own quintet. Mr. Colley has appeared on more than 200 albums. His debut CD as leader was Portable Universe in 1996, and his most recent was Empire in 2010 for CAM Records. His website is scottcolley.com.

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Jeff Ballard, drums

The drummer for Chick Corea’s bands Origin and The New Trio from 1998-2003, Jeff Ballard began his professional career as drummer for Ray Charles. From there he moved to New York where he has played and recorded with Buddy Montgomery, Lou Donaldson, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Avishai Cohen, Jason Lindner, Guillermo Klein y [and] Los Guachos, and the Maria Schneider Orchestra, to name a few. Since 2005 Mr. Ballard has been the drummer of the Brad Mehldau Trio, and a year later he began his own trio with guitarist Lionel Loueke of Benin, Africa, and alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón of San Juan; next January the trio will release its first CD, Time’s Tales. His most recent project is Jeff Ballard Fairgrounds, an ensemble of constantly changing musicians; it just returned from a tour of Europe. His website is jeffballard.com.

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