"A warm welcome to our 34th annual jazz series where great music and great times are assured. We have added a new change to our series this season with a full lineup of Sunday afternoon only concerts at Newton South, Sundays@South. This is a departure from our usual Saturday evening programs and is aimed at accommodating many of you who prefer to attend daytime concerts and avoid night time driving. Concert-goers will continue to enjoy two sets of music for the price of one, free parking, comfortable seating, unimpeded sight lines, available refreshments, but most-of- all, an exceptional lineup of talented musicians ready to satisfy their every jazz appetite. We open on Sunday, September 11, with “A Parris Afternoon” featuring Newton’s native Rebecca Parris, Boston’s First Lady of Jazz. She will be accompanied by Chris Taylor, piano, Peter Kontrimas, bass, and Jim Lattini, drums. Next up on Sunday, November 20 is pianist Laszlo Gardony, who JazzTimes called “one of contemporary music’s original voices”, with an all-star Berklee sextet comprised of saxophonists Bill Pierce and Stan Strickland, John Lockwood, bass, Yoron Israel, drums, and introducing special guest, saxophonist Marco Pignataro. The sextet celebrates Gardony’s latest CD release “In Real Time”. We return on Sunday, April 2, 2017 with “Strike Up The Band” starring Newton’s own, Paul Broadnax, the venerable pianist, vocalist and his regulars, Peter Kontrimas on bass and Les Harris, Jr. on drums. They are joined by the fluid sounds of saxophonist Fred Haas and extra added attraction, vocalist Eula Lawrence. Our season finale on Sunday, May 7, “Newton’s Best”, spotlights an array of Newton’s finest jazz artists in ensemble groupings including Cercie Miller, saxophone, vocalists Dominique Eade and Lisa Thorson, Alan Chase, saxophone, and George Schuller, drums accompanied by Boston all-stars, pianist Tim Ray, piano and John Lockwood, bass,. Their appearance highlights the 2017 Newton Festival of the Arts, a robust, two-month long calendar of arts and cultural events taking place throughout the Garden City."
Hank Solomon, Managing Director
To purchase a Highland Jazz series subscription and pay by credit card via PayPal, use our Online Tickeing services or complete and return the printable order form and a self-addressed, stamped envelope with your check payable to: Highland Jazzs P.O. Box 610037 Newton, MA 02461
Advance $18, ($17 for seniors)
September 11, 2P.M
Boston's First Lady of Jazz, Rebecca Parris, launches our 34th season series backed by Chris Taylor(piano),Peter Kontrimas(bass) and Jim Lattini (drums). The Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist returns to her Newton roots bearing her distinctive interpretation of the Great American Songbook and her stylistic take on lesser-known compositions. Parris began her professional career singing with top 40s band across the Northeast before discovering her passion in jazz. Since then, she has performance all over the world with her own groups, as well as with some of jazz's greatest legends, including Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, Terry Gibbs, David "Fathead" Newman, Norman Simmons, Harold Jones, Andy Simpkins, Gerry Wiggins, Bill Cunliffe, Red Mitchell, Buster Cooper and Nat Pierce and many others. Parris' second passion is teaching, both in private, one-on-one sessions and workshops. A master clinician, Parris is a 10-time winner of The Boston Music Award for Outstanding Jazz Vocalist and producer.
November 20, 2P.M.
One of contemporary jazz’s most original performers, Laszlo Gardony is “a pianist worthy of praise within the highest pantheon of performers” (Jazz Review). He returns to Highland Jazz to celebrate the release of his acclaimed live album, “Life in Real Time,” (Sunnyside), which showcases an electrifying sextet of musicians that includes Bill Pierce (saxophone), Stan Strickland (saxophone), John Lockwood (bass) and Yoron Israel (drums) and special guest, Marco Pignataro (saxophone) . The Hungarian-born Gardony has brought his soulful improvisations and compositions to audiences in 26 countries. Winner of the Great American Jazz Piano Competition, he has been featured with the Boston Pops, the Utah Symphony and TheSmithsonian Institute’s “Beyond Category” Traveling Duke Ellington Exhibit. “Life in Real Time,” his 11th album, received a four-star review in Down Beat and was named by The Boston Globe as one the 10 best jazz albums of 2015.
April 2, 2017 2P.M.
Venerable pianist and vocalist Paul Broadnax , a Highland Jazz audience favorite, kicks off the second half of our 2016/17 season, accompanied by his regular sidemen, Peter Kontrimas (bass) and Les Harris, Jr. (drums) and joined by saxophonist Fred Haas and vocalist Eula Lawrence. Broadnax, the son of influential classical musicians from Boston (his mother was a legendary teacher of piano and voice) who also has been immersed in music since childhood. While studying for his engineering degree at Northeastern University, he arranged tunes for the Sabby Lewis Band and performed with the Tom Kennedy and Buster Daniels bands, as a singer, saxophonist and pianist. Broadnax has produced several CDs including “It’s About Time,” “Here’s to Joe,” “Friends,”, “Live at Indian Hill Music,” and “Strike Up the Band,” which features Haas on sax. Hass, teaches saxophone, jazz piano, jazz improvisation, jazz history, and music theory at Dartmouth College. He is the founder of the holistic workshop program Interplay Jazz & Arts.
May 7, 2017 2P.M.
Our 2016/17 series finale spotlights an array of some of Newton's Best jazz artist in ensemble groupings. Vocalists Dominique Eade and Lisa Thorson and saxophonist Cercie Miller and Allan Chase will be accompanied by an esteemed rhythm section consisting of Tim Ray, piano, John Lockwood, bass, and another Newton native, Geroge Schuller , drums. Leading her own quartel since 1986, Miller has been called a "Versatile stylist with a penchant for melody as well as take no streak that shows itself on her slashing alto solos"[Boston Herald]. Eade has been named an "impossibly versatile vocalist, composer, lyricist, and intrumental arranger..."(New York Times Magazine). Thorson, a popular vocalist and music educator, was hailed by legendary vocalist Sheila Jordan as "one of the most exciting singers on the jazz scene today". Chase appears on over 40 recordings as a jazz saxophonist and as a soloist on contemporary classical, new music, rock, and pop recordings. Their combined appearances highlight the 2017 Newton Festival of the Arts, a two-month long calendar of arts and cultural events throughout the Garden City.
Highland Jazz has presented over 200 concerts over the past 33 years. While our venues in and around
Newton, MA have changed since our launch in 1983, we have established ourselves as the oldest,
continuous, community-based jazz series in New England. This is an exemplary accomplishment since
most of the non-profit jazz organizations which were flourishing then have disappeared from the scene.
Our concerts have spanned the range of mainstream acoustic jazz, bebop, swing, latin american, blues, gospel and dixieland. These have featured the most talented and respected musicians in New England and elsewhere. We have showcased emerging artists from New England Conservatory and Berklee School of Music as they began their professional journeys and broadened our audience reach. We have also enabled youngsters from local middle and high schools to open our concerts and gain an early connection to professional musicians and a discerning jazz audience. In doing so, we are extremely proud to have served as a platform for the musicians who have gone on to national and international acclaim.
Please check out our Highland Jazz Memories Blog on this page where you will encounter our glorious history in song and story. These have been assiduously and lovingly compiled by my predecessor, Nancy Alimansky, and is now available as an eBook. Come live the memories and share the music. Help us continue the tradition. Become part of our living history.
By Phone: (781) 237-1917
By Mail: Highland Jazz, Inc. P.O. Box 610037 Newton, MA 02461
140 Brandeis Road, Newton Centre From 128 (North or South), take Exit 20A (Route 9 east) and follow Route 9 for two miles. Stay in the travel lane, right. There will be a small green sign on the left sign of the highway about 1/4 mile from the exit that says NEWTON CENTRE/WEST ROXBURY next right. Go up the ramp and take a right onto Parker St. for 1/4 mile, then turn left onto Hagen Rd. Hagen Rd. will turn into Greatmeadows. Follow to the end and take a left at the stop sign onto Brandeis Rd. The school is 1/4 mile ahead on the right.
This program is sponsored in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council as administered by the Newton Cultural Council.
Concert goers can present their ticket stubs at Legal Seafoods in Chestnut Hill and receive a complimentary cup of clam chowder with every entree ordered!
Concert goers can present their ticket stubs at The Capital Grille in Chestnut Hill and receive a free calamari appetizer.
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