Concerts

Afternoon April 2, 2PM-- Strike Up the Band

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) joined by saxophonist Fred Haas and vocalist, Eula Lawrence, a Boston jazz favorite. 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 and Arts.

May 7, 2PM-- Newton's Finest

Our 2016/17 series finale spotlights an array of some of Newton's Best jazz artists in ensemble groupings. Vocalists Dominique Eade and Lisa Thorson, saxophonists Cercie Miller and Allan Chase and drummer George Schuller will be accompanied by esteemed pianist Tim Ray and acclaimed bassist John Lockwood. 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.

(Past Concert) September 11, 2PM-- A Parris Afternoon

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.

(Past Concert) November 20, 2PM-- Life in Real Time

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). 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 The Smithsonian 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. Gardony, Pierce, Lockwood and Israel will be joined on the HJ stage by special guest Marco Pignataro (saxophone).