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Three great singers and four piano players new entries in the programme of the Heineken Jazz Festival

These are Melody Gardot, Madeleine Peyroux, Sharon Jones (playing on the Green Stage) and An Evening with Two Pianos (Kenny Barron, Mulgrew Miller, Eric Reed, Dado Moroni)

The 47th Heineken Jazz Festival to be held in San Sebastian between July 19 and 23, has added three of the most admired singers of the international scene (Melody Gardot, Madeleine Peyroux and Sharon Jones) and four of the most renowned jazz pianists (Kenny Barron, Mulgrew Miller, Eric Reed and Dado Moroni), acting with two alternating pianos as solo, duo and quartet.

Melody Gardot

Melody Gardot is poised to be the next great jazz diva. Her exquisite voice and the delicacy with which she plays the piano and guitar are well above other recent revelations. Her first two albums, Worrisome Heart and My One and Only Thrill, have uncovered a unique artist, who caresses the crowd with fantastic versions of classic jazz and blues.

Still young (born 1985), Melody Gardot has shown an instinctive talent to give a personal touch and inimitable voice to masterpieces of jazz and blues. The fondness towards Brazilian music also helps her add a distinctive note to the great standards; for example, there are many singers who have played Over the Rainbow (The Wizard of Oz), but none have given, as Gardot , the Latin tinge.
Gardot studied music as a child and began playing the piano in Philadelphia when she was 16. At 19 a serious accident turned her definitely to music. Thanks to music, she recovered completely and since then she is a strong advocate of music therapy.

The opportunity to see in person the birth of a star occurs rarely. Melody Gardot’s concert at the Heineken Jazz Festival will be one of those rare occasions.

The audience at the Heineken Jazz Festival have already experienced the pleasure of an artistic discovery earlier. Diana Krall played at he Festival when she was not yet a universal celebrity, and Madeleine Peyroux as she started to have a place among the greatest. Madeleine Peyroux returns to San Sebastian to the satisfaction of her many followers.

Madeleine Peyroux

With a distinctive voice and her exquisite sensitivity, Madeleine Peyroux was defined as “the Billie Holiday of the 21st century” and her appearance was a revolution among jazz singers. Her repertoire has always been very careful: great songs of Billie Holiday, BessieSmith, Patsy Cline, Edith Piaf, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Hank Williams and TomWaits. Madeleine Peyroux  not only covers others, but also makes her own songs as seen in her latest album, Standing on the Rooftop.

Her musical biography is fascinating. In 1996, just as she turned 22 years old, her first album Dreamland, reached 200,000 copies sold. It talked about an artist who had learned the craft singing in the streets of Paris.  Careless Love, Half the Perfect World, Bare Bones and Standing on the Rooftop followed, all of them have been unanimously praised by critics and achieved hefty sales figures. She was also named by the BBC as Best International Jazz Award 2007.

Without abandoning the style that has led her to fame, with Standing on the Rooftop Madeleine Peyroux explores new ways and expands her sounds thanks to producer Craig Street (Norah Jones, k.d. lang, Cassandra Wilson) and with the collaboration of a handful of illustrious friends (Bill Wyman, Meshell Ndegeocello, MarcRibot).

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, first confirmation for the Green Stage

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings have revolutionized the world of soul, gospel, funk and rhythm & blues. Their records and, above all, their electrifying concerts recall the golden age of Motown and Stax, the legendary record labels that so profoundly marked the history of music. Sharon Jones brings together with her deep voice the powerful raw energy of Tina Turner,the exquisite sensitivity of Mavis Staples, the unstoppable rhythm of James Brown and Aretha Franklin’s vocal range. And the eight components of The Dap-Kings are also a musical prodigy, a show in themselves.

Worshiped by both fans and critics they are also well treated by personalities of music and films, all of them wanting to have the talent of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. Their version of This Land is Your Land contributed greatly to the success of the movie Up in the Air (2009), starring George Clooney. Among the big names that Sharon Jones has recorded recently with are David Byrne, RufusWainwright, Lou Reed and Michael Bublé, and she has also participated as an actress and singer in the Denzel Washington film The Great Debaters (2007).

The concert of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings is the first to be confirmed for the Green Stage, the program will be completed later.

An Evening with Two Pianos

An Evening with Two Pianos (Kenny Barron, Mulgrew Miller, Eric Reed, Dado Moroni) is an impressive gathering of four great jazz pianists, belonging to different generations, who take turns playing two grand pianos as solo, duo and quartet. The program, entitled Mostly Monk, focuses on the repertoire of Thelonious Monk, the high priest of bebop.

Kenny Barron received the Donostiako Jazzaldia Award in 2000. Considered by many the best active jazz pianist Kenny Barron is characterized by the enormous ease with which he selects his repertoire and the elegance in its execution. He is the living tradition of be-bop piano, connecting with historical figures such as Hank Jones and Tommy Flanagan, but Barron is still venturing into new creative territory with the same coolness with which he did early in his long career. Most of the “young lions” of the piano, as Danilo Perez, Benny Green, Cyrus Chestnut and Eric Reed, recognize Barron as a predominant influence in their careers.

Mulgrew Miller is one of the greatest exponents of the modern piano tradition rooted in hard bop. At the age of twenty he held the place of pianist in the Duke Ellington Orchestra directed by Mercer Ellington. He then played with two masters:  drummer Art Blakey and singer Betty Carter. A founding member of the Tony Williams Quintet, one of the most charismatic formations of contemporary jazz, and from the 90’s he became leader of his own trios and quintets. His style is influenced by KennyBarron, with whom he played the Heineken Jazz Festival twice (1995 and 2005) with his memorable piano duets.

Eric Reed was only eighteen when he made his first tour with Wynton Marsalis, with whom he continued working after while also playing with musicians such as Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Benny Carter, Charlie Haden and Roy Hargrove. Eric Reed has formed his style influenced by Ahmad Jamal and gospel music. His interpretations have a very strong rhythmic charge and orchestral piano concept sometimes sounding like a big band.

The Italian Dado Moroni played in San Sebastian in 2008, in the Victoria Eugenia Club, as a member of The Charlie Parker Legacy Band. He has been a pianist of outstanding leaders, such as James Moody, Ray Brown, Ron Carter and Alvin Queen, also touring with The Mingus Dynasty Band and Paris Reunion Band. He has also participated in the trio Shapes (with Peter Washington and Lewis Nash) and New York Reunion (the same formation of Shapes with Steve Wilson on alto sax).

The program is not yet complete

The Festival has previously announced performances by Antony & The Johnsons with Et Incarnatus Orchestra, Bobby McFerrin with Yellowjackets, Jamaican Legends (Monty Alexander, Sly & Robbie and Ernest Ranglin), L’Orchestre d’Hommes-Orchestres playing the music of Tom Waits, Ray Gelato, Marc Ribot and Los Cubanos Postizos, Ninety Miles (Stefon Harris, David Sanchez and Nicholas Payton) and Peter Evans.

The program is not yet complete and new names will be announced as soon as confirmed.


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