“Voices of Freedom” virtual concert celebrating iconic women in jazz premieres On March 26, 2021
Jazz at Lincoln Center honors Women’s History Month with a new virtual concert. Voices of Freedom: Betty Carter, Billie Holiday, Abbey Lincoln, and Nina Simone will find the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis alongside some of the music’s most powerful voices — Melanie Charles, Shenel Johns, and Ashley Pezzotti — live from Rose Theater, located in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City on March 26, 2021.
This streaming concert event marks the first live performance by the full big band with Wynton Marsalis in the House of Swing since February 2020 and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and vocalists Melanie Charles, Shenel Johns, and Ashley Pezzotti will interpret the searingly honest music and lyrics of four of the 20th century’s most powerful singers, songwriters, and activists. The repertoire will span decades of songs written or made famous by Carter, Holiday, Lincoln, and Simone. Tunes including “Strange Fruit,” “Backlash Blues,” “Tight,” and “Droppin’ Things” will be supported by new, big band arrangements from music director Chris Crenshaw and other Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra band members.
By focusing on these four singers, Jazz at Lincoln Center will delve into the extraordinary possibilities of jazz, and highlight the music’s continued legacy of change and of challenging accepted norms. Billie Holiday’s genius of Swing Song—small ensemble vocal jazz—gave every subsequent generation of singer a template for vocal mastery, while her embrace of the song “Strange Fruit” demonstrated to musicians the imperative to harness art for social change, regardless of the risk. Betty Carter is a peerless rhythmic genius, a fearless improvisational spirit, and a tireless mentor dedicated to training subsequent generations of artists to become extraordinary musicians and leaders. Abbey Lincoln, throwing off the torch song marketing of her early career assumed extraordinary risk in her embrace of music for Civil Rights; her career portrayed the rise of a vocalist and a composer willing to challenge the status quo with unconventional music in service of the art’s true message. Nina Simone’s relentless quest to explore and understand new styles of music, crossed musical and social boundaries in celebration of Blackness and in defiance of any system that would oppress others.
Following the virtual live premiere on March 26, ticket holders will have access to stream Voices of Freedom: Betty Carter, Billie Holiday, Abbey Lincoln, and Nina Simone through March 31, 2021.
Tickets and more information are available on jazz.org/voicesoffreedom
Since temporarily closing Jazz at Lincoln Center’s performing arts facility, Frederick P. Rose Hall, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization has offered a robust, curated daily program to audiences all over the world, bringing the healing power of jazz into homes and communities. Jazz at Lincoln Center continues this effort with four unique virtual concert events from February 20 to June 10, 2021. Three of these new virtual concerts will feature the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and a cohort of master singers and rising stars representing a broad generational timeline of this unique music.
Virtual ticket per concert: $20.00
Subscriber Price: $15.00
Member Price: $0 – $15.00
Each ticket purchase helps support Jazz at Lincoln Center.
On the day of the concert premiere, ticket holders will have access to the broadcast through a private password protected webpage link shared via email. A schedule of livestream performances, family and education programs and more can be found on jazz.org
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