The headliners are Joe Lovano, the tenor sax player who has recorded with Blue Note for 20 years and won a bunch of Grammies; Warren Bernhardt, a protégé of Bill Evans who tours with Simon & Garfunkel and back in the 1990s played piano and was musical director with Steely Dan; and Jay Clayton, an internationally acclaimed vocalist and composer who was a proponent of the free jazz movement back in the 1960s and today makes innovative use of electronics in her performances.
The music kicks off at 4 p.m. on Sunday with a 75th birthday tribute to Albert Ayler by a duet consisting of Jeff Lederer, a Brooklyn-based saxophonist and composer, and Jamie Saft, who will be playing both piano and, in an interesting twist, harpsichord. At 7 p.m. a student jazz ensemble from SUNY-New Paltz, where Roiger and Menegon both teach, takes the stage. They will be followed by Lovano, accompanied by Menegon, Frank Kimbrough on piano, Bob Meyer on drums and Judi Silvano, a singer and composer who has long collaborated with the saxophonist, on the stage and in life (she’s his wife).
On Monday, fans of Thelonious Monk (and who that has heard the master’s spare syncopations, so mysteriously rich, could not be a fan?) will want to check out the Monk tribute at 4 p.m. featuring Bernhardt as well as pianists Patrick McKearn, John Esposito, Vinnie Martucci, Paul Duffy and others to be announced. The spoken-word performance kicks off at 7 p.m. with a piece by Mikhail Horowitz, followed by Clayton, tap dancer and poet Brenda Bufalino and vocalists and/or poets Sarah James, Steve Clorfeine, Ingrid Sertso, Mary Anne DeProphetis, Katie Bull and Roiger. The Free Suite Ensemble, featuring Menegon, McKearn, guest keyboard player Landon Knoblock and Tani Tabbal on drums, will accompany the performers.
Screenings of jazz films by renowned jazz documentary filmmaker Burrill Crohn are scheduled prior to the music both days, starting at 2 p.m. On Sunday, Joe Williams: A Portrait in Song, an hour-long documentary about the late, great jazz vocalist Joe Williams, shot in concert with the Count Basie Orchestra, will be followed by A/K/A Fathead, a short about legendary saxophonist and flutist David “Fathead” Newman. On Monday, two half-hour segments of Crohn’s seven-part Women in Jazz series, narrated by Carmen McRae and Marian McPartland, will be followed by footage from Crohn’s new film, Playing with Parkinson’s, about famed gutarist Sangeeta Michael Berardi, who is still making music despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease eleven years ago.
There’s a $7 suggested donation for each afternoon of film showings. Other admission prices are $10 each for the Ayler and Monk tributes; $15 for the Lovano/Silvano performance; and $10 for the spoken-word event (the proceeds from this last will be donated to local flood-relief efforts).
“Every single player in this festival has got a big name in jazz or the world of poetry and performance,” Roiger said. “I think interest will just keep growing and growing.”
Roiger said that the couple hopes to organize another performance over the Thanksgiving weekend, followed by a Christmas jazz show (this year the Colony will be heated, which makes the extended season possible). Bread Alone has been a supporter of this year’s concerts, along with several other local businesses, she added. All in all, it’s a great beginning to what could become a Woodstock tradition. For more information visit www.jazzstock.com.