Couch Conversations
May
3
5:30 pm17:30

Couch Conversations

  • Moravian Book Shop

knw.+ Couch Conversations is a live talk show in partnership with youth empowerment company, Arrow Up, and independent production company Epic Down Time. The live talk show interviews up and coming artists and influencers ; and creates a space for the audience to engage in conversation about current events and trending topics.

"Music & Social Responsibility" This edition of knw.+ Couch Conversations will explore the role music has in terms of social responsibility. We will also dive into how music has historically influenced culture and society; and how we can learn from the past to move forward in the future.

This event is FREE TO THE PUBLIC!

Kiki Villani
May
3
6:00 pm18:00

Kiki Villani

  • The Dime Restaurant and Bar

Kiki Villani is a band from Wilmington, Delaware, combining the introspective songwriting finesse of singer-songwriter Kiera Sankey with the jazz and funk stylings of Nick Fagnilli, James Williams and Tyler Schwartz. At once, the music is intimate, complex, inviting and hard-hitting. Sankey’s lyrics deal with brave and sardonic reactions to love lost and are underpinned well by the band’s propensity for musical sportsmanship and nuanced playing.

The Collingwood
May
3
7:30 pm19:30

The Collingwood

Formed in 1999 by guitarist/filmmaker Christopher Malinowski, The Collingwood mesh cinema-driven, minor-key melodies with elements of post-rock and 1970’s-soul, creating shadowy dance numbers, both contemplative and severe. The Collingwood is renowned for its impetuous live performances, equal parts drama and ass-shake. Members live in Landenberg, Pennsylvania and Newark, Delaware. Malinowski is also the writer/director of the films “’Alms, You Say’” (2007) and “Yes, Your Tide is Cold and Dark, Sir.” (2013).

Couch Conversations
May
4
5:30 pm17:30

Couch Conversations

  • Moravian Book Shop

knw.+ Couch Conversations is a live talk show in partnership with youth empowerment company, Arrow Up, and independent production company Epic Down Time. The live talk show interviews up and coming artists and influencers ; and creates a space for the audience to engage in conversation about current events and trending topics.

This event is FREE TO THE PUBLIC!

The Pioneer Band
May
4
7:00 pm19:00

The Pioneer Band

  • Liberty Bell UCC Church

Allentown has a very strong tradition with community bands.  Last year we presented the Allentown Band, which debuted in 1828.  This year we present the Pioneer Band, which was formed in 1889.  Pioneer will perform a program of standards from the Great American Songbook and they will be in a terrific acoustic environment at the Liberty Bell Church.

 

The Hot Club of Philadelphia
May
4
7:00 pm19:00

The Hot Club of Philadelphia

  • 187 Rue Principale

The Hot Club of Philadelphia was started in 2001 by guitarist Barry Wahrhaftig.

They are an acoustic ensemble, dedicated to playing ‘Gypsy Jazz.’ That’s the term used to describe the music pioneered by the legendary original ‘Hot Club of France Quintet,’ which was led by guitarist Django Reinhardt and Violinist Stephane Grappelli.  Django and Grappelli were attempting to do their own version of American ‘Hot Jazz,’ as played by artists like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. They used acoustic guitars, bass and violin, rather than horns and drums. Grappelli and Django added some French and Gypsy flavor and created a blend of music that is quite popular and accessible. The HCPhilly mixes the original style of the HCOF, along with their own modern influences.

The band performs as a trio, quartet, quintet, etc.  There have been some changes in the line up through the years. Bassist Jim Stager has been with the group from the beginning. 

Joshua Machiz & Dylan Taylor also share bass duties. Dan Pearce is the 2nd guitarist, and violinist Joseph Arnold is a key part of the group’s recordings and shows, and clarinetists Bob Butryn and Paul Butler are also mainstays . 

The band features vocalist Phyllis Chapell and they have collaborated with Denise King. 

Their second CD, ‘Gypsy Routes,’ released in 2005, features Chapell singing pieces like Edith Piaf’s ‘La Foule’ in French, and ‘Cry Me a River’ [in English].

Chris Cummings Trio
May
5
6:00 pm18:00

Chris Cummings Trio

  • Billy's Downtown Diner

Chris Cummings – (Drums) - Chris Cummings began his professional playing career at the age of 14. He has performed or recorded with many notable players including Gene Perla, Bill Washer, Jim Weider, Tony Marino, Jon Ballantyne, and many more. As both a sideman and leader, he has played at some of the biggest music festivals in the world such as the Berks Jazz Festival and Musikfest. Chris maintains a private teaching practice in the Lehigh Valley where he resides with his wife and children. 

Beholder
May
5
6:00 pm18:00

Beholder

  • Centro

Beholder is an improvisational group featuring area favorites Dan DeChellis (piano), J.P. Tomasic (electric guitar) and Zach Martin (drums, electronics)

Hell's Kitchen Funk Orchestra
May
5
7:30 pm19:30

Hell's Kitchen Funk Orchestra

The Hell’s Kitchen Funk Orchestra is a group of jazz artists that have come together to facilitate and explore the bond that exists between musicians from many different countries. The Hell’s Kitchen Funk Orchestra's latest CD is Mercy, Mercy, Mercy.

Gail W. Boyd, Esq.: The New Paradigm of Jazz Management
May
6
1:00 pm13:00

Gail W. Boyd, Esq.: The New Paradigm of Jazz Management

  • Allentown Art Museum

Gail Boyd is President of Gail W. Boyd, P.C., an entertainment law firm, and Gail Boyd Artist Management, a wholly owned company of the law firm.  She is a graduate of De Paul University and De Paul University School of Law.  She was a founding partner in Boyd, Staton and Cave, the first African American female law firm in New York.  Gail has been involved in entertainment law since 1976.  She has been involved specifically in music with a specialty in jazz since 1979.

Dieruff High School Big Band
May
6
3:00 pm15:00

Dieruff High School Big Band

  • Allentown Art Museum

The Dieruff High School Jazz Ensemble returns to JazzFest!  Education and community involvement is central to JazzFest's mission.  Providing performance opportunities for young musicians is one of the things that JazzFest is extremely proud to do. 

Hot Bijouxx
May
6
4:00 pm16:00

Hot Bijouxx

  • Allentown Art Museum

Hot Bijouxx performs an energetic mélange of Prohibition-era jazz, French gypsy swing-waltz, and Brazilian bossa nova. Renditions of Great American Songbook standards are metamorphosized by Hot Bijouxx's arresting arrangements: A class French chanson marries a sizzling samba. A Europop club hit is transmuted into a feverish, Balkan gypsy anthem. A WWI era blues soars amongst the 3/4 time of a Parisian waltz.

The band features the senstive, ever-creative vocals of Najwa Parkins, who spent nascent years amongst the jazz community of The Deer Head Inn, and has since toured internationally. Hot Bijouxx's accordionist, Dallas Vietty, is a renowned force in the world of French musette & Gypsy jazz. Ryan McNeely, scholar and devotee of bossa nova, contributes a unique versatility on archtop guitar, while musically gifted drummer Kevin Ripley punctuates the vintage sound with snare and hi-hat. Hot Bijouxx members are currently residing in Philadelphia

Jeff "Tain" Watts Trio
May
6
7:30 pm19:30

Jeff "Tain" Watts Trio

  • Allentown Art Museum

Jeff Watts, the drummer they call "Tain," spent his formative years with Wynton and Branford Marsalis, and his compositional skills now command equal attention. 

Jeff initially majored in classical percussion at Pittsburgh's Duquesne University, where he was primarily a timpanist, followed by enrollment at the Berklee School of Music. Jeff joined the Wynton Marsalis Quartet in 1981 and proceeded to win three Grammy Awards with the ensemble: Black Codes From The UndergroundJ Mood and Marsalis Standard Time. Watts left Wynton Marsalis in 1988. After working with George Benson, Harry Connick. Jr. and McCoy Tyner, he joined the Branford Marsalis Quartet in 1989, winning Grammy's for I Heard You Twice the First Time and Contemporary Jazz

In the film and television industry Jeff has appeared as both a musician on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and as an actor, Rhythm Jones in Spike Lee’s "Mo Better Blues". Jeff joined Kenny Garrett's band after returning to New York in 1995 and continued to record and tour with Branford Marsalis as well as Danilo Perez, Michael Brecker, Betty Carter, Kenny Kirkland, Courtney Pine, Geri Allen, Alice Coltrane, Greg Osby, McCoy Tyner, Steve Coleman, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Harry Connick Jr, and Ravi Coltrane.

Along with explosive power, blinding speed and mastery of complex rhythms and time signatures, Watts brings a rare sense of elegance, tried-by-fire composure, and a gritty street funk to his music. His artistic ingenuity expresses itself in his incomparable technique, sweltering sense of swing, and an extraordinary ability to imbue his music with majestic grace and elegant repose. A true jazz innovator, Watts never fails to deliver the percussive magic that has been his trademark since his emergence on the contemporary jazz scene.

Hector Rosado y Orq HACHE
May
6
May 7

Hector Rosado y Orq HACHE

  • The Barristers' Club

Hector Rosado brings his latin jazz salsa group back to AJF for a late night salsa dance party!  If you missed Hector's performance last year, don't miss him at The Barristers' Club late night!

Tickets are $10 in advance/$15 at the door. 

Dave Liebman & The Moravian College Big Band
May
7
3:00 pm15:00

Dave Liebman & The Moravian College Big Band

  • Zion UCC "Liberty Bell" Church

NEA JAZZ MASTER, saxophonist David Liebman was born in Brooklyn, New York on September 4, 1946. After contracting polio as a small child, he began classical piano lessons at the age of nine and clarinet/saxophone by twelve. His interest in jazz was sparked by seeing John Coltrane perform live in New York City clubs such as Birdland, Village Vanguard and  the Half Note. Throughout high school and college, Liebman pursued his jazz interest by studying with saxophone guru Joe Allard (other Allard alumni are Eddie Daniels, Mike Brecker, Steve Grossman, Harry Carney) as well as jazz musicians Lennie Tristano and Charles Lloyd. Upon graduation from New York University (with a degree in American History), he began to seriously devote himself to the full time pursuit of being a jazz artist.

In 1977, Liebman did a world tour with pianist Chick Corea followed by the formation of the David Liebman Quintet with John Scofield as featured sideman. After several world tours and recordings by the quintet over three years, he reunited with Richard Beirach in both the duo format and Quest in 1981. Beginning with bassist George Mraz and drummer Al Foster, the group solidified with the addition of bassist Ron McClure and drummer Billy Hart. Through 1991 the group recorded seven CDs, toured extensively and did many workshops with students worldwide, garnering high critical praise worldwide. (The group has reunited for special tours and recordings since 2005.)

From 1991 through 2012, the Dave Liebman Group featuring guitarist Vic Juris toured and recorded nearly twenty CDs representing a very eclectic direction that ranged from jazz standards to Puccini arias, adaptations from the John Coltrane and Miles Davis repertoires, as well as original compositions in styles ranging from world music to fusion and free jazz, always maintaining a repertoire that balanced the past, present and future.

David has been featured on over five hundred recordings, of which he has been the leader or co-leader on nearly two hundred with several hundred original compositions written and recorded. His artistic output has ranged from straight ahead classic jazz to chamber music; from fusion to avant garde and world music. Other ongoing performing/recording combinations include the group Different But the Samefeaturing saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, drummer Jim Black and bassist Tony Marino; the “We3” trio with bassist/composer extraordinaire Steve Swallow and long time Lieb associate Adam Nussbaum on drums; duo work with both pianists Phil Markowitz and Marc Copland.

His newest group Expansions formed in 2013 features musicians from the new generation of jazz players living in New York; Bobby Avey on piano, Matt Vashlishan on reeds, Alex Ritz on drums along with the perennial Tony Marino on bass. The music of this group reflects current trends and styles being played by the new crop of jazz players.

Lieb’s published materials include a wide variety of books considered classics in the field as well as instructional DVDs and chamber music (Aebersold Publications, Caris Music and Advance Music): Self Portrait of A Jazz Artist, A Chromatic Approach to Jazz Harmony And Melody, Developing A Personal Saxophone Sound, several of which have been translated into multiple languages. Liebman’s biography is titled What It Is-The Life Of A Jazz Artist in conversation with author extraordinaire Lewis Porter (Scarecrow Press).

His teaching activities at universities and in clinic settings have taken him literally around the world as a result of his varied musical directions and expertise on several instruments, along with an ability to articulate the intricacies of the jazz language, aesthetic and technique. Over the years, he has regularly received grantees to study with him funded by the NEA (U.S.), the Canadian Arts Council, as well as arts councils of numerous European countries. In 1989 he founded the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ), an organization dedicated to networking educators and students from international jazz schools through periodic meetings, exchange programs and newsletters. Liebman presently serves as the Artistic Director of the IASJ and is Artist in Residence at the Manhattan School of Music, NYC; Guest Lecturer at the University of Toronto and the Global Jazz Project at the Berklee School in Boston. He has consistently placed among the top three finalists of the Downbeat Critics Poll since 1973 in the Soprano Saxophone category, gaining the top place several times in polls conducted by the magazines Jazz Ed and Jazz Times. Lieb is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from the Sibelius Academy (Helsinki, Finland); the Order of Arts and Letters (France); and the NEA Jazz Master award which is the highest accolade granted by the U.S. government in the jazz field (2011).

AWARDS

2016 : Outstanding Educator of the Years Award Presented by Education Update
2015: Jazz Times Critic’s Poll – Winner – Soprano Saxophone
2015: Jazz Ed Readers Poll – Winner – Soprano Saxophone
2013: Jazz Educators Network (JEN) Legends of Jazz
2011: National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Masters of Jazz
2011: First place Soprano Sax category Jazz Times and Downbeat Critics’s Poll
2011: DL Group – Best Live Perfomance All About Jazz and NY Jazz
2010: Jazz Man of the Year – All About Jazz, New York City
2010: Best Record of The Year-German Jazz Critics for “Turnaround”- Liebman Group Plays the Music of Ornette Coleman
2009: Order of Arts and Letters from the French Government
2007: Jazz Journalist’s Award for Best Soprano Sax
2005: Pennsylvania Council of the Arts Grant to individual artists
2004: Grammy nomination for performance of Jim McNeely’s arrangement of “Sing, Sing, Sing” – from Beyond The Line-Dave Liebman Big Band (Omnitone)
2001: Fred Waring Award from Celebration of the Arts, which organizes a yearly festival in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania where Liebman resides for outstanding contributions to the arts and community
2000: Inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Association of Jazz Educators for contributions to jazz pedagogy
1998: Grammy nomination in the category of Best Jazz Solo for the recording of “My Favorite Things” from Thank You, John (Arkadia Records)
1997: Honorary Doctorate of Music from the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland; the first ever given to a jazz artist
1991: National Endowment of the Arts grant for performance
1988: Record of the Year from the French Jazz Academy for Homage to Coltrane(Owl Records)
1981: National Endowment of the Arts grant for composition