Jazz on the Move 2017 - 100th Birthday Tribute to Dizzy Gillespie

The Nashville Jazz Workshop, in collaboration with the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, announces the 11th season of the popular jazz performance and education series, Jazz on the Move. Each installment features a lecture and performance highlighting a major figure or period in jazz history. Presented by Nashville’s top jazz artist/educators, the series offers audiences world class music as well as an opportunity to learn more about jazz. The next installment in this year's series is Sunday, June 11  at 3:00 pm, with a 100th birthday tribute to trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie.

This year's series is presented with support from Caterpillar Financial Services and Peter &  Anne Neff.

The programs take place on a series of Sunday afternoons. All performances are at 3:00 pm in the auditorium at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, 919 Broadway, Nashville, TN. Performances in the series are free and open to the public. Each performance is led by a jazz artist intimately familiar with the jazz great being profiled with an outstanding group of supporting musicians. Presentations in this year's series are: 

Sunday, June 11 - A 100th Birthday Tribute to Dizzy Gillespie, presented by Jamey Simmons

(note: this program is rescheduled from February)

John Burks "Dizzy" Gillespie was one of the founding fathers of bebop. He pioneered a virtuoso trumpet style that is distinctive and wholly original, and has not been equaled since.  Getting his start in jazz in big bands during the 1930's, Gillespie played in and led many noted bands during the 1940's and 1950's, and reigned as jazz royalty throughout the rest of his life. He was also a pioneer in introducing Afro-Cuban elements into jazz. Besides his prodigious talent, Dizzy's engaging personality and good humor made him a beloved figure and an ambassador of jazz around the world. We celebrate the 100th anniversary of Dizzy's birth with a presentation and performance by trumpeter and MTSU Jazz Studies Professor Jamey Simmons, leading an all-star ensemble. With Matt Endahl, Jim Ferguson, Derrek Phillips, Roland Barber, Rahsaan Barber, and Denis Solee.

Those attending Jazz on the Move at the Frist will be able to visit the Frist's exhibits free of charge, and will also receive discounted parking.  

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts is an accredited nonprofit art-exhibition center, with approximately 24,000 square feet of gallery space, dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from local, state and regional artists, as well as major U.S. and international exhibitions. It is located at 919 Broadway, Nashville, Tennessee, 37203. www.fristcenter.org.


Previous programs this year:

January 22 - A 100th Birthday Tribute to Thelonious Monk, presented by Bruce Dudley

Thelonious Monk was one of the most creative and original composers and pianists in the history of jazz. He is the second most-recorded (after Duke Ellington) of all jazz composers. Many of Monk's compositions are jazz classics, including "Round Midnight," "Straight No Chaser," "Blue Monk," and "Well You Needn't." Monk was among the founders of Bebop in the 1940's, and was active through the 1960's and 70's until his death in 1982. His unorthodox piano and compositional style is instantly recognizable, and has not been duplicated. 2017 is the 100th anniversary of Monk's birth, and we pay tribute to him with a presentation and performance by virtuoso pianist and educator Bruce Dudley, joined by saxophonist Don Aliquo, bassist Roger Spencer, and drummer Marcus Finnie.

Sunday, March 26 - A 100th Birthday Tribute to Lena Horne, presented by Connye Florance

Actress and singer Lena Horne was born June 30, 1917, in Brooklyn, New York. She left school at age 16 to help support her family and became a dancer at the Cotton Club in Harlem. After having established herself as a sought after live singer, a role she would maintain throughout her life, she later signed with MGM studios and became known as one of the top African-American performers of her time, seen in such films as Cabin in the Sky and Stormy Weather. She was also known for her work with civil rights groups and refused to play roles that stereotyped African-American women, a stance that many found controversial. After some time out of the limelight during the '70s, she made a revered, award-winning comeback with her 1981 show Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music. Continuing to record into her later years, Horne died on May 9, 2010.

"My identity is very clear to me now. I am a black woman. I'm free. I no longer have to be a 'credit.' I don't have to be a symbol to anybody; I don't have to be a first to anybody. I don't have to be an imitation of a white woman that Hollywood sort of hoped I'd become. I'm me, and I'm like nobody else."

—Lena Horne

We pay homage to Lena with a presentation and performance led by vocalist Connye Florance, and featuring trumpeter Rod McGaha, pianist Chris Walters, bassist Roger Spencer, and drummer Marcus Finnie. 

Sunday, April 16  - Music of the Cal Tjader, a celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month, presented by James Westfall