Any good Jazz Festival depends on a strong line-up. And this year (our second solely under the Avalon Umbrella) we have an exceptional one. It’s a lineup that features an exciting and fun filled opener on Friday, a proven showstopper on Saturday and a featured vocalist compared to Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole on Sunday. All of this is to say that we are extremely proud of this year’s line-up and feel it is the right combination that will keep things exciting for three nights straight over Labor Day Weekend. We also think it is the perfect formula to move the Jazz Experience into the future.
Please make your plans now for Labor Day Weekend and the Jazz Experience at The Avalon Theatre. This premier event captivates music lovers and jazz enthusiasts alike and the Avalon Staff is extremely excited about this year’s line-up.
Opening Night – They’re So Vain – Sammy Miller and the Congregation: The Music of 1973
Friday night begins the weekend of Jazz in rousing fashion as NYC’s “joyful jazz” ensemble, Sammy Miller & The Congregation (Julliard graduates) hit Easton. Sammy Miller is a young-ish drummer and leader of his seven-piece band, aimed to entertain and expand the definition of — and the audience for — jazz. Miller’s gang blends intricate, soulful, and poignant jazz with a stage show to make you laugh, groove – but most of all get your money’s worth.
“We wanted to kick the weekend off with a contagious celebratory vibe and having seen Sammy Miller in New York in January I knew he and his band were perfect”, Artistic Director Suzy Moore.
This is a band that can not only play their bums off, but makes you smile, dance and unconsciously nod to the rhythms. What makes this band cook is rare: playing in a way that takes you back to what the original sound and shape of the instruments can be—deep, full of soul and warmth, laced with fun.
Despite their youth, Sammy and his band are veterans; they’ve played, individually, with such big names as Wynton Marsalis, Lady Gaga and Queen Latifah, at venues like The White House, Lincoln Center and the Hollywood Bowl.
Hearing this band is a revelation. Catch them opening night at the Easton Jazz Experience. Your soul will thank you. http://www.sammymillercongregation.com/
Friday, September 1, 2023, Doors: 7:30 p.m.; Show: 8 p.m., Tickets: $60/50/40
HEADLINER – Dominick Farinacci & Friends
“Quite simply, Dominick blew away the audience at The Jazz Experience on opening night last year. Those who were there relive it with a sense of reverence. It was that type of evening.” Tim Weigand, Avalon Theatre
Recognized by the New York Times as “a trumpeter of abundant poise,” Dominick Farinacci has performed around the world, from Qatar to Japan. As mentioned, Dominick has blown away and inspired audiences on The Shore for almost a decade now and his headlining show promises more of the same in 2023 with an expanded line up including a flamenco dancer this year.
He’s excited to return to Easton to introduce several new artists to the Avalon community, including 24-year-old vocalist Ekep Nkwelle and Flamenco dancer Alice Blumenfeld. Ekep is a recent graduate of The Juilliard School and was recently featured at the Library of Congress Coolidge Auditorium. Alice is an incredibly gifted Flamenco dancer and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts.
Joining them for this show are pianist Jonathan Thomas, one of the great young pianists in his generation; bassist Yasushi Nakamura, one of the most in-demand bassists on the jazz scene, and most recently a member of the 2023 Monterey Jazz Festival On Tour; and drummer Jerome Jennings, who played for many years with saxophonist Sonny Rollings, pianist Hank Jones, and many legends of jazz music. https://www.dominickfarinacci.com
Saturday, September 2, 2023, Doors: 7:30 p.m.; Show: 8 p.m., Tickets: $70/60/50
Allan Harris: Kate’s Kitchen
What’s it like to listen to singer Alland Harris? He starts by making you feel like you’re at a party with everybody moving to the music. Next thing you know, you’re right in the middle of an intimate love scene. Then he takes you to church, which is both a different kind of a party and a Sunday kind of love.
Aptly described by the Miami Herald as an artist blessed with “the warmth of Tony Bennett, the bite and rhythmic sense of Sinatra, and the sly elegance of Nat ‘King’ Cole,”. The ample and aural evidence of Harris’ moving and magisterial artistry can be heard on his 14 recordings as a leader; in his far-flung and critically acclaimed concerts around the world; and through his numerous awards, which include the New York Nightlife Award for “Outstanding Jazz Vocalist” – which he won three times –the DownBeat Critic’s Poll Award for “Rising Star Jazz Vocalist,” and France’s Palmares Award for 3rd Best Jazz Vocal Album of 2019.
Ever since he burst on the jazz scene in the latter part of the twentieth century, the Brooklyn-born, Harlem-based vocalist/ guitarist/bandleader/composer Allan Harris has reigned supreme as the most accomplished and exceptional singer of his generation. https://www.allanharris.com/home
Sunday, September 3, 2023, Doors: 2:30 p.m.; Show: 3 p.m. Tickets: $50/40/30