Story last updated at 5/13/2009 - 11:29 am
JUNEAU - Beautiful music is often synonymous with beautiful places. That's what was on Linda Rosenthal's mind when she founded Juneau Jazz & Classics (JJ&C). Twenty-three years later, she is still on the board of directors and works as artistic director for the festival.
In addition to organizing performances by "virtuoso" musicians from all over the world, JJ&C puts a strong emphasis on outreach and education. Most of the guest artists stay in town for several days to perform in schools and give free workshops.
Jazz saxophonist and clarinetist Anat Cohen is this year's jazz artist in residence. She has plans to work with jazz bands in local elementary, middle and high schools throughout the week. She will give several free performances around town and will also travel to Hoonah for a day to share her music.
As much fun as Rosenthal has planning the festival, she said her favorite aspect of her involvement with JJ&C is knowing that the music impacts people. JJ&C has had such an impact on music-lovers in Juneau that the organization has received national recognition. They will be accepting a national award on May 22 from Chamber Music America for all they have done for the local music community.
The Alaskan Brewing Company will celebrate the festival with a beer that they have brewed especially for the festival. Heritage Coffee Company will also be selling a special blend of coffee that will be available for sale at both downtown locations.
The festival kicks off Friday, May 15 and runs with daily events until May 24.
This year's featured musicians include Kal David & The Real Deal featuring Lauri Bono, Gilles Apap, the Manhattan Brass Quintet, the Anat Cohen Quartet, Pearl Django, Puttin' On The Ritz, the subdudes, Bruce Adolphe, Evan Drachman, Miwa Gofuku, Harumi Rhodes, Paul Rosenthal, Linda Rosenthal and Marija Stroke.
Free events are noted in the schedule and tickets to ticketed events are available at jazzandclassics.org, Hearthside Books, the JJ&C office at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center, or by phone at 463-3378.
Look for the rest of the schedule in next week's CCW.
Kal David & The Real Deal Featuring Lauri Bono will perform at 8 p.m. on May 15 at Centennial Hall. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for student and seniors. They will also perform on two Blues Cruises at 5 and 9 p.m on May 16, departing from Statter Harbor, Auke Bay. Tickets are $60.
Kal David grew up in Chicago in the 1960s, absorbing the rich, gritty sounds of the town's traditional blues, old-school soul and rock 'n' roll. From his beginnings as Kal David and the Excep-tions, David went on the establish himself as lead guitarist for Etta James, Johnny Rivers and John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers.
Anat Cohen is the festival's 2009 jazz artist in residence.
Cohen has established herself as one of the most versatile young multi-reedists in Manhattan, blending jazz, Brazilian choro, Afro-Cuban styles, Argentinean tango and classical music. Hailed as "#1 Rising Star Clarinetist" in Down Beat magazine's 2007 Critics Poll, Cohen leads a quartet of engaging young performers including pianist Jason Lindner, bassist Omer Avital and drummer Daniel Freedman.
Cohen's quartet will be four of several musicians leading a workshop for jazz, brass, violin, viola, cello and piano. The Manhattan Brass Quintet, Marija Stroke, Harumi Rhodes and Evan Drachman will also be instructing. The workshop will be held from 7-9 p.m. on May 19 at the University of Alaska Southeast. Tickets are $20 for participants and $10 for auditors. Musicians of all ages and levels are welcome to participate.
Gilles Apap will perform at 7:30 p.m. on May 17 at Northern Light United Church. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students and seniors.
Apap will lead a free workshop for stringed instrument players of all levels, ages and musical genres from 2-3 p.m. on May 17 at the Northern Light United Church Fellowship Hall.
Algerian-born French violinist Gilles Apap moves effortlessly from classical to folk to jazz to bluegrass. A protege of the violinist Yehudi Menuhin, Gilles travels the world as a classical violinist and is also deeply immersed in nonclassical traditions including Irish music, old-time fiddling, bluegrass and Indian music. He will be joined by pianist Miwa Gofuku in a classical program liberally seasoned with traditional music.
Brown Bag Concert Series
These noontime concerts feature JJ&C musicians in casual, entertaining and kid-friendly settings.
Concerts will be held at 12 p.m. May 19-21 at the State Office Building and at 12 p.m. on May 22 at the Nugget Mall.
Note: There will be no Brown Bag concert on Monday, May 18.