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Expanded Jazz Fest Coming To White Plains In September

Saxophonist Ray Blue will perform during Jazz Fest in White Plains in September.
Saxophonist Ray Blue will perform during Jazz Fest in White Plains in September. Photo Credit:

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. –  Jazz Fest, a collaboration between ArtsWestchester, the City of White Plains, and the White Plains Business Improvement District, will feature free and affordable performances in White Plains from Sept. 2-7.

Now in its third year, Jazz Fest has expanded from three days of performances to a six-day festival that includes Latin, smooth, classic and contemporary styles of jazz.

ArtsWestchester will be a significant contributor to this year’s festivities, hosting two events in The Arts Exchange, its historic landmark building on Mamaroneck Avenue, and co-hosting a third event with the White Plains Performing Arts Center.

Here are some events at Jazz Fest: At the Arts Exchange Sept. 4 & 5: Alysa Haas, a classically trained vocalist who has performed on stage and screen, will bring her jazz/cabaret show to the organization’s Peckham Gallery on Thursday, Sept.4, followed by The Gerry Malkin Jazz Collective the next day, on Friday, Sept. 5. A tenor sax-led six-piece of acclaimed Westchester jazz musicians, the band, comprised of some of the finest jazz performers of our day, will be joined by special guest artist/trumpeter Scott Wendholt. Tickets for each event will be $20. At the White Plains Performing Arts Center (WPPAC) Sept. 6: The music of Miles Davis will be the focus of an event that will be presented by ArtsWestchester and White Plains Performing Arts Center.  The Blue in Green Project: A Tribute to Miles Davis will be a convergence of great talents, featuring music by one of jazz’s greatest performers, whose ground breaking sounds and styles played a major role in the evolution of the art form. Performances by guitarist Wali Ali, pianist Bob Baldwin, saxophonist Ray Blue, bassist Harvie S, trumpeter Antoine Drye and drummer Tony Jefferson will be an exciting addition to the festival. Admission will be $25.   Those interested in catching all three ArtsWestchester and WPPAC performances can consider purchasing a “Jazz Pass.” New this year, the “Jazz Pass” will grant the holder access to all three ticketed Jazz Fest events at a discounted rate. The pass is limited to the first 50 purchasers.   JazzFest 2014 will kick off with an opening reception at Elements Restaurant & Bar, where a $10 cover charge will include food and a night of Latin jazz with accomplished pianist Gilberto ‘Pulpo’ Colon and his trio.

Additional events will include a jazz poetry slam at the White Plains Public Library, where the audience will enjoy the mellow, poetic stylings of The Duende Project, featuring veteran poet Tony Brown and the ever-brilliant bassist Faro, and many others throughout the week.

The massive celebration will go out with a bang, culminating in the White Plains Jazz and Food Festival on Sept. 7, a block-long party which will welcome Lynette Washington & Dennis Bell Jazz NY, Mark Morganelli Jazz Forum Brazil Project with Monika Oliveira and Eddie Monteiro, two-time Grammy nominee percussionist and bandleader Bobby Sanabria (performing this year with his nonet Ascensión) and more. Besides a wide menu of musical offerings, local eateries will offer a variety of culinary delights to purchase, complementing the music throughout the day.   The full Jazz Fest 2014 list of events is on the ArtsWestchester website.

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