Jamaica Plain Musicians Performing in Jazz Along the Charles Concert on Sept. 23

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The Celebrity Series of Boston's Jazz Along the Charles: A Walkable Concert will feature
25 jazz ensembles on Sept. 23, and many of them have Jamaica Plain area ties.

The concert will be on Sunday, September 23rd along the DCR Charles River Esplanade with the 25 ensembles performing at a series of connected, walkable locations. The groups will interpret the same curated list of Boston-related tunes in one collective free concert. The groups will play two complete sets starting at 2 pm.

Having received close to 100 applications, a selection committee comprised of educators, administrators and performers from Boston’s thriving jazz scene chose 25 ensembles from wide-ranging styles including avant-garde, bebop, blues, Bossa Nova, chamber jazz, cool, free, funk, fusion, gypsy jazz, klezmer, Latin, New Orleans Swing, reggae, and world jazz, and with musical influences from Brazil, Panama, Africa and Cuba.

The ensembles with Jamaica Plain, Mission Hill and Roslindale connections include:

Choro JP is a new ensemble of musicians with an allegiance to the oral tradition of Brazilian choro as well as its aspects of erudite interpretation and arrangement and its permeability to other styles. Improvised counterpoint and joyful dance grooves are at the heart of this Brazilian popular music. Inhabiting the edges of composition and improvisation, Choro JP brings both traditional and original music to swinging and spontaneous life. The group has a substantial and varied professional history encompassing the traditional roots of the Brazilian members, their musicological studies, their performance studies in the US, and the diverse and illustrious cello career of Catherine Bent, the “wild card” in the choro genre.

The Amber Ensemble is an ensemble of five musicians from the Berklee Global Jazz Institute. They are mostly playing their own jazz compositions, as well as refined arrangements of popular standards. They recently won the Second Prize in the College Division at the Next Generation Monterey Jazz Competition 2018, and both of their soloists, Aidan Lombard (trumpet) and Farayi Malek (vocals) won an "Outstanding Soloist" award.

Eric Hofbauer, a solo jazz guitarist, has been an integral member of Boston’s jazz scene as a musician, bandleader, organizer and educator for the past 20 years. He has performed and recorded alongside such notable collaborators as Han Bennink, Roy Campbell, Jr., John Tchicai, Garrison Fewell, Cecil McBee, George Garzone, Sean Jones, John Fedchock, Steve Swell and Matt Wilson. Hofbauer, recently recognized in the 2017 DownBeat Critics’ Poll for Rising Star – Guitar, is perhaps best known for his solo guitar work featured in a trilogy of solo guitar recordings (American Vanity, American Fear and American Grace). “Eric Hofbauer has become a significant force in Boston’s improvised-music scene,” declares Stereophile’s David R. Adler. “His aesthetic evokes old blues, Americana, Tin Pan Alley, bebop, and further frontiers. There’s a rule-breaking spirit but also an impeccable rigor, a foundation of sheer chops and knowledge, that put Hofbauer in the top tier of guitarists."

Monica Pabelonio of the Monica Pabelonio Quartet, is originally from Chicago, and she is pursuing her Master's in Jazz Performance at New England Conservatory and studies with Dominique Eade and Frank Carlberg. She is one of the five finalists in the 2018 Ella Fitzgerald Vocal Jazz Competition and was one of the six finalists in the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival Voice Competition in 2017. She has won two DownBeat Student Music Awards in the Vocal Jazz Soloist Category. Monica has performed with artists such as Dianne Schurr, Peter Eldridge, Kate McGarry, and Deborah Brown. She has also performed at the Jazz at Lincoln Center as well as several festivals abroad including the Jazz N’ Creole Festival in Saint Josh Parish, Dominica and the Puerto Vallarta Jazz Festival in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Monica recently completed her Bachelor's degree in Jazz Studies from Western Michigan University and studied under Greg Jasperse and Duane Davis.

The Rebecca Cline Trio celebrates the rich heritage of American music, taking inspiration from the classic jazz piano trios of the U.S., and from the popular music of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Brazil. In addition to an ongoing residency at Central Square’s Thelonious Monkfish, the trio has performed at the Cambridge Riverfest (2017) and the Cambridge Jazz Festival (2016). Of Rebecca’s playing, Michael G. Nastos of AllMusic.com says, “You can’t wait to hear what she’ll do next, and you can listen to her forever and a day.”

The Unity Ensemble is a jazz fusion group, where they merge part of their culture with jazz. Some artists that have influenced us are Avishai Cohen, Terri L. Pat Metheny, Geri Allen, Joshua Redman and others. Their repertoire features original pieces of the group (some fused with rhythms of our country) as well as themes by Steve Coleman, Joanne Bracken and Stefan Harris.

OddSong features Jamaica Plain's Will Silvio. The JCA Sax quartet was founded in 1995 by composer Darrell Katz, director of the Jazz Composers Alliance as a compositional vehicle. Almost since its inception, the sax quartet included a fifth member, a vocalist. In recent years, it has often been expanded with the addition of a violin and a marimba, to become a separate group, OddSong. The JCA Sax Quartet has frequently performed at Jazz Composers Alliance Concerts in addition to the JCA Orchestra, and has played at First Night, Ryles, the Lilypad, IAJE (in New York) and at the Berklee performance center. One album "I'm Me and You're Not" has been released, and the sax quartet has tracks on several JCA Orchestra albums. The Sax Quartet arrangement of "Monk's Mood" on the JCA Orchestra disc (which was on Downbeat's best of 2015 list)"Why Do You Ride?" has been well reviewed. The Sax quartet can also be heard on the JCA Orchestra Album, "A Wallflower In The Amazon" and as part of the OddSong album, "Jailhouse Doc With Holes In Her Socks." Arrangements will be by Darrell Katz, sax quartet members, and possibly other composers of the Jazz Composers Alliance. There has been a variety of changes personnel changes over the years, but some of the members have been with this group for over 20 years.

“The response to our call for performers to be part of Jazz Along the Charles was more than we could have ever imagined and truly shows how talented and diverse the jazz community is in Greater Boston. This really made the task of the selection committee very challenging,” said Gary Dunning, Celebrity Series’ President and Executive Director. “The end result is that we will have 25 talented ensembles performing along the Charles River providing a unique shared experience for the city. This will be a true celebration of the depth and stature of the jazz community in Boston today.”

The full list of performers includes Amber Ensemble, Aska and Hot Club of Boston, Big Time Company, Charlie Kohlhase's Explorers Quintet, Choro JP, Cocek! Brass Band, Eric Hofbauer, Funkacademy, Hiro Honshuku & Yuka Kido’s Love To Brasil Project, Jason Palmer Quintet, OddSong, featuring vocalist Rebecca Shrimpton, John Kordalewski Trio, Kevin Harris Project, Krewe de ROUX, MIXCLA, Monica Pabelonio Quartet, Novick Nieske Duo, Paul White Music, Planet Pluto, Rebecca Cline Trio, Receita de Samba (Recipe of Samba,) Samuel Batista Quartet, The Unity Ensemble, Tim Ray Trio and Yoron Israel Connection.

The 25 ensembles will play the same set of contemporary and classic jazz compositions curated by celebrated Boston composer, bandleader and saxophonist Ken Field, with each ensemble approaching the presentation in their own unique style. The sets will close with each ensemble performing a selection from their own repertoire.

"In the spirit of improvisational jazz, I hope the participating ensembles will have fun creating (and audiences will be intrigued to hear) their diverse interpretations of these great compositions, all of which are connected to Boston by title, composer, or back-story,” said Field. “I have tried to include music that spans a broad range of musical styles and time periods, focusing on songs with interesting melodies or harmonies."

Jazz Along the Charles is sponsored by Leslie & Howard Appleby, Amy & Joshua Boger, the Stephanie L. Brown Foundation, Donna & Michael Egan, and the Barr Foundation through its ArtsAmplified initiative. This concert is produced in cooperation with the Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Esplanade Association.

For more information visit www.jazzalongthecharles.org.