Clark County Parks and Recreation’s annual Jazz in the Park, now in its 28th year, “is a cultural institution in this town. A free event where we bring some of the biggest names in jazz here,” said County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani. “It’s a great opportunity to enjoy great music in our beautiful amphitheater. Just bring a blanket, some lawn chairs and something to eat and drink and enjoy the music and the company of your neighbors and fellow jazz enthusiasts.”
This year, the free series will feature:
· Lindsey Webster and Halsey Harkins and the Shapiro Project on May 13
· Cory Henry & the Funk Apostles and Home Cookin’ on May 20
· Joey Defrancesco and Las Vegas Academy Jazz Combo on May 27
· Eric Darius with The Lao Tizer Trio and Las Vegas Academy Jazz Combo on June 3
· Spyro Gyra and Extreme Measures on June 17
Seating for those with picnic baskets, blankets, and low-back chairs will begin at 5 p.m. with performances beginning as early as 6:30 p.m. at the Clark County Government Center Amphitheater, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway. Food and drinks will be available for purchase on site. Admission and parking are free.
Lindsey Webster is an American contemporary jazz singer-songwriter. Her song “Fool Me Once” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs chart in February and March 2016. The success of her second album, You Change, and achieving the only vocally driven song to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz chart for four weeks (beating out Sade’s previous record of three weeks) led her to release her third album, Back To Your Heart. This third release shows a real transition and beautiful growth for Webster as an artist. While humbled, her voice has been compared to R&B royalty Sade, Mariah Carey, and Anita Baker. Webster looks to bring fans her distinct style to Soul R&B and continue to make music that resonates with music lovers.
Born in Brooklyn, Cory Alexander Henry is an American jazz organist and pianist, gospel musician, and music producer. He began playing at just two years old and started his music career in 2006 by touring with various mainstream and gospel artists. Mainstream artists, including Bruce Springsteen, Michael McDonald, P. Diddy, Boyz II Men, Kenny Garrett and The Roots, and gospel artists, among them Israel Houghton, Donnie McClurkin, Kirk Franklin, and Yolanda Adams. He released his album First Steps in 2014, with his second album, a live recording, The Revival, being released two years later by GroundUp Music. The album charted on the Top Gospel Albums and Top Jazz Albums, where it peaked at No. 5 and 2, respectively. Henry is a multi-instrumentalist and producer with a catalog worthy of a man twice his age who also performs and records with the Brooklyn-based jazz ensemble Snarky Puppy. GRAMMY winner organist and pianist Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles bring their captivating and high octane musical blend of jazz, blues and funk to the stage.
American jazz organist, trumpeter, and vocalist Joey DeFrancesco is a GRAMMY-nominated artist who has released more than 30 albums, including recordings with Miles Davis and Jimmy Smith. DeFrancesco signed his first record deal at the age of 16 and has played internationally with musicians that include David Sanborn, Arturo Sandoval, Larry Coryell, Frank Wess, John McLaughlin, Benny Golson, James Moody, Steve Gadd, Danny Gatton, Elvin Jones, Jimmy Cobb, George Benson, Pat Martino, John Scofield, Joe Lovano, and recorded with musicians that included Ray Charles and Bette Midler. Born into a musical family that included three generations of jazz musicians, DeFrancesco’s music style has been referred to as a swinging Philly sound which he “embellishes with his own ferocity and improvisation.” He has received numerous accolades for his performances, including being called the best B3 player on the planet by JazzTimes. The New York Times has called DeFrancesco a “deeply authoritative musician, a master of rhythmic pocket, and of the custom of stomping bass lines beneath chords and riffs.”
Eric Darius is a contemporary jazz saxophonist and composer who likes to play by his own rules. Fearlessly pushing all musical boundaries, he is one of the most exciting musicians to enter the Contemporary Jazz scene in the last decade. His explosive arrival as a recording artist at the age of 17 caused a frenzy worldwide. Now, with six critically acclaimed albums under his belt, a No. 1hit single, and seven Top 10 radio hits on Nielsen’s R&R/Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts, international recording artist, Eric Darius’ star continues to rise straight to the top. Prophetically hailed Debut Artist of the Year by Smooth Jazz News in 2004, Darius has shared the stage with innumerable world renown, GRAMMY Award-winning artists, such as Prince, Jamie Foxx, Mary J. Blige, David Foster, Carlos Santana, Babyface, Wynton Marsalis and George Benson, just to name a few. His music innovatively crosses over all music boundaries from Jazz, R&B, and Hip-Hop to Pop, creating a very distinctive, fresh sound and approach that is uniquely his own.
Spyro Gyra shows no signs of slowing down. Over the last 40+ years, they have performed over five thousand shows, released 31 albums (not counting “Best Of…” compilations) selling more than 10 million albums while also achieving one platinum and two gold albums. Although few acts have accomplished this type of record, they have done it by constantly challenging themselves as is evidenced by their last studio release The Rhinebeck Sessions which was written and recorded over three days in the studio.
Local and regional performers will be showcased on this year’s series each date featuring the Shapiro Project and Las Vegas Academy Alumnus Halsey Harkins on May 13, funk legends Home Cookin’ join the fun May 20, Las Vegas Academy Jazz Combo supporting the May 27 and June 3 dates, and June 3 with the Lao Tizer Trio, followed by Extreme Measures on June 17.
Jazz In the Park Series is produced by Clark County Parks & Recreation and sponsored by Findlay Volkswagen.