Over the past four years one of the most impressive aspects of the Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Festival has been the gathering of the Jazz All-Star musicians and artists performing throughout the weekend.
Over 20 of today’s jazz greats and rising-stars will gather for the Labor Day Weekend, September 2 – 4, to perform at the Annenberg Theater, Indian Canyons Golf Resort and Hard Rock Hotel.
Recently honored by the City of Los Angeles with a Living Jazz Legend Award,Sweet Baby J’ai brings a wealth of experience and focus to her role as the Festival’s Artistic Director. She is celebrated for her creative and daring programming. SBJ’s penchant for paring the world’s most visible jazz artists with top-notch female musicians from around the country for a multi-day festival makes for many delightful surprises and musical discoveries for audiences and performers alike.
“We have crafted a collection of extraordinary musicians merging jazz, blues and funk who will descend on Palm Springs over the Labor Day Weekend for a compelling musical tapestry,” said Sweet Baby J’ai.
Many of the all-stars have albums of their own as well an impressive list of artists that they have performed with both live and in-studio. Their lists includes John Legend, Eric Benet, Jackson Browne, Don Was, Christopher Cross, Jim Keltner, Kenny Barron, Lizz Wright, Tia Fuller, Terri Lyne Carrington, The Rippingtons, Nick Colionne, Chuck Loeb, Karen Briggs, Four80East, David Sanborn, Bob James, Stanley Clarke, Michael Sembello, Richard Perry, Chuck Berghofer, Tierney Sutton, Marilyn McCoo and Thelma Houston.
Joining headliners Dee Dee Bridgewater and Ann Hampton Callaway, here is a quick view of the artists who are the backbone of the 2016 Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Festival:
Sweet Baby J’ai: Vocals and musician. Few entertainers can command a stage like the indefatigable Sweet Baby J’ai. A creative force on the music scene for nearly three decades, she tours the world with her genre defying work, which both embraces and expands jazz tradition. Her latest album is Straight to the Place.
Sabine Pothier: Pianist-Composer. Widely respected as an award-winning classical pianist in the United States and Europe, and also respected greatly as a major jazz pianist from her work with Scotty Barnhart Quintet (Barnhart is also Director of Count Basie Orchestra) at the San Jose Jazz Festival, Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines and other venues.
Sherry Luchette: Bass. She has performed with Downbeat Award-winning Jazz Ensemble 1 Youngstown State for five years, the Youngstown Symphony for three years, Ernie Andrews, David Sanborn, Louie Bellson, David Baker, and Terry Gibbs. She has also played/studied with John Clayton, Tamir Hendelman and Joe Harnell.
Paula Atherton: Sax, vocals, recording artist and songwriter. Atherton is noted for a one-week gig at New York’s Blue Note with Hank Jones. Her most recent album is Ear Candy.
Mimi Jones: Double bass, vocals, educator, composer and Jazz Ambassador. This multitalented performer mixes fusion of traditional and contemporary jazz, eclectic soul, funk, and rock. Her recent release CD isFeet In The Mud.
Tina Raymond: Drummer. She has played in jazz festivals around the world, including Sweden’s Women in Jazz Festival and The Mary Lou Williams Festival, and is known for pushing musical boundaries by blending traditional jazz with African polyrhythms and classical percussion techniques.
Pam Trotter: Vocalist. Trotter is known for her performances in musicals such as Dream Girls and The Color Purple. She is also a songwriter/producer for the late Teena Marie.
Sunnie Paxson: Keyboards. A musical prodigy in her hometown of Philadelphia, she was selected as Los Angeles' Best Jazz Performers in Los Angeles Magazine and listed in Jazz Week as one of the Top 100 Artists for radio spins. Albums include Groove Suite and Bohemian Sun.
Karen Hammack: Piano, singer/songwriter, jazz composer. As Musical Director, Hammack has toured with Melissa Manchester and recorded with a slew of jazz and rock heavy hitters. She’s also an educator who has worked with trumpeter Bobby Rodriguez’s Jazz Adventure to introduce jazz to a new generation across Southern California.
Linda Taylor: Guitar. She has toured, recorded, and/or performed with Tracy Chapman, Maia Sharp, Terri Lyne Carrington, Christopher Cross, and Sheila E. Her two solo albums are Pulse and Sum Blues.
Sascha Dupont: Songwriter, piano/vocalist. Dupont has racked up more than 80 television appearances and four albums in her native Denmark. Her most recent release is Sascha D.
Cathy Segal-Garcia: Vocalist. For more than 40 years, Segal-Garcia has used her influence to build up and connect every aspect of the jazz scene in L.A. At the Divas Jazz Brunch, she’ll dip back to the 1950s for the jazz standards and torch songs performed by Julie London.
Lesa Terry: Violin. Terry has recorded with a wide range of artists including Dave Grusin, Lee Ritenour, Yolanda Adams, Aretha Franklin and Clark Terry. Her solo album is called A City Called Heaven.
Jane Getz: Piano. Getz has worked with a Who's Who of jazz during her eight years in New York, most notably with Charles Mingus, Stan Getz (unrelated), Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Charles Lloyd, and Pharoah Sanders (with whom she recorded for ESP).
Rosalia de Cuba: Vocalist. Afro-Cuban jazz and world music are de Cuba’s forte. She’ll bring her power vocals, reminiscent of Shirley Bassey and Celia Cruz to the music of Elena Burke for the brunch.
Chelsea Stevens: Bass. She recently graduated with a degree in Jazz Bass Performance from California State University, Long Beach, where she was part of both of the university’s Downbeat award-winning ensembles: vocal jazz group Pacific Standard Time, and the instrumental department's Concert Jazz Orchestra. You may recognize her from her work as a bassist on TV shows like Glee.
Gennine Jackson: Vocalist. Jackson plays clubs here in the Coachella Valley. She joins Saxtress Pamela Williams for the Cool Soul Jam at the Indian Canyon Golf Resort for the Saturday afternoon concert.
Maria Martinez: Drums. A Drumming diva, she was featured drummer on Sweet Baby J’ai’s album Introducing J’ai Michel.
Carol Chaikin: She attended the Berklee School Of Music and, starting in 1977, became artist-in-residence at the Aspen Music Festival for six years. She was a member of Maiden Voyage (1980-84) and has two solo albums.
These artists and more are part of the multi-day music festival featuring an all female line up taking place September 2-4, 2016.
The Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Festival is a non-profit 501c3 founded to promote women in jazz through education and events. Since 2013, the festival has hosted over 100 jazz musicians and performers, bringing a worldwide audience of jazz fans to Palm Springs. For Information on the Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Festival, go to www.palmsspringswomensjazzfestival.org or call 760.416.3545.