Monty Alexander Continues 50th Year Celebration With South Florida Performance
The heat in South Florida will meet the cool sounds of legendary jazz great Monty Alexander later this month, as Jamaica’s Commander of Distinction continues the celebration of his 50th year in the music business.
Alexander, who recently wrapped up a New York performance at the Birdland Jazz Club, is set for the first annual Reggae Jazz Fusion show on Sunday 22 May 2011 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida.
The piano virtuoso will perform at the Special Sunday Night Concert that is being produced by Riddims Marketing. He will share the stage with Maxi Priest, A.J. Brown and Eugene Gray.
“Playing this concert in Miami is very special for me as this was the city where I first came from Jamaica and where I began as a professional, playing in many of the clubs there,” commented Alexander of the upcoming show. “It’s hard to believe that was in 1961, just 50 years ago. I look forward to May 22 when I and my brother musicians will stir up the good sounds to make it an uplifting evening for all.”
Eddy Edwards, producer of the show said Alexander has been welcomed to the line-up since, “We wanted to celebrate his accomplishments over 50 years and expose him to those in the South Florida Caribbean Diaspora who may not know his works.”
As for the show, Edwards added that he’s simply revisiting the real history of Jamaican music in this show and taking fans of both genres back to an era where ska or a fusion of jazz and reggae, was born.
For more on this event visit: www.JazzBluesFlorida.com. The performance comes on the heels of the release of ‘Uplift,’ a new album from Alexander and Jazz Legacy Productions that includes such pieces as “Come Fly With Me,” “Sweet Georgia Brown,” “Body and Soul” and “Home.”
The top musician will follow the South Florida performance with a return to New York from June 14th-19th at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Lincoln Center. Alexander and The Harlem Kingston Express will perform two shows there at 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. nightly.
Over his stellar career, the Kingston-born musician has performed with international stars including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, Quincy Jones, Ernest Ranglin, Barbara Hendricks, Bill Cosby, Bobby McFerrin, Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare.
Infact, it was Sinatra and his best friend Jilly Rizzo who hired Alexander after he moved to the United States in 1961 at the age of seventeen. And it was at Jilly’s famed New York City nightclub that this Jamaican teen caught the ears of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Milt “Bags” Jackson.
It was Bags who introduced him to the great bassist Ray Brown, and the rest as they say, is history, including Alexander’s 1976 Montreux (Switzerland) Jazz Festival performance with drummer Jeff Hamilton and bassist John Clayton, which has become one of the most celebrated live recordings in contemporary jazz.
His extraordinary contribution to jazz globally led to the Jamaican government awarding Alexander the title of Commander in the Order of Distinction for outstanding services to Jamaica as a worldwide music ambassador in 2000.