CJE announce the 10th American Heritage Jazz Series

The Chicago Jazz Ensemble (CJE) and Artistic Director Jon Faddis proudly announce the 10th American Heritage Jazz Series, which features four concerts at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance and one concert at Symphony Center as part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Echoes of Nations: Dvořák Festival. Pre-concert discussions with Faddis and guest artists will continue to be a part of the series. In addition to these concerts, members of the CJE will perform at various clinics and special events at Columbia College Chicago.

"To celebrate 10 years of the American Heritage Jazz Series is a marvelous experience, " said Richard Dunscomb, The CJE's Executive Director. "We have presented some of the world's greatest musicians and performed outstanding music during this past decade. With a stellar band and Jon Faddis as Artistic Director since 2004, The CJE continues to grow in musicianship and garner recognition around the world."

The Harris Theater concerts feature Patti Austin and The Chicago Jazz Ensemble: Avant Gershwin on Friday, November 24, 2008; Paquito D'Rivera and The Chicago Jazz Ensemble: Commemorating Goodman, Celebrating Swing, Friday, December 12, 2008; The Great American Songbook featuring The Chicago Jazz Ensemble's Bobbi Wilsyn, Friday, February 20, 2009; and a concert on Friday, March 20, 2009, with a special guest to be announced at a later date. All concerts are at 8 pm, with the pre-concert conversation beginning at 7:30 pm.

On June 5, 2009, at 8 pm, the CJE takes the stage at Symphony Center for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Echoes of Nations: Dvořák Festival in a performance of Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington: "Black, Brown and Beige" and "The New Orleans Suite."

"We are humbled and honored to present the 10th season of the American Heritage Jazz Series and to continue to provide the repertory treasures that Chicago has come to expect and undoubtedly loves, " said Faddis. "Audiences are in for some unforgettable evenings. Patti can really make a lyric come to life; Paquito makes music shine with his classical, jazz and Caribbean-infused style; and Bobbi really swings. These extremely creative musicians were born to entertain and we are pleased to share the stage with them."

With nine Grammy nominations in the Best Jazz Vocal album category, Patti Austin took home the coveted award this year for her celebrated CD, Avant Gershwin. Singing Lady Be Good, Swanee, Who Cares, Funny Face and others, she offers a delectable tribute to the Gershwin legacy. Other recent albums include Intimate Patti Austin and Love Collection: Collector's Series. On June 21, 2008, she released a single, The Grace of God, a highlight of the AARP Songs of Soul and Inspiration Event, which features Ms. Austin, Yolanda Adams, Shirley Caesar, Chaka Khan, Queen Latifah and others. She makes a stop in Chicagoland amid a full schedule that includes concerts in the U.S., the Caribbean and Europe.

Grammy award-winning NEA Jazz Master and woodwind virtuoso Paquito D'Rivera first met Faddis when they were sitting in with Dizzy Gillespie in the 80s. Since then, they have become fast friends and occasional collaborators. Born on the island of Cuba, Paquito began his career as a child prodigy. As a founding member of the Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna, he directed that group for two years, while at the same time playing both the clarinet and saxophone with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, he was a founding member and co-director of the innovative musical ensemble Irakere, which played an explosive award-winning mixture of jazz, rock, classical and traditional Cuban music and won several Grammy nominations and a Grammy (1979). Today, D'Rivera holds nine Grammys, most recently for Funk Tango, the first release on his own label, Paquito Records.

Join The Chicago Jazz Ensemble and its vocalist Bobbi Wilsyn for an evening of American classics. The concert will feature the music of Leonard Bernstein, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern and others. Drawing on classic charts from The CJE's library as well as from Faddis' own collection, the evening is sure to present some of everyone's favorite compositions from America's masters. Although she is originally from Los Angeles, Bobbi has found Chicago to be her "kind of town." As Artist-in-Residence and the Voice Studies Coordinator at Columbia College Chicago, she shares her professional expertise as a jazz singer, recording artist, and actress with her students. In addition to performing with The CJE, she performs and records in concert and nightspots with some of Chicago's foremost jazz artists, including Ramsey Lewis, Orbert Davis and Kurt Elling. Her musical theater performances include Beehive, Sophisticated Ladies and It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues. She has a self-produced CD, entitled It's About Time, recorded with her group, Bobbi Wilsyn & Co. She also has made her mark on the music scene as leader of the all-female jazz combo, SHE.

Celebrating composers that capture a distinct national voice, the Echoes of Nations: Dvořák Festival presents an evening of music by Duke Ellington, one of the first American musicians to embody Dvořák's artistic ideal of America creating its own music that evolves from the many voices and cultural influences in this country. One of Ellington's most ambitious works, "Black, Brown and Beige, " premiered in 1943 at Carnegie Hall, with Ellington introducing it "as a parallel to the story of the American Negro." Faddis describes it as "probably Ellington's most important work." Ellington composed "The New Orleans Suite" as an homage to Big Easy musicians, including trumpeter Louis Armstrong, saxophonist Sydney Bechet, bassist Wellman Braud, and vocalist Mahalia Jackson. The characteristic polyphonic rhythms of New Orleans resonate throughout the Suite, along with Ellington's sophisticated harmonies.

The Harris Theater for Music and Dance is located at 205 East Randolph on the southeast corner of Chicago's Millennium Park. Tickets for this series are $15 - $45, with a 10% discount to senior citizens and students and a 20% discount to groups of 10 or more. Tickets can be purchased at (312) 344-6600, (312) 334-7777 or Symphony Center is located at 220 South Michigan Avenue. For tickets and more information on The CJE's concert at Symphony Center, visit or call (312) 294-3000. Log on to for more information on the 10th American Heritage Jazz Series or call (312) 344-6270.

The Chicago Jazz EnsembleTM is: JON FADDIS, Artistic Director & trumpet; alto saxophones, DAN NICHOLSON and JARRARD HARRIS; tenor saxophones, PAT MALLINGER and ROB DENTY; baritone saxophone, BRIAN SJOERDINGA; trombones, AUDREY MORRISON, TIM COFFMAN, TRACY KIRK, and ANDY BAKER, bass trombone, JOHN BLANE; trumpets, MARK OLEN, LARRY BOWEN, SCOTT HALL, ART HOYLE and PHAREZ WHITTED; piano, PETER SAXE; guitar, FRANK DAWSON; bass, DAN ANDERSON; drums, DANA HALL; vocals, BOBBI WILSYN.

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