Winter Park Jazz Festival swings into town
WINTER PARK – The 29th Annual Winter Park Jazz Festival in Hideaway Park features live music from local, regional and national acts.This year’s lineup includes the O’Jays, Arturo Sandoval, Dave Koz, Will Downing and Najee, to name a few. The schedule:Saturday, July 23• O’Jays: The faces in this legendary band may have changed, but the smooth, soul sounds stay strong to this group’s roots, which date back to the 1960s. The O’Jays originally formed in Canton, Ohio, where all five original members attended high school together. Today, the trio of the O’Jays is known for its classic soul songs.• Najee: A native New Yorker and a revolutionary of urban contemporary jazz, Najee began his career playing clarinet, saxophone and flute in his hometown of Queens, N.Y. Najee’s Grammy nominated, platinum selling debutalbum, “Najee’s Theme,” was followed by “Day By Day” which also achieved platinum status. “Tokyo Blue,” “Just anIllusion” and “Share My World” all attained gold status.• Alex Bugnon with special guest Nelson Rangell: Alex Bugnon, a two-time Soul Train Music Award winner, is a jazzpianist and composer from Switzerland. He studied at the Paris Conservatory and the Mozart Academy in Salzburg andstarted recording in 1989. His debut album, “Love Season” and his follow-up “Head Over Heels” reached the pop chartsand the R&B Top 40.Joining Bugnon onstage in Winter Park is Nelson Rangell, a Denver-based saxophonist who emerged in the late 1980s. Critics say Rangell is one of the most exciting and diverse contemporary jazz performers. He plays soprano, alto and tenor sax, as well as flute and piccolo.• Dotsero: This band is named after a small mountain town in Colorado that means “something unique,” according to Ute Indian legend. Specializing in smooth jazz, this band is noted for being as fun to watch as it is to listen to with its exciting brand of music.• After Party at Winter Park Resort: Winter Park Resort, Becky Taylor and Jazz at Jacks presents the “Official WPJFAfter Party,” featuring Hot Lunch Band at West Portal Station at Winter Park Resort. The party starts at 7 p.m. and goes until 1 a.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.). Sunday, July 24:• Dave Koz: Saxophonist Dave Koz’s career spans 20 years and a dozen albums. Koz, a six-time Grammy nominee, has established himself as one of the most prominent figures in contemporary music. His latest album, “Hello Tomorrow,” is produced by Grammy winners John Burk and Marcus Miller.• Will Downing: According to his website, “women love Will Downing, and men love the women who love him.” Will Downing’s recording career spans two decades, during which the Brooklyn native has secured his place as one of the leaders in romantic, soulful music.• Arturo Sandoval: Sandoval is a protg of the legendary jazz master, Dizzy Gillespie, who was the first musician to bring Latin influences into American jazz. Sandoval was born in Cuba, but now calls Miami home. He is renowned at playing jazz trumpet and flugelhorn, and is a classical artist, pianist and composer.• Hot 8 Brass Band: The members of this group were all born and raised in New Orleans and focus on traditional New Orleans brass band music. Hurricane Katrina put Hot 8 on the national map when they were featured on national TV and in Spike Lee’s Katrina documentary.
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Editor’s note: The following letter to the community was submitted to the Sky-Hi News by Winter Park Mayor Nick Kutrumbos.