Look Who Is Part of The International Jazz Day 2024 All-Star Global Concert

Ambrose Akinmusire

Internationally renowned Blue Note recording artist Ambrose Akinmusire is one of the top trumpeters on the scene today. Winner of the 2007 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Trumpet Competition, he has proved himself one of the most vital and deft musicians of his generation. Akinmusire was named 2012 Trumpet Player of the Year by the DownBeat Critics Poll and the Jazz Journalists Association, and received Germany’s ECHO Award as Instrumentalist of the Year. His 2011 release, When the Heart Emerges Glistening, topped critics’ lists at The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Allmusic.com, and earned him the Grand Prix from France’s l’Academie du Jazz. Akinmusire has performed at Carnegie Hall and other major venues, and at international jazz festivals including Barcelona, Copenhagen, Monterey, North Sea and Umbria. Besides being a cutting edge performer and prolific composer, Akinmusire is a dedicated educator who serves presents jazz workshops around the globe. His latest recording on Blue Note is On the Tender Spot of Every Calloused Moment.

John Beasley (Musical Director)

Pianist, composer and musical director John Beasley takes pride in being a musical chameleon and has an amazing track record to show for his versatility. His varied list of collaborators includes Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Steely Dan, Barbra Streisand, Queen Latifah, Chaka Khan and James Brown. Beasley has performed on film scores for Erin Brokovich, Finding Nemo and The Godfather III and composed for hit television series like “Cheers,” “Fame” and “Star Trek: Next Generation.” Beasley leads MONK’estra, a 15-piece band that celebrates Thelonious Monk’s classic compositions with a contemporary twist incorporating Afro-Cuban rhythms, modern jazz, hip-hop and traditional big band instrumentation. His 2020 release, MONK’estra Plays John Beasley, yielded Beasley a GRAMMY Award for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella.

Dee Dee Bridgewater

Dee Dee Bridgewater’s exuberance, creativity, undeniable confidence and joyous spirit have earned her a place as one of the premier vocalists in jazz. Bridgewater began her career touring the Soviet Union with the University of Illinois Big Band. She later spent two years as lead vocalist for the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, followed by two years as Glinda the Good Witch in the Broadway production of “The Wiz,” for which she received a Tony Award. Her subsequent portrayal of Billie Holiday in “Lady Day” won her a Laurence Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress. In 1984, Bridgewater made a dream come true when she received Horace Silver’s blessing to record an album of his music with vocals. The resulting Peace and Love brought her worldwide attention. Her Dear Ella recording is a loving tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. Bridgewater won her third GRAMMY for Eleanora Fagan (1917-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee.

Shemekia Copeland

Shemekia Copeland is an award-winning vocalist who has grown to become one of the most talented and passionately candid artists on today’s roots music scene, with a recording career that began in 1998 at age 18. Born in Harlem, Copeland gave her first public performance at age 10 and has since performed thousands of gigs at clubs, festivals and concert halls all over the world, including the White House. She has appeared in films, on national television and on National Public Radio. Copeland has performed with Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Keith Richards, Carlos Santana, Dr. John, James Cotton and many others. She opened for The Rolling Stones and entertained U.S. troops in Iraq and Kuwait. Famed Chicago Tribune jazz critic Howard Reich called Copeland “the greatest female blues vocalist working today.” Her riveting new album, Uncivil War, builds on the musically and lyrically adventurous territory she’s been exploring for over a decade, blending blues, R&B and Americana into a sound that is now hers alone.

Kurt Elling

Kurt Elling combines his extraordinary vocal talents with his bandleading, composing and arranging to produce a sound that has been thrilling audiences for more than two decades. Elling developed his idiosyncratic scat style in the clubs of Chicago, sharing the stage with legends Von Freeman and Ed Peterson. He signed with Blue Note in 1995 and went on to release six Blue Note albums, all of which have been GRAMMY nominated and critically acclaimed. He won the 2010 GRAMMY Award for Best Vocal Jazz Album for his Concord release Dedicated to You. Elling was named top male vocalist in the DownBeat Critics Poll for 13 consecutive years. His most recent effort, The Questions, was released on OKeh/Sony in 2018 to critical acclaim.

Antonio Faraò

Antonio Faraò is a pianist of exceptional skill. Notes jazz icon Herbie Hancock, “I’m not often surprised by the recordings of musicians the way I was overwhelmed the first time I heard Antonio Faraò.” Born in Rome, Italy, Faraò began playing vibraphone at age six, later switching to piano and studying at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan. Known for mixing diverse influences in his music, he has collaborated with musicians including Gary Bartz, Lee Konitz, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Liebman and Benny Golson. Faraò currently performs and conducts workshops in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and beyond. His newest release, Eklektik, features Marcus Miller, Snoop Dogg and Manu Katché along with an array of Italian jazz luminaries.

James Genus

James Genus is one of the top bass players on the jazz scene and one of the rare few who can apply his masterful artistry to both the upright and the electric bass. Born in Hampton, Virginia, Genus began playing guitar at age 6 and switched to bass at age 13. His first professional experience was with the Blue Note band, Out of the Blue. Since then, Genus has performed and recorded with dozens of major jazz artists including Anita Baker, Chick Corea, Horace Silver, Branford Marsalis, Greg Osby and Vanessa Williams. Genus presents bass clinics around the world and is a longtime member of the Saturday Night Live Band. His playing can be heard on the GRAMMY Award-winning Daft Punk album Random Access Memories as well as feature films including 2021’s Respect. Genus performs regularly with Herbie Hancock as part of the iconic pianist’s touring band.

Herbie Hancock

Herbie Hancock is an internationally renowned pianist and composer who is one of the most innovative and influential musicians of our time. A true icon of modern music, he has shaped the direction of jazz, fusion, funk and hip-hop for more than six decades. From his recordings with the legendary Miles Davis Quintet to his solo jazz albums and pioneering music incorporating multiple genres, Hancock has always been on the cutting edge. He has earned 14 GRAMMY Awards including Album of the Year for River: The Joni Letters, and an Academy Award for his score for the film Round Midnight. A Kennedy Center honoree, Hancock serves as Creative Director for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue. He is the Chairman of the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz and a Distinguished Professor at the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA, where he inspires the creativity of the next generation of jazz artists.

Troy Roberts

Hailing from the remote location of Perth, West Australia, award winning saxophonist and composer Troy Roberts is currently based in the USA. Graduating with a Bachelor of Music at the young age of 19, he went on to receive numerous awards including The Bob Wylie Jazz Scholarship, The James Morrison Jazz Scholarship, 3 consecutive DownBeat Jazz Soloist Awards, and 2 consecutive West Australian Music Industry Awards. He has toured Europe and the US extensively with Australian jazz multi-instrumentalist, James Morrison and his own group VOID, completed a Masters Degree at The University of Miami, and has shared stage with Aretha Franklin, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Orrin Evans, Slide Hampton, Nicholas Payton, Lew Soloff, Ari Hoenig, Bobby Sparks, Robby Ameen and Stephen Scott to name a few. Around the time of his 3rd release as a leader, The XenDen Suite (2008), Troy spent some time in L.A. as the only Australian semi-finalist in the 2008 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition and also received his first Grammy Nomination medal for his performance on Sammy Figueroa’s 2nd record, “The Magician”. More recently, Troy represented Australia sharing the stage in an international septet comprised of jazz greats Wayne Shorter, Richard Bona, Vinnie Colaiuta, Zakir Hussein, Tineke Postma and Tarek Yamani for Herbie Hancock’s launch of the first International Jazz Day celebration, at NYC’s UN General Assembly Hall. Having spent 4 years on faculty at The University of Miami and internationally releasing his 5th record as a leader, Nu-Jive 5 (2013), Troy is currently based in New York and continues to maintain a busy performance and recording schedule around the globe.

Terri Lyne Carrington

Terri Lyne Carrington is a three-time GRAMMY Award-winning drummer, producer and recording artist. Born in Medford, Massachusetts, Carrington received her first set of drums at age 3. At 10, she had her first major performance with trumpet legend Clark Terry and as a teenager, Carrington performed and recorded with Kenny Barron, Buster Williams, Stan Getz and James Moody. She later moved to Los Angeles to become the drummer for “The Arsenio Hall Show.” Throughout the ’90s, she performed with Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock, and played alongside Joni Mitchell and Stevie Wonder on Hancock’s GRAMMY Award-winning Gershwin’s World. Carrington teaches at the Berklee College of Music and serves as Artistic Director of the Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival. Her 2013 Concord release Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue was a much-anticipated homage to Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Max Roach that coincided with the 50th anniversary of their iconic 1963 Money Jungle album. Carrington made history with this album when she became the first woman to win a GRAMMY Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album. Her latest effort is a follow-up to her critically acclaimed 2011 album The Mosaic Project, titled The Mosaic Project: Love and Soul. Like its predecessor, the album presents Carrington leading a rotating cast of superb female instrumentalists and vocalists.

Joe Louis Walker

Joe Louis Walker is one of the most heralded blues artists of our time. A powerhouse guitar virtuoso, unique singer and prolific songwriter, he has toured extensively throughout his career, performed at the world’s most renowned music festivals, and earned a legion of dedicated fans. Walker was born in San Francisco and first picked up the guitar at age 8. By 16, he was a known quantity on the Bay Area music scene and his work was heavily influenced by vocalists like James Brown, Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding. Walker attended San Francisco State University, where he received a degree in music and English. He has performed or recorded with the likes of Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Shemekia Copeland, Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix, John Lee Hooker, BB King, Huey Lewis, Taj Mahal, Branford Marsalis, John Mayall, Thelonious Monk, Bonnie Raitt, Ike Turner and Muddy Waters. Walker is a multiple GRAMMY and W.C. Handy Award winner whose discography includes 18 solo albums, two live DVDs, and countless compilations and guest appearances. Still recording and touring, Walker is already being referred to within the blues world as a living legend. His latest release, Hellfire, highlights Walker’s searing blues guitar, passionate vocals and wailing harmonica playing.

Tarek Yamani

Beirut-born Tarek Yamani is a Lebanese-American, New York-based pianist, composer and educator who taught himself jazz at age 19. Recipient of the grand prize at the 2010 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Composers Competition, among other honors, Yamani has performed in venues around the world including the Smithsonian Institution, National Sawdust, Lincoln Center, Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin, and the United Nations General Assembly Hall. Yamani dedicates his artistry to exploring the relationships between African-American jazz and classical Arabic music, most evident in his second album Lisan Al Tarab: Jazz Conceptions in Classical Arabic and in his latest release, Peninsular, which fuses jazz with quarter-tones and rhythms of the Arabian Peninsula. Yamani’s work combining, adapting and transforming jazz and Khaleeji musics has been dubbed “trailblazing” by CNN, with TSF Jazz describing his output as “a world-jazz heard nowhere else.”