Saint Lucia Jazz 2019 in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center
A celebration of Saint Lucian, Caribbean and international jazz music, with events in all parts of the country – a mix of free and paying concerts, educational activities targeted at Saint Lucian and visiting musicians, culminating on Mothers’ Day, May 12, 2019.
Christian McBride’s Inside Straight
Six-time GRAMMY®-winning jazz bassist Christian McBride can be likened to a force of nature, fusing the fire and fury of a virtuoso with the depth and grounding of a seasoned journeyman. Powered by a relentless energy and a boundless love of swing, McBride’s path has described a continuous positive arc since his arrival on the scene. With a career now blazing into its third decade, the Philadelphia native has become one of the most requested, most recorded, and most respected figures in the music world today.
Raised in a city steeped in soul, McBride moved to New York in 1989 to pursue classical studies at the Juilliard School. There, he was promptly recruited to the road by saxophonist Bobby Watson. Call it a change in curriculum: a decade’s worth of study through hundreds of recording sessions and countless gigs with an ever-expanding circle of musicians.
In 2000, the lessons of the road came together in the formation of what would become his longest-running project, the Christian McBride Band.
He is also a respected educator and advocate, first noted in 1997 when he spoke on former President Bill Clinton’s town hall meeting “Racism in the Performing Arts.” He has since been named Artistic Director of the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Summer Sessions (2000), co-director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem (2005), and the Second Creative Chair for Jazz of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association (2005).
Veronica Swift and her Trio
At age 24, Veronica Swift is now being recognized around the US as one of the top young jazz singers on the scene.
In the fall of 2015, she won second place at the prestigious Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition. In 2016, she was asked to perform a concert of her own at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center in New York City and she was a guest artist with Michael Feinstein at Jazz at Lincoln Center with the Tedd Firth Big Band and Marilyn Maye and Freda Payne. Veronica’s first appearance at Jazz at Lincoln Center was at age 11 when she performed at the “Women in Jazz” series at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.
In the summer of 2016, she headlined at the Telluride Jazz Festival, her 10th appearance there – but her first as a headliner. She first appeared there at age 10 with Dave Adams’ Young Razzcals Jazz Project and the great saxophonist Richie Cole and later she sang a duet with the featured artist, Paquito d’Rivera. Then in April, 2017 she started her residency at the infamous Birdland Jazz Club in New York City. On into 2018, Veronica began touring with her trio (Emmet Cohen Trio) as well as Benny Green Trio, Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and Chris Botti appearing at Jazz Showcase, Monterey and Montreal Jazz festivals, two runs at Jazz at Lincoln Center: Shanghai, China, and Marians’ Jazz Showroom in Bern, Switzerland.
Veronica grew up on tour with her parents, renowned jazz pianist Hod O’Brien and celebrated jazz singer and educator/author Stephanie Nakasian. It was with them where she first appeared at The Jazz Standard, and Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. Veronica recorded two CDs as a child – one at age 9 with Richie Cole and her father’s rhythm section and her mother, and one at age 13 with saxophonist Harry Allen.
Her 2015 Album “Lonely Woman” features some of the hottest young jazz players on the scene including Emmet Cohen, Benny Bennack III, Daryl Johns (with whom she shared the Grammy Choir/Band experience), Matt Wigler, and Scott Lowrie.
In addition to performing the Great American Songbook and Bebop and Vocalese classics, Veronica is also a passionate devotee of 20s and 30s music and has sung with Vince Giordano, Terry Waldo, and Drew Nugent.
Veronica will be releasing her next album on Mac Avenue Records in early 2019, which will feature the great pianist Benny Green and his trio as well the Emmet Cohen Trio.