The 2017–2018 Art of Jazz Series will present the first area headlining concert by pianist Billy Childs, fresh off his win for Best Jazz Instrumental Album at the 2018 Grammy Awards, with his quartet at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery on Sunday, March 18, at 3 pm. Series associate producer Tony Zambito will host a pre-concert discussion, “Art of the Arranger,” at 2 pm. Tickets are $29 and $24 for Albright-Knox Members and can be purchased at the Albright-Knox Admissions Desk or online at https://www.albrightknox.org/artofjazz. Early ticket purchases are highly recommended as Art of Jazz concerts frequently sell out well in advance of the concert date.
As a five-time Grammy Award–winner (and sixteen-time nominee), Los Angeles native Billy Childs has established himself as perhaps the most distinctly American composer since Aaron Copland. After launching his jazz career playing with the likes of Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson, Childs created a parallel career as an in-demand classical composer and arranger, collaborating with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Lang Lang, and the Kronos Quartet while also performing with artists ranging from Yo-Yo Ma and Renée Fleming to Chris Botti, Sting, and Wynton Marsalis.
His recent Grammy-winning release Rebirth (Mack Avenue), also nominated in the Best Improvised Jazz Solo category, marks his long-anticipated (and much welcomed) return to scintillating hard-bop: “ultra-sophisticated, gracefully crafted jazz, but full of dynamism” (The Guardian). Appearing with Childs will be rising saxophone star Dayna Stephens, bassist Hans Glawischnig, and drummer Ari Hoenig. Each is a prominent jazz artist in their own rights, having appeared internationally with major jazz artists across the globe.
For more information on the Grammy-winning jazz artist, visit billychilds.com.
For more insight into this project, what follows is Billy Childs talking about the making of Rebirth:
Here is the title track from the Grammy-winning project, Rebirth, and beautiful it is:
If you are not familiar with Dayna Stephens, he is a noted Downbeat Rising Star saxophonist with impressive stylistic phrasing. Here he is performing with Billy Childs as part of his own quintet – and on his own composition, Weezy:
Now entering its eighteenth season as the most successful music series of its kind in Western New York history, the Art of Jazz has established the Albright-Knox Auditorium as one of the premier venues to experience live jazz in North America. This season also marks the return of founding producer Bruce Eaton, who helmed the series from 1999 to 2014. The 2017–2018 series will conclude with the Melissa Aldana Quartet on April 21, 2018.
(You are strongly encouraged to get your tickets well in advance for both Billy Childs and Melissa Aldana.)
Art of Jazz is produced by Bruce Eaton in association with Tony Zambito and organized by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. It is supported by Hunt Real Estate.