|Giacomo Gates and Ed Howard photo by Ralph A. Miriello 2013|
In Novemeber 2011, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
officially designated April 30th as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role in uniting people in all corners of the globe.
Jazz has a long history of successfully bridging the gap between various cultural and ideological differences. The United States, through its State Department, has sponsored jazz artists to tour foreign countries as good will ambassadors. The music has been an invaluable vehicle for sending positive images of our national intentions to other countries. Jazz artist like Dave Brubeck, Dizzy Gillespie and most famously Louis Armstrong have all been instrumental in improving relations with other countries through the positive vibes offered through the performances of their music abroad. The artists sent strong messages of peace, friendship and goodwill through the all the powerful medium of their music. Jazz has proven to be an international language that accepts no political or geographic boundaries. This year in Osaka, Japan a stellar line-up of top jazz musicians will celebrate this special day with an All Star Global Concert from the Osaka Castle Park in Japan.
In keeping with this celebratory and spiritual undertaking of uniting people around the globe through jazz, I have been working with the creative and receptive people at the Stamford Center of the Arts to introduce a regular jazz series to the Palace Theatre in Stamford. The people at SCA have graciously received this notion as one that is keeping with their mission to provide artistic performances to the community. To that end and in celebration of International Jazz Day, the SCA will present an evening of jazz this Wednesday April 30, 2014 at 8pm at the Palace. The evening will feature the great jazz vocalist Giacomo Gates and his trio. Mr. Gates is a Connecticut native and longtime resident of Bridgeport. He is a frequent nominee in both the Jazz Journalist Association and Downbeat magazine annual awards for best male jazz vocalist.
Gates has a smoky baritone that resonates in the ears like a fine glass of single malt smoothly tantalizes the mouth. He is a master of the art of vocalese and scat and is a direct descendant of the great Eddie Jefferson, whom he credits as one of his influences. More than anything else Gates is a master storyteller who engages his audience with a nonchalant appeal. His delivery has a cool, hip cadence that somehow draws you into the story he is telling, and oh what stories! Gates repertoire is filled with nuggets that lay just outside the great American songbook. His most recent albums, both critically acclaimed, include the Revolution Will Be Jazz the Music of Gil Scott Heron and Milestones the Music of Miles Davis. Giacomo Gates, a cat who lies just outside the boundaries of what you might expect, and that, along with his wonderfully resonant voice, is what makes his performances unpredictable and so appealing. And the cat can swing, no lie.
I will be holding an impromptu Q & A session with Gates at intermission, so be sure to come and see a true jazz master and maybe ask him a question or two. Get into his head. It will be a trip for sure.Join us in celebration of great music on International Jazz Day, Jazz Appreciation Month and the return of real jazz to Stamford, CT at the Palace Theatre this Wednesday at 8pm. You can get your tickets by linking here.
Here is a sample of Gates recent music and if you want to read more about Giacomo Gates see my recent interview with him by linking here, See you at the Palace.