NEW YORK – It’s not often you can listen to a musician who has played for such legends as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, Quincy Jones, and Bobby McFerrin.
So, New Yorkers are readying for a rare treat over the next few days as Jamaican jazz pianist, Monty Alexander, displays his mastery at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
The legendary Monty Alexander (center) pictured with BET’s Paxton Baker (left) and Barbadian steel pan player Adrian Clarke at an event in New York City. Photo Credit: Margot Jordan.
The jazz great, who began nightly performances on Tuesday, will continue to dazzle New Yorkers as he blends jazz with the Afro-Caribbean rhythms culled from his native island of Jamaica, through Sunday July 25 with performances at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
“When one thinks of Jamaican music, automatically reggae comes to mind. Jamaica has produced many leaders in diverse fields such as food, culture and entertainment, and music continues to be a field where our country excels. We are proud of Monty Alexander’s place in the category of world-class jazz pianists, and we are proud to share this aspect of our culture with the world,” said John Lynch, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism.
The Kingston-native Alexander has been considered one of the greatest jazz pianists in history, and performed with legends such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Bill Cosby, Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, Quincy Jones, Ernest Ranglin, Barbara Hendricks, Bobby McFerrin, Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare and on the “Concrete Jungle, The Music of Bob Marley collection.” His latest release on Chesky Records is “Calypso Blues”, a tribute to his hero Nat King Cole.
His Lincoln Center appearance comes on the heels of performances in Aspen, the UK and France, where he performed at several festivals, including Jazz à Juan-les-Pins, Jazz à Vienne, the Wigan Jazz Festival and Jazz Aspen.
Alexander says he plans on bringing “uplifting and positive Jamaican rhythms and vibrations” to Jazz at Lincoln Center. He hopes that all Jazz fans and West Indians will come and enjoy his sounds and the atmosphere at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola.
Tickets for Monty Alexander’s Jazz at Lincoln Center shows are affordably priced at $30 and $35 and $15 for students with valid identification.
Bevan Springer, a New York Amsterdam News columnist who writes frequently on travel and tourism issues, is the President of the New Jersey-headquartered Marketplace Excellence, Inc. – a full service, integrated marketing agency committed to excellence in the fields of public relations, marketing and media coaching. He also produces the Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism – CMEx.