High Point, N.C. — Multi-instrumentalist and contemporary saxophone giant Gerald Albright will make his second appearance at the John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival, performing with guitar and vocal sensation Jonathan Butler on Saturday, September 2.
Albright appeared as part of the Summer Horns with Dave Koz, Mindi Abair and Richard Elliot for the 3rd annual festival in 2013. He has had numerous albums nominated for Grammy Awards in the categories of “Best Contemporary Jazz” and “Best “Pop Instrumental.” Albright’s 2014 album release, SLAM DUNK continued his reign as the genre’s most compelling and consistent artist. It, too, received a Grammy nomination in the Best Contemporary Instrumental Album category for that year.
Guitarist, singer/songwriter Jonathan Butler was born in Cape Town, South Africa. He recorded his first album in 1973 when he was 12 years-old. It won the Best New Artist Grammy in South Africa the following year. He achieved international recognition when he released his first, self-titled album. The follow-up album “More Than Friends,” contained the Grammy-nominated song “Lies” and the R&B hit “Sarah, Sarah.” He was also nominated for best contemporary jazz song for “Going Home.” His genre-busting material earned songwriter’s awards and received abundant airplay in multiple radio formats: pop, urban, contemporary jazz, adult contemporary and gospel.
Ten-time Grammy Award winner, Eddie Palmieri, bandleader, arranger and composer of salsa and Latin jazz will be the performer on the Saturday show. The octogenarian received the Jazz Master Award by the National Endowment of the Arts in 2013. The NEA Jazz Master award is the highest honor an American Jazz artist can receive. Palmieri’s latest CD, “Sabiduria” was just released in April.
Robert Randolph and the Family Band are also part of the Saturday lineup. One of the top names on today’s Blues scene, the renowned pedal steel guitarist never heard any secular music until he was well past his teens. Randolph is known for giving high energy, static charged live performances. Their debut album on the Sony Masterworks label, Got Soul, was released in February and catapulted up the Blues chart.
Pianist, singer and songwriter Matthew Whitaker will make a special guest appearance. The 15-year-old musician has been compared to Stevie Wonder, more for his technical and vocal capabilities than the fact that, like Wonder, he is blind. Many will recognize the musical prodigy from his television appearances. He won Showtime at the Apollo and performed on the Apollo Holiday Special. “Outta The Box” is his debut C.D. released earlier this year.
The John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival will be held September 2-3, at Oak Hollow Festival Park, High Point. The festival is sponsored by the Hayden-Harman Foundation in memory of Phoebe Norville Harman.
The yearly celebration of jazz and blues music honors Coltrane, a High Point, NC native son, who graduated from William Penn High School, which is now Penn Griffin School of the Arts. The two-day festival that happens over Labor Day weekend, is becoming a destination event for festival goers. Ticket information and festival details are available www.coltranejazzfest.com.