2015 FRANK MORGAN TAOS JAZZ FESTIVAL
The Festival kicked-off at the intimate, historic Taos Inn. A rapt audience packed the house to hear the Lorca Hart Trio, featuring Josh Nelson on piano and Edwin Livingston on bass. Lorca clearly got his gift for the drums from his father, famed jazzman Billy Hart. Lorca, a Taos native, now spends his career performing, recording and teaching in San Francisco and beyond.
Lorca Hart Trio
Sound of Redemption-
The Frank Morgan Story
7:00- 9:00 PM
Film at TCA
Taos Center for the Arts screened this award-winning documentary in advance of it's New York Premiere! The film is the story of Frank Morgan's life in and out of drugs and San Quentin… and the music that saved him.
"Frank Morgan's incredible saga of creative achievement in love and music, in jazz clubs and in prison, is life-affirming. Unfolding with sensitivity and style, and masterful studio mix, "Sound of Redemption: the Frank Morgan Story" joins the pantheon of the greatest jazz documentaries of all time."
– Tom Roche, music journalist, DJ and editor
"A brilliant film. A long overdue documentary about a jazz great, Frank Morgan filled with amazing footage of his time and place. ALso, a deeply contemporary look at the criminal justice system and its warehousing of the mentally ill, seriously depressed and often talented individuals, including some jazz greats. This film should be shown in schools, rehab programs, medical schools and prisons."
– Barbara Kolsun, Attorney at Law
Pianist George Cables played to a sold-out audience at the Harwood. The music, swinging and gorgeous, brought the crowd to their feet with roars of gratitude, proving to us that jazz has found it's audience in Taos! Accompanying him were his favorite sidemen, Essiet Okon Essiet on bass and Victor Lewis on drums.
Pianist George Cables, equally skilled as a leader and a sideman, helped to define modern mainstream jazz piano of the 1980s and '90s.
He was a longtime friend of Frank Morgan, and regularly collaboratied and performed with him in New York. One of Frank's finest and best loved recordings is the Cables composition, Lullabye.
MORE ABOUT GEORGE CABLES
"Being great within a tradition for a long time can lead to being overlooked, and the jazz pianist George Cables has some experience with that. Mr. Cables, Brooklyn-born, now 69, was a first-call jazz sideman in the ’70s and ’80s, with groups led by Art Blakey, Woody Shaw, Joe Henderson and Art Pepper, among others (he made a memorable live record at the Village Vanguard as Pepper’s pianist in 1977); he’s long been a presence, though not often a high-visibility one. This year he made a deeply beautiful record as a leader, “Icons and Influences” (HighNote), which recognizes some old masters and some old friends, including Mulgrew Miller and Cedar Walton, who both died last year. But it also makes a case for Mr. Cables himself as a significant leader and arranger of the jazz trio. Time to focus on him. "
– Ben Ratliff, New York Times
August 15, 2014
Grace Kelly Quintet
Taos Mesa Brewing Company
Grace Kelly closed out the Festival with an incredible show at Taos Mesa Brewing Company. Her command of the horn is nothing short of astonishing. Accompanied onstage by Pete McCann on guitar, Julia Pedersonon on bass and Ross Pederson on drums, the group was at turns subtle and lush, powerfully swinging, and grooving with funky energy. Soaking up every note was a sold-out, standing-room-only crowd of true jazz enthusiasts. The audience was entralled… even the bar fell silent!
Grace Kelly's story is a great one: at the age of 14, Frank Morgan began mentoring her alto saxophone career. She's been on a star-track ever since, performing for the Obama Whithouse, touring the US and internationally with jazz greats such Lee Konitz and the late Phil Woods. We intend to have her back!
"Ms. Kelly is a phenomenon– not a precocious talent, but a complete improvising musician. With Konitz, one of the great individualists in jazz, she is a peer." – Doug Ramsey, Rifftides