Saturday Afternoon Jazz Port Townsend 2012 Concert Preview

The Saturday afternoon (1:30pm), Jazz Port Townsend show at McCurdy Pavilion is always a Festival highlight. For the July 28, 2012 concert, we will showcase the Benny Green Trio with special guest baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan; the debut of pianist/vocalist Dena DeRose with Matt Wilson and Martin Wind; and The Shadow of Your Smile: The Music of Johnny Mandel, with the composer conducting the Centrum Faculty All Star Big Band.

Benny Green, once a prodigy who was championed by Oscar Peterson, and now one of the world’s leading pianists and a regular performer at the Festival, performs music from his newest recording Source. He is joined by bassist Ben Wolfe, and drummer Rodney Green (no relation.) Baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan, named “Top Baritone Saxophonist” by the 2011 Downbeat Reader’s Poll, will be a featured guest performer.

Dina DeRose makes her Centrum debut as both a pianist and a singer. She is currently Director of the Jazz Vocal Program at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Graz, Austria, and, in addition to her own trio featuring bassist Martin Wind and drummer Matt Wilson, who join her for this program, has performed with Ray Brown and Clark Terry.

The final set of the afternoon will feature Johnny Mandel leading the Centrum Faculty All Star Big Band performing a program entitled The Shadow of Your Smile: The Music of Johnny Mandel, referencing the 1965 Academy Award-winning song by the composer from the film The Sandpiper. Among the other well-known songs of Mandel include “Emily” from The Americanization of Emily and “Suicide is Painless,” popularly known as the theme from the film and television show M.A.S.H.