Summer Revival for NYC Jazz Festival

By CHARLES J. GANS and Grace West
|  Monday, Mar 1, 2010  |  Updated 4:16 PM EDT
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The CareFusion Jazz Festival is set to debut June 17-26

AFP/Getty Images

Winner of the 2008 Grammy Award for the Best Album and the Grammy for the Best Jazz Album by "The River", US jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, performs during the 32nd Vitoria-Gasteiz Jazz Festival, on July 15, 2008. Hancock will be celebrated at the CareFusion Jazz Festival.

A belated 70th birthday bash at Carnegie Hall celebrating Jazz legend Herbie Hancock will highlight the revival of a major New York City jazz festival this summer.

The June 24 concert entitled "Herbie Hancock, Seven Decades: The Birthday Celebration," will feature Hancock, who turns 70 on April 12,  as well as comedian Bill Cosby, saxophonist Joe Lovano, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, and saxophonist Wayne Shorter, Hancock's bandmate in Miles Davis' famed 1960s quintet, with more guests to be announced.

"That will be a very exciting night — perhaps one of the unique nights in the history of the festival with a lot of people coming just to salute Herbie," the festival's producer, George Wein.

The summer jazz festival, which Wein first launched in 1972, was canceled last year after Japanese electronics firm JVC withdrew its sponsorship. Now with new sponsorship from medical technology company, CareFusion Corp., Wein has resurrected the festival.

The CareFusion Jazz Festival, benefiting the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, will include some 45 concerts at 20 various venues in four boroughs, from June 17 to June 26.

There will also be several free outdoor concerts and many more with recession-friendly ticket prices of $15.

Wein says that this year's festival will take a new youth-friendly approach highlighting up-and-coming musicians like Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, the quartet Mostly Other People Do the Killing, and the jazz-hip-hop collective Revive da Live, including rapper Talib Kweli.

"We feel the future of jazz relates to the young people that are playing now," said the 84-year-old Wein. "Jazz is not a dying situation — it's more alive than ever because there are more people playing the music than ever before."

For more information on shows, venue, and ticket prices, visit CareFusion Jazz Festival New York.

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