North Central College - Naperville, IL

All-Star Monterey Jazz Festival presented April 30 at North Central

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Contact: Ted Slowik, Director of PR and Media Relations, 630-637-5307,

March 16, 2010—An All-Star lineup of today’s greatest jazz performers visits North Central College April 30 when the Monterey Jazz Festival comes to Naperville.

The performance featuring Kenny Barron, Regina Carter, Russell Malone, Kurt Elling, Kiyoshi Kitagawa and Johnathan Blake begins at 8 p.m. Friday, April 30, in North Central College’s acoustically perfect Wentz Concert Hall at the Fine Arts Center, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville. Tickets are $45 and $55; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit

The Monterey Jazz Festival, a leader in jazz education and presentation since 1958, stops in Naperville during a 36-show, nationwide, six-week tour. The touring lineup made its debut at the 52nd Annual Monterey Jazz Festival Presented by Verizon in September 2009.

“These artists all embody the history, spirit and legacy of the Monterey Jazz Festival,” says Tim Jackson, general manager for the Monterey Jazz Festival. “Each has a past relationship with Monterey Jazz Festival that includes performance and educational activities, both core components of Monterey’s mission statement. They are an amazing band that will embody the past, present and future of jazz.”

Described by the Los Angeles Times as “one of the top jazz pianists in the world,” Barron is a nine-time Grammy Award nominee who made the first of his eight appearances at the Monterey Jazz Festival in the early 1960s with Dizzy Gillespie. He has recorded more than 40 albums and in 2010 was named a National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master, the nation’s highest honor in jazz.

Violinist Carter is a Grammy nominee who was selected as Artist-In-Residence for the 47th Monterey Jazz Festival in 2004. She began performing on violin at age 4 and attended Detroit's prestigious Cass Technical High School. Carter studied at the New England Conservatory of Music and Michigan’s Oakland University. She has recorded solo albums for Atlantic and Verve and released several critically acclaimed albums. Her playing has appeared on filmmaker Ken Burns’ soundtrack for the PBS documentary “Jazz” and Wynton Marsalis’ opera “Blood on the Fields.”

Malone is a Grammy-winning guitarist who has appeared five times at Monterey Jazz Festival since 1997. The Albany, Georgia native worked as a sideman to organist Jimmy Smith and backed popular pianist and vocalist Harry Connick Jr. from 1990-1994. Among his albums, Malone’s self-titled 1992 debut for Columbia topped radio charts, and he also released albums on the Verve, Venus and Maxjazz labels. He collaborated with pianist and vocalist Diana Krall on her first three Grammy-nominated albums.

Elling is a Grammy-winning vocalist who was the festival’s Artist-In-Residence in 2006. He earned seven Grammy nominations for six Blue Note albums, spent six consecutive years at the top of the DownBeat Critics and Jazz Times Readers' polls, nabbed three Jazz Journalists' Association Awards for Best Male Vocalist and the Prix Billie Holiday from the Academie du Jazz in Paris. His quartet has toured the world, and Elling has recorded or performed with an array of jazz greats including Dave Brubeck, Al Jarreau and the Yellowjackets. In January 2010, Elling received a Grammy Award for “Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman.” Elling performed as a solo artist in North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall during its inaugural season in January 2009.

Bassist and composer Kitagawa and Grammy-nominated drummer Blake both made their second appearances at the 52nd Monterey Jazz Festival in 2009. Kitagawa has toured and recorded with the alto great Kenny Garrett with drummer Brian Blade. He released four albums as “The Trio” with versatile Japanese pianist Makoto Ozone and has toured the world with the Jimmy Heath Quartet, the Andy Bey Quartet and the Kenny Barron Trio and Quintet. Blake holds a master’s degree from Rutgers University and is currently a member of the Tom Harrell Quintet and the Russell Malone Quartet and performs regularly with Barron, Avishai Cohen and Omer Avital.

The performance will feature a selection of standards and originals from all periods of jazz. For a complete tour itinerary visit

Critics nationwide have praised the touring ensemble. The Worcester Telegram & Gazette says, “The All-Stars … were worthy representatives of the famed festival. Vocalist Elling dominated the proceedings with some superior singing that showed why he won the Best Jazz Vocal Album prize at the Grammy Awards,” while the Boston Herald raved, “A virtuosic Malone solo ballad made the hall feel like an intimate club.”

The 53rd Annual Monterey Jazz Festival presented by Verizon will take place Sept. 17-19, 2010, and will feature four-time Grammy-winning vocalist Dianne Reeves as Artist-In-Residence. This year’s full festival lineup will be announced on March 29.

This performance is one of many ongoing programs at North Central College to enrich and broaden the cultural and academic outlook for the College and community. North Central offers a variety of venues accommodating a rich range of local and world-class events, performances and space needs for the public. For a comprehensive schedule of musical performances, theatrical and dance productions, art exhibits and lectures, visit or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).