By Carol Tannenhauser
Summer Jazz Sensations — Lincoln Square Business Improvement District’s FREE lunchtime summer concert series — begins this Wednesday, June 21st, coinciding with the summer solstice. The concert will take place in Dante Park, on Broadway between 63rd and 64th Streets, at 12 noon sharp with performances ongoing till 1:30 p.m.
Kicking off Summer Jazz Sensations is renowned saxophonist Eric Person’s Soul Saturation, which has performed at venues and festivals around the world, including right here in the Big Apple at the Apollo Theater among many others.
Concerts in this series will take place every Wednesday through August 30th, all from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Dante Park and featuring “world class, local jazz musicians,” according to a press release. “The expansion of the summer concert series, which will run for several additional weeks, is also a celebration of the vibrant cultural legacy of the [Lincoln Square] neighborhood, which has seen more than a dozen new businesses and restaurants open in the last 18 months.”
The full Summer Jazz Sensations 2023 lineup includes:
June 21 – Eric Person’s Soul Saturation
Renowned Saxophonist and composer Eric Person presents his latest band entitled Soul Saturation. Eric’s music has been featured at venues and festivals around the world, including New York’s Blue Note Jazz Club, Montreal Jazz Festival, Detroit/Montreux Jazz Festival, Portugal’s Guimaraes Jazz Festival and more. He has 11 CD releases as a leader to his credit, including 2022’s Blue Vision, which charted high on the college and Jazz Week charts.
June 28 – Cilla Owens and Smooth Sailing
Cilla Owens has been called “as smooth as Nancy Wilson, as authoritative as Sarah Vaughan, and as informed as Carmen McRae” by JazzTimes Magazine. She has performed throughout Europe and the Caribbean and has performed at Lincoln Center, the Blue Note Jazz Club, Symphony Space, and other prestigious New York venues. Cilla is the director of the Hunter College Jazz Vocal Workshop and the Adelphi University Jazz Ensemble.
July 5 – Brian Charette Trio
NYC Organist and Pianist Brian Charette has established himself as a leading voice in modern jazz. He was the winner of the 2014Downbeat Critics’ Poll “Rising Star for organ.” Brian has released twenty albums as a leader, many have been on the Jazz Week and iTunes top 20 charts. His latest release is titled Jackpot.
July 12 – Mike Jackson Trio
The musical magic started for Mike on his 12th birthday when he received his first guitar. While in his teens, Mike backed up popular artists of the day as The Marvelettes, Marvin Gaye, and many others. In the late 60s, Jackson turned his attention to jazz, performing with many greats like Jack McDuff, Milt Jackson, Johnny Hartman, Billy Hart and others.
July 19 – Neil Alexander and Mr. Gone
Neil Alexander’s Mr. Gone is a four-piece ensemble exploring the groove-based music of early electric jazz fusion, focusing on the groundbreaking music of Weather Report and Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters & Mwandishi bands, as well as original compositions.
July 26 – Tony Jefferson Quartet
Tony Jefferson is known by many as a stellar drummer on the jazz scene, but he is also a renowned singer. After encouragement from his musical peers, Tony decided to take singing much more seriously, performing solely as a singer in concerts and club performances.
August 2 – Bryan Carrott Quartet
Vibraphonist Bryan Carrott is a native New Yorker, a graduate of LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and William Paterson University. Over the last 30 years, Bryan has been featured with renowned artists in over 20 countries and has appeared on over 70 recordings. He has performed with David “Fathead” Newman, Muhal Richard Abrams, Steve Kroon, Ralph Peterson, Dave Douglas, Jay-Z and many others.
August 9 – Marcus Persiani Trio
Pianist Marcus Persiani has performed and recorded with a wide variety of musicians such as Willie Colon. Max Roach, Dizzy Gillespie, Savion Glover, Vanessa Rubin, and James Carter. He was also pianist and arranger for Mario Bauza’s Grammy nominated Afro-Cuban azz Orchestra. Before moving to New York City in 1988, Persiani toured with R&B soul masters The Impressions and Curtis Mayfield.
August 16 – Kent Miller Quartet
Bassist Kent Miller, a native from St. Louis Missouri has studied the acoustic bass with some of the best in jazz including Milt Hinton, Rufus Reid, Wendell Marshall, and Ron Carter. He has performed with Stanley Cowell, Lynne Arriale, John Hicks, Benito Gonzalez and many more. His debut CD release is The TNEK Jazz Quintet Plays the Music of Sam Jones.
August 23 – Ron Jackson Trio
Seven string jazz guitarist, composer, and arranger Ron Jackson has performed, recorded, and taught music in over 30 countries. As a leader, he has performed around the world and has been featured at the North Sea Jazz Festival, Edinburgh Jazz Festival, AAPI Jazz Festival in Newark NJ, and the Super Jazz Ashdod in Israel. Jackson has released ten albums, with his most recent release “Standards and My Songs,” landing in the Top 10 on the Jazz Week radio charts.
August 30 – Bronte Roman’s Latin Jazz and Pop Band
Bronte Roman is a Brooklyn native who attended Berklee School of Music in Boston. From the age of five, her love of singing was inspired by her father who was a touring gospel performer. Her love of her Hispanic heritage gives her the ability to sing Latin pop hits alongside contemporary songs and jazz standards.