Boston’s 8th Annual Jazz Week Set for April 25-May 4

Concerts and presentations will celebrate the city’s vibrant jazz scene

Danilo Perez performing at Eric in Two Evenings event at Scullers
Fred Taylor

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Boston’s annual Jazz Week celebration will kick off this Friday, April 25, for a 10-day run through Sunday, May 4. Organized and promoted by JazzBoston (JazzBoston) in collaboration with artists, organizations and venues throughout the Greater Boston area for the eighth consecutive year, the week, according to a press release, “shines a spotlight on Boston’s place as one of the world’s great jazz cities.”

As in past years, Jazz Week ’14 ties in with the Smithsonian Institution’s observance of April as Jazz Appreciation Month and, since 2012, with UNESCO-proclaimed International Jazz Day on April 30. The theme of Jazz Week ’14 is No Walls: A salute to the power of jazz to bring people together. (“No Walls” is also the title of a composition by Aardvark Jazz Orchestra director and MIT faculty member Mark Sumner Harvey that is the first music ever officially associated with Jazz Week.)

According to the release, “The centerpiece of Jazz Week ’14 will be a far-ranging, four-hour concert on April 30, 7-11 p.m., that brings together, onstage and off, musicians and music lovers from Boston’s diverse communities. The concert, produced by JazzBoston and free and open to the public, will be held at Emmanuel Church.”

The show will feature pianist, composer and educator Danilo Pérez, Either/Orchestra, Musaner, Watchout Creole Jazz, Zérui, and the Jason Palmer Band with break-dancing artists.

Another highlight of the week will be JazzBoston’s tribute to Boston music impresario Fred Taylor at Scullers Jazz Club on May 4, 4-7 p.m. Taylor, who celebrates the 50th anniversary of the opening of his clubs, Paul’s Mall and the Jazz Workshop this year along with his 25th year as Scullers’ entertainment director, will become the third recipient of JazzBoston’s Roy Haynes Award, which recognizes “exceptional contributions to jazz and the jazz community.” Radio personality Eric Jackson, the second recipient of the award, will host the event. Friends of Taylor’s who will sing and play for him include (but are not limited to) Rebecca Parris, Grace Kelly, Bob Gulotti, Yoko Miwa, and Amanda Carr.

Other JazzBoston special events:

• Free Friday noontime concerts, April 25, noon to 1 p.m. JazzBoston and New England Conservatory will partner for the fifth year to bring performances by NEC student ensembles to high-traffic public places around the city.

• Boston Jazz Hero Award presentation and party, Sunday, April 27, 3-6 p.m. Boston’s jazz community will gather to honor Emilio Lyons, known as “the Sax Doctor of Boston,” as he receives the Jazz Journalists Association’s 2014 Boston Jazz Hero award at a party at Wally’s Jazz Café, 427 Massachusetts Ave. The event, hosted by JazzBoston and the Wally’s family, is free and open to the public.

• Meet the Next Generation of Jazz, Tuesday, April 29, daytime and evening. A two-part collaboration of JazzBoston and the Boston Public Schools will demonstrate the impact of music education on young people from kindergarten to grade 12. Schools participating in BPS Jazz Open Studios, 9:30 AM-4:30 PM, will invite friends and neighbors into classrooms and auditoriums to see firsthand what arts education looks like. From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., JazzBoston’s second annual High School Jazz Band Showcase will put students from five schools on stage at the Boston Public Library’s main branch in Copley Square. Jazz radio hosts, including Eric Jackson (WGBH), Bonnie Johnson (WICN) and David “Jazman” Johnson (TOUCH), will introduce the bands. Both events are free and open to the public.

For details on these and over 100 other Jazz Week events, see the Jazz Week ’14 Schedule of Events at JazzBoston.