Tuesday, June 23, 2015

IC Jazz Festival Performers Bring Home The Gold

By Dennis Green

Artists who perform at the Iowa City Jazz Festival regularly receive some of music's biggest honors. This year is no exception, as several musicians who will play on the Jazz Festival stage have just received recognition in the prestigious Downbeat Critic's Poll.

Rudresh Mahanthappa
Leading the pack is Rudresh Mahanthappa, who hit the Downbeat trifecta. He was named Rising Star Composer, topped the poll for Alto Saxophone, and his latest release, "Bird Calls" is Jazz Album of the Year. Mahanthappa performs July 3rd.

Jazz legend Charles Lloyd's quartet, which will close out the mainstage performances on July 4th, was named the #4 jazz ensemble in the world. Lloyd ranked #2 on Tenor Saxophone, just behind 2014 Jazz Festival headliner Joe Lovano.

Other Jazz Festival performers who ranked highly in the poll include:

  • Dave Douglas - #2 Trumpet
  • Brian Charette - #4 Jazz Organ
  • Julian Lage - #2 Jazz Guitar
  • Becca Stevens - #4 Rising Star Female Vocalist
  • Ben Allison - #4 Rising Star Arranger

Past Jazz Festival headliners on the list, besides Lovano:
  • Ambrose Akinmusire (2010) - #1 Trumpet
  • Joey DeFrancesco (2002) - #1 Jazz Organ
  • Dr. Lonnie Smith (2013) - #2 Jazz Organ
  • Larry Goldings (1993) - #3 Jazz Organ
  • Bill Frisell (2000 & 2009) - #1 Jazz Guitar
  • Cyrille Aimee (2012) - #1 Rising Star Female Vocalist

Cyrille Aimee with KCCK's Craig Kessler & Bob Stewart

The Iowa City Jazz Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2015, and will take place July 2-4 on the UI Pentacrest in Iowa City. Click here for the full 2015 Iowa City Jazz Festival performance schedule.

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