WEATHER NOTE: The outdoor portion of the festival will take place under a tent on Richardson lawn; the festival will thus be able to proceed regardless of weather.
Jazz at Princeton University inaugurates the world's newest jazz festival! The free, unticketed day-long outdoor celebration of jazz features bands of today’s top jazz stars as well as jazz greats playing with Princeton University's exceptional student groups. Guest artists include saxophonists Joel Frahm and Tia Fuller, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, the Charenée Wade Quartet, the Pedrito Martinez Group, and the Donny McCaslin Quartet. The festival culminates inside Richardson Auditorium with a ticketed concert *($15 general/$5 student) by legendary bassist Dave Holland alongside Princeton University's Jazz Small Group I. For more information about this concert, please click here.
About the Artist:
Born in Vancouver and raised in Nanaimo, British Columbia, trumpeter INGRID JENSEN has been hailed as one of the most gifted trumpeters of her generation. She graduated from Berklee College of Music in 1989, then recorded three highly acclaimed CDs for the ENJA record label. After a teaching stint as the youngest professor in the history of the Bruckner Conservatory in Linz, Austria, Jensen settled in New York City in the mid-1990s where she joined the jazz orchestras of Maria Schneider (1994-2012) and Darcy James Argue (2002-present). More recently, Jensen has been performing with the Grammy-winning Terri Lyne Carrington and her Mosaic Project. Jensen is a featured soloist on the Christine Jensen Jazz Orchestra’s Juno-award-winning album, Treelines (2011), and its successor, Habitat (2013). She has performed with artists ranging from Clark Terry to Esperanza Spalding, and alongside British R&B artist Corrine Bailey Rae on Saturday Night Live. She has also recorded with Canadian pop icon Sarah McLachlan. In addition to her busy sideman and featured soloist schedule, Jensen leads her own quintet, quartet and organ trio. Jensen is also a dedicated jazz educator, having taught at the University of Michigan and Peabody Conservatory, the Centrum Jazz Workshop, the Dave Brubeck Institute, the Banff Centre Workshop in Jazz & Creative Music, the Stanford Jazz Camp and the Geri Allen Jazz Camp for young women. Since her victory at the Carmine Caruso Trumpet Competition in 1995, Jensen has sat on the judges’ panel twice. In 2018 she served as Artist-in-Residence at the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival. One of Jensen’s closest collaborators is her sister, saxophonist/composer Christine Jensen. In addition to recent performances of their revamped version of “Porgy and Bess,” the sisters released a small group recording entitled, Infinitude. Ingrid’s latest album Invisible Sounds was featured on NPR’s Jazz Night in America. Ingrid plays a custom Monette trumpet, built personally by the master builder Dave Monette.
Grammy-nominated percussionist PEDRO PABLO "PEDRITO" MARTINEZ was born in Havana Cuba in 1973. Since settling in New York City in the fall of 1998, Martinez has recorded or performed with Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, and Sting, and has contributed to more than 50 albums. Martinez was a founding member of the highly successful Afro-Cuban/Afro-Beat band Yerba Buena, with which he recorded two albums and toured the world. He received the Thelonious Monk Award, Sphinx Award for Excellence and was named Percussionist of the Year by the Jazz Journalists Association every year from 2014-2017. His career as a leader began in 2005 with the formation of The Pedrito Martinez Group whose performances have included festivals, performing arts centers, and venues throughout the US, Europe, Australia and Latin America. The group’s 2013 debut album was nominated for a Grammy Award and chosen as one of NPR’s Favorite Albums of 2013 and The Boston Globe Critics’ Top Ten Albums of 2013. Habana Dreams, their second album, was released in 2016 with guest artists Ruben Blades, Isaac Delgado, Wynton Marsalis, and Angelique Kidjo. It was named #1 Latin Jazz Album in the NPR Jazz Critics Poll, and was praised by the Wall Street Journal as “hip and irresistible.”
Days before his January 2016 death, David Bowie released his final album, Blackstar. While the record represented an endpoint for the legendary artist, it also marked a new beginning for jazz lifer saxophonist DONNY MCCASLIN who, armed with his saxophone, defined Blackstar's visionary stylistic fusion. A few years after Blackstar's release, McCaslin released his new album, Blow., a definitive statement that fully realizes Bowie's influence and McCaslin’s evolved artistic direction. "Before working with him, things like this didn't seem possible to me," McCaslin says of Blow., the most daring work of his two-decade, GRAMMY®-nominated career. "The affirmation of that project and how wonderfully that turned out artistically — I feel like anything is possible now." Despite McCaslin's extensive, acclaimed career — he grew up gigging with his father's jazz ensembles in Santa Cruz, California, attended Berklee College of Music, and began his recording career in the late '90s — collaborating with Bowie altered how he approached his craft. "His aesthetic in the studio was, 'Go for what you're hearing, don't worry about what it's going to be called or categorized as,'" McCaslin recalls of the late icon. "'Let's have some fun. Let's make some music.'" With the expansive, diverse Blow., McCaslin takes Bowie's philosophy to heart. According to McCaslin, the "natural progression" that led to Blow. began with 2016's Beyond Now. Compromised of originals written after Blackstar's recording but before Bowie's death, as well as covers of Bowie, Mutemath, and Deadmau5, the record contains what McCaslin describes as "the seed" that grew into Blow.: His moody, electro-tinged rendition of Bowie's "A Small Plot of Land." Ultimately, McCaslin returns repeatedly to a specific phrase: "new territory." He’s propelling his music to places that seemed unreachable — to the extent that he'd even conceived of them —just a few years ago. And Blow. isn't the endpoint. "The live show is really evolving," says McCaslin, thrilled to share his fresh material with audiences around the world. "It's going to continue to evolve and we have this vision of how it's going to evolve. It's going to be much different from what it has been." Recent years have been a whirlwind for McCaslin, but Blow. proves he's ready for his next chapter: "Going all in with new territory is really stimulating to me."
Native New Yorker CHARANÉE WADE began singing at age 12. From an early age, she immersed herself in the sounds of iconic vocalists, from Sarah Vaughan and Nancy Wilson to Dianne Reeves, Phyllis Hyman and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Wade continued developing her talents at the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, opening for Herbie Hancock at the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival. At Manhattan School of Music, Wade continued to develop her musicianship and became an even more polished performer and notable arranger and composer. Wade has excited international audiences with the ingenuity of her phrasing and vibrancy that her big personality projects on stage. She was named First Runner-Up in the 2010 Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition. In 2015, she performed in an epic Salute to Betty Carter at Jazz at Lincoln Center. In 2017, Wade was honored to be one of the recipients of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Millennial Swing Award. She has worked with notable artists in the industry including Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Terri Lyne Carrington with her Mosaic Project. Wade also contributed her virtuosic vocalese to Rufus Reid's Grammy-nominated recording called Quiet Pride. Other recent highlights include performing with Robert Glasper and MacArthur Fellow and choreographer Kyle Abraham on the multi-media re-imagination of Abbey Lincoln and Max Roach's "Freedom Now Suite" at The Kennedy Center. Wade’s latest CD, Offering: The Music of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson, is a re-interpretation of the poet's musical. Wade is a professor at the Aaron Copland School at Queens College and was recently appointed to Peabody Institute of John Hopkins University.