Bolstered by artist collaborations and tributes to celebrated greats, this year’s festival once again invites you to explore the many facets of the genre while taking in the full breadth of Caramoor’s venues and gardens. Meet some of the lineup for this year’s festival, which takes place on Saturday July 30 at 1:00 pm. The Jazz Festival is presented in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center.
An esteemed saxophonist, vocalist, accomplished composer, and educator, Camille Thurman is quickly becoming one of the leading young standard bearers of jazz, making a considerable and dynamic contribution to its legacy. She is known for her creative brilliance, effortless mastery, and undeniably distinct approach to the music as both a powerhouse vocalist and saxophonist.
Thurman was the first woman in 30 years to tour and perform full-time internationally with the world renown Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra as a saxophonist/woodwind doubler (2018 – 2020). A respected leading musician, she has appeared at notable venues and festivals around the world, including The Kennedy Center, Rose Theater, Winter Jazz Fest, and on The Colbert Show.
Thurman has four full-length recordings as a leader to her credit. Her most recent project, Fortitude, is a collaboration with master drummer Darrell Green and his quartet.
Innovative master drummer, Darrell Green is one of the leading, most highly sought-after drummers on today’s jazz scene. Embodying effortless technical mastery and spirit-filled rhythms deeply rooted in the modern post-bop tradition, he developed a style retaining elements of both the gospel and classical lineage while taking listeners on a spiritual journey.
Many have compared his rhythmic sense of style, inventiveness, and feel to the likes of Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, and Art Blakey. A respected bandleader and sideman, Green has toured and performed in notable concert halls and music festivals around the world, including Jazz At Lincoln Center, The Blue Note, The Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, and the Montreux Jazz Festival.
Green’s most recent project, Fortitude, is a collaboration with Camille Thurman. His newest trio project is set to be released in the fall of 2022. For more information on Darrell Green, please visit his website.
The Chick Corea Afro-Caribbean Experience with Elio Villafranca and Friends
Cuban-born pianist and composer Elio Villafranca is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship recipient; a two-time Grammy nominee; 2019 Downbeat Critic’s Poll Rising Stars Pianist; winner of the 2018 Downbeat Critic’s Poll Rising Stars Keyboard; first Cuban-born recipient of the Sunshine Award (2017), founded to recognize excellence in the performing arts, education, science and sports of the various Caribbean countries, South America, Centro America, and Africa; and a recipient of the first Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC) Millennium Swing Award in 2014. Based in NYC, Villafranca is a jazz faculty member at The Juilliard School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and Temple University in Philadelphia. To learn more about Elio Villafranca, please visit his website.
No tenor saxophonist better epitomizes the robust muscularity of that heavyweight instrument of jazz expression than George Coleman. With brilliant technique and a deeply soulful tone firmly rooted in his hometown of Memphis, George has performed with many of jazz’s most legendary figures and has influenced countless saxophonists during his half century in music.
So prodigious was his talent that, at the age of 17, George was invited to tour with B.B. King and was already writing for popular artists including the Moonglows and Ray Charles. In 1956, after moving to Chicago with Booker Little, he connected with local heavyweights like Gene Ammons, Johnny Griffin, John Gilmore, and Ira Sullivan, and he joined Walter Perkins’ group, The MJT + 3. When Max Roach heard George with this unit in 1958, he invited him to join his own quartet. George would go on to perform with many jazz luminaries including Slide Hampton, Wild Bill Davis, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, Lionel Hampton, Lee Morgan, Elvin Jones, Charles Mingus, Betty Carter, Chet Baker, Shirley Scott, Charles McPherson, Cedar Walton, and many more. He also composed and arranged for various ensembles.
Since 1973 Coleman has focused primarily on his own groups, working in quartet, quintet and octet settings. With those various groups the powerful saxophonist has become a prominent figure at festivals, prestigious concert halls and top clubs all over the U.S. and Europe. Learn more about George here.
Candice Hoyes is an artist with a “chill-inducing range” (Vogue). Both performance artist and archivist, Candice is mutually steeped in exploring the untold stories of her heritage and envisioning the next leg of Black liberation. Candice has recorded and collaborated with Philip Glass, Ricky Ian Gordon, Wynton Marsalis, and the late Lorin Maazel, her prizes including the International Liszt Vocal Competition, Oratorio Society of NY, and Paul Robeson Vocal Competition. Her recent works include Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 2022 NYC JazzFest, Detroit Symphony, the Blue Note, and supporting Chaka Khan, Lalah Hathaway, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Candice anticipates two new album releases next year. To learn more about Candice Hoyes, please follow her journey @candicehoyes on all social platforms.
Damien Sneed is a multi-genre recording artist and a recipient of the prestigious Sphinx Medal of Excellence, which is presented annually to emerging Black and Latino leaders in classical music. He has worked with jazz, classical, pop, and R&B legends, including the late Aretha Franklin, Wynton Marsalis, Jessye Norman, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, among others, and has served as music director for Grammy Award-winning gospel artists The Clark Sisters, Richard Smallwood, Donnie McClurkin, Hezekiah Walker, Marvin Sapp, Karen Clark Sheard, Dorinda Clark-Cole and Kim Burrell. Sneed is the founder and artistic director of Chorale Le Chateau, which has gained a global reputation for its vivid interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance period pieces to art songs to jazz, spirituals, gospel, and avant-garde contemporary music. Sneed recently embarked on a 36-city North American tour, We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. featuring Damien Sneed.
Benny Benack III
Trumpeter and singer Benny Benack III performs widely as a frontman for Postmodern Jukebox, the vintage music collective famed for canny old-school covers of modern pop. In early 2020, he released A Lot of Livin’ to Do, the follow-up to his well-received 2017 debut album, One of a Kind. Benack has been showcased in international headliner tours at Jazz at Lincoln Center Shanghai, JALC’s “NY Jazz All-Stars” (Mexico), and throughout Asia and Europe. He has headlined domestic tours around the U.S., including the Vail Jazz Party, Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, Pittsburgh JazzLive International, and the Vancouver Jazz Festival, to name a few, and has been featured at Birdland, Mezzrow, the Carlyle, and other leading New York venues.
South African Composer and Saxophonist Linda Sikhakhane began his musical journey at the Siyakhula Music Centre under the gentle guidance of the late Dr. Brian Thusi. Emerging victorious at the SAMRO Overseas Scholarship competition, he utilized the prize money to fund his Degree program at The New School in New York, where he was mentored by greats such as Billy Harper, Reggie Workman, David Schnitter, and Charles Tolliver. His debut offering, Two Sides, One Mirror (2017), featured a superior cast of young mavericks in the improvised music scene. In November 2020, Sikhakhane was chosen as Apple Music’s Artist of the Month, making him the second South African Jazz musician to achieve the feat.
Linda Sikhakhane has worked with a broad array of artists: Sibongile Khumalo, Khaya Mahlangu, Nduduzo Makhathini, Gregory Porter, Rodney Kendrick, Rhonda Ross Kendrick, Logan Richardson, Derrick Hodge, Ted Daniel, Thandiswa Mazwai, Herbie Tsoaeli and more.
Trumpet player Summer Camargo is a Jerome Greene Fellow at The Juilliard School, majoring in Jazz Studies. Born and raised in Hollywood, Florida, Summer was honored to have the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra record her first, original big band chart, Leap Froggin’. She also participated in the Vail Jazz Workshop, Carnegie Hall’s NYO Jazz, the Monterey Jazz Festival Gala, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Gala. In 2020, she joined the Ulysses Owens, Jr. Big Band, was featured in FENDI’s Anima Mundi project in New York City and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Big Band Holiday concert, and was awarded with an Outstanding Trumpet Soloist Award at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s inaugural Jack Rudin Championship. Recently, she placed third in the International Trumpet Guild’s 2021 Ryan Anthony Trumpet Memorial Competition, and she has been commissioned by the University of North Carolina in Greensboro to write an original big band composition for its jazz program. To learn more about Summer Camargo, follow her on Instagram.
Chien Chien Lu
Chien Chien Lu is a vibraphonist, contemporary percussionist, and composer whose Taiwanese upbringing, classical music education, and passion for R&B grooves crystallize into a fresh and distinctive approach to contemporary jazz. Lu’s band has also played many prestigious festivals including the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, and toured extensively in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Lu offers a unique, intersectional perspective on modern jazz as a Taiwanese-born woman vibraphonist with a masters in classical music from Taipei National University of the Arts as well as in jazz from University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Lu has collaborated with composer Ching-Mei Lin and in 2014 was named “Emerging Young Artist” for her work with her marimba duo at Taipei University of the Arts. Lu is currently recording her sophomore solo project for release in 2022.
Sarah Hanahan is an up-and-coming jazz saxophonist in New York City currently pursuing her master’s degree in Jazz Performance at The Juilliard School. In 2015, Sarah was awarded a full scholarship to study jazz performance at the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz within the Hartt School of Music (University of Hartford). Her college professors include well-known jazz saxophone performers Javon Jackson and Abraham Burton. Recently, Sarah has been working with many renowned musicians including Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ulysses Owens Jr. and Generation Y, The Mingus Big Band, Sherrie Miracle and the Diva Orchestra, Steve Davis, Nat Reeves, Barry Stephenson, Jason Moran, and Emmet Cohen. Sarah has been playing in venues around NYC with her own Quartet and other bands including Smalls Jazz Club, Dizzy’s Club, the Harlem Jazz Museum, Times Square Jazz series, The Django, Central Park Keyed Up series, the Side Door Jazz Club, and many others. Sarah is currently touring Worldwide and plans to record and release her first debut album by the end of this year.