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Jazz Festival

Presented in Collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center
Headliner: Matthew Whitaker

Saturday July 27, 2024 at 12:30pm

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Saturday July 27, 2024 at 12:30pm

This highly anticipated event of the summer is filled with the many facets of the jazz genre performed by phenomenal talent amid lush gardens and distinctive venues throughout Caramoor’s expansive grounds. Bring the family for the day and treat yourself to the headlining evening performance by piano sensation Matthew Whitaker, one of the most exciting and prodigious young talents to emerge in recent years. This award-winning composer and bandleader is now one of the biggest and brightest stars in jazz, due in no small part to his charming and joyous live performances.

Grounds open at 12:00pm, music starts at 12:30pm, headliner starts at 7:30pm. A detailed schedule of the day to come. 

We suggest bringing your own seating for the daytime performances, as all sets on Friends Field and in the Sunken Garden do not have seating. All sets in the Spanish Courtyard and Venetian Theater have seating provided. All daytime sets are general admission. The evening headliner performance is in the Venetian Theater with reserved seating only.

Evening Headliner

Matthew Whitaker

Daytime Artists

Julius Rodriguez
Charles Overton
Francesca Tandoi
Ekep Nkwelle
More to be announced!

Daytime & Evening Headliner Ticket Includes (Full Festival):

  • Reserved seat in the Venetian Theater for evening headliner, Matthew Whitaker.
  • All daytime artist sets starting at 12:30pm.
  • The price of your ticket determines where you will sit for the evening headliner.

Daytime Only Ticket Includes:

  • All daytime artist sets starting at 12:30pm.
  • This ticket does not include concert tickets to Matthew Whitaker.

“Matthew Whitaker is music. To see and hear him play is to know that divine talent exists. Beyond his innate musical abilities is a sheer joy and passion to create music.”

    Summer Season Shuttle / Take the FREE shuttle from Metro North’s Katonah train station to and from Caramoor! The shuttle runs before and after every summer afternoon and evening concert. There is no RSVP to get on the shuttle, it will be there when you arrive (in the parking lot side of the station). If it’s not there, it’s just making the loop and should be back within 5–10 minutes. The shuttle will run from 11:00am–7:30pm. It will then pause during the evening concert and will resume running at the end of the concert until 30 minutes thereafter.

Rain or Shine / All events at Caramoor take place rain or shine. If there is dangerous weather, we will move all concerts under our Venetian Theater tent and/or in the Music Room of the Rosen House.

Explore the Rosen House from 12:30pm–6:30pm / Select rooms of the Rosen House are free to explore during our Open House hours. No RSVP is required; feel free to attend and discover more about Caramoor’s history and founders.

Learn More About the Artists

Matthew Whitaker

Matthew Whitaker’s musical journey began at age three with a keyboard gift from his grandfather. He is now a celebrated artist, captivating audiences globally and appearing on notable television shows like Showtime at the Apollo, The Today Show, Ellen, and a feature on 60 Minutes

Whitaker is a versatile artist; he produced, scored, and starred in the All-Arts Emmy-nominated documentary About Tomorrow, and he scored the film Starkeisha, which is currently streaming on Hulu. He also appeared in and contributed music to the Emmy-winning Apple TV commercial The Greatest. Whitaker made his director debut for the award-winning musical Billy Strayhorn: Something to Live For, on the life of pianist and composer Billy Strayhorn, which premiered in Pittsburgh, PA in 2023. Whitaker has appeared as guest soloist with Aspen Chamber Symphony, under the baton of guest conductor, Marin Alsop, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, CN, under Alexander Shelley. He also composed a song for the 82-piece Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra, in Sofia, Bulgaria, which was included in the documentary About Tomorrow

Whitaker believes that music connects us all and that every child should have access to music education. Beyond music, he advocates for persons with disabilities, consulting with companies to improve accessibility features. 

He is a three-time ASCAP Foundation Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award winner, with three studio albums as a leader: Outta The Box, Now Hear This, and Connections. His fourth recording, On Their Shoulders: An Organ Tribute, an homage to some of Whitaker’s heroes on the instrument, will debut in early Summer 2024. He has collaborated with industry greats like bassist, composer, and producer Derrick Hodge; pianist, composer, and musical director Ray Chew; pianist, multiple Grammy-winning composer, vocalist, and band leader Jon Batiste; Grammy-winning bassist Christian McBride; and NEA Jazz Master, violinist Regina Carter. 

To learn more about Matthew Whitaker, please visit his website.  

Charles Overton

Equally at home in an orchestra or a jazz club, Boston-based harpist Charles Overton aims to create a musical environment that is accessible, exciting and resonates deeply with audiences.  

Originally from Richmond, VA, he began his musical journey with formative experiences with the American Youth Harp Ensemble and the Interlochen Arts Academy before moving to Boston in 2012 to expand his musical horizons at the Berklee College of Music.  During his studies he became immersed in the world of jazz and improvised music, owing much of his outlook on music to lessons from the renowned artist-faculty of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute.

Overton performs frequently with the Boston Symphony as both a second and substitute harpist, and highlights in chamber music include concerts with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia, and several summers performing at the Yellow Barn Summer Music Festival.  An avid jazz musician, he performs regularly in venues across the northeast as a band leader and internationally in collaboration with such artists as Shabaka Hutchings, Ganavya Doraiswamy, and Esperanza Spalding 

Overton serves on the faculty of the Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

Francesca Tandoi

Italian jazz pianist and singer Francesca Tandoi has been hailed by critics and peers as a rising jazz star and one of the most enthralling young talents on the international jazz scene. She studied jazz piano and singing at the prestigious Royal Conservatory of The Hague, graduating cum laude and with a special mention from the committee and later on she earned her master’s degree from Codarts Conservatory and the University of Arts in Rotterdam.

In just a few short years, she has earned international acclaim as a world-class pianist and vocalist. She has performed with some of the finest international jazz musicians, to name a few: Scott Hamilton, Philip Harper, Owen Hart Jr., Joe Cohn, Anthony Pinciotti, Jason Brown, Daryll Hall, Lee Pearson, Darius Brubeck, Dave Blankhorn, Florin Nicolescu, Marjorie Barnes, Sergey Manukyan and many more. 

She got invited by Micheal League to join the “Snarky Puppy” during their concert at Umbria Jazz 2023. She has toured and performed at some of the most noteworthy theatres, jazz festivals, and clubs around the world like The North Sea Jazz Festival,  Umbria Jazz,  Cork Jazz, Bosendorfer piano gala, Breda Jazz,  Amsterdam Arena Stadium, and many others in USA, Japan, India, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Israel and literally everywhere in Europe. 

Tandoi’s trio’s performances have been warmly received by audiences and the press. Her stage presence is praised time and again as an explosion of swing, strong and sophisticated. Jazz journalist David Alston of South Africa said, “She has a flawless technique and the ability to swing like the greats. The audience is simply knocked out by her playing.”

Francesca Tandoi has truly impressive piano skills,” raved Dutch magazine JazzFlits. “She literally flies over the keyboard. And she’s blessed with a beautiful singing voice full of warmth and sensuality.”

In addition to calling her singing ballads “exemplary, actually unforgettable,” jazz journalist Massimo Tarabelli (Ancona Jazz, IT) places her among the greats: “How many of the world’s young pianists resonate with the greatest virtuoso swinging jazz pianists—Oscar Peterson, Monty Alexander, Gene Harris, Phineas Newborn? Not many. How many of those are women? Very, very few. How many of those are Italian? Probably none. It’s incredible but true that such a person exists, and her name is Francesca Tandoi. She’s a brilliant, superior, and very rare talent.”

Well-known pianists Monty Alexander said, “Francesca Tandoi is a supremely tasteful swinging piano player. Her vocals are exquisite, her compositions are melodic and memorable, and her arrangements are extremely thoughtful.”

She appears in more than 20 recordings as a sideman, three with legendary American saxophonist Scott Hamilton. During the last couple of years, she got invited by Washington University of Music of Saint Louis (USA), Music University of Pretoria (South Africa), Ethics of Jazz in Moscow (Russia) and many other schools and Universities all around Europe and she’s a steady teacher at the Conservatory G.Martini of Bologna (IT)

Ekep Nkwelle

Ekep Nkwelle, a 24-year-old Cameroonian-American jazz vocalist, has carved her musical path from the vibrant streets of Washington, DC, to the heart of New York City’s jazz scene. Her journey through the esteemed Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Howard University, and The Juilliard School has been extraordinary.

The power of her voice has resonated with jazz luminaries such as Russell Malone, Cyrus Chestnut, and Peter Washington, along with young stars like Emmet Cohen and Endea Owens, leading to countless collaborations. Her performances have graced iconic venues nationwide, from the illustrious Radio City Music Hall, where she shared the stage with classical virtuoso Lang Lang in collaboration with Disney, to The Library of Congress, Blues Alley, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and The Strathmore. Her presence has also illuminated major festivals, including Newport, Montclair, Hudson, and DC jazz festivals.

The year 2023 marked a pinnacle in Ekep’s career as she was honored with the prestigious Juilliard Career Advancement Grant, a testament to her artistry and character, nominated by none other than jazz master trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. This recognition followed her enchanting performance on NPR’s “Tiny Desk,” showcasing her unique arrangement of Geri Allen’s “Timeless Portraits & Dreams” in 2022. Continuing her ascent, Ekep collaborated with the illustrious 3x GRAMMY and Tony award-winner Dee Dee Bridgewater during the fourth year of her exclusive, all-women artistic residency, The Woodshed Network.

As one of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s newest rising stars, Ekep Nkwelle is poised to shape the future of jazz. With a burning passion for music, her artistry knows no bounds as she endeavors to share her soulful melodies with audiences worldwide.

Thank you to our media partner for lending their support for this event.

Caramoor is grateful to the team at Jazz at Lincoln Center for their curatorial inspiration and collaboration.

Caramoor is proud to be a grantee of ArtsWestchester with funding made possible by Westchester County government with the support of County Executive George Latimer.
All concerts made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.