The Hampton Jazz Festival will return to Hampton Coliseum in June with a lineup laden with acts proven to be popular among the event's loyal audience. Kenny G, Jill Scott and Dave Koz will perform along with Natalie Cole, Gerald Albright and KEM.
The lineup announced today, March 26, represents a distillation of the festival's approach in recent years. It offers the old-and-new R&B of Charlie Wilson, the smooth jazz of Koz and Norman Brown, and a splash of contemporary soul from the likes of Scott, Ledisi and newcomer Alex Boyd.
Missing from the bill are festival regulars Maze featuring Frankie Beverly and Gladys Knight. Coliseum Director Joe Tsao said the fact that those big names are missing isn't a sign that the event is recalibrating its approach.
"I wouldn’t say we’re moving in a different direction," Tsao explained. "We’ve stayed true to our formula, based on the expressed desires of our audience."
Tsao said the festival does exit poll surveys each year. "We hear from our people about what sort of artists they would like to see. We also inject a little bit of our own experience to help make things make sense ...
"Our formula is not that sophisticated. We listen to our people. We listen to what they say and we also observe what artists do well for us."
Among the newcomers playing this year's festival are Monica, Alex Boyd and RaJazz, a band from Chesapeake.
Here's the full lineup:
Friday, June 22, 7:30 p.m.
Norman Brown & Gerald Albright
Saturday, June 23, 2012, 7 p.m.
Sunday, June 24, 2 p.m.
Dave Koz & Candy Dulfer
Tickets will be priced at $56.50 per seat, per day, plus fees. That's a dollar higher than last year. This is the second consecutive year that the festival has increased the price. Last year's price hike was $3.
Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Saturday, March 31 from Ticketmaster, the Hampton Coliseum box office and by calling 1-800-745-3000. Go here to buy online.
Here's a video from last year of Alex Boyd making his network television debut on CBS.
What follows is the overview included in the official Hampton Jazz Festival media release issued today.
Friday’s show features the return of one of the greatest entertainers in the business today, Charlie Wilson. His all-new show will certainly be a festival knockout punch. Joining Charlie will be Natalie Cole, one of the most important female singers alive today. Also appearing will be jazz duo Norman Brown and Gerald Albright. Making his festival debut will be newcomer Alex Boyd, whose soon to be released single “Light Up Tonight” has already become an online hit. Saturday’s lineup features the return of a festival favorite, Kenny G. Making her festival debut is R&B artist Monica, whose new album “New Life” has all the makings of a platinum level hit. Also appearing Saturday will be recent Grammy-nominee Ledisi and Jazz/R&B crooner Will Downing.
Sunday’s show will feature the fabulous Jill Scott. In the past few years, Jill has steadily climbed to the top of the female R&B genre, and will certainly be a wonderful closer for the 45th annual Hampton Jazz Festival. Festival favorite, KEM, will also appear as well as a dynamic sax duo of Dave Koz with special guest Candy Dulfer. Rounding out Sunday will be a local jazz group, RaJazz, a favorite in the Tidewater area.
Tickets to the 45th Annual Hampton Jazz Festival are priced at $56.50 per seat, per day, plus applicable fees. Tickets will go on sale this Saturday, March 31 at 10 am online at www.ticketmaster.com, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000, at all VA, MD and DC Ticketmaster Outlets, and at the Hampton Coliseum Box Office. Additional Festival information is available online at www.hamptonjazzfestival.com.
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