Marcus Miller (US), winner of two Grammy Awards, Judith Hill (US), whose debut album was produced by no other than Prince, Ghost-Note (US), a band whose members have played with Kendrick Lamar, Prince and Snoop Dogg, and Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio (US), whose debut album reached number one on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums, are headliners of the seventh edition of Jazz in the Park, edition that will take place from 4 to 7 July in the Central Park of Cluj-Napoca.
Added to them, Shai Maestro Trio (IL), Chassol (FR), Tiny Fingers (IL), Iordache (RO) Noya Rao (UK), Alaska Snack Time (ISR), Festen (FR), Ours Samplus (FR), Bogdan Vaida (E) PianoHooligan (PL), Hristo Yotsov: Jazz Cats (BG), Malox (IL), Kosmic Blues (RO), Zimbru (RO), FrankieZ Experiment (RO) and The B-Groove (MD) will take us on an incredible journey through different musical styles, from contemporary jazz, jazz fusion, smooth jazz groove, alternative / indie, pop, funk and neo-soul.
From the beginning, we ended every edition of the festival with the promise that the next one will be even better. Well, I think, musically, this year we successfully kept our word. The new structure of the event allowed us a different strategy, we invested a little more in some bands and we managed to get some names that any avid jazz lover, and not only them, would love to see.
The lineup of the seventh edition is both mature and funny, is very varied and sometimes protrudes slightly from classical patterns of jazz. The 20 announced concerts are special, each in his own way, and we promise that regardless of musical preferences, each participant in the festival will find something to say <Wow!> to.
Alin Vaida, director of Jazz in the Park
This year begins with the concert of one of the most acclaimed and influential artists in the world: bassist Marcus Miller (US). Composer, producer and musician, Miller collaborated with artists such as Bill Wither, Luther Vandross, Chaka Khan, Wayne Shorter, Davis Sanborn, Herbie Hancock, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Elton John and Bryan Ferry, to name just a few. His professional relationship with Miles Davis resulted in three albums widely appreciated by critics. The most famous of them is’ ‘Tutu’, considered one of the defining albums of Miller, which brought him the two Grammys.
In 2013, Marcus Miller was named UNESCO Artist for Peace. His involvement in the UNESCO ‘Slave Routes’ project inspired his album ‘Afrodeezia’ (2015), which got him a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. His unmistakable style – with influences of funk and soul, an excellent technique and a lot of groove – will conquer the stage at Jazz in the Park. Next to him will be Alex Han (saxophone), Alex Bailey (drums), Russell Gunn (trumpet), Julian Pollack (keyboards) and James Francies (keyboards).
Another name confirmed for the 2019 edition of the festival is the vocalist Judith Hill (US). Praised by Rolling Stones for her strong and sublime voice, Judith Hill studied music composition at Biola University (California). She quickly became a voice desired by some of the world’s most demanding artists such as Michael Jackson, who chose her for a duet that would be included in the ‘This Is It’ tour in 2009.
In 2013, Judith Hill won a Grammy for her music contribution to the film ’20 Feet from Stardom’. She collaborated with Stevie Wonder, Anastacia, Rod Stewart, Robbie Williams, Mike Oldfield, Josh Groban, went on tour with John Legend and collaborated with Prince. The latter has produced her debut album ‘Back in Time’ (2015) in the legendary Paisley Park studio. On stage, Judith Hill will perform with Michael White (drums), Gregory Moor ‘Gmoe’ (guitar), Robert Hill ‘Pee Wee’ (bass) and Michiko Hill (keyboards).
Another headliner highly relevant to the contemporary jazz scene is the band Ghost-Note. Project initiated by Robert ‘Sput’ Searight and Nate Werth, percussionists of the well-known jazz band Snarky Puppy, Ghost-Note could be described as an explosion of sounds. Comprised of top performers, such as MonoNeon, who played with Prince, Snoop Dogg, Erykah Badu, Herbie Hancock, Toto, only to name a few, Ghost-Note put funk in a very special light, where Afrobeat and hip-hop influences meet with psychedelic music and form a rich, fresh, fearless and extremely complex musical universe.
There will be wonderful, diverse concerts that viewers are invited to enjoy with their loved ones. What’s even more exciting is that all concerts of the festival are free. But the audience is able to support the festival and its cultural and social projects through the Jazz in the Park Fund. This year, the money raised from buying the non-mandatory tickets will go to support people from unprivileged communities, whose access to culture is being denied.