FREE performances at the South Beach Jazz festival on Lincoln Road.
Sunday, January 6: The South Beach Jazz Festival presents four FREE sets of outstanding jazz at the Euclid Circle Stage between 12 and 6 PM. Leading off will be the Leesa Richards Jazz Project. Singer-Songwriter Leesa Richards is a storyteller, a soulful voice offering a soundtrack to the narratives of life. Her sound taps into the deep roots of R&B, the poetry of jazz and folk and the energy of rock. Richards has performed with a slate of powerhouse artists including Faith Hill, Whitney Houston, The Bee Gees, Gloria Estefan, Jon Secada, Julio Iglesias and Oleta Adams and has recorded with Barbra Streisand and Lenny Kravitz.
Brian Lynch's "Spheres of Influence" follows at 1:30. Brian has been a member of Eddie Palmieri's Afro-Caribbean Jazz group and has led the Latin Side of Miles project with trombonist Conrad Herwig. He has worked with Buena Vista Social Club alumnus Barbarito Torres, recorded with dance remixers Joe Claussell, Little Louie Vega and the Latin alternative group Yerba Buena. He arranged for Japanese pop star Mika Nakashima and producer Shinichi Osawa, has written string charts for Phil Woods, and has played with Maxwell, Prince, and Sheila E. Lynch and Eddie Palmieri shared the 2007 Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album for "Simpático."
At 3:15 Maria Rivas takes the stage, with special guest Nestor Torres. Known as one of the most versatile voices in Latin America and now North America, Maria Rivas skillfully combines American and Latin Jazz rhythms with lively yet sentimental music from around the world. She interprets her music in English, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, and performs her own blend of traditional standards as well as music and lyrics she has composed herself... Latin Grammy Award winning Nestor Torres' rhythmic and mellifluous flute sound remains apart in a class all by itself.
Closing the afternoon at 4:30 will be Jonathan Joseph's Weather Underground, featuring Randy Bernsen and Special Guest Bobby Thomas, Jr. A veteran of jazz legend Josef Zawinul’s band The Zawinul Syndicate (successor to Weather Report), Jonathan subsequently worked with Latin jazz flutist Nestor Torres, and later joined contemporary jazz saxophonist David Sanborn. Jonathan has also performed with guitarist Pat Metheny in The Pat Metheny Group and maintained a rigorous touring and recording schedule working with Al Jarreau, Mike Stern, Bill Evans and performing on a Grammy winning album featuring Randy Brecker... Guitarist Randy Bernsen was a part of Blood, Sweat & Tears. He has recorded with numerous greats of fusion jazz, including Urszula Dudziak, Bob James, Herbie Hancock, Jaco Pastorius, Peter Erskine, Wayne Shorter, Michael Brecker, Marcus Miller, Steve Gadd, and Toots Thielemans... Special Guest Bobby Thomas, Jr, is an American jazz percussionist and hand drummer. He is known as an innovator in Be-bop and hand drumming, and has been nominated for two Grammy awards. Thomas is a veteran of Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter's jazz fusion group Weather Report. After the group disbanded, Thomas resettled in Miami, and shortly afterward issued a solo CD of his own music In the Dreamtime on a local label. Besides Weather Report, Thomas played with The Zawinul Syndicate, Jaco Pastorius' Word of Mouth band, and individual artists including Stan Getz, David Sanborn, Carlos Santana, Eddie Harris, Branford Marsalis, Herbie Mann, Ahmad Jamal and Roberto Perera.