Festival 2017

Co-Curators Dave Douglas, Keyon Harrold, Stephanie Richards, and John Blevins Present A Broad Spectrum of Styles And Sensibilities

2017 FONT Music Award of Recognition Goes To Jazz Trumpet Legend Charles Tolliver

From September 8 through 14, 2017, New York’s award winning Festival of New Trumpet Music (FONT Music) returns with Impact: Celebrating 15 Years of Boundary-Breaking Music

Since 2003, FONT Music, directed by trumpeter and composer Dave Douglas, has presented exceptional programs of new trumpet music across genres. Along with trumpeters and longtime FONT Music collaborator Stephanie Richards, Douglas and his core team have this year invited a community of brass players to “co-curate” the festival. Trumpeters Keyon Harrold, Stephanie Richards, and John Blevins all contribute their unique visions to this year’s extraordinary program.

The theme for the 2017 Festival is Impact. Impact is not only the title of an album by trumpeter Charles Tolliver’s Music Inc. and Orchestra, who is being honored at the Festival this year, it is also a celebration of the new music being created by the strong community of brass players FONT Music has helped build over the last 15 years in New York and beyond.

«For 15 years FONT has been working to create meaningful social and musical experiences for the trumpet community and beyond, and we’ve celebrated ideas that are new, different, in and out, for every step of the way. For this year, Impact 2017 highlights the importance of coming together in these times. Our program draws on progressive artists from circles that overlap in exciting and unexpected ways. FONT 2017 celebrates the new, the different and the future.»
— Stephanie Richards

The Festival opens on Friday, September 8, when curators Stephanie Richards and Gabe Medd present a night of Brass Bands with High and Mighty Brass Band and Slavic Soul Party that celebrates groove based brass band music from around the world. This program embraces music old and new. The show starts at 8:30pm at The Stone at New School’s Glassbox Theater, 55 W 13th St., New York, NY

Saturday, September 9 is FONT@15 at The Stone at New School’s Glassbox Theater, 55 W 13th St., New York, NY at 8:30pm. Founder and curator Dave Douglas presents a multi-trumpet celebration of our 15th anniversary.

FONT Music will present its Award Of Recognition to Charles Tolliver on Sunday, September 10 at The New School at 5pm, acknowledging Tolliver as a remarkable talent who has gained an outstanding reputation as a trumpeter, bandleader, composer, arranger and educator. Tolliver’s individual and distinctive sound set him apart from other trumpet players and make him a perfect fit with FONT Music’s mission. Previous recipients include Wadada Leo Smith, Kenny Wheeler, Raymond Mase, Bobby Bradford, Eddie Henderson, John McNeil and Laurie Frink.

The event — “Honoring Charles Tolliver” — will include a group of Festival performers who will participate in a Panel Discussion about Musician Self Determination and Creative Empowerment moderated by Dave Douglas. Panelists include Charles Tolliver, Keyon Harrold, and Meghan Stabile.

FONT Music returns to Jazz at Lincoln Center with “The Flow Anthology” curated by Keyon Harrold on Monday, September 11 and Tuesday, September 12 at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola with sets at 7:30pm and 9:30pm. This bold program, which also includes trumpeters Marquis Hill, Igmar Thomas, and Leron Thomas, will feature a world premiere of new music by Keyon, funded by the FONT Music award of the Roy Campbell, Jr. Commission, in honor of the organization’s co-founder. Keyon is an eclectic trumpeter/music producer/arranger/songwriter that who has been featured on nearly 100 albums ranging from jazz, R&B, pop, gospel, blues and hip hop. Keyon has toured and recorded with or produced for some of the world’s best artists and ensembles like Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Common, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill to name a few. He also has had numerous musical placements in film and TV including the Miles Davis Biopic “Miles Ahead” directed by Don Cheadle where he is featured as the trumpet sound of Don Cheadle playing Miles Davis.

Closing out the Festival on Wednesday, September 13 and Thursday, September 14, curator John Blevins presents two nights of programs — Wing Walker Orchestra + FONT Music — that expand the idea of what a trumpet player can do and highlight musical innovation that defies genres. Wednesday’s program features the Oskar Stenmark Quartet, Danny Gouker’s Signal Problems, and the Wing Walker Orchestra featuring Jonathan Finlayson. Thursday evening will feature the Allison Phillips Trio, Jason Palmer Quintet, and the Wing Walker Orchestra featuring Jason Palmer. Shows start 7pm at ShapeShifter Lab, 18 Whitwell Pl, Brooklyn.

Nate Chinen of the New York Times described the 2015 Festival: “the Festival of New Trumpet Music…folds an enormous range of original music into its embrace. Increasingly, Mr. Douglas has engaged a brain trust of fellow trumpeters to help program the event.” The 2017 Festival continues this tradition, furthering its mission to support a diverse community of trumpet and brass players, and presenting their work to the public.

Brian Zimmerman of Downbeat had this to say last year: “The Festival of New Trumpet Music (FONT), founded by Dave Douglas in 2003, has become an extensive, ambitious enterprise. It serves as both a platform for presenting contemporary trumpet sounds—in various musical contexts, not exclusively jazz—and a lens through which to study emerging trends in jazz and brass performance.”

For more information: fontmusic.org or fontmusic@gmail.com

At a Glance

2017 Festival of New Trumpet Music

Impact: Celebrating 15 Years of Boundary-Breaking Music

Friday, September 8 8:30 pm $20
High and Mighty Brass Band and Slavic Soul Party @ The Stone at New School’s Glassbox Theater, 55 W 13th St., New York, NY

Saturday, September 9 8:30 pm $20
FONT@15 @ The Stone at New School’s Glassbox Theater, 55 W 13th St., New York, NY
Dave Douglas Presents: 15 Years of FONT Music with Stephanie Richards, Keyon Harrold and others.

Sunday, September 10 5:00 pm FREE
FONT Award of Recognition to Charles Tolliver @ The New School, 55 West 13th Street
Panel Discussion on Creative Self Determination for Musical Artists with Charles Tolliver, Dave Douglas, Keyon Harrold, Meghan Stabile.

Monday, September 11 7:30 pm & 9:30 pm $30, Student $20
Tuesday, September 12 7:30 pm & 9:30 pm $35, Student $20
The Flow Anthology @ Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola
Curated by Keyon Harrold with Marquis Hill, Igmar Thomas, and Leron Thomas.
World premiere of new music by Keyon Harrold, funded by FONT Music’s Roy Campbell, Jr. Commission.

Wednesday, September 13 7:00 pm $10
Visionaries Night 1 @ ShapeShifter Lab, 18 Whitwell Pl, Brooklyn
Music for Wing Walkers + FONT Music featuring Oskar Stenmark Quartet, Danny Gouker’s Signal Problems, and the Wing Walker Orchestra featuring Jonathan Finlayson.

Thursday, September 14 7:00 pm $10
Visionaries Night 2 @ ShapeShifter Lab, 18 Whitwell Pl, Brooklyn
Music for Wing Walkers + FONT Music featuring Allison Phillips Trio, Jason Palmer Quintet, and the Wing Walker Orchestra featuring Jason Palmer.

For more information: fontmusic.org or fontmusic@gmail.com

Charles Tolliver Biography

Dizzy Gillespie, when asked in a Downbeat magazine interview with Herb Nolan, “what trumpet players do you hear today whom you like”, Dizzy’s reply, “Charles Tolliver – I like him”. Charles Tolliver, entirely self-taught, is a remarkable talent who has gained an outstanding reputation as a trumpetist, bandleader, composer, arranger, and educator. Born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1942, his musical career began at the age of 8 when his beloved grandmother, Lela, presented him with his first instrument, a cornet, and the inspiration to learn.

After a few years of college majoring in pharmacy at Howard University, and formulating his trumpet style, Charles began his professional career with the saxophone giant Jackie Mclean. Making his recording debut with McLean on Blue Note Records in 1964, Charles has since recorded and/or performed with such renowned artists as Roy Haynes, Hank Mobley, Willie Bobo, Horace Silver, McCoy Tyner, Sonny Rollins, Booker Ervin, Gary Bartz, Herbie Hancock, The Gerald Wilson Orchestra, Oliver Nelson, Andrew Hill, Louis Hayes, Roy Ayers, Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers, and Max Roach.

Charles Tolliver has been a recipient of the Downbeat Critic’s Choice for the Trumpet category. In 1969 he formed the quartet Music Inc which has become internationally respected for its innovative trumpet quartet approach. Charles and his Music Inc, has toured in North and South America, Europe, Scandinavia, and Japan performing at festivals, concerts, radio and television stations. In 1970 he and his alter ego fellow musician artist Stanley Cowell created Strata-East Records which he has steadfastly kept alive straight into the present. During the ’80s and ’90s he continued touring with his small group, MUSIC INC, and on a number of occasions performed his large ensemble compositions and arrangements as soloist with practically every European Radio/TV Jazz orchestra. Having already issued on his Strata-East label two critically acclaimed big band LPs, “Music Inc & Big Band” and “Impact”, now in the new millennium he once again returned to the big band format. In 2007 he issued on Blue Note Records his big band recording entitled, “With Love” which was immediately Grammy Nominated. The Jazz Journalists Association presented him with the “Best Large Ensemble of the Year 2007” award for his new tour de force group The Charles Tolliver Big Band. In an historic reenactment & presentation at Town Hall in 2009 for the 50th anniversary celebration of Thelonious Monk’s historic 1959 Town Hall concert, he was featured performing his definitive transcription of the lost scores of arranger Hal Overton’s orchestrations of Thelonious’ music exactly as it was performed & recorded for the original concert. His newest big band CD “Emperor March” recorded live at the Blue Note New York City was released in March 2009.

Charles has perfected an extremely individual and distinctive sound which clearly sets him apart from other trumpet players. Characterized by a strong sense of tradition, he said in a recent Downbeat magazine interview about his approach to improvising that, “I like to rumble. I take the most difficult routes for improvisation. It’s easy to play a number of choruses effortlessly and never make a mistake, never break down. That’s no fun. You need to get in hot water by trying something out right from the jump, get yourself out of that, and move on to the next chorus.”

Source: charlestolliver.com