August 1, 2011 Highmount, NY – The final weekend of Belleayre’s Catskill Mountain Jazz Series gets underway on Friday, Aug. 5 at 8 p.m. when the Ravi Coltrane Quartet turns up the heat in the Belleayre Jazz Club. It’s never easy to follow in the footsteps of a musical legend, but Ravi Coltrane has methodically carved his niche in the upper echelons of today’s jazz scene. The son of jazz giant John Coltrane, Ravi has evolved into a powerfully mature artist with a richly diverse, yet highly distinctive concept, as both a saxophonist and a composer. His longtime quartet – pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Drew Gress and drummer E.J. Strickland – has established itself as one of the most consistently thrilling and acclaimed groups in jazz today. Led by Coltrane’s blistering sax work, the quartet continues to blaze its own trail across the jazz landscape. General admission tickets are $26 for this show in Belleayre’s Overlook Lodge.
Drummer Jimmy Cobb, who played on the original Miles Davis release Kind of Blue, leads his So What Band in a dynamic interpretation of this landmark record on Saturday, Aug. 6 at 8 p.m. at the Belleayre Music Festival. In the church of jazz, Miles Davis Kind of Blue is one of the holy relics. Critics revere it as a stylistic milestone and it is still the best-selling jazz album of all time, certified quadruple platinum in 2008. An album so wide-reaching in its scope that musicians in both the rock and classical genres have cited it as an influence and have recorded hundreds of versions of the music on the album. Yet, in a manner that would have made Miles Davis smile, the album no longer belongs exclusively to a limited musical circle; to many listeners, it is simply great music, not just great jazz. In more than a half-century since the album’s release, many things have happened not the least of which is the passing of Miles Davis and most of the original musicians who contributed to that recording. However, original drummer Jimmy Cobb has been touring the last two years with his So What Band, bringing these classic tunes to a whole new generation of fans in every corner of the world. Drummer extraordinaire Jimmy Cobb, has brought together five jazz all-stars – luminaries and band leaders in their own right – to give this watershed album its appropriate respect, while putting their indelible stamp on each song. A legend in his own right, Jimmy Cobb’s So What Band is an all-star roster of some of the most revered players on today’s jazz scene. The stellar outfit is made up of Larry Willis on piano, bassist Buster Williams, Javon Jackson on tenor saxophone, Vince Herring also on saxophone and 27-year-old trumpet sensation and Grammy nominee Christian Scott. Tickets for the Kind of Blue tribute are $66, $56, $46, $36, $25 (lawn).
Belleayre Mountain to Present “Living with the Black Bears” at Pine Hill Community Center
Belleayre Mountain will present a Nature Education Lecture “Living with the Black Bears” at the Pine Hill Community Center on Sunday, August 14 at 2pm. DEC Wildlife Biologist Matt Merchant will be on hand to present an informative interactive discussion about black bears and the how to peacefully coexist with them in the Catskill Mountains. Come out for an engaging talk about these often misunderstood iconic furry forest dwellers.