Women Leading Bands at this Year’s Lake George Jazz Festival
Among the strengths of this year’s Jazz weekend is a line up of “strong female artists,” says Paul Pines, who helped create the annual lakeside festival more than thirty years ago.
Moreover, they are all unusually fluent in the cross-cultural language of contemporary jazz, said Pines.
“Their music, however different, has international flavors; they draw on a number of different cultures,” said Pines.
Anat Cohen, the Israeli born clarinetist and saxophonist who will perform on Saturday evening, September 13, is this year’s headliner.
“She’s been called one of the greatest players ever of the clarinet,” said Pines. “She moves within a range of styles, from New Orleans music to swing, from Africa to Brazil. She has unique, multicultural voice. And she’s a very dynamic performer.”
Anat Cohen and her quartet take the stage at 7:30 pm.
French singer Cyrille Aimee will perform with her quintet at 2:45 on Saturday afternoon.
“This is gypsy jazz, in a direct line of descent from Django Rinehart,” said Pines. “Growing up in Sasmoise-sur-Seine, she was drawn to the gypsy caravans, where she learned their music and language.”
Aimee has won a Montreux Jazz Festival’s International Vocal Competition and a Sarah Vaughn International Jazz Vocal Competition. She was as a finalist in a Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition.
At 2:45 pm on Sunday, September 14, reed player Jane Bunnett and her band of female Cuban All-Stars will perform.
“Jane Bunnett is a national treasure of Canada, but her passion is Afro-Cuban music,” said Pines. “Her continuous contact with Cuba has given her an unparalleled entrée to the kind of performers who compose her new band. It’s modern jazz with a Cuban soul, but from a feminist perspective, which you rarely get in jazz.”