To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the popular Twin Cities Jazz Festival has tapped Cuban jazz titan Paquito D'Rivera and superstar bassist Christian McBride as headliners for June 23-24 in Mears Park in St. Paul's Lowertown.
The multi-stage, St. Paul-centric festival is free, underwritten by sponsors and grants.
A Cuban immigrant who sought asylum in the United States in 1980, saxophonist/clarinetist D'Rivera, 74, first gained attention as a member of the Cuban group Irakere. As a bandleader, he has won five Grammys and seven Latin Grammys. He was named an NEA jazz master in 2005. His most recent record, "I Missed You Too," was released in 2022.
At TC Jazz Festival, D'Rivera will perform with the Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Latin Experience.
One of the most vibrant forces in contemporary jazz, McBride, 50, has earned eight Grammys. He not only composes, records and performs music but he hosts NPR's "Jazz Night in America" and a talk program on SiriusXM; serves as artistic director of the Newport Jazz Festival, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and other institutions, and runs a jazz education program in New Jersey with his wife, Melissa Walker.
A much in-demand sideman, McBride has recorded with a who's who of jazz, including McCoy Tyner and Diana Krall, as well as with such diverse artists as the Roots, Renee Fleming and Paul McCartney.
Christian McBride's New Jawn will perform March 21-22 at the Dakota in Minneapolis in what could be an intimate preview of his TC Jazz Festival appearance.
The 2023 edition of TC Jazz Fest will be the swan song for founder and executive director Steve Heckler, who will retire and turn over the reins to Dayna Martinez, a vice president at the Ordway.
The rest of the lineup for TC Jazz Festival will be announced later.