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Bryant Park Picnic Performances: Jazzmobile – Sarah Vaughan Centennial

June 21, 7 pm9 pm.

Celebrating the 100th birthday of legendary jazz singer Sarah Vaughan with acclaimed vocalist Charenée Wade and her Septet.

“Sarah Vaughan was the first vocalist that attracted me to Jazz at an early age. Her warm and rich tone was mesmerizing, her storytelling, improvisation, playful expressiveness, and her “swanging” soulfulness set a new standard for artists all around the world. She is the epitome of a great jazz musician and all generations of artists should listen and can learn from her recordings and expansive body of work. They called her Sass, but she is truly the Divine One.” – Charenee Wade

Known for expert vocal improvisational ability and her seriously swinging groove, Brooklyn native Charenée Wade evokes a classic jazz sound akin to Betty Carter and Sarah Vaughan, two of her musical touchstones. With her Motéma debut, Offering: The Music of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson, she pays tribute to another inspiration, the socially conscious poet and musician Gil Scott-Heron, and confirms that she too plans to use her artist platform thoughtfully. The first full-length album tribute to Scott-Heron and his musical collaborator Brian Jackson by a woman artist, Offering is arresting in just how timely Scott-Heron’s messages are today and how perfectly Wade delivers them through her savvy arrangements and intimate jazz interpretations. While she has earned many accolades – first runner-up in New York’s Jazzmobile Vocal competition; a participant in Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead program; a feature on NPR’s Song Travels; a starring role in the off-Broadway show Café Society and in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Salute to Betty Carter – she may surprise people with this authentic tour de force. Wade gives ample evidence on this remarkable debut as to why she is one of the most exciting, distinctive and bold young musical talents on the rise today. Wade has performed with Bobby Sanabria, Aaron Diehl, Oran Etkin, Robert Glasper and MacArthur Fellow and choreographer Kyle Abraham, among others, and at venues and festivals worldwide including Montreux and Spoleto. A singer, composer, arranger and educator, Wade teaches at Juillard Jazz, is also a professor at the Aaron Copland School at Queens College; in 2017 Wade received the Jazz At Lincoln Center Millennial Swing Award, and was just recently appointed to Peabody Institute.

Bryant Park Picnic Performances presented by Bank of America is a free outdoor festival (May 31 – September 13) that welcomes all New Yorkers to experience the city’s vibrant arts and culture. The series provides a platform for extraordinary artists and serves as a vital outdoor venue for a wide array of New York’s cultural institutions. To find out more, visit https://bryantpark.org/activities/picnic-performances


6th Avenue between 40th and 42nd Street
New York City, 10018