Umbria Jazz Winter#28: first concert at the Teatro Mancinelli on Wednesday 29 December at 9pm with the George Cables-Sullivan Fortner duo and the new trio composed of Sarah McKenzie-Romero Lubambo and Jaques Morelenbaum
Two pianists of two different generations, facing each other to prove once again that jazz is the art of meeting. George Cables, 76-year-old New Yorker, an old lion of hard bop, a historical partner of giants such as Sonny Rollins, Art Pepper, and Dexter Gordon; Sullivan Fortner, a 34-year-old pianist from New Orleans, one of the most celebrated representatives of the latest generations of pianists: over his still short career, he has played with Cécile McLorin Salvant, Roy Hargrove, and Wynton Marsalis. The piano duo formula is always charming, especially if talented improvisers practice it: unpredictable, open, breathtaking, made of mutual vibes. If it works, the result is more than the sum of the two individuals. Umbria Jazz has presented this formula many times, creating original partnerships: Chick Corea and Stefano Bollani, Corea with Herbie Hancock, Danilo Rea with Renato Sellani, Bollani with Martial Solal, Rita Marcotulli and Dado Moroni. The Festival invented this duo, too, like many others in the past. Cables and Fortner are the protagonists of this winter edition as resident artists, and they gladly agreed to form a duo.
Australian by birth and global citizen, singer, pianist, songwriter Sarah McKenzie is on the list of the artists who have succeeded in matching her talent for voice and keyboard. This list includes, for instance, Diana Krall and Norah Jones, and famous past representatives such as Carmen McRae, Betty Carter, or Blossom Dearie, who perhaps most resembles Sarah. First as a backing vocalist for Michael Bublé, then opening for Chris Botti, McKenzie has reached artistic maturity and fame, always remembering to study, improve her skills, and grow professionally. A central moment of this training path led her to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston thanks to a scholarship she got at the Umbria Jazz Clinics in Perugia. She made the third album in the USA, “We Could Be Lovers”, and recorded the fourth one in Paris, “Paris In The Rain”, and the latest one in America, “Secrets Of My Heart”. Sarah comes to Orvieto with a trio including two Brazilian music stars, guitarist Romero Lubambo and cellist Jaques Morelenbaum. They usually play with the most influential songwriters of MPB and in jazz settings. Lubambo and Morelenbaum are creative and unconventional artists, crossing jazz, samba, and classical tradition with absolute ease. Meanwhile, waiting for a new album, the trio has released a single, “Corcovado”. Its video was a success on the web.