Some of the nation’s best jazz artists and outstanding local acts will take the Kennedy Plaza stage for the 14th annual Chicken Bone Beach Jazz on the Beach Series – one of Atlantic City’s favorite summertime traditions.
Pictured is July 18 headliner Christopher Dean Sullivan. Sullivan's quartet will feature Angel Rose.
The Chicken Bone Beach Historical Foundation, Inc., and Atlantic City Free Public Library present this free concert series, which takes place on Thursdays in July and August from 7-10 p.m. at Kennedy Plaza, located on the Atlantic City Boardwalk between Mississippi and Georgia avenues.
The schedule features:
• Thursday, July 4: Reuben Wilson
. A former pro boxer, Reuben Wilson is hailed as a godfather of acid jazz – a genre that combines jazz, funk, hip-hop and soul. He began to earn that lofty status with the release of “On Broadway” in the late 1960s. “Got To Get Your Own,” the title track to his 1974 album, gained great popularity on the dance club scene in Europe in the ’80s. The opening act is Tony Day & the Across the Globe Band.
• Thursday, July 11
: Steve Kroon Jazz Sextet.
For two decades, conga virtuoso Steve Kroon served as Luther Vandross’ go-to percussionist – appearing on seven platinum albums and 15 world tours – and has backed Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack and Diana Krall. Kroon’s Jazz Sextet produces a melodic, adventurous Afro-Cuban and Brazilian-inflected sound all its own. The opening act is the Richard Tucker Quartet.
• Thursday, July 18
: Christopher Dean Sullivan Quartet featuring Angel Rose.
The Jazz Journalists Association once stated that Christopher Dean Sullivan is “a bassist whose authoritative and bluesy bendings of the notes honor his affection for legends such as Slam Stewart as well as Ray Brown.” Angel Rose is a Grammy nominated vocalist. The opening act is Pam Walker & Friends.
• Thursday, July 25
: Pucho & His Latin Soul Brothers.
Timbales player Henry “Pucho” Brown helped introduce the Boogaloo movement. Brown founded His Latin Soul Brothers in 1959, and the group was well-known for fusing Jazz, Latin, soul and funk. According to All About Jazz, “no one has done more to bring together Latin jazz and soul-jazz than Henry ‘Pucho’ Brown.” The group gained new fans in the 1990s in Britain, where his music was a hit with the acid jazz crowd. The opening act is Latin Wave.
• Thursday, Aug. 1
: Larry Ridley & the Jazz Legacy Ensemble.
Larry Ridley’s resume is seemingly endless while remarkably impressive. The bassist has played with the likes of Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, just to name a few. The Executive Director of the African American Jazz Caucus, Inc., Ridley has been inducted into various halls of fame and was the recipient of a Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s Living Legacy Award. The opening act is the Chicken Bone Beach Youth Jazz Ensemble.
• Thursday, Aug. 8
: Ray Gaskins Quartet featuring Mycah Chevalier.
Saxophonist/vocalist Ray Gaskins has played all over the world, performing with Roy Ayers, Stuff, Brand New Heavies, Phyllis Hyman and disco diva Jocelyn Brown. Gaskins released his seventh CD, “A Time To Love,” in 2012. Mycah Chevalier is a sultry, soulful vocalist who stirs a hypnotic blend of jazz, soul and blues with hints of her Creole roots. The opening act is Connie Jackson & Friends.
• Thursday, Aug. 15
: Danny Mixon.
As a child, Harlem-born Danny Mixon went to the Apollo Theatre with his grandfather and, inspired by the jazz musicians he heard, knew that he wanted to become a pianist. He began lessons at 13 years of age, and by 17 he was invited to play with Sam Brown and Patti LaBelle in Atlantic City. Mixon was one of the first musicians honored by the National Jazz Museum in 2004. The opening act is Dwain Davis & Quartet.
• Thursday, Aug. 22
: Lee Smith Quartet.
JazzTimes wrote that bassist Lee Smith, a Philadelphia native, “has it all, and ‘all’ includes a fierce sense of swing, formidable technique, exquisite taste and restraint, and an always-inventive ability as a soloist.” Self-taught on the electric and upright bass, Smith worked the Atlantic City circuit in the 1980s and has performed with legends such as Dizzy Gillespie and Cab Calloway. The opening act is the Lyn Ridley Quartet.
• Thursday, Aug. 29
: Alan Nelson Lines of Reason.
Philadelphian Alan Nelson and all members of his band have performed under their own direction as band leaders. Often called a master drummer, Nelson has played at countless venues, joking that he knows “every pot hole and bump on the Jersey Turnpike.” Nelson’s style has been described as Philly Tip, which he says is “a certain kind of swing – a certain sound that players seem to have that come out of this region.” The opening act is the Keith Hollis Quartet.
The 14th annual Jazz on the Beach Concert Series is funded in part by the NJ State Council of the Arts/Department of State through the Atlantic County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, City of Atlantic City, Comcast, PNC Bank, Kinematica Inc, Kramer Beverage Co. COORS, Just 4 Wheels, Atlantic City Convention Center, CRDA and ZEO Brothers. Tune in to Richard Stockton College radio station WLFR (91.7 FM) on Wednesdays from 7 to 8 p.m. for the Chicken Bone Beach hour.
Call (609) 441-9064 or (609) 841-6897; or, visit www.chickenbonebeach.org for more information.