PALMDALE – Smooth jazz comes to the Palmdale Amphitheater this Saturday with Gerald Albright and Jeanette Harris taking the stage as part of the city of Palmdale’s summer concert series.
“These are two of the most talented and enjoyable performers in jazz today,” said Palmdale’s Director of Recreation and Culture Keri Smith. “They have played with the biggest and best musicians in the world and we’re fortunate to be able to have both of them on the same stage in what will be an unforgettable evening.”
Tickets are available at www.PalmdaleAmphitheater.com. VIP tickets are $17 and general admission is $12. Parking is free. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the concert begins at 7 p.m. VIP ticket includes a chair (theater-style, first-come, first-served). General admission, bring your own chair. No outside food or drinks allowed. Concessions available, including beer and wine.
More on Gerald Albright
One of the biggest stars of R&B, contemporary and straight-ahead jazz, Gerald Albright has earned his reputation as a “musician’s musician.” Born in Los Angeles, he began piano lessons at an early age. Albright’s love of music picked up considerably when he was given a saxophone that belonged to his piano teacher. By the time he enrolled at the University of Redlands, he was already a polished saxophonist. Albright decided to switch to bass guitar after he saw Louis Johnson in concert. A few months after graduating from college, he joined jazz pianist/R&B singer Patrice Rushen, who was in the process of forming her own band. Later, when the bass player left in the middle of a tour, Albright replaced him and finished the tour on bass guitar.
During the ’80s, Albright became a highly requested session musician, playing on albums by a wide variety of artists — including Anita Baker, Ray Parker, Lola Folana, Atlantic Starr, Olivia Newton-John, The Temptations and Maurice White. He also toured extensively with Les McCann, Jeff Lorber, Teena Marie, the Winans, Marlena Shaw, Quincy Jones, and Whitney Houston, among many others. Albright also went on to record numerous successful solo albums for Atlantic Records. Two albums hit the number one slot on Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz Chart, and were nominated for GRAMMY® Awards in 1989 and 1990. Phil Collins asked him to front a Big Band in 1998, and they toured together. The two of them also recorded one of Albright’s tunes, “Chips N’ Salsa” on Collins’ Big Band Project, entitled A Hot Night In Paris. Later that year, Albright released Pleasures of the Night with Will Downing on Verve Forecast, which hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart as well.
Albright’s 2012 album 24/7, with GRAMMY®-winning guitarist Norman Brown, was nominated for a GRAMMY® Award in the category of Best Pop Instrumental Album. His 2014 release, Slam Dunk, received a GRAMMY® nomination in the Best Contemporary Instrumental Album category.
Over the years, Albright has appeared on numerous TV shows such as A Different World, Melrose Place and BET Jazz segments, as well as piloting a show in Las Vegas with Designing Women star Meshach Taylor. Albright was selected to be one of 10 saxophonists to play at President Clinton’s inauguration ceremony. Along the way, he has sold over a million albums in the U.S. alone and has appeared on nearly 200 albums by other artists. For more information, please visit http://geraldalbright.com/.
More on Jeanette Harris
Jeanette Harris was born and raised in Fresno. Reared by her mother, Annette, and her church organist father, Floyd Harris. She played saxophone and piano from grade school to high school, where band teacher Steve Alcala also had her play in the Fresno City College jazz band even before she graduated high school. Harris won numerous awards and accolades, which led to a scholarship to attend Berklee in Boston where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance.
Back in Fresno, Harris recorded her first self-released CD, Here and There, grabbing brother Michael to play drums with Patrick Olvera on bass, and began building a following by regularly packing Mike’s Pub & Pizzeria. She recorded her official debut album Reflections followed by Smooth Holiday Greetings on her family’s J&M Records.
Citing her influences, Harris lists Richard Elliot, Stevie Wonder, and Norman Brown among others. She has played major events from The Coombs River Bend Ranch Festival to festivals in Japan and London.
Harris has also performed as a side musician with Howard Hewett and Deniece Williams and has opened shows for greats ranging from smooth jazz stars Kirk Whalum, Najee and The Rippingtons to R&B stars Babyface, Phil Perry and KEM. Now with her fifth and finest CD, Chocolate Vibez, Jeanette Harris is unquestionably the next “Starchild of the Saxophone” touching hearts with every breath she takes.
Queen Nation and the Police Experience perform Aug. 12 as part of Palmdale’s summer concert series. Tickets for that show are available at www.PalmdaleAmphitheater.com.
[Information via news release from the city of Palmdale.]