Juneau Jazz & Classics announces Fall Festival line up

If you’ve been feeling a little cooped up the last few months and are looking for a fully vaccinated event to relieve your cabin fever, Juneau Jazz & Classics has a solution.

The group will present an in-person Fall Festival, Sept. 29 through Oct. 2, at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center.

The concert series will feature Grammy-award winning and Grammy-nominated jazz and classical artists, including The Judy Carmichael Trio, Helen Hwaya Kim, Jasmin Arakawa and the group’s artistic director Zuill Bailey performing on cello.

“The artists are coming to town. The flights are booked,” said Sandy Fortier, the Juneau Jazz & Classics’ executive director.

Fortier said audience members will be required to produce vaccine cards when entering the concert to make the live, in-person event possible. She noted that mask-wearing and social distancing procedures will be in place to ensure audience safety.

“All of us — presenters, audiences, and musicians — are excited by the return of live music. The touring music world has struggled through the pandemic. We want to continue to do everything in our power so that the show can go on, safely,” said Zane Jones, board chair for Juneau Jazz & Classics, in a recent news release.

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Sorry kids

The vaccine requirement means that children younger than 12 won’t be able to partake in this season’s concerts.

“We will make it up to families in the spring,” said Fortier. “We will have lots of family events then.”

Fortier said she’s seen social media responses to concert announcements tagged as “date night” or “girl’s night.”

During past music festivals, free community pop-up concerts took place around town. Fortier said decisions about pop-up concerts are pending and will depend on the community’s COVID-19 situation during the week of the festival.

She also said the group is keeping an eye on the risk level and is prepared to pivot if needed.

“Our plan now is to present the 2021-2022 festival season as we normally would, doing what we need to do to stay safe, but behind the scenes, we are always working on contingencies and exploring alternatives,” Fortier said. “Our first concern is with the health and safety of our patrons, volunteers, and artists, so we are taking the recommendations of qualified public health officials very seriously.”

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Meet the artists

Fortier said the concert lineup is full of outstanding talent. Here are profiles of the featured artists, provided by Juneau Jazz & Classics.

The Judy Carmichael Trio includes Grammy-nominated pianist/singer/songwriter/radio host Judy Carmichael, one of the world’s leading interpreters of stride and swing piano. She is accompanied on stage by a guitar player and saxophonist. Count Basie nicknamed Carmichael “Stride,” acknowledging the command with which she plays this technically and physically demanding jazz piano style. A celebrated humorist as well, Carmichael, has been described as “Fats Waller meets Peggy Lee meets Paula Poundstone.”

Violinist Helen Hwaya Kim made her orchestral debut with the Calgary Philharmonic at the age of 6 and has gone on to become a respected and sought-after artist. She has appeared as a soloist with the Boston Pops at Boston’s Symphony Hall and the Milwaukee and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras. While at Juilliard, she served as Concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra and was the winner of the Juilliard Concerto Competition at both the pre-college and college levels. She is the recipient of more than one hundred national and international awards. She won the prestigious Artists International Competition in New York and, as a result, gave debut recitals at Carnegie Weill Hall and the Aspen Summer Music Festival.

Hailed by Gramophone for her “characterful sparkle,” Jasmin Arakawa has performed on her piano widely in North America, Central, and South America, Europe, China, and Japan. Jasmin Arakawa is a graduate of Tokyo University of the Arts. She holds a Doctor of Music and Master of Music degrees in piano performance from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She studied with Emile Naoumoff, the last protégé of Nadia Boulanger.

Juneau Jazz & Classics Artistic Director Zuill Bailey will join Kim and Arakawa on different nights. Considered one of the premiere cellists in the world, Bailey is a Grammy Award-winning, internationally renowned soloist, recitalist, artistic director and teacher.

Contact reporter Dana Zigmund at dana.zigmund@juneauempire.com or 907-308-4891.

Know & Go

Visit www.jazzandclassics.org to find a complete list of shows and workshops or to purchase tickets.

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