Bravo Niagara presents the Blue Note Records 85th Anniversary Celebration
The only Canadian performance starring The Blue Note Quintet feat. Gerald Clayton, Joel Ross, Immanuel Wilkins, Kendrick Scott, and Matt Brewer
Blue Note Records is the most-respected and longest-running Jazz label in the world. In celebration of their 85th Anniversary, The Blue Note Quintet honours the label’s rich history and paves the way for the eclectic artists of today’s roster. Six-time Grammy Award nominee Gerald Clayton leads the band as Musical Director and Pianist; “Gerald Clayton is one of the most accomplished, distinctive and innovative pianists performing today” says Don Was, the label’s President since 2012. Rounding out the group is vibraphonist Joel Ross, Saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins, Drummer Kendrick Scott, and Bassist Matt Brewer.
“Blue Note has been such a wonderful home for the community, for incredible musicians, for creativity, for all these years. You can’t help but think about all those masters, all those heroes that you’ve grown up listening to. To get a chance to pay tribute and try to carry some of that essence forward is truly just an honor.”
Blue Note Records was founded on January 6, 1939 when a German-Jewish immigrant and passionate Jazz fan named Alfred Lion produced his first recording session in New York City. The label has gone on to represent The Finest In Jazz, tracing the entire history of the music from Hot Jazz, Boogie Woogie, and Swing, through Bebop, Hard Bop, Post-Bop, Soul Jazz, Avant-Garde, and Fusion, and—after being relaunched by Bruce Lundvall in 1984—has remained the leading label dedicated to documenting today’s vibrant and creatively thriving Jazz scene under the leadership of current President Don Was, who took the helm in 2012.
The visionary young voices of jazz have long been the lifeblood of Blue Note Records, and The Blue Note Quintet continues the tradition of rising stars of the roster joining forces to celebrate the label’s unparalleled legacy including Out of the Blue, Superblue, New Directions, The Blue Note 7, and The Blue Note All-Stars.
Gerald Clayton joined Blue Note in 2020 and has released two albums—Happening: Live At The Village Vanguard and Bells On Sand—as well as performing on Blue Note albums by Charles Lloyd, Ambrose Akinmusire, and Bill Frisell.
Kendrick Scott signed with Blue Note in 2015 and has released three albums for the label—We Are The Drum, A Wall Becomes A Bridge, and Corridors—and appeared on Blue Note albums by Terence Blanchard, Walter Smith III, and the Blue Note All-Stars.
Joel Ross came to Blue Note in 2019 with the release of KingMaker and has since released Who Am I? and The Parable Of The Poet with his latest album nublues due out in February 2024. He’s been featured on Blue Note albums by Makaya McCraven, Johnathan Blake, Joshua Redman, and Meshell Ndegeocello.
Immanuel Wilkins released his Blue Note debut Omega in 2020 followed by The 7th Hand in 2022. He is a member of Joel Ross Good Vibes and Johnathan Blake Pentad and was part of the Leonard Cohen tribute band Here It Is.