The red-hot Festival Big Band plays the perennially sold-out concert, this year with three vocalists to add to the high energy. In her second appearance at the Festival, Zoe Ellis is well-known to audiences across California. Described by reviewers as a “resourceful and inventive vocalist,” she sang for many years with the Bay Area funk band, the Mo’Fessionals. Last year’s Big Band vocalist Kim Nalley returns again this year to set the woods, and the house, on fire. According to Down Beat, “Sultry voiced Nalley brings an irresistibly sexy sense of swing, rhythmic dexterity and beautiful sound to the classics, with her crisp diction and playful delivery of earthy lines.” New Orleans native Kenny Washington has a childhood background in gospel, but is at home with the blues as well as jazz. He can scat with the harmonic daring and rhythmic command of a bebop saxophonist, croon with the simmering soul of Donny Hathaway, and interpret standards with intelligence and emotional commitment.
The Festival Big Band:
Saxophones: Jim Dukey, Jimmy Kraft, Greg D’Augelli, Frances Vaneck; Barbara D’Augelli
Trumpets: Doug Morton, Jim Rodseth, John Capobianco, Josh Reed
Trombones: Don Benham, Tonya Akley, Jeanne Geiger, Matt Hall
Bass: Jerry Watts, Jr.
Drums: Ralph Humphrey
Guitar: Terry Simcik
Piano: Julian Pollack