8th Annual Coltrane Jazz Festival Packed With Grammy Award Winners, Music Veterans and Newcomers


Critically acclaimed jazz singer/songwriter Gregory Porter and jazz guitar powerhouse Lee Ritenour will headline the first day of the John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival. They will be joined by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and vocal sensation Jazzmeia Horn on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018.
Legendary vocalist Dianne Reeves, Latin Jazz innovator Pete Escovedo, and Sheila E, his daughter, will  lead the music festival’s second day line-up with saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, and Blues sensation Jackie Venson performing on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018.


Porter first appeared as a featured performer for the 2016 Coltrane Jazzfest. To this day, his performance is talked about by people in the area who were in attendance. His most recent release is NAT “KING” COLE & ME, a tribute to the revered and groundbreaking singer who Porter cites as an important musical influence. Porter won the GRAMMY AWARD for Best Jazz Vocal Album twice, for TAKE ME TO THE ALLEY in 2016 and LIQUID SPIRIT, in 2014.  

Ritenour has recorded more than 40 albums that have yielded 35 chart songs.  His forty year eclectic and storied career is highlighted by a GRAMMY AWARD win for the 1986 collaboration with Dave Grusin, HARLEQUIN.  Ritenour has earned 19 GRAMMY nominations, and is a founding member of the group Fourplay, one of the most successful contemporary jazz bands.

Reeves, a five-time GRAMMY AWARD winner, is considered the pre-eminent jazz vocalist in the world because of her vocal prowess and unique jazz and R&B stylings. The National Endowment for the Arts named Reeves a 2018 Jazz Master, the highest national honor for a Jazz artist.




Her 2014 release A BEAUTIFUL LIFE won the GRAMMY AWARD for Best Jazz Vocal Album, a category.  She also won for the 2005 release, GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK (motion picture soundtrack), A LITTLE MOONLIGHT, released in 2003, THE CALLING, released in 2001 and her 2000 live recording IN THE MOMENT.

Escovedo returns to the John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival, leading his orchestra and hosting his famous daughter, Sheila E as special guest. In the 1970s, the elder Escovedo was a member of the Carlos Santana band and performed on the albums MOONFLOWER, ONENESS and INNER SECRETS.  Escovedo’s name has been synonymous with Latin, Latin Jazz, and Salsa music for more than 50 years.  


Sheila E chose the drums while growing up watching her dad and uncles rehearse with the likes of Tito Puente, Carlos Santana and many of the top musicians of the day.  She  spent five decades making Latin and pop music– from Sheila E.’s very first band when she was a teenager to her tours with Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie, Prince, to the launch of her own solo career.


Ravi Coltrane is a three-time GRAMMY AWARD nominee, saxophonist, composer, bandleader and record producer.  He earned a 2017 nomination as Best Improvised Jazz Solo Performance for his work on IN MOVEMENT a collaborative effort working with legendary drummer Jack DeJohnette.  The second son of John and Alice Coltrane, Ravi was named after Indian sitar legend Ravi Shankar.


In their 40 year history, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, whose sound is described as a “musical gumbo,” has toured 5 continents and 30 countries, recorded 12 studio albums and collaborated with a range of artists from Modest Mouse to Widespread Panic to Norah Jones. The New Orleans based band with a world-wide reputation, took the traditional foundation of brass band music and incorporated it into a blend of genres including Bebop Jazz, Funk and R&B/Soul.  





The festival will also feature performances by three up and coming singers including  Jazzmeia Horn who won the 2015 Thelonious Monk International Vocal Jazz Competition and the 2013 Sarah Vaughan International; rising Blues guitar and vocalist, Jackie Venson and Michelle Coltrane, the stepdaughter of the festival’s namesake.


The John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival will be held September 1-2, 2018 in Oak Hollow Festival Park, High Point, NC. The yearly celebration of jazz and blues music honors Coltrane, a High Point, NC native son, who graduated from William Penn High School, now Penn Griffin School of the Arts.  The two-day festival that happens over Labor Day weekend, has become a destination event for festival goers. Ticket information and festival details are available www.coltranejazzfest.com.


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