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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, May 22, 2009

Jazzfest this weekend

Dianne Reeves, one the world's top vocalists, Mingus Big Bandand the Mingus Big Band, an avant-garde ensemble that makes Charles Mingus' legacy a living thing, will headline this year's Bellevue Jazz Festival. Mose Allison, the veteran pianist and singer famous for fusing rustic blues and jazz, also will play. 

The 2009 jazz showcase will be May 22-24 at the Meydenbauer Center downtown. Other performers are: Kurt Elling, Patricia Barber and Danilo Perez. Festival passes and tickets for individual shows will be on sale March 5 at bellevuejazz.com and Brown Paper Tickets.

Presented by First Tech Credit Union, the festival is organized by the Bellevue Downtown Association, which revived it as a high-profile event with national talent last year. The City of Bellevue is a supporting partner, along with Microsoft Corporation, 4Culture and KPLU-FM.

Reeves has won a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance for each of her last three albums, the only artist in any singing category to do so. She will perform with "Strings Attached" -- guitar masters Russell Malone and Romero Lubambo -- at 9 p.m., Friday, in Meydenbauer's Center Hall.

The 11-piece Mingus Big Band, based in New York, has been performing the music of the revered bassist and composer for almost 20 years. They will play in the Center Hall at 9 p.m., Saturday, May 23.

Allison, who first staked out a musical niche with his earthy jazz and funny lyrics in the '50s, plays more than 40 dates a year. Some of his hits, including "Parchman Farm," "Everybody Cryin' Mercy" and "I'm Not Talking," have been covered by numerous artists. His wry humor comes through in lyrics such as "Your mind's on vacation and your mouth is working overtime." He takes the stage in Meydenbauer's Theatre 2 p.m., Sunday, May 24.

The other featured artists are:

  • Kurt Elling, Down Beat Critics Poll Male Vocalist of the Year for nine consecutive years, Theatre, May 22, 7 p.m.
  • Patricia Barber, adventurous and inventive singer, songwriter and pianist highly-acclaimed for her 2008 release "The Cole Porter Mix," Theatre, May 23, 7 p.m.
  • Danilo Perez, Grammy-winning Panamanian pianist and composer, Theatre, May 23, 2 p.m.

The full festival calendar, including a listing of free performances by top regional artists and student showcases, will be announced in late February, along with ticket pricing.

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