mobile logo

Jazz 100 Brings Together World-Class Lineup of Guest Performers To Celebrate 100 Years of Music by Dizzy, Ella, Mongo, and Monk, September 30, 2016

For a PDF version of this press release, please click here

Tweet it!

Celebrate jazz greats like Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald & more with #Jazz100 at @KimmelCenter 9/30

Press Contact:

Amanda Conte



Performance To Feature Lizz Wright, Chris Potter, Avishai Cohen, Wycliffe Gordon, Robin McKelle, Roman Diaz, Ben Street, and Adam Cruz

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Philadelphia, August 4, 2016) ––2017 marks the centennial celebration of four visionary icons of jazz: Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Mongo Santamaria, and Thelonious Monk. Jazz 100 showcases both the dynamic individual artistry of each artist and the powerful unifying threads between them which helped shape and inform the evolution of jazz. The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts will celebrate 100 years of this incredible genre with Jazz 100 on Friday September 30 at 8:00 p.m. in the first performance of the Kimmel Center Jazz Series. This performance will honor the centennial birth year of these jazz titans featuring a lineup of special guests as curated by former Gillespie pianist Danilo Pérez.

Jazz 100 brings together a world-class ensemble of virtuosos, bandleaders, and composers including Chris Potter (saxophone, woodwinds), Avishai Cohen (trumpet), Wycliffe Gordon (trombone, vocals – North America), Lizz Wright (vocals – North America), Robin McKelle (vocals – Europe), Roman Diaz (percussion, vocals), Ben Street (bass), and Adam Cruz (drums).

“Philadelphia is a revered jazz city and this presentation gives us a one-of-a-kind opportunity to celebrate the music of four jazz icons in their centennial year,” said Anne Ewers, President & CEO of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. “Touting artists from around the world, Jazz 100 will showcase the unifying fibers of this genre.”

Jazz 100 is part of the Kimmel Center’s Jazz Series, which includes 10 performances and allows patrons to pick 4- or 5-show packages of the shows they want to see while saving 15%-20%. The jazz package also grants ticket buyers access to the best seats, exclusive pre-sales on upcoming jazz programs, access to free ticket offers, and invitations to the Kimmel Center’s Jazz Residency events – an incubator program for the best new jazz in town.

Other upcoming shows in the Jazz Series include; Chucho Valdes – Joe Lovano Quintet (November 4, 2016); the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia (December 3, 2016 and June 10, 2017); singer-songwriter Kat Edmonson (February 12, 2017); the Joey Alexander Trio (March 18-19, 2017); Aaron Diehl Trio (April 1, 2017), Cyrus Chestnut Trio (April 13, 2017), and Kennedy Center Jazz Presents: A Tribute to Abbey Lincoln (May 5, 2017).

Danilo Pérez

Pianist, composer, educator and social activist, Danilo Pérez is among the most influential and dynamic musicians of our time. Born in Panama in 1965, Pérez started his musical studies when he was three years old with his father, a bandleader and singer. By age 10, he was studying the European classical piano repertoire at the National Conservatory in Panama. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in electronics in Panama, he studied jazz composition at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. While still a student, he performed with Jon Hendricks, Terence Blanchard, and Paquito D’Rivera and soon began touring and/or recording with artists such as Dizzy Gillespie United Nations Orchestra from (1989-1992), Jack DeJohnette, Tito Puente, Charlie Haden, Michael Brecker, Joe Lovano, Wynton Marsalis, and Roy Haynes. In 2000, Danilo joined Wayne Shorter, to form Shorter’s great quartet with John Patitucci and Brian Blade. Since 2003 he has been touring with a regular trio featuring Ben Street and Adam Cruz.

Chris Potter

A world-class soloist, accomplished composer, and formidable bandleader, Grammy Award nominated saxophonist Chris Potter has emerged as a leading light of his generation. Potter’s music shows limitless creativity and a vibrant sense of swing, prompting critics, musicians, and fans alike to cite him as the one of the finest saxophonists today. Throughout his career, Potter has performed and recorded with artists as diverse as Steely Dan and Herbie Hancock, and has toured the world over with the Dave Holland Quintet, the Overtone Quartet, and his own projects like the jazz-funk group, Chris Potter’s Underground.

Avishai Cohen

Voted a Rising Star three years running in the DownBeat Critics Poll — Trumpeter Avishai Cohen has become globally recognized as a musician with an individual sound and a questing spirit, an ever-creative player-composer open to multiple strains of jazz and active as a leader, co-leader and sideman. Aside from the acclaimed trio work under the moniker Triveni, the trumpeter also records and tours the world as part of the Mark Turner Quartet, and with the 3 Cohens Sextet —with his sister, clarinetist-saxophonist Anat, and brother, saxophonist Yuval. Cohen was also a member of the prestigious SFJazz Collective for several years until 2015. Cohen was named as the Artistic Director of the International Jerusalem Festival in 2015. In February 2016, Cohen released and began touring behind his highly anticipated ECM debut, Manfred Eicher produced Into the Silence, to unanimous critical praise.

Wycliffe Gordon

Trombonist and educator Wycliffe Gordon has led an impressive career touring the world performing hard-swinging, straight-ahead jazz, and receiving great acclaim from audiences and critics alike. His unmatched modern mastery of the plunger mute, exceptional technique, and signature sound has solidified Gordon a place in musical history as one of the top trombonists of his generation. Gordon is a three-time recipient of The Downbeat Critics Poll “Best in Trombone,” while the Jazz Journalists Association named him “Trombonist of the Year” eight times since 2001. He has recently received the Louis Armstrong Memorial Prize presented by the Swing Jazz Culture Foundation, and was named Artist of the Year by the Augusta Arts Council. Gordon has released eighteen solo CDs and seven coleader CDs, as well as on countless projects with other artists including Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, Natalie Merchant, Dianne Reeves, Anat Cohen, Ricky Skaggs, Arturo Sandoval, and Doc Severinsen.

Lizz Wright

Lizz Wright has been charming music fans worldwide ever since she appeared on the late pianist and composer Joe Sample’s 2002 disc, The Pecan Tree (Verve). The following year, she gained even wider recognition for her critically acclaimed debut record, Salt (Verve). Produced by the legendary Tommy LiPuma – best known for his award-winning work with George Benson, Diana Krall, and Natalie Cole – the album helped introduce one of the most captivating female vocalists of her generation as it raced to number two on Billboard’s “Top Contemporary Jazz” chart. After releasing four acclaimed records for Verve, Wright moved to Concord Records to release her fifth disc, Freedom & Surrender. With Freedom & Surrender, her most personal and genre-defying album yet, Wright achieved her career first Billboard #1 Contemporary Jazz record. In addition to the incredible chart position, critics have unanimously applauded the release as the career-defining work in her cannon.

Ben Street

New York-area jazz double bassist Ben Street is one of the most sought after bassists in Jazz. After studying at The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston with Miroslav Vitous and Dave Holland, Street went on to perform and record with many great jazz artists, notably Kurt Rosenwinkel on the Album “Next Step,” Ben Monder on the Album “Dust” and the legendary Sam Rivers on the Album “Violet Violets.” Street has performed and toured with Danilo Perez, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Roswell Rudd, Lee Konitz, John Scofield, David Sanchez, Terence Blanchard, and many others. Street is the son of Saxophonist and Saxophone mouthpiece maker Bill Street and is a native of Maine.

Adam Cruz

Drummer, composer, and educator Adam Cruz was born in New York City and has been a vital creative force on the international jazz scene for the last two decades. He leads his own group, is an integral part of renowned pianist Danilo Pérez’s trio, and regularly works with artists such as Tom Harrell, The Mingus Big Band, Joey Calderazzo, Chris Potter, Steve Wilson and Edward Simon. Adam currently teaches at CCNY and the Berklee Global Jazz Institute. As a drummer, Adam represents a unique place in the American jazz lineage. His mixed ethnic background informs his playing in ways that transcend easy stylistic categorization. The wealth of his rhythmic knowledge, his deep sense of jazz swing and his knowledge of Latin American rhythms, all coalesce into his personal sound, giving his playing a powerful depth and a rare and distinctive musicality.

Roman Díaz

Venerated elder statesman Román Díaz, a master percussionist from Havana, Cuba, an important Olú Aña or “keeper of the sacred drum” – is considered a pillar of the New York City jazz avant-garde and one of Afro Cuban music’s great innovators. As a member of Cuba’s groundbreaking Rumba group Yoruba Andabo, Díaz aided in the creation of the sound that has defined rumba since the 1980s and performed and/or recorded with legends including Merceditas Valdes. Díaz has participated in notable projects by Jane Bunnett, Michele Rosewoman, Danilo Pérez, Omar Sosa, David Virelles and Henry Threadgill among others. Díaz has been featured on compilations including the Calle 54 soundtrack and the Grammy-nominated Raíces Habaneras project.

Merriam Theater

September 30, 2016, 8:00 p.m.


Tickets are available now and start at $30.50. Tickets can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, online at, or at the Kimmel Center Box Office. Group sales are available for groups of 10 or more and can be purchased by calling (215) 790-5883. More information at

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts

Located in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia, The Kimmel Center’s mission is to operate a world-class performing arts center that engages and serves a broad audience through diverse programming, arts education, and community outreach. The Kimmel Center campus is comprised of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, SEI Innovation Studio, and the Merck Arts Education Center), the Academy of Music (owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra Association), and the University of the Arts’ Merriam Theater. The Kimmel Center is also home to eight Resident Companies: The Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, The Pennsylvania Ballet, The Philly Pops, PHILADANCO, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Curtis Institute of Music.  TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is the season sponsor of the Kimmel Center’s 2016-2017 Season. American Airlines is the official airline of Broadway Philadelphia. For additional information, visit

# # # 

For photography, please visit

For a PDF version of this press release, please click here