An NEA Jazz Master and a Kennedy Center Living Jazz Legend, pianist Ahmad Jamal has long been recognized as one of the most influential figures in jazz history,Largely retired from the stage, Jamal reserves performing for, in his words, “special occasions,” and each of these nights is rare opportunity to share a singular experience with a true innovator who helped shape modern jazz.
Jamal brought a sense of space and subtlety to jazz improvisation that deeply affected Miles Davis and countless other jazz musicians inspired by them both. “He knocked me out with his concept of space, his lightness of touch, his understatement,” said Miles Davis, whose lyrical less-is-more style was indebted to the elegant pianist who rose to international fame with the success of his 1958 live date At the Pershing: But Not for Me – a timeless and iconic session containing the definitive version of Jamal’s theme song, “Poinciana.”
Ahmad Jamal - piano
James Cammack - bass
Herlin Riley - drums
Manolo Badrena - percussion
Jamal continues to refine and expand his approach, composing new music and exploring fresh harmonies and sonorities. On the heels of his new Jazz Village release Marseille, he performs at Davies Symphony Hall with his seamless quartet whose grooving sound is flavored by the New Orleans style of drummer Herlin Riley along with bassist James Cammack and the polyrhythmic pop of Puerto Rican-born percussionist Manolo Badrena. In 2017, Jamal was awarded the GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to music.