Jazz in its multiple forms kicks off summer of sounds

Merriweather: The Capital Jazz Fest, featuring the likes of Kirk Whalum and David Sanborn, is the first note in the pavilion's season of song.

June 03, 1999|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

The Capital Jazz Fest kicks off a summer of events at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia with two days of smooth and funky jazz artists this weekend.

Jazz and gospel saxophonist Kirk Whalum will perform among a quartet of acts in Saturday's show. The Grammy-nominated Whalum, who played the sax solo on Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You," has had several chart toppers. He mixed his love for jazz and gospel with the 1998 release "The Gospel According to Jazz."

In his latest effort, "For You," he teams with jazz guitarist Peter White on one cut.

White will join Whalum on stage Saturday, along with saxophonist Everette Harp and guitarist Mark Antoine.

South African guitarist and vocalist Jonathan Butler, fusion keyboardist Jeff Lorber, husband and wife duo Tuck & Patti, singer Angela Bofill and other artists will complete the day's musical offerings.

Sunday will feature David Sanborn, the veteran saxophonist who has juggled just about every type of jazz for the past 25 years, from fusion to pop to urban. He has won several Grammys and sold nearly 7 million albums worldwide.

Joining him will be gospel/jazz vocalist Oleta Adams, singers Phil Perry, vibraphonist Roy Ayers, saxophonist Steve Cole and others.

The Capital Jazz Fest is in its seventh year and is billed as the largest showcase of contemporary jazz music. It kicks off tomorrow with Debbie Kirkland and Collaboration in a free concert at Columbia Lakefront from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Then the fest moves to Merriweather Post.

The rest of the summer lineup at Merriweather should draw crowds from throughout the Washington-Baltimore region. A variety of sounds -- from heavy metal (Motley Crue and the Scorpions) to rhythm and blues (Brandy with Tyrese, Silk and 702), Latin jazz (Santana) and modern swing (the Brian Setzer Orchestra) -- will emanate from the stage on steamy summer days to come.

Here's a look at the rest of the summer in music:

Santana with Ozomatli: June 14.

Rod Stewart: June 16

Hootie & The Blowfish with Shawn Mullins: June 23

Brandy: June 26

Motley Crue: June 29

Allman Brothers Band and Hot Tuna: July 1

Phish: July 9 (sold out).

Brian Setzer: July 21

Lilith Fair with Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, Me'Shell N'degeocello, and a host of other women performers: July 28

Barenaked Ladies with The Beautiful South: Aug. 6

Tori Amos and Alanis Morissette: Aug. 25

Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band: Aug. 26 and 28 (both shows sold out).

R.E.M. with Spacehog: Sept. 10.

Information: 410-730-2424. Tickets from ProTix: 410-481-6500.

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