Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Announces Jazz Roots Series
Stephen Becker | July 22, 2009

Jazz Roots, a three-performance series that groups artists with similar styles, will come to the Winspear Opera House in the fall, the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts announced on Wednesday.

The series kicks off Nov. 4 with pianist Ramsey Lewis and singer Al Jarreau, who will perform a concert that highlights the connections between jazz and soul. On Dec. 9, Manhattan Transfer, the New York Voices and Jon Hendricks will sing an all vocalese show. The series concludes on March 1, 2010 with a Latin piano showcase featuring Eddie Palmieri, Michel Camilo and Alfredo Rodriguiez. Rodriguez attended Wednesday's announcement at the Wyly Theatre and wowed the crowd with a blazing improvisational number.

The series is produced by record and television producer Larry Rosen with the goal of educating both adults and students about jazz. To that end, area students will have the opportunity to attend soundchecks, and some of the performers will meet with high school and college players for master classes.

In announcing the series, Rosen spoke about how nearly all forms of American music trace their roots back to African drumming. He says he wants to use the shows to highlight our shared musical backgrounds.

"The idea is to go to kids in school and say, 'That kid sitting next to you has the same musical DNA that you do'," he said.

The series comes to town with a solid track record. It originated in 2008 in Miami at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Perfoming Arts with each performances selling out, according to DCPA CEO Mark Nerenhausen. The plan is to continue the series beyond its inital season.

Tickets for the performances go onsale Aug. 6.