Jazz at Princeton University inaugurates world’s newest jazz festival with headliner Dave Holland on Saturday, April 13

Jazz at Princeton University, helmed by acclaimed saxophonist/composer Rudresh Mahanthappa, presents the first Princeton University Jazz Festival on Saturday, April 13. The world’s newest jazz festival highlights a lineup featuring the bands of today’s top jazz stars as well as jazz greats playing with Princeton’s exceptional student groups.

Free daytime performances, to be held outdoors at Alexander Beach in front of Princeton’s Richardson Auditorium, begin at noon. At 8 p.m., bassist Dave Hollandwill perform with Small Group I in a ticketed event at Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall, 68 Nassau Street. Tickets are $15, $5 students. For information please call 609-258-9220 or visit https://music.princeton.edu.

Schedule of free performances:
Noon-1 p.m.: Small Group X with Special Guest Joel Frahm, saxophone

1:20-2:20 p.m.: Small Group A with saxophonist Tia Fuller and trumpeter Ingrid Jensen

2:40-3:40 p.m.: Charenée Wade Quartet with Wade on vocals, pianist Oscar Perez, bassist Paul Beaudry, drummer Darrell Green

4-5 p.m.: Pedrito Martinez Group with Martinez on percussion and lead vocals; Isaac Delgado, Jr. on keyboards and vocals; Sebastian Natal on electric bass and vocals; Jhair Sala on percussion

5:20-6:30 p.m.: Donny McCaslin Quartet with McCaslin on saxophones, keyboardist Jason Lindner, bassist Jonathan Maron, drummer Zach Danziger

“We are very excited to launch this new festival bringing together a wide array of today’s most creative and accomplished jazz artists performing with our remarkably talented students,” says Mahanthappa. “A full afternoon of diverse, free concerts capped by an evening with the legendary Dave Holland – it promises to be a fantastic day of music, as well as an opportunity for the community at large to come together and enjoy what we hope will become an annual tradition.”

The event is part of the dynamic Jazz at Princeton University season, which also features the Jazz Vocal Collective with Nnenna Freelon (Feb. 16), the Jazz Vocal Collective (April 15), Small Groups I & A (April 24), Jazz Vocal Improvisation Ensemble (April 25), Small Group X (April 29), and Creative Large Ensemble with Terri Lyne Carrington (May 11).

Dave Holland, bass
Dave Holland is a bassist, composer, and bandleader whose passion for musical expression of all styles and dedication to creating consistently innovative music ensembles have propelled a professional career of more than 50 years and earned him top honors in his field including multiple Grammy Awards and the title of NEA Jazz Master in 2017. Holland stands as a guiding light on acoustic and electric bass, having grown up in an age when musical genres—jazz, rock, funk, avant-garde, folk, electronic music, and others—blended freely together to create new musical pathways. He was a leading member of a generation that helped usher jazz bass playing from its swing and post-bop legacy to the vibrancy and multidisciplinary excitement of the modern era, extending the instrument’s melodic, expressive capabilities. Holland’s virtuosic technique and rhythmic feel, informed by an open-eared respect of a formidable spread of styles and sounds, is widely revered and remains much in demand. To date, his playing can be heard on hundreds of recordings, with more than thirty as a leader under his own name. He has performed with legends including Miles Davis, Stan Getz, Sam Rivers, Betty Carter, Anthony Braxton, Chick Corea, Gary Burton, and others. He continues to assemble, record, and perform with ensembles including duos and trios to big bands with artists like Steve Coleman, Jason Moran, Chris Potter, Eric Harland, and many others. As a leader and collaborator, Holland continues to tour the world and still serves the music as an educator. He is an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music (UK).