Amersfoort Jazz presents its International Artist in Residence Essiet Okon Essiet (USA), who was a member of the legendary Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Essiet plays during the Festival Opener Concert Evening in theatre De Lieve Vrouw on Thursday, May 14, with The International Jazz Brigade, honoring the legendary jazz drummer Art Blakey (1919-1990), known for his work with Miles Davis, Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk. Blakey is one of the most important jazz musicians of all times, being an inspiring incubator for young talent in his days: Clifford Brown, Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, Donald Byrd, Cedar Waltan, Lee Morgan, Benny Golson, the Marsalis Brothers and Keith Jarrett, to name a few!
Essiet Okon Essiet (* 1956, Omaha, Nebraska) is a bassist with Nigerian roots. In 1983 he moved to New York City, playing with Art Blakey, next to Abdullah Ibrahim, Kenny Barron, Kurt Elling, Kenny Garrett, Benny Golson, Freddie Hubbard, Cedar Walton, Bobby Watson, Mike Stern, John Abercrombie, Victor Lewis and his own Intercontinental Bush Orchestra. He tours regularly with The International Jazz Brigade, led by the notable Polish tenorist Sylwester Ostrowski, founder of the Szczecin Jazz Festival and The Szczecin Academy of Art. Sylwester Ostrowski played with American jazz vocalist Deborah Brown and toured alongside artists like Bobby Watson, Wynton Marsalis and Darius Brubeck.
Essiet and The Jazz Brigade play a second time at Amersfoort Jazz, at de Groenmarkt on Friday, May 15.