Berklee College of Music and ParkARTS present an evening of swinging big band music in the style of Count Basie in Roxbury’s historic Fort Hill neighborhood with Kendrick Oliver & The New Life Jazz Orchestra and opener Lawrence Fields and his quartet. The annual Jazz at the Fort concert is free and will be held on Sunday, August 3, at 5:00 p.m., at the four-acre Highland Park on Fort Avenue, Roxbury, weather permitting. Folding chairs and blankets are recommended.
Jazz at the Fort is accessible from the MBTA’s Orange Line Roxbury Crossing station. Walk down Columbus Avenue to Cedar Street to Fort Avenue. Roxbury Community College provides parking on the corner of Columbus Avenue and Cedar Street. Highland Park is wheelchair accessible. For more information, call 617-747-2447.
Kendrick Oliver & The New Life Jazz Orchestra, a 19-piece group of vibrant young cats, has been captivating audiences and selling out concerts since 1995. Under the musical direction of conductor, arranger, tuba player, and Berklee alumus Oliver, the group plays Count Basie-style swing with foot-stompin’ arrangements, high-octane rhythms, an unrestrained brass section, elegant vocals, and a talented assortment of spectacular soloists. Oliver and New Life has had breakout successes with main-stage performances at the Newport and Tanglewood Jazz Festivals, the launch of a touring educational jazz program honoring Basie, and the release of the acclaimed Welcome to New Life CD, featuring Christian McBride, Jimmy Greene, Miguel Zenon, and Jeremy Pelt. Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter Nicholas Payton calls New Life, «one of the best big bands in the world.»