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The Chick Corea Festival at Jazz at Lincoln Center!

May 16, 2013

Chick_Corea_spanishArmando Corea was born in Chelsea, Massachusetts. He is of southern Italian descent. His father, a jazz trumpet player who had led a Dixieland band in the Boston area in the 1930s and 1940s, introduced him to the piano at the age of four. Growing up surrounded by jazz music, he was influenced at an early age by bebop and stars such as Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Horace Silver, and Lester Young. At eight Corea also took up drums, which would later influence his use of the piano as a percussion instrument.

Corea developed his piano skills by exploring music on his own. A notable influence was concert pianist Salvatore Sullo from whom Corea started taking lessons at age eight and who introduced him to classical music, helping spark his interest in musical composition. He also spent several years as a performer and soloist for the Knights of St. Rose, a drum and bugle corps based in Chelsea.

The centerpiece of this programming blitz by Jazz at Lincoln Center will be a series of concerts featuring the pianist Chick Corea with the organization’s house orchestra, led by Wynton Marsalis (Thursday through May 18). A concurrent series at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola has young groups tackling Mr. Corea’s music, with an unspoken emphasis on Latin rhythm. Wednesday’s sets feature the Edsel Gomez Cubist Band, led by Mr. Gomez, a pianist, with the clarinetist Don Byron and the saxophonist Craig Handy; on Thursday, at 11 p.m., the pianist Elio Villafranca will join forces with the vibraphonist Joe Locke and the bassist Charnett Moffett. Wednesday at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Thursday at 11 p.m., Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 60th Street and Broadway; $35 and $40, $20 and $25 for students at select sets, with a $10 minimum. Thursday through May 18 at 8 p.m., Rose Theater, Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 60th Street and Broadway, (212) 258-9595, jalc.org; $30 to $120. See you at the show!

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