Jazz Festival kickoff with the Larry McKenna Quartet


ROCK HALL — The Mainstay hosts the kickoff concert of this year’s Chestertown Jazz Festival with the Larry McKenna Quartet at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12.

Tickets are $25 online or $30 by phone reservation or at the door. Information and advance ticket sales are available on the Mainstay’s website at mainstayrockhall.org or by calling 410-639-9133.

“One of the world’s finest jazz saxophone players, McKenna is known for his gorgeous tenor saxophone sound, the beauty of his balladry and his fluid, bebop-inspired improvisations,” a news release states.

After six decades in his profession, his international reputation as both a masterful jazz improviser and educator is firmly established, the release states. Over the years, McKenna has performed and recorded with many jazz stars including Woody Herman, Clark Terry, Buddy DeFranco, Barry Harris, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Jimmy Heath, Jon Faddis, Harry Allen, Terell Stafford, Eric Alexander, Bill Charlap, Warren Vaché, Kenny Barron, Randy Brecker, Wynton Marsalis and Frank Sinatra.

Recent performance highlights include McKenna’s 2018 and 2015 “Barry & Larry” concerts with pianist Barry Harris at William Paterson University in New Jersey. In 2018 and 2014 Larry appeared with the Woody Herman Tribute Band in Los Angeles, including in 2018 a special quintet performance with trumpeter Bobby Shew.

In recognition of his contributions to the jazz world, in 2015 McKenna along with Pat Martino received a Jazz Legend Award from the Philadelphia Clef Club. McKenna has been honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award in jazz performance and education from the University of the Arts; the Jazz Master Award from the Media, Pennsylvania Business Authority; and the Making A Difference Award from The Jazz Bridge Project.

Music arranged by Larry McKenna has been performed on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson and in the Nicolas Cage movie “Birdy,” in which Larry played and appeared. He has published many jazz arrangements for school bands which can be purchased from Northeastern Music Publications.

McKenna will be joined by Dan Monaghan on drums, Tom Lawton at the piano and Kevin MacConnell on bass.

Upcoming Mainstay performances include:

Sept. 16 — Chestertown Jazz Festival closer with Joe Holt, Max Murray and Frank Russo

Sept. 21 — International ukelele star Victoria Vox

Sept. 23 — Joe Holt welcomes Keith Thompson

Sept. 28 — Billy Price and the Charm City Rhythm Band

Sept. 29 — The Hedgelawn Classical Series presents Taylor Hillary Boykins

Sept. 30 — Joe Holt welcomes Sharon Sable and E. Shawn Qaissaunee

Oct. 7 — Joe Holt welcomes Sylvia Frasier

Oct. 12 — FallFest headliner Mamie Minch Trio

Oct. 14 — Joe Holt welcomes Phillip Dutton

Oct. 19 — The Hendrik Meurkens Quartet

Oct. 21 — Joe Holt welcomes Zach Lambert

Oct. 26 — Sue Matthews

Oct. 28 — Joe Holt welcomes Chuck Redd, Amy Shook and Frank Russo

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