press release

Texaco Press Release - Texaco Jazz Festival Turns New York into 'Jazz Island' June 1-14

June 1-14 Festival to Feature Over 300 Artists, Multiple Venues,
Most Events in Easy Stroll of Each Other, Adding to Festive Atmosphere


WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., June 1 - Building on the success of last year's Texaco New York Jazz Festival, Texaco and The Knitting Factory bring the melodious sounds of jazz to the streets, parks and clubs of New York City for two weeks beginning June 1.

The 1998 Texaco New York Jazz Festival will feature an even larger lineup of musicians - over 300 - representing a wide variety of sounds from traditional jazz to the avant-garde. In addition, many events will be held in lower Manhattan at sites within convenient walking distance of each other, including a special 1,500-seat concert tent in Battery Park City and The Knitting Factory's four-stage club on Leonard Street.

"As the world capital of jazz, New York deserves a festival that bears its own name, and we're glad to help make that possible," said Kjestine M. Anderson, Texaco's General Manager of Public Relations and Advertising. "By sustaining the partnership we began last year with The Knitting Factory, a tremendously innovative force in jazz and new music, we are proud to contribute to a celebration that places New York on center stage of jazz lovers around the globe."

Festival producer Michael Dorf, who is also founder and owner of The Knitting Factory, said, "With the continuing strong support of Texaco, we believe we've made a quality festival even greater by staging many of this year's featured events close by each other. People will be able to walk from performance to performance, which will really contribute to a festive atmosphere."

Special Highlights and Festival Themes

This year, the festival will include a variety of special features, including:

  • A special concert of Charles Lloyd and Friends, featuring Billy Higgins, Geri Allen and Dave Holland at the Tarrytown Music Hall on Main Street in Tarrytown, New York. This unique evening will be held on Friday, June 5, 1998 at 8:00 PM.
  • Twelve nights of special performances at the concert tent in Battery Park City, offering spectacular sunset views of the Hudson River. Among the performances will be double bills of the Joe Henderson Big Band with the Kevin Eubanks Band and Medeski, Martin & Wood with DJ Logic. In addition, there will be shows by crossover artists such as George Clinton's P-Funk, John Spencer Blues Explosion, and the British dub-raga group, Cornershop.
  • A final-evening performance at Town Hall, with sitar player Ravi Shankar, tenor saxophonist Ravi Coltrane with his quintet, and, as a special guest, Ravi Coltrane's mother Alice Coltrane.

The Festival will provide a number of musical themes to satisfy the tastes of any fan of jazz:

  • Big Bands, with performances by twelve big bands - from Lester Bowie's Big Band to the New York premier of the Henry Threadgill Big Band, featuring Aster Awake.
  • Piano Masters, including MyCoy Tyner, Muhal Richard Abrams, Abdullah Ibrahim, Cecil Taylor, Andrew Hill, Cyrus Chestnut, Marilyn Crispwell and Myra Melford.
  • Latin Jazz, featuring David Sanchez Latin Ensemble, Paquito D'Rivera & the United Nations Orchestra, Vocal Sampling, Ray Barretto & New World Spirit, Jane Bunnett's Cuban Ensemble, Ralph Irizarry and Timbalaye, and Marc Ribot's Cubanos Postizos.

The Texaco New York Jazz Festival is designed to take full advantage of New York's rich variety of jazz styles, with both well known and up-and-coming artists performing at a wide assortment of top venues. Performance locales will also include Tribeca Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, the World Trade Center, the World Financial Center Plaza, Obeca Li, The Independent and No Moore. The Festival's schedule also includes free "Jazz Underground" performances on the newly reconstructed mezzanine of the Times Square/42nd Street subway station.

Texaco's Tradition of Support for the Arts

"Texaco's sponsorship of the New York Jazz Festival has added an exciting new element to the company's long-standing program of artistic support in the United States and around the world," said Anderson.

Texaco's support for the New York Metropolitan Opera's international radio broadcasts, now in its 58th season, is the longest-running corporate sponsorship of an arts program anywhere, and currently reaches audiences in the United States, Canada, Europe and the Pacific Rim.

In the jazz arena, Texaco underwrote last year's PBS broadcast of Marsalis On Music, an innovative educational television series hosted by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. The company has also sponsored performances by the Jazzmobile of Harlem and by saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera, famed for combining traditional Latin beats with improvisations.

In the New York metropolitan area, Texaco has long supported Lincoln Center, the Dance Theater of Harlem, the New York City Ballet, the Boys Choir of Harlem and other leading cultural institutions.

Texaco's support for jazz, classical music and dance stems from a commitment to arts and culture in the many cities and communities around the world where the company has a presence. The Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Houston Symphony, the New World Symphony in Miami, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the London City Ballet and the Young Musicians of Wales are among the many institutions to benefit from Texaco's support.

Updated: June 1998