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Silver Spring Jazz Festival to feature jazz great Al Chez

Metro Brief

On September 7, 2015

Former ‘Late Night with David Letterman’ trumpeter Al Chez
headlines Silver Spring Jazz Festival September 12.

Al Chez and the Brothers of Funk Big Band will headline the Silver Spring Jazz Festival Saturday, September 12, from 3 to 10 p.m. at Veterans Plaza at the Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veterans Pl. 

Each year, the festival has presented a mix of many jazz genres, including straight ahead, smooth, Latin and other popular jazz forms. This year the festival will offer original eclectic jazz from Al Chez and the Brothers of Funk, smooth jazz from popular local favorite Marcus Johnson, Latin Jazz from Dani Cortaza Latin Jazz Band, swing from the Halley Schoenberg Jazz Sextet and an eclectic mix from Silver Spring’s Jazz Academy of Music.

The schedule for this year’s festival is:

  • 3 p.m. – Welcome 
  • 3:15 p.m. – Jazz Academy of Music
  • 4:30 p.m. – Dani Cortaza Latin Jazz Band
  • 5:45 p.m. – Halley Schoenberg Jazz Sextet
  • 7 p.m. – Marcus Johnson presents The Urban Jam Band 
  • 8:30 p.m. – Al Chez and the Brothers of Funk Big Band

Chez is well known for playing more than 25 years on “Late Night” and “The Late Show with David Letterman.” He is the second longest-playing network TV trumpeter, second only to Doc Severinsin.

Chez started his extensive musical career at the age of nine when he joined his father’s local drum corps, The Saints. In 1979, he joined forces with Jon Bon Jovi to create the Atlantic City Expressway, a band that played New Jersey shore clubs for years. Chez went on to play with Tower of Power, Robert Cray Band, Spyro Gyra, Sting, Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Bon Jovi, CeeLo Green, Snoop Dog, and James Brown.

He has performed at multiple presidential inaugurations, more than 25 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions, John Lennon’s 50th birthday celebration in Tokyo, the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games Closing Ceremonies and multiple concerts at the White House. 

Homegrown star Marcus Johnson, an award-winning jazz keyboardist and composer, will perform his own compositions, a blend of contemporary jazz stylings and hip-hop rhythms. He describes his music as “instrumental R&B with a D.C. bounce.” A founding member of the Silver Spring Jazz Festival, Johnson has done the amazing by launching both a record label and a popular wine label.

Halley Shoenberg is an accomplished saxophone and clarinet player from Silver Spring whose style is collected from several sources of jazz, theatre and popular music. From swinging originals to noted modern-era favorites, her intelligently-inspired brand of music shines with clarity. A multi-instrumentalist who plays clarinet, saxophone and flute, Shoenberg has produced three CD releases, Love Goes ‘Round, Someday, and Private Concert, which includes several of her original compositions. 

Argentinian guitar virtuoso, Dani Cortaza specializes in Brazilian and Latin jazz in both acoustic and electric jazz guitar. In addition, he performs, composes and arranges Latin American folk music. After two decades of highly acclaimed worldwide performances with a variety of musicians and bands, a special Kennedy Center concert brought this Argentinean native to Washington, D.C. in 2002, where he now resides. Dani is the founder and director of two dynamic musical groups specializing in Latin jazz and Brazilian music.

Attendees are encouraged to use public transportation – the Silver Spring Metro (Red Line) is two blocks away – and to bring folding chairs. Limited parking is available in the Wayne Avenue garage, the Town Square garage, and the garages on Bonifant Street, Cameron at Ramsey Avenue, and Cameron at Fenton. 

For more information, call 311 or 240.777.0311 from outside the county, or visit

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