[NoHo Arts District, CA] – Jazz at Naz Continues in March with sax legend Charles Lloyd’s 85th Birthday Celebration on March 18 and Samara Joy – GRAMMY Award winner Best New Artist 2023 and Best Jazz Vocal Album – in concert with Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra on March 26.
The Soraya’s monthlong Jazz at Naz celebration rolls into March this year with two masters of the musical genre—the elder statesman sax legend Charles Lloyd celebrates his 85th birthday on March 18 with an all-star lineup, and the 2023 GRAMMY Award winning Best New Artist Samara Joy makes her debut at The Soraya with Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra on March 26. Both concerts will be live streamed from The Soraya’s Great Hall via Jazz Pass.
Tenor sax titan, bandleader, and composer Charles Lloyd has played with countless legends from Cannonball Adderley to Howlin’ Wolf. In a rare appearance to celebrate his 85th birthday, he visits The Soraya with two of his trios featuring very special guests, guitarist Bill Frisell, pianist Gerald Clayton, and double bassist Larry Grenadier, among others.
With her GRAMMY Award–winning Verve Records debut Linger Awhile, 23-year-old Bronx native Samara Joy joins the likes of Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday as the venerable label’s next jazz singing sensation. Her rich, velvety, and precociously refined voice has earned fans such as Anita Baker and Regina King, while her broadcast appearances on the Today, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and many others—along with millions of likes on TikTok—have cemented her status as the first Gen-Z jazz singing star. The concert is sold-out but available via The Soraya’s Live Stream at www.thesoraya.org.
About Charles Lloyd
For more than 60 years tenor saxophonist Charles Lloyd has loomed large over the music world with both his presence and his occasional absence. Lloyd was born in 1938 in Memphis, Tennessee, where he apprenticed with jazz and blues legends including Phineas Newborn, Howlin’ Wolf and B.B. King. While attending the University of Southern California in the late 1950s, Lloyd performed with prominent artists on the Los Angeles jazz scene including Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, Charlie Haden, Billy Higgins and Gerald Wilson. In 1960, Lloyd became the music director in the Chico Hamilton Quintet, and later joined the Cannonball Adderley Sextet for a two-year stint before leaving to focus on his career as a leader.
Lloyd maintains an active performance and recording schedule with the New Quarte, Sangam, Maria Farantouri, The Marvels and special projects around the world. He celebrated his 75th birthday with concerts in the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum and the Kennedy Center Concert hall. Lloyd and Jason Moran were commissioned by Alonzo King’s Liens Ballet to compose the score for a new ballet, “Azoth” which had its world premiere in October 2019.
Lloyd, an NEA Jazz Masters and recipient of the Ordre de Chevalier des Arts et Lettres, continues to elevate the art form with each performance and recording and remains a vital and creative force in the world of music and arts. In celebration of his 80th birthday in 2018, Blue Note Records released a limited edition box set; 8 Kindred Spirits, Live from the Lobero featured fellow Memphian, Booker T. Jones. The box set includes CD, LP and DVD of the concert along with a 96 page book of photos commemorating Lloyd’s life and legacy. His newest recording, the sixth for Blue Note Records (2021) is Tone Poem, and once again, features the Marvels.
About Samara Joy
In her first appearance at The Soraya after her double win at the 2023 GRAMMY Awards, rising Jazz phenom Samara Joy’s concert with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra is sold-out. However, jazz fans eager to experience Ms. Joy’s stunning vocals can still attend the concert, however, via streaming Jazz at Naz for just $19!
The Soraya has teamed up Ms. Joy with L.A.-based Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra which has been swinging for more than 36 years Ms. Joy, a deeply emotive vocalist, exploded onto the scene in 2019 at the age of 21—often surprising audiences with the power she packs and her “lighter than air” and “understated, swingy rhythm,” (Kevin Whitehead, NPR). Ms. Joy won her first two GRAMMY® Awards, Best New Artist and Best Jazz Vocal Album Linger Awhile, at the 65th Annual GRAMMY® Awards on February 5, 2023.
On Linger Awhile, Samara Joy introduces her massive audience to classic standards with her timeless, irresistible sound. The New York Times praised the “silky-voiced rising star” for “helping jazz take a youthful turn” and NPR’s All Things Considered named her a “classic jazz singer from a new generation.”
About Jazz at Naz: 10 years of Jazz music at The Soraya
Long before The Soraya was built 10 years ago, the Cal State Northridge Jazz Department was a national standard bearer—winning awards and training the next generation of artists. When The Soraya opened in 2011, Northridge expanded its profile. Over the years, a nonstop procession of jazz greats has continued to perform at Cal State Northridge, in both The Soraya’s Great Hall and its innovative Jazz Club.
Jazz at Naz is named in honor of Younes and Soraya Nazarian whose legacy gift to CSUN led to the renaming of the Performing Arts Center in 2017.
Streaming Jazz at Naz
Innovation in the face of COVID-19 paid in dividends—in the form of one of the first ever fully virtual music festivals, Jazz at Naz. Hosted virtually by accomplished jazz musician and educator Reggie Quinerly, Jazz at Naz was watched by more than 4,300 people when in launched in 2022 (more than two times the size of The Soraya’s 1,700-seat Great Hall!).
Quinerly returns as The Soraya’s Jazz at Naz host of the 13-camera operation—conducting candid interviews with the musicians, engaging in banter with The Soraya’s Executive and Artistic Director Thor Steingraber, and shedding light on performances during each live stream.
Building upon the success of last year’s Discover Jazz Virtual Pass — 3,000 hours streamed! — The Soraya will once again expand the Jazz at Naz experience with in-depth interviews, and behind-the-scenes content via our $49 virtual pass.
“CSUN has been for decades an important training ground for jazz musicians,” said Steingraber. “When The Soraya opened in 2011, the commitment to jazz in Northridge grew further. Now, with the addition of the second Jazz at Naz Festival, we can safely say that Northridge is an epicenter for jazz in Southern California.”
For all ticket information visit www.thesoraya.org or call the Ticket Office at (818) 677-3000.
Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya)
18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330.
About The Soraya
Located on the vibrant and diverse campus of California State University in the heart of Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, The Soraya continues its vigorous commitment to innovating, excelling, and amplifying access by offering a wide variety of performances that reflect L.A.’s many distinctive communities and featuring new and original work from the Los Angeles region as well as artists from around the world.