Since its arrival in New York three-and-a-half decades ago, Jazz at Lincoln Center has worked to define jazz as a high art form that could only have been made in America. But in recent years, the center has increasingly embraced the music’s role on the international stage, and the ways jazz has been adopted, passed around and reshaped.
That will be the focus of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 35th season, which will present 22 programs from late September through next June, and feature performers from five continents, the center announced Tuesday.
Many of the season’s headlining shows will be anchored by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, who continues as Jazz at Lincoln Center’s artistic director.
The band will be joined by featured performers and guest bandleaders, including Naseer Shamma, an Iraqi oud virtuoso, performing with the orchestra (Jan. 20-21); the Japanese-born pianist and big-band leader Toshiko Akiyoshi, who will play her compositions with the orchestra (March 10-11); and the Cuban pianist Elio Villafranca and the Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda, who will each present newly commissioned works with the orchestra (April 14-15). The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will kick off the season with its own featured performance, Sep. 30 and Oct. 1: the U.S. debut of Marsalis’s “Shanghai Suite.”
Some of the season’s other headliners will include the French guitarist Stephane Wrembel, paying tribute to Django Reinhardt (Nov. 4-5); the South African pianist Nduduzo Makhathini and the Brazilian mandolinist Hamilton de Holanda, performing together (Feb. 24-25); and the Brazilian vocalist and guitarist Rosa Passos, performing March 24-25 with the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Ron Carter on bass and Kenny Barron on drums, plus the Brazilian percussionist Rafael Barata.
A number of guiding lights from jazz’s under-40 crowd will lead their own bands, something that doesn’t always happen on Jazz at Lincoln Center’s concert stages. They include the pianist Emmet Cohen (Oct. 21), the vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant (May 19-20) and the trumpeter Etienne Charles (June 9-10).
A number of education-oriented events will serve audiences of all ages: programs celebrating the jazz legends Charles Mingus (Oct. 22) and Thad Jones (March 25), and a pair of engagements in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Journey Through Jazz series, with the orchestra giving lessons on jazz history in the form of live performances (Nov. 17-19 and Feb. 16-18).
All of the season’s shows will take place at one of the center’s two major stages: the Rose Theater or the Appel Room. Nightly bookings continue year-round at Dizzy’s Club, a more intimate venue also housed in the center. Tickets are at jazz.org.