This outdoor concert series is presented every Thursday over the course of the summer months on the outdoor Plaza between 601 Lexington Avenue and Saint Peter's Church. The series is presented by Midtown Arts Common and its partners.
While every effort is made to host Jazz on the Plaza outdoors, in the event of inclement weather the concert may be moved indoors to the Sanctuary of Saint Peter's Church, where guests are asked not to bring food.
About the musiciansA native of Long Beach, California, Cecilia Coleman started on piano at age five and began jazz piano lessons at fifteen. During the early 80s, she studied with vibraphonist Charlie Shoemake and arranger Tom Kubis, while continuing classical studies with Dr. Allan Giles. Cecilia has led her own groups since 1990, when she formed a trio with bassist Eric Von Essen and drummer Kendall Kay.
In addition to a series of solo, trio and quintet albums issued under her own name, Cecilia also played on CDs featuring Benn Clatworthy, Angelo Deniro, Henry Franklin, Dan St. Marseille and Meredith D'Ambrosio, as well as three American Jazz Institute recordings headed up by Mark Masters that also included participation by Lee Konitz, Billy Harper, Jack Montrose, Ray Drummond, Tim Hagens and Gary Smulyan.
In 1998 Cecilia Coleman moved to New York, landed a gig on her very first night in the city and has kept busy ever since. In 2010, Cecilia became a big band leader of significance. She told her friend, trumpeter/music publisher Don Sickler, that she'd love to pen some big band arrangements and asked for his thoughts. "The most helpful thing that Don said to me," she recalls, "was to make sure that I started with a sketch. I looked at my quintet arrangements and realized that they all had potential for a big band. I wrote two arrangements right away – and then things snowballed."
After having written many arrangements in a short period of time, Cecilia naturally wanted to hear what the music sounded like, so she recruited her own ensemble. "What essentially started as a rehearsal band quickly turned into a serious endeavor, due in large part to the overwhelming support I received from other musicians. After rehearsals, they'd phone or write to say how much they enjoyed my music and tell me that I had to keep this thing going. They've been extremely supportive and enthusiastic, which makes this extremely rewarding for me. In fact, the big band has become the love of my life."