The Flynn is proud to announce the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Burlington Jazz Festival. For this milestone, we honor this legacy while looking forward to the future of jazz as an art form. Lakecia Benjamin and 2023 Grammy winner (Best New Artist and Best Vocal Jazz Album) Samara Joy will each take the stage to serve up their unique perspectives on where Jazz is headed.
The very first Jazz Festival in 1984 featured the legendary singer, Sarah Vaughn, who for many is the quintessential voice of the 20th Century. As we look forward to who will carry that mantle for the next generation, for the opening night of the festival we are thrilled to welcome Samara Joy, the newly-crowned 2023 multi-Grammy-winner (for both Best New Artist and Best Jazz Vocal Album). Samara Joy is considered the voice of a new generation of singers with a sound wise and rich beyond her years while offering fresh and contemporary takes on the American Songbook. With her Verve Records debut, Linger Awhile, 23-year-old Samara Joy makes her case to as the next jazz singing sensation recorded by the venerable label. Her voice, rich and velvety yet precociously refined, has already earned her fans like Anita Baker and Regina King, appearances on the TODAY Show and millions of likes on TikTok—cementing her status as perhaps the first Gen Z jazz singing star.
Lakecia Benjamin joins us as performer and curator of the 2023 Burlington Jazz Festival. As a saxophone artist, she has played with Stevie Wonder, Prince, Alicia Keys, The Roots, and more. Her fiery sax fuses traditional conceptions of Jazz, HipHop and Soul. She represents a new generation of music leaders in our country and has graced the cover of some of the biggest jazz magazines around, including the current issues of DownBeat and Jazzwise, all accaliming her new star-studded album, Phoenix. She is a white-hot rising star in the jazz world right now, and Phoenix makes this clear, with high-profile contributions from Angela Davis, Wayne Shorter, Terri Lyne Carrington, and more. “Hustle and ingenuity have defined Benjamin’s career,” reads a recent New York Times profile, “and her strong will, warmth, and down-to-earth persona come through in the music.”
Samora Pinderhughes is a composer, pianist/vocalist, interdisciplinary artist, and surrealist whose work delves into all the things our society tries to hide—about its history, about its structures, and about the individual and daily things we all experience but don’t know how to talk about. His art is an invitation to feel things deeply, and to think deeply about how we all live. He is known for his honest lyrics, his harmonic language, his vulnerable visuals, his sociopolitical commentary, and his commitment to making art that is of use to everyday life.