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Pharoah Sanders, Diane Schuur and the Rad Trads to headline Atlanta Jazz Fest

Atlanta Jazz Festival announces headliners for its 2015 lineup.

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Now entering its 38th year, the Atlanta Jazz Festival (May 22-24) has unveiled 2015's featured artists. Legendary tenor saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, contemporary jazz singer Diane Schuur, and the Dixieland-tinged blues outfit the Rad Trads are all gracing the stage this year.

These three artists represent the festival's trend toward creating an all-inclusive representation of jazz that appeals to casual fans and diehards alike. Pharoah Sanders is one the key forefathers of free jazz, once described by Ornette Coleman as "probably the best tenor player in the world." Sanders gained attention as a sideman for John Coltrane during the most freeform releases of his late career, such as Meditations and Om. He also has an extensive discography of solo releases that further solidified his reputation for redrawing the boundaries of jazz.

Diane Schuur covers the other end of the spectrum with a smoother style more fitting for swanky cocktail parties than free jazz explorations. Blind since birth, Schuur developed perfect pitch at an early age and has used that talent to develop a career with impressive collaborations. She has performed with B.B. King, the Count Basie Orchestra, Stan Getz, and countless other jazz luminaries.

The Rad Trads are a relative newcomer, and an interesting choice considering the group's uptempo blues-centric style deviates from traditional jazz norms. The group features an extensive horn section and puts an emphasis on rhythms reminiscent of the fabled dance parties of New Orleans parades.

Keep an eye out for the rest of the lineup which should be made available over the coming months.




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