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‘Legends of Jazz’ coming to Worcester

Kevin T. Cox

Tour mate and fellow NEA Jazz Masters Award recipient Paquito D’Rivera has achieved great acclaim in his own right as both a performer and composer of jazz, Latin and classical music. The Cuban-born D’Rivera has earned numerous Grammy and Latin Grammy awards, and was honored with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Living Jazz Legend Award in 2007.

With four members — keyboardist James, bassist Nathan East, drummer Harvey Mason and guitarist Larry Carlton — who have each achieved critical acclaim individually, Fourplay is something of a contemporary jazz all-star team. The group’s sound, a unique mixture of jazz, RandB and pop sensibilities, has been synonymous with smooth jazz for over 17 years.

Fourplay’s members attribute the band’s success and longevity to their fluid collaboration.

 “Four heads — four exceptionally good heads — are better than one,” said Mason. “Here you have four players on equal footing, all working toward the same goal. It can’t help but keep being a success.”

Considered the preeminent young jazz singer working today, 40-year-old Kurt Elling was for six consecutive years named the genre’s top vocalist by the landmark jazz magazine Downbeat’s annual critics poll, and has earned similar honors from the Jazz Times magazine readers’ poll as well.

The Legends of Jazz Tour, presented by AARP, comes to the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge Street, Worcester, on Saturday, June 14. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $30-$52. For tickets or additional information, call 877-571-7469 or visit