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Sunday Free Jazz Show Is A Surefire Hit

Vivian Sessoms Headlines At Collins Park

Michelle F. Solomon

You can't get any better than this. Celebrate International Jazz Day with a concert starring a headliner you wouldn't mind paying big bucks to see. But, you don't have to. The show is free.

The Global Arts Project Inc. and the Collins Park Neighborhood Association present vocalist Vivian Sessoms on Sunday. Name sound familiar? Her pedigree is something fierce. She's the niece of jazz legend Nancy Wilson.


She's also the real deal. Born and raised in Harlem, New York, besides her aunt, her love of music was instilled in her as the daughter of two musicians. Her mother was a former jingle and session singer, and her father, a well-known flutist and percussionist, worked with James Brown and several other well-known musicians throughout his career.

Vivian's been a featured vocalist for several artists, including Chris Botti (jazz trumpeter), Harold Mabern (legendary jazz pianist), Eric Benet, Will Downing, Towa Tei (Dee-Lite), Ryuichi Sakamoto (Japanese composer), David Morales (DJ), Junior Vazquez (DJ), Mads Baerentzen (jazz pianist), and Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20). You may have seen her as a backing vocalist on tour with Christina Aguilera, Cher, Joe Cocker, P!nk, Patti Labelle, Patti Austin, Natalie Cole and Chaka Khan to name just a few, but seeing her having the stage all to herself. Now, that's a jazz lover's treat.

 As for her own music, Vivian will release her second collection of music, "Heart," this spring.

To make this a dynamite double bill, trumpet player Jean Caze opens the show.  He's already, at the age of 27, played with some jazz greats, including Herbie Hancock, Najee, Arturo Sandoval, Roberta Flack, Al Jarreau, and George Duke to name a few.

In 2007, the Haitian-born trumpeter won second place in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. Jean began playing the trumpet at age nine.

"It took three days to get any sound at all out of it," he says. He went on to be awarded scholarship after scholarship to attend some of the country's top musical institutions, including the Julliard MAP (Music Advancement Program). He has been hailed a "True Improviser" and even compared to Miles Davis by fellow trumpet player Carl Saunders. 

All this for free on Sunday,


The show is Sunday, April 30 from 4 to 7 p.m. in Collins Park, 2200 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Find out at


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