Grace Jones, the iconic singer, actor and fixture of New York City’s late-’70s disco scene, will return to Manhattan to perform at the 2023 Blue Note Jazz Festival, marking her first solo headlining show in the city in over 10 years.
Jones will kick off the 12th annual edition of the festival on May 31 at Hammerstein Ballroom.
On June 24, NxWorries (Anderson .Paak and Knxwledge) and Robert Glasper with Lalah Hathaway and Bilal will perform at the fest, which takes place at seven major venues across New York City, ranging from the famous Greenwich Village jazz club Blue Note to the Beacon Theatre. Other locations include Sony Hall, Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell, The Town Hall and Central Park’s SummerStage.
An array of jazz, blues, hip-hop and R&B acts from around the world are represented on the lineup, from BJ the Chicago Kid to Pat Metheny and Buddy Guy, whose band will include Christone “Kingfish” Ingram and Samantha Fish, with special guest Bobby Rush. Also performing are Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers with John Scofield, Kenny Garrett and Christian McBride, as well as Chucho Valdés and Paquito D’Rivera, Ron Carter, Sergio Mendes, Talib Kweli, Stanley Clarke, Omara Portuondo, the Manhattan Transfer, Ms. Lisa Fischer, Soulive, Lettuce, Kenny Garrett, Meshell Ndegeocello, Ghost-Note, Avery Sunshine, Julius Rodriguez, Mashina, Brandee Younger, DJ Logic, the Motet, Tauk, Cortex, Harlem Gospel Choir and Harlem Blues Project.
“The Blue Note Jazz Festival is celebrating the pulse and culture of New York City, and there is no better way to do that than by experiencing iconic artists throughout iconic venues this summer,” said Alex Kurland, Blue Note’s director of programming, in a statement. “We’re proud to spotlight multi-generational, legendary artists who have had an extraordinary impact and influence on music and culture.”
Jones, who was born in Jamaica and moved to New York state as a teenager, began her career as a model, working with Parisian fashion houses such as Yves St. Laurent and Kenzo, as well as European photographers and designers Jean-Paul Goude, Guy Bourdin, Hans Feurer and Helmut Newton. She found success in the music industry beginning in 1977, when she signed with Island Records and became a notable figure in the Studio 54-centered New York disco scene. The Grammy-nominated Jones soon embraced new wave and other genres, scoring popular singles with “Private Life,” “Pull Up to the Bumper” and “Slave to the Rhythm.” Her acting credits include “Conan the Destroyer,” in which she played Zula opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the James Bond film “A View to Kill.”
Jones most recently performed in New York City at the 2019 Pride Island festival and the 2015 Afropunk festival. Per Pollstar, her last solo headlining show was at the Roseland Ballroom in 2012.
See the official Blue Note Jazz Festival poster below. View the festival’s full schedule at the Blue Note website.