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 Friday, October 20th, 2006 -- 8:00 pm
Northern Michigan University's Music Department performs Suite William - A Jazz Cantata

at a location to be determined
Marquette, MI

The department of music at Northern Michigan University will be performing Bess' project "Suite William - A Jazz Cantata."

Donald Grant
, director

Past Special Performances:

 Saturday, July 17, 2004 -- 8:00 pm
JAZZ PIANO SUMMIT "Solo on the Steinway"

at Kerrytown Concert House
Ann Arbor, MI

Produced by Tony Ruda

Bess Bonnier, piano
Claude Black, piano

Sponsored by Austin & Warburton

The 2nd Annual Jazz Piano Summit at KCH featured two evenings of jazz highlighting some of the area's finest jazz pianists. This summit provided a rare opportunity to hear these artists in a solo format.

Detroit-born pianist, composer and vocalist BESS BONNIER (pronounced BONN-yer) is one of the most important jazz musicians in Detroit. Recently awarded "Musician of the Year" by the Southeastern Michigan Jazz Association, Bess Bonnier has also been chosen as a featured artist in an article discussing great jazz musicians for the publication "Jazz Hot." Miss Bonnier came of age in the same 1950's Detroit that produced a veritable "Who's Who of Jazz," including Harris, Flanagan, the Jones brothers, Sir Roland Hanna, and so many others. After graduating from Northern High School with Tommy Flanagan, she studied Music and English at Wayne State University before striking off on her own as a pianist. She first gained a measure of national attention in the late 1950's when Argo Records released her album entitled "Theme for the Tall One." Now long out of print, "Theme for the Tall One" is considered a collector's item by jazz aficionados. Bess's musical career hit many high notes over the years, including performances at the 1982 Kool Jazz Festival, several Montreux-Detroit Jazz Festivals and as a featured pianist with Barry Harris, Sir Roland Hanna and Tommy Flanagan for the Detroit Piano Summit in New York. Bess's jazz cantata "Sweet William," based on the words of William Shakespeare, was performed in celebration of its release on Noteworth records at KCH in 2000.

Former keyboardist for Aretha Franklin, CLAUDE BLACK began his career in Detroit during the prolific B-Bop era. Called "clearly in a class by himself" by WEMU jazz critic Michael G. Nastos, Claude has performed with the greatest: Al Grey, Yusef Lateef, Sonny Stitt, Eddie Jefferson, Donald Byrd, Joe Henderson, Kenny Burrell, Milt Jackson, Joe Williams and more. Among the many club and festival appearances highlighting Claude's career are New York's Village Vanguard, Baker's Keyboard Lounge in Detroit, Tri-C Jazz Fest and Detroit's Montreux. His recordings include: "The Detroit Tradition" with J.C. Heard; "Four Americans in Paris" with Oliver Jackson; "After Hours" with The Murphys; and "The Fabulous Franz Jackson" with Marcus Belgrave.

After touring and performing throughout the United States, Europe, Canada and the Islands, Claude has chosen Toledo, OH as his home base since the 1970s. A regular at the city's Murphy's Place, Claude also performed a major concert in 2000 at the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle which was recorded live for his "dazzling" CD, "Claude Black & & the Nature of Jazz."

Kerrytown Concert House Website:

 Sunday, July 18, 2004 -- Festival: 12:00 - 10:30 pm
MIchigan Jazz Festival

Schoolcraft College
Livonia, MI

(Haggerty between 6 and 7 Mile Roads)

The Bess Bonnier Quartet performed from 2:00 - 3:00 pm at the Intier/Inmart stage.

As well, from 3:30 - 4:30 pm visit the Steinway Cafe and learn about Jazz, from Bess Bonnier.

Festival Website:

 Saturday, July 12, 2003

Kerrytown Concert House
Ann Arbor, MI

Bess Bonnier was honored to be a part of this great event and honored to play alongside Gary Schunk!

Be sure to check out 2004's event!

Kerrytown Concert House Website:

 Sunday, July 20, 2003
MIchigan Jazz Festival

Schoolcraft College
Livonia, MI
(Haggerty between 6 and 7 Mile Roads)

The Bess Bonnier Quartet performed from 2:00 - 3:00 pm at the Inmart/Woodbridge stage. It was a pleasure to be a part of the full day of non-stop jazz!

Festival Website:

 August 30 - September 2, 2002
23rd Annual Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival

Hart Plaza
Detroit, MI

The Bess Bonnier Quartet will be performing! More detail on the date and time of the performance to be posted soon. And be sure to check out the festival website...
Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival Website:

 July 21, 2002
Michigan Jazz Festival

Schoolcraft College
Livonia, MI

The Bess Bonnier Quartet will be performing! More detail to be posted soon. And be sure to check out the festival website...
Michigan Jazz Festival Website:

 March 15, 2002
Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings
20th Anniversary Gala

Birmingham Unitarian Church
Bloomfield Hills, MI

The Bess Bonnier Quartet is proud to support the arts and the DCW&S in their fundraising gala:

Two Decades of Great Music-Making:
Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings, one of America's premiere chamber ensembles, celebrated two decades of musical excellence with a 20th Anniversary Gala.

 January 18, 2002
Jazz Friday @ The DIA Concert

Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, MI
Rivera Court, 6:30 pm & 8:00 pm

The Bess Bonnier Quartet, featuring George Benson (tenor sax), Paul Keller (bass), and Pete Siers (drums), will be in concert for two performances in the Riveria Court --
- 1st performance, 6:30 pm
- 2nd performance, 8:00 pm

"One of the most respected musicians in Detroit, Bess Bonnier's name has become synonymous with fine jazz piano."

The concert is Free with museum admission (recommended $4 per adult).

Please come and enjoy these four fine musicians.
AND, be sure to let Bess know that you came!

The Detroit Institute of Arts is located at 5200 Woodward Ave. And their phone number is (313)883-2700.

Jazz Friday @ The DIA on January 18th will also include several other events for all ages - For details visit www.dia.org

 Also on January 18, 2002
Martin Bandyke Show on WDET 101.9 FM

Between 12 Noon and 3:00 pm
Bess Bonnier and George Benson will be guests on the Martin Bandyke Show on WDET 101.9 FM, during his afternoon program which airs between noon and 3:00 pm.

So tune in Jan 18th to 101.9 FM in the metro Detroit area, or to the live webcast at www.wdetfm.org!

 November 26-December 1, 2001
Festival and Performances

Barcelona, Spain
Details of this exciting trip will be posted shortly...

 July 16, 2001
Colorado Shakespeare Festival

University Of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
Mary Rippon Theatre, 7:30 pm
Five vocal musicians and six instrumental musicians performed works from Suite William.

Festival details at CSF Website [ click on "Season" then select "Events" from the menu ]

 Los Angeles VSA(Very Special Arts) performance
 Suite William CD Release Party - Kerrytown Concert House, Ann Arbor
 Montreux Detroit Jazz Festival Summer 1999

To the Jazz Presenter --

Bess Bonnier Ensembles Press Kit and CD available upon request.
We're interested in becoming part of your special event!
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-- Sadly, Bess peacefully passed away in 2011. More details on the Home page
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