Absolutely Live Entertainment's Danny Melnick and Tracy Reid have extensive histories of producing and presenting music festivals. Currently ALE partners with Saratoga Performing Arts Center to produce the Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival in Saratoga Springs, NY which celebrates its 47th edition on June 29 & 30, 2024. The festival presents the best names in jazz, R&B, Latin and world music.
As veteran employees of George Wein's company, Festival Productions, Inc. in New York, Melnick & Reid helped to produce and present JVC Jazz Festivals in New York and Newport, the Newport Folk Festival, the Bermuda Music Festival, and the Verizon Music Festivals, among others. Melnick produced the Mellon Jazz Festivals in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, the Boston Globe Jazz Festival and served as Artistic Director of the Newport Jazz 50th Anniversary Festival in 2004, and as Producer in 2016 & 2017.
They bring further experience to the table having worked on many of the largest festivals in the country (New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Essence Music Festival, Sundance Film Festival, DelFest, et al) and with countless partners, municipalities and sponsors.
All told, our team has helped to create and produce over 110 festivals in Europe, Japan and the US.
Absolutely Live Entertainment produces originally conceived concert tours and manages them for artists, agencies and sponsors. We produce profitable tours from "soup to nuts", professionally handling all aspects of the project including sponsorship management, finance, travel, media relations, promotion, merchandising and box office operations.
We produced a world-tour in 2022-23, of Blue Note Records recording ensemble Artemis, featuring Renee Rosnes, Anat Cohen, Nicole Glover, Ingrid Jensen, Noriko Ueda and Allison Miller. And we produced our 4th Monterey Jazz on Tour, the 65th anniversary project, in 2023 featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kurt Elling, Lakecia Benjamin and the Christian Sands Trio - all one band!
From 2010-13, ALE produced concerts throughout North America in association with HBO's acclaimed show, "Treme." -- a night in Treme, the Musical Majesty of New Orleans, featured Donald Harrison, Jr., Soul Rebels Brass Band, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Rebirth Brass Band, Cyril Neville, Leo Nocentelli, Stanton Moore, Glen David Andrews, Ivan Neville, James "12" Andrews, Dr. Michael White, Big Sam Williams, and a host of other fabulous New Orleans musicians.
In 2013 ALE produced the Montery Jazz Festival's 55th Anniversary Tour featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater, Christian McBride, Chris Potter, Ambrose Akinmusire, Benny Green and Lewis Nash. In 2014, ALE produced the "Newport Jazz Festival: Now 60" tour featuring Anat Cohen, Karrin Allyson, Randy Brecker, Mark Whitfield, Peter Marin, Larry Grenadier & Clarence Penn. In 2016, ALE produced the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour 2016, featuring Raul Midon, Ravi Coltrane, Nicholas Payton and the Gerald Clayton Trio with Joe Sanders and either Gregory Hutchinson or Kendrick Scott. In 2019, ALE produced the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour featuring Cecile McLorin Salvant, Bria Skonberg, Melissa Aldana, Christian Sands, Yasushi Nakamura & Jamison Ross.
Other ALE tours of note include Danilo Perez's Things to Come: 21st Century Dizzy 2010 tour, which dazzled audiences with its all star lineup, and pan-global collaborations; The Blue Note 7 tour of 2009, featuring Peter Bernstein, Ravi Coltrane, Lewis Nash, Nicholas Payton, Peter Washington and Steve Wilson, and musically directed by Bill Charlap, paid tribute to Blue Note Records' 70th anniversary, with a North American tour spanning four months, and a critically lauded CD recording, The Blue Note 7: Mosaic. Jimmy Cobb & The So What Band's Kind of Blue @ 50 tour took the band around the globe, paying tribute to one of the greatest jazz recordings of all time, Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.
JazzTimes Reader's Poll 2020: Best New Artist
Jazz Journalists Association: Mid-Size Ensemble of the Year
"A killer line-up of players, composers, and performers who hail from all over the world...they all converge on this extremely cosmopolitan, sleek, rhythm-forward, modern sound." - NPR MUSIC
“Together they revealed a shared intensity and suggested something alluring and new. The group’s debut release, 'ARTEMIS' delivers on that promise... The real headline here is this ensemble’s cohesion, its ability to move gracefully through various styles and moods and to sound, by turns, authoritative and playful, locked-in or loose-limbed. In the tradition of drummer Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, ARTEMIS crafts an identifiable band sound rooted in sturdy yet flexible rhythms... ARTEMIS means to upend expectations, gently and yet with force. Its music comes off like a nuanced argument for a fresh point of view.” - WALL STREET JOURNAL
Artemis featuring Renee Rosnes, Ingrid Jensen, Nicole Glover, Noriko Ueda & Allison Miller
The brainchild of pianist and composer Renee Rosnes, Artemis is a powerful ensemble of modern jazz masters. Named for the Greek goddess of the hunt, the multinational, multigenerational group was founded in 2017 under the banner of International Women's Day. The band's performance at the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival was so compelling, Blue Note Records President Don Was signed them to the label. Tour dates followed across Europe and the US including festival performances in Saratoga, Monterey and Detroit, as well as at premier venues such as Carnegie Hall, SFJAZZ, Chicago Orchestra Hall, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The collective released their debut recording in 2020 and delivered their new album, “In Real Time”, in May 2023. Each member of Artemis is a bandleader and composer, and the repertoire draws on each of their distinctive personalities, from original music to imaginative arrangements of eclectic material. Artemis performs with joy, power, passion, and high-wire intensity.
"Collectively, the sheer force of the group's ability is staggering!" (DownBeat)
Absolutely Live Entertainment can produce any type of event, from corporate to private, from theaters to outdoor concerts or small gatherings. We have expertise with event budgeting, staffing, infrastructure, ticketing, site design, staging, scheduling, logistics, and more. And we are available as consultants in person, on the phone or over skype/facetime, etc. on an hourly-basis.
Two unique events ALE managed were Louis, A Silent Film at the Apollo Theatre, which featured the Wynton Marsalis Ensemble and pianist Cecile Licad performing live to Dan Pritzker's homage to Louis Armstrong; and James Frey's New York City Bright, Shiny Morning book release blow-out party at the Gramercy Theatre.
The Brubeck family greatly honored us by selecting us to produce Dave Brubeck's memorial celebration on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and the Brecker family has done the same with Michael Brecker's memorial at The Town Hall, and three celebrations of his life and music at Jazz at Lincoln Center which featured Paul Simon, James Taylor, Hugh Jackman, Bobby McFerrin and Dianne Reeves, Diana Krall, Chaka Khan, Ravi Coltrane, Randy Brecker, Wynton Marsalis and many others.
ALE was proud to work with JusticeAid, on May 15, 2016 at Washington’s Historic Lincoln Theatre where we presented Grammy Award-winning Ozomatli and DC’s local go-go legends Trouble Funk. The sold out concert benefited the National Juvenile Defender Center and the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth.
On May 24, 2017, at the City Winery, ALE produced another sold-out event for JusticeAid entitled "Gotta Serve Somebody," an all-female celebration of Bob Dylan with Ruby Amanfu, Martha Redbone, Carrie Rodriguez, Somi, Kandace Springs, and Dar Williams. This unique concert benefited the Mental Health Project of the Urban Justice Center in NYC. And on April 24, 2018, ALE produce yet another sold-out event for JusticeAid entiled "Songs for Lady Day: The Music of Billie Holiday," featuring Marshall Crenshaw, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Paula Cole, Kandace Springs and Dom Flemons at The Hamilton in Wasington DC. This event raised over $100,000 for the Civil Rights Corps and Essie Justice Group in their fight against racism and economic inequality in our justice system. ALE produced additional events for JusticeAid in November 2018 and April 2019, numerous online events in 2002 and into 2021, and returned to the Lincoln Theatre with Mavis Staples and Amy Helm in October 2021. 2022 saw an all-star concert in NYC, celebrating Blues legend Bessie Smith and we return to Washington DC in Oct. 2022 for a concert featuring Kandace Springs. In May 2023, we rasied over $300,000 for Black Voters Matter with an all-star show celebrating Nina Simone. Tank & The Bangas perform at the Hamitlon in Washington DC on October 16.
Absolutely Live Entertainment has presented numerous concerts since it's founding in 2007. We have strong and extensive venue relationships and have proven to be a dedicated promoter for many artists in New York City and in Boston.
Recent presentations include Bela Fleck's Bluegrass Heart at Carnegie Hall, Jon Anderson (The Voice of YES) at the Somerville Theatre, A Celebration of Kate McGarrigle at New York's Town Hall, the Iranian folk singer, Sima Bina, the worldwide exclusive reunion of Pee Wee Ellis, Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker, Jean Pierre Magnet y Serenata de los Andes, and the Wainwright/McGarrigle Family Christmas Concert. ALE served as consulting producer of Chicago Orchestra Hall's United Sounds of America series - six unique concerts celebrating the musical heritage of different American cities, which took place in June, 2011. Additionally, Danny Melnick has curated "The Shape of Jazz" series at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall since 2003.
Since our inception, Absolutely Live Entertainment is proud to have presented Kodo Drummers of Japan, Wayne Shorter Quartet, Keith Jarrett (solo & trio), AfroCubism, Sonny Rollins, Gary Burton Quartet with Pat Metheny, Iranian Sounds of Peace: Rumi Symphony Project, the Canadian Brass, Cassandra Wilson celebrates Billie Holiday at the Apollo Theater, Afro-Cuban All Stars, among many others.