MIAMI, Fla. – Just in time for Black History month, the 11th season of the internationally acclaimed JAZZ ROOTS concert series continues Friday, Feb. 8 with Jazz in the Key of Ellison at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County.

The all-star lineup features Labelle star Nona Hendrix, Grammy Award-winning trumpeter/composer Nicholas Payton, 2017 Sarah Vaughan jazz vocal competition winner Quiana Lynell, acclaimed R&B and jazz vocalist Will Downing, and the Andy Farber Orchestra.

Their performances are at 8 p.m. in the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall of the performing arts center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd. in Miami. Tickets range from $45 $125 and can be purchased by phone at 305-949-6722, online at or at the Arsht Center Box Office.

Ellison, the acclaimed Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “Invisible Man,” was an accomplished trumpeter who knew Armstrong, Basie, Ellington, Bird, Monk, Miles, Dizzy, and Ray Charles. African-American music was central to his life and to his stories.

This special evening, inspired by the jazz world he loved and knew so well, will feature works by Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Thelonious Monk, Ornette Coleman and Ray Charles and Nina Simone.. Readings from Ellison’s eloquent writing on music will heighten the celebratory atmosphere throughout the evening.

New York Times best-selling writer will serve as special guest host and narrator. In addition, in acknowledgment of Ellison’s long friendship with the renowned African-American painter and collagist Romare Bearden, himself a jazz artist and composer, images of Bearden’s artistic works and rare video clips will serve as a backdrop for portions of the live performance, vividly bringing to life one of the most dynamic eras in American jazz history.
Since 2008 the JAZZ ROOTS series has featured more than 160 of the greatest living jazz artists/ensembles on the scene today and has introduced Miami audiences to dozens of rising stars and local talent.

“Ellison’s beautiful writings were drenched in the sights and sounds of jazz,” said Liz Wallace, Arsht Center vice president of programming. “It is with joy that we bring together these art forms in celebration of Black History Month.”


WHAT: JAZZ ROOTS presents Jazz in the Key of Ellison

WHEN: Fri., Feb. 8, 8 p.m.

WHERE: Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

TICKETS: $45 – $125, call 305-949-6722, visit or Arsht Center box office.