The Return of the 5,000 lb. Man:
A 75th Birthday Tribute to Rahsaan Roland Kirk
(Published: July 02, 2010)
A friend of mine once asked me,
"What's so great about Roland Kirk?"
I told him, "If a five-thousand pound man was coming to town, would you go see him?"
--Joel Dorn, Rahsaan's longtime friend and producer
Rahsaan Roland Kirk (Aug. 7th, 1935--Dec. 5th, 1977) was a jazz multi-instrumentalist best
known for his miraculous ability to play three saxophones simultaneously. Kirk defied
staggering odds in his all-too-brief life-from blindness to critical prejudice to a paralyzing
stroke-in order to play the music that came to him through dreams. His music, once ahead of its time, now seems timeless.
Since his death thirty years ago, his legend has only continued to grow.
In honor of his 75th birthday, Kirk's family, friends, and fans
will celebrate the life of the legendary jazz giant
in Austin, on August 6, 2010, at The Elephant Room.
Hosted and presented by May K. Cobb, and sponsored by
KOOP radio 91.7 FM,
this promises to be a memorable evening
honoring one of our greatest jazz musicians & composers.
Cobb, an Austin-based writer
who has spent the past several years researching Kirk's life
for a new biography, said this about the event,
"I'm honored to have a hand in creating this homage to Rahsaan. With Dorthaan's blessing and enormous help, it should be a very magical evening. To me, he is one of the most innovative and important musicians who's ever lived, but one of the most overlooked. The Austin Jazz Workshop performs his music beautifully, and hopefully this event will help, even in some small way, to keep his name alive."
The evening will include:
Kirk's music, performed by the AJW Sextet,
featuring Alex Coke (flutes and sax), director Mike Melinger(sax),
and Floyd Domino (piano), with surprise appearances.
Dorthaan Kirk and special guests
Live concert footage
Gift bags to the first 100 people and a midnight birthday countdown
Proceeds from the evening will go to The Austin Jazz Workshop, a nonprofit organization that brings
jazz musicians directly into public school classrooms. In '08-'09 AJW performed Kirk's music in 118 Austin schools
and recorded Mystery Note, a tribute album to Kirk that was released in 2009.
Copies of Mystery Note will be available at the party.
General admission is $5 at the door
with donations welcome
throughout the evening.
The Elephant Room is at
315 Congress Avenue
in Austin, Texas 78701
The first set begins @9:30pm.
Please arrive early,
as seating is limited.
More Information: http://www.austinjazzworkshop.com/mel/news.htm