CEDAR WALTON & BARRY HARRIS / JAZZ PIANO SUMMIT: IN MEMORY OF MULGREW MILLER
(Published: May 30, 2013)
Jazz Forum Arts presents JAZZ PIANO SUMMIT: CEDAR WALTON & BARRY HARRIS, performing on two nine-foot Steinway Concert Grand Pianos at The Allen Room, Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall, Time Warner Center, NYC, at 7:30 & 9:30pm, Saturday, June 22nd, 2013. The two NEA Jazz Masters will be joined by the iconic jazz bassist BUSTER WILLIAMS and the exceptional WILLIE JONES III on drums. Tickets are $95, $75 and $55 and can be purchased through CenterCharge 212-721-6500, or at https://ticketing.jalc.or..., or at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Box Office, Broadway at 60th Street, Ground Floor, Mon.-Sat. 10am to 6pm and Sun. 12noon to 6pm, and is a featured event of the 2013 Blue Note Jazz Festival and is sponsored by Pink Stone Capital.
Jazz Piano Summit is the fifth piano event at Jazz at Lincoln Center presented by Jazz Forum Arts, which reprised its "Two Steinways, Bass and Drums" series in 2005 with concerts by Dave Frishberg & Dick Hyman, and later Hank Jones & Barry Harris, and then Kenny Barron & Eliane Elias, all taking place in The Allen Room. Mark Morganelli began the original series in 1981, featuring Tommy Flanagan & Barry Harris at his Jazz Forum loft/club in Greenwich Village. Launched by Morganelli in 1985, Jazz Forum Arts also produces events at the Tarrytown Music Hall and other area venues. For information about Jazz Forum Arts, call 914-631-1000 or visit www.jazzforumarts.org.
CEDAR WALTON, one of the great hard-bop pianists, is also known for his compositions including "Bolivia", "Clockwise" and "Firm Roots", which have become jazz standards. Walton grew up in Dallas, Texas where he learned to play the piano from his mother who encouraged him to emulate the recordings of jazz piano legends such as Nat King Cole, Thelonious Monk and Art Tatum. While attending college at the University of Denver, he met Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane, who would sit in with his group at after-hours clubs when they were traveling through town. After college and a couple of years in the army, Walton moved to New York City to play and record with Kenny Dorham, J. J. Johnson and Gigi Gryce. In 1959, he recorded alternate tracks with Coltrane for his seminal album Giant Steps, that were released when the CD version was issued. From 1960-61, he worked with Art Farmer and Benny Golson. In 1961, Walton joined up with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers (along with Freddie Hubbard and Wayne Shorter), stepping forward as a composer, contributing originals such as "Mosaic", "Ugetsu" and "The Promised Land". He then worked as a sideman for well-known artists such as Abbey Lincoln (1965-66) and Lee Morgan (1966-68). In 1974 he formed the group Eastern Rebellion with Sam Jones, Billy Higgins and Clifford Jordan, recording five albums over the next 20 years. Continuing to be very active, both as a prodigious leader (with over 48 releases) and as a sideman, Walton was inducted as a member of the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters in January 2010.
BARRY HARRIS, the quintessential keeper of the bebop piano flame, was part of a group of Detroit-bred musicians that also included Tommy Flanagan and Donald Byrd. Born in 1929, he was given his first music lessons at age four by his church piano-playing mother. Immersed in jazz by the mid-1940's he fell under the spell of Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and Bud Powell, and later would become a key translator of Monk's music. During the ‘40s, he was house pianist at Detroit's hottest jazz spots, backing such artists as Miles Davis, Max Roach, Sonny Stitt, Lee Konitz and Lester Young. Harris began teaching his bebop theories as early as 1956. At the urging of Cannonball Adderley, he left Detroit in 1960 and moved to New York, working with Adderley as well as fellow Detroiter Yusef Lateef, Charles McPherson, Coleman Hawkins and tap dancer Jimmy Slyde. He also led various trios and duos around New York and worked as a composer and arranger, particularly for strings. In 1989, Harris was honored as a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, received an Honorary Doctorate from Northwestern University (1995), was inducted into the American Jazz Hall of Fame in 2000, and is a recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2006).