John Lee, a 2019 Grammy Award winner and Dizzy Gillespie’s long-time bassist, comes to SOPAC with a few of his friends for a special Jazz concert in the SOPAC Loft.
John Lee – Bass
John Lee is a Grammy Award winning record producer and audio engineer. He has produced over 100 recordings and is the co-founder of the record label JLP, Jazz Legacy Productions. From 1984 thru 1993, John Lee was Dizzy Gillespie’s bassist. Performing and recording in the trumpet master’s various bands including the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet, Dizzy Gillespie Big Band and Dizzy’s Grammy Award winning United Nation Orchestra. After Dizzy’s passing, his family asked John to create an ongoing tribute to the great man and his music—and the concept for the Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars was born. John is the bassist and director of the Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars, Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band and the Dizzy Gillespie Afro-Cuban Experience. He has also worked in the bands of Gary Bartz, Larry Coryell, Jon Faddis, Aretha Franklin, Roberta Gambarini, Roy Hargrove, Jimmy Heath, Gregory Hines, Claudio Roditi, Sonny Rollins and McCoy Tyner.
Cyrus Chestnut – Piano
Pianist Cyrus Chestnut can do it all. Equally adept playing with trios, small groups, big bands, vocalists, or alone, he tackles a broad range of styles with both taste and intelligence. He is highly-regarded as the greatest Jazz pianist of his generation and universally recognized as one of the leading Jazz pianists in the world. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, his many credits include work with Kathleen Battle, Terence Blanchard, Betty Carter, Chico Freeman, Dizzy Gillespie, the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Bands, Donald Harrison, Jon Hendricks, Freddie Hubbard, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, The Turtle Bay String Quartet and Joe Williams among many others. He is a noted Jazz educator and currently professor of piano at Howard University in Washington, DC. Cyrus has released over 30 solo recordings to date.
Freddie Hendrix – Trumpet & Flugelhorn
Over the past two decades, Freddie Hendrix has become one of the most in demand trumpeters in Jazz and beyond. Also an accomplished composer, arranger and educator, the Teaneck, New Jersey native’s skill and versatility has resulted in him working with a wide array of performers that range from the Count Basie Orchestra, the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, the Christian McBride Big Band, the Roy Hargrove Big Band and the Heath Brothers, to Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys. A product of the esteemed Jazz program at William Paterson University, with a Masters in Jazz Studies and Performance from New Jersey City University, Hendrix also shares his knowledge and passion for the music by serving as a faculty member at the The New School in New York and Jazz House Kids, in Montclair, New Jersey.
Steve Carrington – Tenor Saxophone
Born in East Baltimore, Maryland, Steve Carrington began playing the saxophone at age seven. After attending the Baltimore School for the Arts and Frederick Douglass High School (whose alumni include Cab Calloway), Carrington was awarded a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied with saxophonist Bill Pierce. His early influences were John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Grover Washington Jr., Hank Mobley, Dexter Gordon, and Freddie Hubbard.
Carrington has played with Cyrus Chestnut’s African Reflections band, Charles Mingus Epitaph, Roy Hargrove, Milt Hinton, Frank Wess, Jimmy Heath, Elvin Jones, Joey DeFrancesco, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Wynton Marsalis, and Chick Corea among many others. Recently, he has been performing with Kool and the Gang. Carrington’s recordings include his debut album A Caring Tone (2014) and Mind Traveler (2019).
Karl Latham – Drums
Karl Latham was born into a musical family in Trenton, New Jersey. He attended Rutgers University and the Berklee College of Music. He has performed with Claudio Roditi, Slide Hampton, Clark Terry, John Lee, Don Braden, Vic Juris, Edgar Winter, Johnny Winter, The Shirelles, and Mark Egan among others.
As a sideman, Karl has appeared on countless recordings. To date, he has released three CD’s as a leader: Dancing Spirits (1999) , Resonance (2007), and his latest release Living Standards. As a co-leader Don Braden/Karl Latham Big Fun(K) Live (2012) and Karl Latham/Ryan Carniaux/Mark Egan Constellations (2014).
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