By Renata Toney
In 1967, John Coltrane’s unexpected and tragic death rattled the music community. He was one of the greatest saxophone players of all time. He wrote jazz music. He recorded new versions of popular songs. And, he helped make modern jazz popular. Coltrane’s gift echoes onward. Impulse Records recently announced that they will release a previously unheard collection of recordings. The album titled, Blue World, will be available on September 27th.
Born on September 23, 1926, each year the Burchfield Penney Art Center at SUNY Buffalo State in collaboration with the Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Collective present a three-day Coltrane birthday celebration. Challenger News Arts Entertainment reviewer Matt Bauer described last year’s sold-out performances as “inspiration and elation in the air…there was no doubt that John Coltrane’s incomparable legacy was righteously honored.”
“Some of my dad’s (Pappy Martin’s) last words to me before passing were, ‘never not celebrate John Coltrane’s birthday’,” remembers Dawn Martin Berry-Walker, chief executive, Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Collective. “I am extremely grateful to continue the tradition he started decades ago. I thank the Burchfield Penney for helping to sustain this legacy with warmth, generosity and a standard of excellence.”
Under the leadership of pianist and event artistic director George Caldwell, this year’s festival will showcase local and international contemporary jazz masters Thursday, September 19 – Saturday, September 21. The multi-talented line-up includes:
Thursday, September 19, 2019, 7 pm
Bilal Nugravee and the Nugravee Sextet: Bilal Nugravee, saxophone; Kevin Doyle, piano; Chuck Buffamonte, guitar; Tim Clarke, trumpet; Mark Harris, bass; and Reggie Evans, drums
$10 (adults); $8 (seniors)/Purchase tickets online at:
Friday, September 20, 2019, 8 pm
Opening performance: Maestro Henri Star and the Muhammad School of Music Chamber Players
Headliners: Nasar Abadey, George Caldwell and Joe Ford
$25 General Admission/Purchase tickets online at:
Longtime saxophonist, Joe Ford, has a stunning and diverse career that proves a musician’s evolution is worth the years that go into it. Fords’ legacy was solidified in 2004 when he was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame. Throughout his vibrant career, Joe has stood out as a teacher, composer, pianist and saxophonist.
Drummer and composer Nasar Abadey is the founder, leader and driving force of SUPERNOVA, a band that performs music from the threshold of jazz to beyond space and time. He is currently a professor of jazz percussion at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD.
A fully tenured jazz piano legend who has served with the Count Basie Orchestra, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, as a sideman extraordinaire, and as leader of his own ensembles. Caldwell is one of the pre-eminent swing players in modern jazz and artistic director of the annual Coltrane celebration.
Saturday, September 21, 2019, 1 PM
The Progressions Jazz Quartet
Gallery admission rates apply: $10 (adults); $8 (seniors); free admission for Burchfield Penney and Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Collective members
Saxophonist Ahmad Pleasant will lead the Progressions Jazz Quartet which consists of some of Western New York’s finest emerging jazz talent.
Saturday September 21 2019 8pm
Curtis Lundy and LaNard Rutledge
Curtis Lundy is a double bass player, composer, producer, choir director and arranger. Lundy is best known for his work with the jazz vocalist Betty Carter’s band. He has played on recordings by John Hicks, Bobby Watson, the Steve Nelson Quintet and Johnny Griffin. He also serves as International Music Director of the Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Collective.
LeNard Rutledge, born and raised in Miami, Florida, where there are only a handful of truly great jazz vocalists, is usually compared, aptly, to the legendary Lou Rawls. LeNard has shared the stage with several highly respectable jazz artist such as Wycliffe Gordon, Kenny Drew Jr., Dee Dee Bridgewater, Kirk Whalum, Marion Meadows and the late George Duke.
The Burchfield Penney and Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Collective acknowledge the support of artist Edreys Wajed, designer of this year’s Coltrane promotional artwork featured on the cover. Signed, limited edition commemorative posters will be available for purchase during the in the Center’s gift shop. Proceeds help sustain and organize the festival. For more information, go to www.burchfieldpenney.org