COLTRANE Bounces Back: Happy 95th Birthday John Coltrane!

Burchfield Penney and Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Collective Co-present Jazz Majesty September 24-25

Purchase tickets online at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/coltrane-tia-fuller-tickets-169129182939

story by Nick Householder  (iteration of John Coltrane by Julia Bottoms)

The year was 1967, the world just experienced the tragic death of John Coltrane, creating an enormous shock to jazz fans and music lovers alike. Today, the vision and popularity of the Pulitzer Prize-winning saxophonist is as potent as ever, with his music continuing to top the charts 54 years after his death.

Born on September 23, 1926, and undeniably of one of the greatest saxophonists of all time, the Burchfield Penney Art Center at SUNY Buffalo State and Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Collective will reunite to celebrate Coltrane’s birthday. The annual, collaborative festival returns September 24 – 25, 2021 at the Burchfield Penney after a pandemic intermission.

“Throughout the health crisis, we embraced the role of ‘cultural first responder’ addressing the community’s artistic needs with digital jazz offerings,” stated Dawn Martin Berry-Walker, Pappy Martin Jazz Collective chief executive/ artistic director. “This year’s annual COLTRANE celebration welcomes back a signature, highly anticipated, in-person performance with a diverse line-up. Expect a once-in-a-lifetime explosion of jazz majesty.” 

Presented with the generous support of the Cullen Foundation, this year’s headliners include the incredible talents of Grammy-nominated saxophonist Tia Fuller with the George Caldwell Trio; and veteran heavy-hitters Curtis Lundyand Umoja, featuring Emilio Modeste, Wallace Roney, Jr., T.C. the 3rd, Terreon Gully and George Caldwell. Please note that proof of COVID vaccination and masks will be required for the duration of the shows.

“The ache of the pandemic has touched every corner of the jazz world. Sadly, we lost many influential jazz and blues musicians to COVID-19,” said Renata Toney, Burchfield Penney marketing communications manager and event co-organizer. “An homage to these masters, this year’s COLTRANE celebrates the return of live jazz and the merits kind, gracious collaboration with the Collective.”

COLTRANE 2021 artwork was designed by artist Julia Bottoms. The fourth, in a series of award-winning posters, Bottoms’ creativity now joins the ranks of Philip Burke, Stacey Robinson and Edreys Wajed. Limited edition posters will be on sale in the Museum Store Sept 23 – 26, 2021. All four are available for a bundled, discounted rate.

 

Don’t miss that Trane!  

Friday, September 24, 8 PM 

Headliner: Tia Fuller with the George Caldwell Trio – $30 General Admission; $20 Burchfield Penney and Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Society Members, $10 students (with ID). 

Purchase tickets online at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/coltrane-tia-fuller-tickets-169129182939

2021 John Coltrane by artist Julia Bottoms

Note: Member-priced tickets must be purchased by phone at 716-878-6011 during museum hours of operation, Thursday 10 – 4, Friday 10 AM – 7 PM, Saturday 10 AM – 7 PM and Sunday noon – 4 PM. or on site at the Burchfield Penney.

Tia Fuller – When Grammy-nominated composer, and bandleader Tia Fuller picks up her saxophone, something amazing happens. Blending technical brilliance, melodic creativity, and the performing precision drawn from both her academic and stage experience, Fuller is a force to be reckoned with in the worlds of jazz, pop, R&B, and more. Currently, Fuller balances the worlds of performance and education, fulfilling a demanding schedule as both a busy touring and recording artist and a full-time professor at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

In addition, she has received numerous awards and marks of distinction including, winning Jazz Times Jazz Critics Poll for best alto saxophonist (2018), and Downbeat Critic’s Poll-Rising Star two years in a row in the categories of Soprano Sax in 2014 and Alto Sax and Flute in 2013.

In 2018, Fuller was honored with the Benny Golson Award from Howard University; received the Distinguished Alumnae Award as the commencement speaker at the University of Colorado at Boulder; and was appointed as the 2018 Artist-in-Residence at the Monterey Jazz Festival in Monterey, CA.

George Caldwell – Caldwell is 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. Renowned as performer, composer, band leader and teacher, Caldwell presided over the ivory 88s for the Basie Orchestra when the group won a “Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance” Grammy in 1996. He’s one of the pre-eminent swing players in modern jazz and instrumental in co-organizing the annual Coltrane celebration at the Burchfield Penney.

Sean Jefferson – Sean holds a master’s degree in music and music education from Roberts Wesleyan College. He has studied both modern and classical percussion in addition to a lifetime spent mastering the infinite, ever-expanding vocabulary of jazz. A professional working musician and composer himself, Jefferson is active at the front lines of contemporary music and teaches from the perspective of an innovator who is up on today’s sounds.

Jeff Campbell – Jeff has carved out an impressive career as bass player of extraordinary artistry, fluent in both the jazz and classical idioms. As a jazz bassist, he maintains an active schedule performing with Marian McPartland, Gene Bertoncini, Rich Perry, Trio East, Harold Jones, and the Eastman Jazz Quartet featuring Harold Danko, and has appeared on McPartland’s Piano Jazz program on National Public Radio. In high demand across the globe, Jeff has performed at such prestigious European musical events as the Nice, Montreux, North Sea, Riga, and Parnu Jazz Festivals and has also appeared in the former Soviet Union and the Baltic Republics. He is a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra bass section.

Saturday, September 25 – 11 AM

Tia Fuller Saxophone Clinic – Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Tia Fuller will facilitate a free student workshop.  Designed to help new and emerging artists enjoy making music by strengthening their skills in an interactive environment, the workshop is open to grammar, high school, and college students with ID.

Ms. Fuller, already an established jazz artist, gained international attention several years ago after joining pop star Beyonce’s all-female touring group. She continues to freelance and lead her own groups and recently has been performing in Grammy Award winning Esperanza Spalding’s group. 

Saturday, September 25 – TWO PERFORMANCES 4 PM and 8 PM

Headliner: Curtis Lundy & Umoja, featuring Emilio Modeste, Wallace Roney, Jr., T.C. the 3rd, Terreon Gully and George Caldwell

$30 General Admission; $20 Burchfield Penney and Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Society Members; $10 students (with ID). 

4 PM PERFORMANCE – Purchase Tickets Online Here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/coltrane-curtis-lundy-sextet-matinee-tickets-169131941189

8 PM PERFORMANCE – Purchase Tickets Online Here: 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/coltrane-curtis-lundy-sextet-evening-show-tickets-169132274185

Note that member-priced tickets must be purchased by phone at 716-878-6011 during museum hours of operation, Thursday 10 – 4, Friday 10 AM – 7 PM, Saturday 10 AM – 7 PM and Sunday noon – 4 PM. or on site at the Burchfield Penney.

Curtis Lundy is an American double bass player, composer, producer, choir director and arranger. Lundy is best known for his work as part of jazz vocalist Betty Carter’s band, through whose ranks several eventually renowned musicians passed. Lundy has also played on other jazz artists’ recordings, including albums by John Hicks, Bobby Watson, the Steve Nelson Quintet and Johnny Griffin. In the late 1980s, he briefly stepped out of the background and issued Just Be Yourself (1988). A decade later, with Justin Time Records, he released Against All Odds (1999) and Purpose (2002). Both albums feature pianists John Hicks and Anthony Wonsey. Lundy’s arrangement of Walk with Me, recorded by the ARC Gospel Choir, was sampled by rapper Kanye West and became the Grammy Award-winning hit Jesus Walks.

Emilio Modeste is a young, New York-based tenor saxophonist and was a member of the late Wallace Roney’s Quintet for the final three years of his life. Born in Virginia, Modeste started very early on the violin, moving to the piano and drums quickly, until he picked up the saxophone at the age of eight and never looked back. Modeste has since shared the bandstand with world-renowned musicians including Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, Buster Williams, Stanley Clarke, Patrice Rushen, Lenny White, Gary Bartz, Steve Turre, Christian McBride, Rene McLean, Antoine Roney, Donald Harrison, and many more.

His most formative years came from his time with Wallace Roney’s Quintet. Modeste was a close friend and mentee of trumpeter Wallace Roney and traveled the world with Roney’s Quintet from 2017 to his passing in March 2020. He has performed throughout Europe, the USA and Canada, China and Mexico with Roney’s Quintet and grew into a sensitive and powerful sideman through his time beside Roney. Modeste appears on Wallace Roney’s final studio Album, Blue Dawn – Blue Nights as well as the album Music from and Inspired by The Film Birth of The Cool.

Wallace Roney, Jr. – Music has always been a part of Wallace’s family pedigree. His father being the late world-renowned trumpeter Wallace Roney, as well as his mother being universally acclaimed pianist Geri Allen. Growing up in a household full of music, it wasn’t long before Wallace took a serious interest in playing the trumpet. His idols included trumpet giants such as Kenny Dorham, Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Lee Morgan, etc. At age 10 after showing enormous interest in playing and a willingness to study harmony, his father gifted him his very own horn. Since then, Wallace has shared the bandstand and garnered the approval of many legends the likes of which include Chick Corea, Jimmy Heath, Charles Tolliver, Lenny White, Buster Williams, Jack DeJohnette, and the late great Ornette Coleman just to name a few. Wallace is a graduate of the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory of music.

Terreon Gully – Drums

Musician extraordinaire, Terreon Gully is one of the most influential artists of his generation.  Widely recognized for his creativity, versatility, and authenticity, Terreon is in high demand. His innovative and distinct sound has inspired artists such as Dianne Reeves, Christian McBride as well as Stefon Harris to make him a member of their bands. Originally from East St. Louis, Illinois, Terreon refined his musical talent in New York City, after completing college at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas. Currently, Terreon makes Atlanta, Georgia his home, where he continues to enhance and develop his craft.

T.C. the 3rd – Vocalist

Born William Theodore Carney III and known as ‘T.C. the 3rd’, hails from Philadelphia, Pa. Coming from a tradition of musicianship, the tutelage of his parents, Trudy Pitts and “Mr. C.”, provided a unique training and exposure to jazz. Vocal expressions and interpretations allow him to perpetuate the legacy of jazz, his greatest love.  T.C. the 3rd has performed with the Sun Ra Arkestra, Grover Washington Jr., Norman Connors and the Starship Orchestra, Shirley Scott, Jon Hendricks, Gary Bartz, Art Blakey, Wynton Marsalis, and Joe Ford, just to name a few.

George Caldwell – Piano 

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. Renowned as performer, composer, band leader and teacher, Caldwell presided over the ivory 88s for the Basie Orchestra when the group won a “Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance” Grammy in 1996. He’s one of the pre-eminent swing players in modern jazz and instrumental in co-organizing the annual Coltrane celebration at the Burchfield Penney.

Writer of this article Nick Householder is a Burchfield Penney Communications Intern.