The Kennedy Center celebrates the 90th birthday of legendary saxophonist, composer, bandleader, and NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath with a stellar lineup, including appearances by Herbie Hancock, the Jimmy Heath Big Band, and more.
The Kennedy Center celebrates the 90th birthday of legendary saxophonist, composer, bandleader, and NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath (b. October 25, 1926). The musical homage features a stellar lineup of jazz musicians and longtime friends, saxophonist Sharel Cassity, pianist Stanley Cowell, saxophonist Antonio Hart, Heath's brother and drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath, bassist John Lee, guitarist Tony Purrone, and fellow NEA Jazz Master and 2013 Kennedy Center Honoree Herbie Hancock.
The program will also feature the Jimmy Heath Big Band comprised of Roberta Gambarini on vocals; Frank Greene, Freddie Hendrix, Gregory Gisbert, and Michael Philip Mossman on trumpet; Steve Davis, Jason Jackson, John Mosca, and Douglas Purviance on trombone; Antonio Hart and Mark Gross on alto saxophone and flute; Bobby LaVell on tenor saxophone and flute; Mike Lee on tenor saxophone; Gary Smulyan on baritone saxophone; Jeb Patton on piano; David Wong on bass; and Evan Sherman on drums. Additionally, philosopher and social activist Dr. Cornel West and Heath's son, Mtume, will offer remarks.
With a career that spans more than five decades, Jimmy Heath has performed with many of the jazz greats, including John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and Wynton Marsalis. In addition to being heard on 100+ albums, many of his 125 compositions have become jazz standards and been recorded by other artists.