Cecil McBee, world-acclaimed Bassist, was born and raised in Tulsa,Oklahoma. His musical career began at high school, where he played the clarinet. By the age of 17 and after receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in music education, Cecil had begun to experiment with the string bass and played steadily at local night clubs with top groups.
At the conclusion of his high school career he was offered a full scholarship at Central state University in Wilberforce, Ohio, because his talents on the clarinet had begun to show great promise. And, upon arrival at college he was immediately embraced as both, a fine clarinetist and potentially a promising, young string bassist. To his fortune the academic atmosphere was extremely inspiring, both towards his educational needs as potential instructor as well as string bass performer.
However, his musical education at Central State University was interrupted by the induction into the US army. Here he spent two years as the conductor of the "158th Band" at Fort Knox Kentucky. There he developed a personal study of the possibilities of bass composition and improvisation.
After his discharge from the army, Cecil returned to college to resume his studies and eventually received Bachelor of Science degree in music education.
By the time he graduated from college, Cecil realized that although he had prepared for a career in education, he was more inspired by performances of jazz improvisation on the world stage.
Because of this, Cecil decided to live in Detroit, then, one of the most powerful jazz communities in the world. Within a year he joined Paul Winter Sextet which turned out to be an open passage for his eventual arrival in New York City.
Since his arrival in New York Cecil McBee has worked, recorded and traveled worldwide with the absolute best, an enormous variety of artists, such as Charles Lloyd, Pharoah Sanders, Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner, Miles Davis, Bobby Hutcherson, Keith Jarrett, Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson, Andrew Hill, Sam Rivers, Michael White, Jackie McLean, Yusef Lateef, Alice Coltrane, Ravi Coltrane, Abdullah Ibrahim, Lonnie Liston Smith, Buddy Tate, Joanne Brackeen, Dinah Washington, Benny Goodman, George Benson, Nancy Wilson, Betty Carter, Art Pepper, Charles Lloyd, Pharoah Sanders, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, Billy Hart, Eddie Henderson, Yosuke Yamashita, Billy Harper and Geri Allen.
He established his own group in 1975.
The recipient of two NEA composition grants, McBee has written works that are performed worldwide and have been recorded by Evin Jones, McCoy Tyner, Pharoah Sanders and many others.
In 1989 he won a Grammy for his performance of "Blues for John Coltrane" , featuring Roy Haynes, David Murray, McCoy Tyner and Pharoah Sanders,
and in 1991 he was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame.
His music that covers all territories of creative improvisation is unique to his own individuality and features his incredible abilities on the instrument.
The title of his latest album "Unspoken" clearly mirorrs a broad creative efford yet to be heard by his fans and the world at large.
As one of post bop's most advanced and versatile bassist Cecil McBee creates rich, singing phrases in a wide range of contemporary jazz contexts.
Cecil McBee's Website: www.cecilmcbeejazz.com
Considered the Dean of bass players and honored by the National Endowment for the Arts with a 1993 Jazz Master Fellowship, Milt Hinton began his career in the late 1920s playing and recording with legendary figures such as Louis Armstrong, Art Tatum, Dizzy Gillespie, Illinois Jacquet, Ben Webster, Billie Holiday, Benny Carter and—for fifteen years—with Cab Calloway’s big band. Hinton also worked with popular performers—including Bing Crosby, Paul McCartney and Barbra Streisand—and played on countless records, radio and TV programs, and commercials.
But music was only one of Hinton’s passions: as a photographer whose output consisted of thousands of images of friends and fellow artists, Hinton’s visual record of six decades of music-making, both in the studio and on the road, is unsurpassed. Intimate, joyous, reflective and historic, these photographs have appeared in gallery and museum exhibitions, several volumes, and in documentary films.
Milt Hinton's Website: http://www.milthinton.com/
For over six decades, saxophone master James Moody has serenaded lovers with his signature song “Moody's Mood For Love” an improvisation on the chord progressions of “I'm in the Mood for Love.” Born in Savannah, Georgia on March 26, 1925, and raised in Newark, New Jersey, James Moody took up the alto sax, a gift from his uncle, at the age of 16. His first Job was with Dizzy Gillespie at the age of 21. The rest is history.
Just to name a few of his accolades, Moody has been inducted into the International Jazz Hall of Fame, in 1998 he received the prestigious Jazz Masters Fellowship Award granted by the National Endowment for the Arts, in 1997 an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Florida Memorial College, in 2000 an Honorary Doctorate of Music from the Berklee College of Music, in 2007 the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences bestowed him with the Presidents Merit Award and also in 2007 Moody received the John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts Living Jazz Legend Award. In 2001 “Moody’s Mood for Love” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame “honoring recordings of lasting, qualitative or historical significance.” Moody was given the prestigious 2008 Medal of Honor for Music by the National Arts Club in New York on October 27, 2008.
To quote Peter Watrous of the New York Times, "As a musical explorer, performer, collaborator and composer he has made an indelible contribution to the rise of American music as the dominant musical force of the twentieth century." And to quote Mark Stryker from the Detroit Free Press “Moody might be the hippest 83-year-old on the planet.”
James Moody's Website: www.jamesmoody.com
“One of the seven wonders of modern jazz” according to Billboard magazine, drummer Roy Haynes will be honored as 2009 Jazz Master in Residence at Harvard University April 15-18. A working musician since 1942, Haynes’ unrelenting sense of swing has graced the bands of a who's-who list of jazz innovators across a wide spectrum of improvisation.
Roy Haynes was born in Boston, March 13, 1926, and was keenly interested in jazz ever since he can remember. As he recalls, “A teacher in school once sent me to the principal, because I was drumming with my hands on the desk in class. My father used to say I was just nervous. I'm always thinking rhythms, drums.”
Primarily self-taught, he began to work locally with musicians like the Charlie Christian inflected guitarist Tom Brown, bandleader Sabby Lewis, and Kansas City blues-shout alto saxophonist Pete Brown, before getting a call in the summer of 1945 to join legendary bandleader Luis Russell (responsible for much of Louis Armstrong's musical backing from 1929 to 1933) to play for the dancers at New York's legendary Savoy Ballroom. When not traveling with Russell, the young drummer spent much time on Manhattan's 52nd Street and uptown in “Minton's,” the legendary incubator of bebop, soaking up the scene.
Haynes was Lester Young's drummer from 1947 to 1949, worked with Bud Powell and Miles Davis in '49, became Charlie Parker's drummer of choice from 1949 to 1953, toured the world with Sarah Vaughan from 1954 to 1959, did numerous extended gigs with Thelonious Monk in 1959-60, made eight recordings with Eric Dolphy in 1960-61, worked extensively with Stan Getz from 1961 to 1965, played and recorded with the John Coltrane Quartet from 1963 to 1965, has intermittently collaborated with Chick Corea since 1968, and with Pat Metheny during the '90s. Metheny was featured on Haynes' recording on the Dreyfus label, “Te Vou!” He's been an active bandleader from the late '50s to the present, featuring artists in performance and on recordings like Phineas Newborn, Booker Ervin, Roland Kirk, George Adams, Hannibal Marvin Peterson, Ralph Moore and Donald Harrison. A perpetual top-three drummer in the Downbeat Readers Poll Awards, he won the Best Drummer honors in 1996, and in that year received the prestigious French Chevalier des l'Ordres Artes et des Lettres.
“Roy Haynes is still rocking beats and flavor like nobody's business,” according to Black Entertainment TV. “When it comes to driving a combo, his sizzling cymbal work and thundering cross-rhythms light fire underneath his band mates…. You'll quickly wonder if Haynes is indeed drinking from the fountain of youth, judging from his muscular polyrhythms, quicksilver responsiveness and sheer ingenuity.
Brooklyn born Steve Kuhn was fascinated with jazz very early in his life. He began classical piano lessons at age five and soon began to "improvise and syncopate the classical repertoire."
In his early teens, Kuhn studied with legendary teacher Margaret Chaloff who schooled him in the "Russian Technique", an invaluable tool for tone production and projection. Chaloff's son, Serge, baritone saxophonist for Woody Herman, hired the 13 year-old pianist to play in his group. Throughout his teens Kuhn continued to play in Boston jazz clubs with visiting celebrities such as; Coleman Hawkins, Chet Baker, and Vic Dickenson.
After graduation from Harvard College, Kuhn attended the Lenox School of Music where he met and played in a group with fellow-students Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry. The faculty included Bill Evans, George Russell, and Gunther Schuller. While at Lenox, Kuhn met trumpeter Kenny Dorham and began a two-year stint, interrupted when Kuhn was asked to join John Coltrane's newly-formed quartet.
Kuhn next joined Stan Getz's band, which included bassist Scott LaFaro. After a year with Art Farmer, he formed the first Steve Kuhn Trio, with drummer Pete LaRoca and bassist Steve Swallow. At the end of the 1960’s he spent four years living in Europe, where his performances had a significant impact upon local players. Upon returning to the United States, Kuhn began his
long-term affiliation with ECM, resulting in a string of important albums including Trance, Ecstasy, Non-Fiction and the collaborations with Sheila Jordan; Playground and Last Year's Waltz.
In the mid-80’s, Kuhn co-founded the popular 'All Star Trio', with bassist Ron Carter and drummer Al Foster, and launched a new, and still evolving, edition of his trio with bassist David Finck. Drummers for the latter have included Joey Baron (as on the ECM recording Remembering Tomorrow), Lewis Nash, Billy Drummond, Kenny Washington and Bill Stewart. In the 90’s up to the present time, he has recorded CDs for Venus, Reservoir and Sunnyside.
In 2004, Kuhn recorded Promises Kept which includes a string orchestra for ECM Records, of which he is most proud. Kuhn continues to tour widely throughout the world, with a strong following in Europe and especially Japan where his CDs frequently appear on the jazz charts.
A highlight of the year is participation in the Jazz Residency sponsored by the Office of the Arts that brings jazz masters to work and perform with students.
More information about the Artists in Residence program including programs and listings of past artists can be found at the website of the Office for the Arts at Harvard.