The Legends of Jazz Series resumes Friday, February 28 when the Don Byron New Gospel Quintet and featured vocalist Carla Cook perform at 7 p.m. at Onondaga Community College’s Storer Auditorium. Tickets are $25 each and are still available for purchase either online at www.srcarena.com or by phone at (315) 498-2772.
Don Byron is a master jazz clarinetist and saxophonist who has been named “Jazz Artist of the Year” on numerous occasions. The Don Byron New Gospel Quintet began touring in 2009 and features the vocals of the great Carla Cook.
Throughout the course of his career Byron has exhibited a marked tendency to explore different musical disciplines in depth. This time around, his attentions have turned to Gospel. “I saw this project in Albany last year, found it to be intriguing, entertaining, and historically significant, and thought it might be of great interest to our Legends of Jazz Series Season ticket holders, our students and faculty, and members of the community. It’s a great piece and an important project, and an engagement that both highlights and culminates the college’s annual month-long Black History Month Celebration on campus in wonderful fashion,” said jazz series producer and Onondaga alumnus Dr. Frank Malfitano, ‘67.
“Much is known about Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and Sam Cooke,” Malfitano continued, “and about their well-publicized and respective connections to Gospel, but sadly, much less is known about Sister Rosetta Tharpe and composer Thomas Dorsey, and that’s what makes this presentation so very special. In addition to being a jazz master of the first magnitude, Don is also a brilliant scholar and a great teacher, and someone who brings their stories to life in incredible musical fashion.”
For this exclusive Central New York-area engagement on campus on Friday, February 28 Mr. Byron and Ms. Cook will be joined on the Storer Auditorium stage by noted jazz keyboardist Xavier Davis, acclaimed drummer Pheeroan Akklaff, and veteran bassist Jerome Harris.