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JazzBoston and Museum of African American History Musical Tribute to Three Boston Jazz Giants

On April 29, 2016 JazzBoston and the Museum of African American History presented A Musical Tribute to Three Boston Jazz Giants and launched the campaign to create a Boston Jazz Heritage Trail.

Vocalist Mae Arnette, composer and pianist Ran Blake, and drummer Roy Haynes are three of Boston’s living jazz legends. Museum of African American History and JazzBoston on the eve of International Jazz Day as we honor these giants and launch the campaign to create a Boston Jazz Heritage Trail during this Boston Jazz Week special event. A concert with an all-star lineup paying tribute to the trio. Featured are drummer Yoron Israel and High Standards with special guests, including vocalist Dominique Eade and cornetist Graham Haynes, who will represent his father at the event. Storytelling by Eric Jackson, WGBH Radio host and jazz historian, and leaders of the hosting organizations will connect Boston’s social and cultural history with its unique jazz heritage and current jazz scene. Tributes will illuminate Mae Arnette’s illustrious career, which earned her the moniker “Boston’s First Lady of Song”; Ran Blake’s improvisational style, who composer Gunther Schuller called “…an incredible, innovative, unique genius”; and Haynes’ musical identity, dubbed by NPR “the greatest living jazz drummer.” This concert, one of the premiere events of Jazz Week 2016, was held in the Museum’s historic African Meeting House, where concerts were performed in the 19th century.

Yoron Israel has recorded and performed around the world with such luminaries as Ahmad Jamal, Abbey Lincoln, Sonny Rollins, Horace Silver, Kenny Burrell, and Art Farmer. His High Standards quartet is comprised of renown musicians with Marco Pignataro on Soprano & Tenor Saxophone, Laszlo Gardony on piano, along with newcomer Henry Lugo on bass. Following Ran Blake and Dominique Eade’s release of their Whirlpool album, Jazz Times wrote, “…her effortless and seemingly limitless ability to vary both her vibrato and tonal quality, and cleverly utilize intervallic leaps… help make her a most flexible and adventurous match for Blake.” Graham Haynes, who tours annually in Europe, Asia, and Africa, is regarded as an innovator on cornet and flugelhorn, an extraordinary composer, and an emerging force in contemporary electronic music and world music. Presenting their own musical tributes will be guitarist, composer, and music scholar Bill Banfield, also the founder and director of Berkee School of Music’s Africana Studies Program, and vocalist and pianist Robert Pate, a gifted New England Conservatory student of Ran Blake and Dominique Eade.

JazzBoston is the umbrella and advocacy organization for Greater Boston’s diverse jazz community. We are dedicated to connecting and promoting the region’s entire jazz scene and championing the music, the musicians, and Boston’s place in the constellation of the world’s great jazz cities.

The Museum of African American History is New England’s largest museum dedicated to preserving, conserving and interpreting the contributions of African Americans. In Boston and Nantucket, the Museum has preserved four historic sites and two Black Heritage Trails® that tell the story of organized black communities from the Colonial Period through the 19th century.  Boston, the African Meeting House is the oldest African Meeting house in America, and the adjacent Abiel Smith School is the first building in the nation constructed for the sole purpose of housing a black public school.

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