Highlights In Jazz Season Finale Thursday, May 4th 8pm The Joe Bushkin Centennial Concert

Jack Kleinsinger's Highlights In Jazz, New York's longest running jazz concert series, concludes its record breaking 45th season at 8:00 PM on Thursday, May 4, 2017 at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers Street, New York City, with The Joe Bushkin Centennial concert, celebrating the rich musical legacy of the legendary pianist/composer with an all-star revue featuring Wycliffe Gordon, Harry Allen, Eric Comstock, John Colliani, Nicki Parrott, Ted Rosenthal, Steve Johns and Spike Wilner, under the musical direction of Bob Merrill, plus, as in all Highlights In Jazz shows, a surprise special guest.

In a year that celebrates the centennials of jazz icons Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and Thelonious Monk, Joe Bushkin, sadly, has remained largely overlooked. Bushkin, whose role as pianist with a host of great players, including Louis Armstrong, Bunny Berigan, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Bobby Hackett, Lionel Hampton and Lester Young, as well as his role as accompanist to vocalists, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra and Lee Wiley, brought him much acclaim in his day and a secure place in music history. But Bushkin's legacy also includes a voluminous songbook of original compositions that remain as fresh today as when they were first recorded years ago.

Musical director for this centennial celebration, trumpeter/vocalist Bob Merrill, the late Bushkin's former musical collaborator (and son-in-law) notes, "Joe was indeed a great pianist, but he was also a great songwriter. Our mission is to make that case and breathe new life into these classics." Merrill's forthcoming album, Tell Me Your Troubles: Songs by Joe Bushkin, Vol. 1 features his new arrangements of a dozen Bushkin classics, including favorites, such as "Oh, Look at Me Now, " "There'll Be a Hot Time in the Town of Berlin, " "Wise to Myself, " " Girl Wanted, " "Lovely Weather, " "Goin' Back to Storyville" and the album's title track. Merrill proudly declares, "Now we get to perform them, live, all in one concert, with many of the great players that played them on the album, and also with Joe back in the day."

Featured artists for this historic concert will include trombonist/vocalist Wycliffe Gordon, saxophonist Harry Allen, bassist/vocalist Nicki Parrott, drummer Steve Johns and pianist/vocalist Eric Comstock, as well three more pianists steeped in the Bushkin legacy, John Colliani, Ted Rosenthal and Spike Wilner, and of course, as in all Highlights in Jazz concerts, there will be a surprise special guest. Merrill declares, "It will be a special night celebrating Joe Bushkin's gifts as a songwriter on the occasion of this centennial birthday tribute."

Highlights In Jazz will return in 2018 for its 46th season.

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