Jazz at the Center: A Celebration of Sonny Rollins, April 29, SUNY-Purchase


A unique one-night-only concert,
curated by PAC's Seth Soloway and Professor Jon Faddis

SATURDAY, APRIL 29, 2017, 8pm

with a pre-concert Artist Talk at 7pm, free to concert ticket holders

THE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, PURCHASE COLLEGE (PAC) is pleased to present A CELEBRATION OF SONNY ROLLINS, the latest in their JAZZ AT THE CENTER series. Ravi Coltrane, James Carter, Jimmy Heath, James Brandon Lewis, and Joe Lovano are headlining this evening honoring one of the jazz world's living legends.

The Jazz at The Center series of events, new this season, are co-curated by Jon Faddis, Professor and Director of Jazz Performance in the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, SUNY, and one of the most innovative and inspiring jazz trumpeters of our time. They are one-of-a-kind happenings, festival-style programs that bring together the genre's greats and rising stars. Previous performances in the 2016-2017 Jazz at The Center series included Piano Spectacular (which featured Bill Charlap, Gerald Clayton, Benny Green, Pete Malinverni, and Helen Sung, as well as Ted Rosenthal in a surprise appearance) and Ann Hampton Callaway: Celebrating Ella Fitzgerald! (performing with her trio and The Purchase Jazz Orchestra)

"One of my primary goals is to present adventurous jazz with some of my favorite musical heroes, many of whom are also my colleagues and friends, in ways that are approachable yet also potentially challenging to the listener, " remarks Faddis. "These musicians are people who make me think and who make me feel joy and inspire me. I hope that will prove true for audience-members as well. Sonny Rollins is extraordinary, as is Jimmy Heath, and the generations of younger saxophonists they've influenced are legion. It's a privilege to be able to honor Sonny Rollins in this way, and I personally am looking forward to welcoming these musicians who look up to and love Sonny for his artistry and character."

The culminating event for the 2016-2017 JAZZ AT THE CENTER series, A CELEBRATION OF SONNY ROLLINS will take place on Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 8pm in the PepsiCo Theatre at The PAC, 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY 10577.

A pre-concert Artist Talk with series co-curators Jon Faddis and Seth Soloway will take place at 7pm, free to concert ticket holders.

More about Jazz at The Center III: A Celebration of Sonny Rollins

Voted by Miles Davis as the greatest tenor ever, Sonny Rollins is an inventive saxophonist and an astonishing soloist. His fluid and harmonically innovative ideas, effortless manner, and easily identifiable sound have influenced generations of performers and fueled the ethos that mainstream jazz music can be widely enjoyed and recognized.

While Mr. Rollins won't take the stage on this night, his legacy will be on full display by some of the great talents celebrating the man and his music, so inspirational to so many.

Baritone saxophonist and multi-DownBeat Critics' and Readers' Choice winner James Carter,
2017 Grammy-nominee saxophonist Ravi Coltrane,
NEA Jazz Master (2003) and nonagenarian saxophonist Jimmy Heath, Visionary composer and tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis Grammy-winning saxophonist Joe Lovano, and
Purchase College's own Grammy-nominated trumpeter and conductor Jon Faddis.

David Hazeltine, piano
Todd Coolman, bass
Victor Lewis, drums

Pre-Concert Talk
April is Jazz Appreciation Month! In the spirit of JAM, please join us at 7pm for an informal conversation with our Jazz Series co-curators, Jon Faddis and Seth Soloway. Free with ticket purchase. Learn more about Jazz Appreciation Month here:

The PAC acknowledges with great appreciation our major funders and sponsors: The Vivian and Seymour Milstein Endowed Fund, ArtsWestchester, Steinway & Sons, Tanaka Memorial Foundation, Westchester Magazine, The Frog Rock Foundation, Peckham Family Foundation, Bee Steinhaus Memorial Arts-in-Education Fund, and Zisson Foundation, Inc.

JON FADDIS is a complete and consummate musician - conductor, composer, and educator. Marked by both intense integrity and humor, Faddis earned accolades from his close friend and mentor John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie, who declared of Faddis, "He's the best ever, including me!" As a trumpeter, Faddis possesses a virtually unparalleled range and full command of his instrument, making the practically impossible seem effortless.

Born in 1953, Faddis began playing at age seven, inspired by an appearance by Louis Armstrong on the Ed Sullivan Show. Bill Catalano (an alumnus of the Stan Kenton band) hipped Faddis to the music of Dizzy Gillespie. Meeting Dizzy Gillespie at the Monterey Jazz Festival and then sitting in with him at the Jazz Workshop in San Francisco proved to be a pivotal beginning of a unique friendship between Gillespie and Faddis, one that spanned almost three decades.

Faddis' distinctive trumpet appears on hundreds of records and numerous soundtracks for film and television. Faddis is known as one of the most innovative and inspiring jazz trumpeters of our time. He has an unfailing commitment to the education of young musicians and frequently conducts clinics and master classes worldwide to help the next generation of jazz musicians. Whatever the context – classroom or concert hall – and whatever the style, Jon Faddis epitomizes the best in Jazz.

SONNY ROLLINS Theodore Walter Rollins was born on September 7, 1930, in New York City. He grew up in Harlem not far from the Savoy Ballroom, the Apollo Theatre, and the doorstep of his idol, Coleman Hawkins. After early discovery of Fats Waller and Louis Armstrong, he started out on alto saxophone, inspired by Louis Jordan. At the age of sixteen, he switched to tenor, trying to emulate Hawkins. He also fell under the spell of the musical revolution that surrounded him, Bebop. He began to follow Charlie Parker, and soon came under the wing of Thelonious Monk, who became his musical mentor and guru. For more information about Mr. Rollins, consider Saxophone Colossus: A Portrait of Sonny Rollins, by Bob Blumenthal and photographer John Abbott, or visit

An artist long intrigued by contrasts and hybrids, JAMES CARTER resists comfortable categorization. Born (1969) and raised in Detroit, Carter grew up surrounded by music, soaking up everything from funk and fusion to rock, soul, and various strains of acoustic jazz. It was the late trumpeter Lester Bowie who first brought Carter to New York, inviting him to perform with his New York Organ Combo. The Bowie connection led to Carter's debut recording, 1993's JC on the Set, a quartet tour de force that announced the arrival of a superlative new talent equally expressive on alto, tenor, and baritone sax (though he's added several other horns over the years, most importantly soprano sax). Carter always finds a way into whatever musical situation he finds himself in. "You have to be totally comfortable wherever, " Carter says. "I think there's tremendous beauty in cross- pollinations of music and influences."

RAVI COLTRANE is a critically acclaimed, Grammy-nominated saxophonist, bandleader, and composer. In the course of a twenty plus year career, Ravi has worked as a sideman to many, recorded noteworthy albums for himself and others, and founded a prominent independent record label, RKM. In addition to releasing albums as a leader, he has performed and recorded with Elvin Jones, Terence Blanchard, Kenny Baron, Steve Coleman, McCoy Tyner, Jack DeJohnette, Matt Garrison, Jeff 'Tain' Watts, Geri Allen, Joanne Brackeem, and The Blue Note 7, among others. He is a co-leader of the Saxophone Summit with Joe Lovano and Dave Liebman. Ravi lives in Brooklyn, NY, and maintains a fast-paced touring, recording, composing, and performance schedule. The second son of John Coltrane and Alice Coltrane and named after Indian sitar legend Ravi Shankar, he leads the effort to restore the John Coltrane Home in Dix Hills, Long Island (, and presides over important reissues of his parents’ recordings.

JAMES BRANDON LEWIS is one of the modern titans of the tenor. He was hailed by Ebony Magazine as one of “7 Young Players to Watch, ” and earned the respect of a diverse cross section of esteemed artists. James has shared stages with such icons as Benny Golson, Geri Allen, Wallace Roney, Grammy Award-winning singer Dorinda Clark Cole, and the late “Queen of Gospel Music, ” Albertina Walker. In bold contrast, James has also worked with such intrepid artists as Weather Report bassist Alphonso Johnson, William Parker, Gerald Cleaver, Charles Gayle, Ed Shuller, Kirk Knuffke, Jason Hwang, Marilyn Crispell, Ken Filiano, Cooper Moore, Darius Jones, Eri Yamamoto, Federico Ughi, Kenny Wessel, Marvin “Bugalu” Smith, and Sabir Mateen. In addition, he has collaborated with the dance company CircuitDebris under the direction of Mersiha Mesihovic. James attended Howard University and holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts. An active and highly respected national and international touring artist, James resides in New York City, where he is a co- founder of “Heroes Are Gang Leaders” with poet Thomas Sayers Ellis—a collective of poets and musicians—and a member of the collective “Dark Matter, ” a conceptual musical collaboration exploring that which is invisible but is detected by its gravitational effects.

Grammy-winning saxophonist, composer, and producer JOE LOVANO is fearless in finding new modes of artistic expression. With a Grammy win for his 52nd Street Themes and 14 other nominations, he has won Down Beat Magazine’s Critics and Readers Polls countless times and received numerous awards from Jazz Times and the Jazz Journalists Association. Lovano attended the famed Berklee College of Music in Boston where, years later, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate. Since 2001 he has held the Gary Burton Chair in Jazz Performance and is a founding faculty member since 2009 of the Global Jazz Institute at Berklee directed by Danilo Perez. He is a guest lecturer at New York University’s Jazz Program, Juilliard, and Manhattan School of Music, as well as a clinician at universities around the globe. He has toured with jazz greats such as Woody Herman Thundering Herd and Dr. Lonnie Smith and has created a body of work for his own large ensembles. Joe Lovano continues to explore new horizons within the world of music as a soloist, band leader, and composer.
NEA Jazz Master JIMMY HEATH –saxophonist, composer/arranger, and educator –has written more than 130 compositions, many of which have become jazz standards and have been recorded by other artists including Art Farmer, Cannonball Adderley, Clark Terry, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, James Moody, Milt Jackson, Ahmad Jamal, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, J.J. Johnson, Blue Mitchell, McCoy Tyner, Dexter Gordon, and Chick Corea. Jimmy has also composed extended works--twelve suites and two string quartets--and he premiered his first symphonic work, "Three Ears, " in 1988, while he was a Professor at Queens College (CUNY), with Maurice Peress conducting. It was performed a second time on October 17, 2006, to celebrate Jimmy’s 80th birthday. As a saxophonist, Mr. Heath has performed on over 125 recordings. His autobiography, I Walked with Giants, was published in 2010.

DAVID HAZELTINE is one of a handful of young pianists who has successfully forged his own distinctive style and musical voice out of the accumulated greatness and weight of a modern piano tradition. David's influences extend from Art Tatum and Bud Powell to such great living masters as Buddy Montgomery, Barry Harris, and Cedar Walton. Since moving to New York City in 1992, David has made a name for himself as a "musician's musician." In addition to his working trio (with drum legend Louis Hayes and bassist Peter Washington), David is in constant demand as a sideman. Recent credits include work with Freddie Hubbard, James Moody, the Faddis-Hampton-Heath Sextet, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, the Louis Hayes Quintet, and Marlena Shaw, for whom he serves as pianist, arranger, and musical director. Recently David was spotlighted on Marian McPartland's "Piano Jazz" radio program. David is also a member of the band "One for All" which features rising tenor star Eric Alexander.

Two-time Grammy award-winning bassist TODD COOLMAN is among the more in-demand musicians on the New York music scene today. Since moving to New York in 1978, he has performed and/or recorded with a virtual “who’s who” of jazz artists including Horace Silver, Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, Benny Golson, Art Farmer, Tommy Flanagan, Ahmad Jamal, Jay Jay Johnson, and Lionel Hampton. Coolman enjoyed a 25-year stint with the James Moody Quartet and continues to perform actively today with an impressive array of artists including Jon Faddis, Charles McPherson, and Renee Rosnes. Todd has also written two books, The Bass Tradition and The Bottom Line. A Professor of Music in the Jazz Studies Program at Purchase College (SUNY), a program he formerly directed for 10 years, he was selected for the 2001-2003 Doris and Karl Kempner Distinguished Professorship at Purchase and has received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2010, Todd was appointed Director of the Skidmore Jazz Institute. Todd received his Ph.D. in music from New York University and lectures at universities throughout the world.

Internationally acclaimed drummer and composer VICTOR LEWIS was born in Omaha, Nebraska. His parents were classically trained musicians who performed with many of the "territory bands" that toured the Midwest in the forties. Victor grew up hearing jazz along with popular and European classical music at home, and would go to the local theater with his father to hear the big bands when they passed through Omaha. The first people he remembers seeing were Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Woody Herman. When he was ten and a half years old, he began studying the cello because he was too small for the acoustic bass but switched to the drums a year and a half later after watching the local drum corps marching on the Fourth of July and other holidays. He also studied classical piano, which is when he learned how to read music. By the end of the eighties, Victor was one of jazz's busiest freelancers. When he's home in New York, Victor can most often be found in the city's recording studios. Victor teaches in The New School University Jazz School-Mannes Music School Jazz Program in New York City and appears in drum clinics around the world as often as his schedule allows. Victor endorses Pearl Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, and Vic Firth Sticks. In 2003, Victor joined the faculty of Rutgers University, where he teaches drummers and coaches jazz combos.

THE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, PURCHASE COLLEGE (The PAC), a four-theatre complex, is the major professional, non-profit arts presenter in the Southeastern New York–Southwestern Connecticut region. The Center presents a broad range of performances that engage, challenge, and educate as well as entertain, offering music, dance, theatre, film, comedy, and family programming to audiences from Westchester and the surrounding communities.

Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY, is located 28 miles northeast of New York City at the Connecticut border. The College, part of the State University of New York (SUNY), is an institution of public higher education encompassing the liberal arts and sciences, professional training in the performing and visual arts, continuing education, the Neuberger Museum of Art, and The Performing Arts Center.

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