MAX ROACH DAY 2023
The 100th birthday celebration for Max Roach for central Brooklyn begins on January 10, 2023, his 99th birthday. A press and community conference are planned for 11:00 am, at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation's Skylight Gallery, located at 1368 Fulton Street, phone 718.636.6900. This event is free of charge and accessible to all.
The event is co-hosted by the Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium and Concord Baptist Church of Christ's Minister of Music, Professor Glenn McMillan, where Max Roach began drumming. A proclamation and words from community leaders and several musicians who performed with him will be given. Jazz artists Cecil Bridgewater, Akua Dixon, Warren Smith, and Reggie Workman reminisce about onstage and off-the-bandstand experiences, with Max; a live performance by Dwayne "Cook" Broadnax Trio. Proclamation to be given by New York State Assemblyperson Stefani L. Zinerman.
Max Roach migrated North with his family to Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn in the late 1920s. The Roach family attended Concord Baptist Church of Christ. He first learned to play bugle there, and later he started drumming. His first gigs were rent parties all over Brooklyn. He once said: "Although the (economic) crash came a year later, and although the people were poor and disenfranchised, they had a lot of pride. Nobody was slick, everybody was honest. People went to church."
As a Boy's High School student, he was asked to join the Duke Ellington Orchestra for a series of concerts at the Brooklyn Paramount Theater. Max Roach revolutionized drumming by creating a flowing rhythmic pattern that allowed drummers to play with space and freedom.
Max Roach was at the epicenter of Be Bop music scene along with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, and Charles Mingus, culminating in the historical concert, Jazz at Massey Hall. He started his own record label, Debut Records with Charles Mingus at Brooklyn's Putnam Central. Max Roach was also an activist/artist who expressed his beliefs in the form of recordings like Freedom Now Suite.
Max Roach is also part of the fabric that is Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. As his 100th Birthday Celebration approaches, we need to remind future generations that his greatness was in our mists.
A photograph of Max Roach will be furnished upon request
Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium a nonprofit organization founded in 1999, provides services and is a presenter of live music events within Brooklyn's underserved communities.
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