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Saxophone Extravaganza feature as part of Super Bowl Media day Today at 6:30 Paul Robeson Campus Center

BY lyanne

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The Rutgers Office of University-Community Partnerships is jointly hosting A Super Celebration of Jazz Saxophones at Rutgers University Newark, Today,  Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. This special campus and community event will celebrate the jazz heritage of the city of Newark and will feature The Kenny Garrett Quintet led by internationally renowned, Grammy® Award winning saxophonist Kenny Garrett. The concert will take place at the Paul Robeson Campus Center, 350 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., on the campus of Rutgers University-Newark, and will be free and open to the public.
This event will be hosted by Sheila Anderson, of the Weekend Jazz After Hours Host for WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM, with special remarks from Dr. Clement A. Price, Rutgers Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of History and Director of the Rutgers Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience.

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Over the course of a stellar career that has spanned more than 30 years, saxophonist Kenny Garrett has become the preeminent alto saxophonist of his generation. From his first gig with the Duke Ellington Orchestra (led by Mercer Ellington) through his time spent with musicians such as Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers and Miles Davis, Garrett has always brought a vigorous yet melodic, and truly distinctive, alto saxophone sound to each musical situation.

The concert event also will include a special performance from The Leo Johnson Quartet, led by Rutgers alumnus and Newark jazz legend, Leo Johnson, who was featured in the Star-Ledger as one of 75 of the “Greatest Jazz Musicians from New Jersey.”
Rutgers alumnus and Newark jazz legend, Leo Johnson.

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Leo Johnson came to Newark in the late ’50s before joining the service and becoming a member of the U.S. Air Force Band in Europe. After his tour ended, he returned to Newark and has been a mainstay on the local jazz scene ever since. These days, he fronts his own quartet, but in the past he has played in the bands of Specks Williams, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Bill Doggett, Jack McDuff, Jimmy McGriff and Chico Mendoza. Johnson served as musical director of Little Jimmy Scott’s band and also toured with organist Rhoda Scott, recording with her in Paris. He holds a BA in music performance and a master’s in jazz history from Rutgers-Newark. Over the years, Johnson has also served as a mentor to any number of young musicians who either lived locally or came to the New York metropolitan area seeking a career in jazz, artists that include Cassandra Wilson, Winard and Phillip Harper, Terence Blanchard, Victor Jones, Andy McCloud, Dave Eubanks, Alan Watson and Regina Belle. Johnson has released two CDs in recent years: “It’s About Time” and “Message to Mankind.” He is the musical director of the Newark Jazz Elders.

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In addition, members of New Jersey-based youth jazz group, Jazz House Kids, will perform. This one-time all-star saxophone concert is featured as apart of Super Bowl Media Day, one of several events leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII, which is being hosted by New York and New Jersey at MetLife Stadium, in the New Jersey Meadowlands, on Sunday, February 2, 2014.

While this concert event is free and open to the public, the Event Committee requests online RSVPs from all who plan to attend. To register your attendance, please visit http://ralumni.com/jazzcelebration or call 973-353-5242.
For more information about A Super Celebration of Jazz Saxophones at Rutgers University Newark, contact Rolando Herts, Associate Director, Rutgers Office of University-Community Partnerships, at rherts@newark.rutgers.edu or at (973) 353-1630.

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