Jimmy Heath to perform with UMES Jazz Ensemble

  • Thursday, February 28, 2013

    Jazz saxophonist Jimmy HeathUMES Jazz Ensemble hosts jazz great

    PRINCESS ANNE, MD - (Feb. 22, 2013) - Legendary saxophonist Jimmy Heath performs with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Jazz Ensemble March 27 at a 7 p.m. concert in the Ella Fitzgerald Center for the Performing Arts. 

    Director of Bands Dr. John R. Lamkin said he and students are honored to work with a musician of Jimmy Heath's stature.  "To be around someone of that caliber who has experienced all of the changes in the music industry from the 1940s to the present, is like being around a living encyclopedia of jazz," he said. 

    Heath was born in 1926, the same year as John Coltrane and Miles Davis, Lamkin said. 

    The saxophonist is a National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master who has "played with the likes of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Milt Jackson," Lamkin said.  In fact, Lamkin said, Heath was given the nickname "Little Bird" by Gillespie because he sounded so much like Parker, his mentor.  Parker was known as "Bird." 

    Heath also performed and recorded for over 30 years with his brothers, Percy and Albert "Tootie," Lamkin said. Together, they were known as the Heath Brothers. 

     "We're going to play a few of his original pieces as well as arrangements he's made of the music of well-known jazz composers," Lamkin said.  In the repertoire, he said, is "A Flower is a Lovesome Thing" composed by Billy Strayhorn and Heath's arrangement of Dizzy Gillespie's "Fiesta MoJo." 

     The concert is $10 general admission and $3 for students with identification.  Tickets will be sold at the door.  Call 410-651-6571 for more information.

    Gail Stephens, assistant director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-7580.