Jazz jam session featuring legendary tenor saxophonist, David "Fathead" Newman


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Long Island City, NY--David “Fathead" Newman, the legendary tenor saxophonist who played with the Ray Charles Band through the hit- making period in the late 1950's and 60's, will be the featured guest musician at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center's jazz jam session on April 7.

The big-toned saxophonist from Texas, who is known for his soulful sound, will perform with the center's house band. The center invites jazz aficionados to enjoy the music and aspiring musicians to join the guest and house band on stage in an improvisational jam session.

The performance begins at 8 p.m. in the college's Little Theatre at 47th Avenue and Van Dam Street, Long Island City. Tickets are $10. Those interested in purchasing tickets may call (718) 482-5151.

The 73-year-old musician's professional career began in his teen-age years when he went on the road with Buster Smith--Charlie Parker's mentor--and played in Red Conner's band with Ornette Coleman.

In the early 1950's he played the blues with Lowell Fulson and T-Bone Walker and in 1954 he joined the Ray Charles Band in what would become a 12-year association. He began as the baritone player and one year later became the star tenor soloist.

“I learned so much performing with Ray Charles," said Mr. Newman. “I don't know exactly what made it happen, but we seemed to think alike musically. I was able to embellish upon what Ray had already laid out. It just made for a great experience."

He paid tribute to his friend on his 2005 CD I Remember Brother Ray“ which became the number one Most Played Jazz Album nationwide. Performed are the classics “Hit the Road Jack" and “Georgia on My Mind."

When he left the band in 1964, Mr. Newman was in great demand as a sideman in jazz, blues, and r&b. As a studio musician he played on hundreds of albums by such performers as Herbie Mann, Aretha Franklin, B. B. King, and Eric Clapton.

In the 1980's he decided to establish his own musical identity and recorded several jazz albums. One of the CDs, Mr. Gentle, Mr. Cool, was a tribute to Duke Ellington. And in the 90's he recorded six CDs, including his tribute to Mr. Charles.

Jazz Jam is made possible, in part, with funds from the Decentralization Program, a renewed grant program of the New York State Council on the Arts, administered by the Queens Council on the Arts. Special thanks to Sunnyside Community Services.

LaGuardia Community College, part of the City University of New York, is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges. Its vibrant and culturally diverse student body, representing 159 countries and speaking 110 languages, has established LaGuardia as the “The World's Community College." The college provides a broad array of academic, workforce development, and continuing education programs to over 41,000 students. LaGuardia is located in the heart of western Queens. To learn about our exciting college, please go to www.laguardia.edu.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz Publicity.
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