Saxophonist TK Blue Celebrates Release of CD "Follow the North Star" May 16 & 17 @ NYC's Lenox Lounge


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Who: Alto Saxophonist/Flutist TK BLUE (aka Talib Kibwe)


Trombone = Steve Turre - 5/16 & Benny Powell - 5/17
Piano = Onaje Allan Gumbs - 5/16 & James Weidman - 5/17
Essiet Okon Essiet (bass) - 5/16 & 17
Willie Martinez (drums - 5/16 & 17
Kevin Jones (percussion) - 5/16 & 17

What: Celebrating Release of new CD “Follow The North Star" (JaJa Records JJ002)

When: Friday & Saturday / May 16 & 17, 2008 / 9 pm - 10:30 pm - Midnight

Where: Lenox Lounge / 288 Lenox Avenue - Malcolm X Boulevard (between 124th & 125th Streets) / NYC 10027

Admission: $20 Cover Charge + 1-Drink Minimum

Information & Reservations: 212.427.0253 / [email protected]

Set for release on April 22, 2008, Follow The North Star is saxophonist and flutist TK Blue's 8th album as a leader. The CD presents a suite he composed commissioned in 2007 by the N.Y. State Council on the Arts and Transart Inc. dedicated to the early African-American presence in the Hudson Valley area of upstate NY. During his research TK came across the memoir 12 Years a Slave -- the story of Solomon Northup, an African American born a free man who was a farmer and a very accomplished violinist. Northup was kidnapped in 1841 while performing in a circus in Washington D.C. and transported to Louisiana where he was sold into slavery. He spent 12 years on a cotton plantation before he was rescued in 1853. TK's work exemplifies the Afro-centric jazz tradition pioneered by Rashaan Roland Kirk, Yusef Lateef, Pharoah Sanders and Gary Bartz for which TK and his contemporaries Steve Turre and Babatunde Lea are among today's leading standard bearers.

TK Blue (a.k.a. Talib Kibwe), the son of a Trinidadian mother and Jamaican father, was born in the Bronx in 1953. He grew up on Long Island, and started playing trumpet at age 8, eventually switching to flute which he studied with Billy Mitchell. TK embarked on a career in music after receiving a full academic scholarship to New York University, where he began playing soprano and alto saxophone. He received a B.A. in both Music and Psychology from NYU and an M.A. in Music Education from Teacher's College at Columbia University. Through NYC's JazzMobile program TK studied jazz theory, harmony, sight- reading, rhythmic training, improvisation and big-band performance with Jimmy Heath, Chris Woods, Ernie Wilkins, Frank Foster, Sonny Red, Jimmy Owens. Thad Jones and Billy Taylor. He also studied at Jazz Interactions with Kirk, Lateef and Joe Newman; at The Henry Street Settlement with Mitchell and Paul West; and at The Muse with Reggie Workman. TK's first album, Egyptian Oasis, was recorded in 1986 during an eight-year sojourn in Paris where he experienced first-hand traditional music from various African cultures. He played with Manu Dibango and the Senegalese band Xalam among others between 1982-85 and participated in several U.S. State Department tours of Eastern, Western, and Northern Africa that were profound spiritual experiences for him and led to the development in him of a deep-rooted awareness of his African cultural heritage.

TK has appeared as a sideman on more than 60 recordings and performed, toured or recorded with Don Cherry, Abdullah Ibrahim, Sam Rivers, Archie Shepp, Randy Weston, Dizzy Gillespie, Sanders, Melba Liston, Johnny Copeland, Billy Higgins, Reggie Workman, Chico Hamilton, Stefon Harris, Eric Reed, Regina Carter, Bobby McFerrin, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Benny Powell, James Moody, Paquito d'Rivera and Jimmy Scott, to name a few. In addition to his own musical projects TK is a member of Weston's band and an adjunct professor at both Montclair State University and the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University where he is acting Director of Jazz Studies.

This story appears courtesy of MFA - Mitchell Feldman Associates.
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