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Trumpeter/Composer Tom Harrell at the Hilton Harrisburg & Towers on March 15th

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Renowned Trumpeter and Composer Tom Harrell in Concert



It is with great pride that the Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz (CPFJ) welcomes Tom Harrell and his Quintet on Sunday, March 15, 2009 at 5:00 pm at the Hilton Harrisburg & Towers, Second Floor Ballroom, One North Second Street, Harrisburg, PA. Ben Goldsbrough brings the Cedar Cliff High School Jazz Band to open the show.

Tom Harrell was born in Urbana, Illinois and began playing the trumpet at age eight. He soon moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and was gigging with local bands by age thirteen. In 1969 he graduated from Stanford University with a music composition degree and joined Stan Kenton's orchestra, touring and recording throughout 1969. After leaving Kenton, Harrell played with Woody Herman's big band (1970-1971), Azteca (1972), the Horace Silver Quintet (1973-1977), the Sam Jones big band, the Lee Konitz Nonet (1979-1981), George Russell, the Mel Lewis Orchestra (1981), and Charlie Haden's Liberation Orchestra. In addition, he recorded albums with Bill Evans, Dizzy Gillespie, Ronnie Cuber, Bob Brookmeyer, Lionel Hampton and Bob Berg among others. From 1983-1989 he was a pivotal member of the Phil Woods Quintet, with whom he toured the world and made many recordings.

Since 1989 Harrell has led his own groups, usually quintets but occasionally big bands. He has appeared at every major jazz club and festival, and recorded under his own name for such record labels as Pinnacle, Blackhawk, Criss Cross, Steeple Chase, Contemporary Records, Chesky, and RCA.

At RCA he recorded 1996's Labyrinth, 1997's The Art of Rhythm, 2001's Paradise and 2003's Wise Children. In 2007, Harrell moved to High Note and released Light On. His style combines the power of Clifford Brown with the lyricism of Chet Baker.

A salient constant in Tom Harrell's career has been his commitment to advancing his artistry. Recording as a leader, he has racked up numerous jazz magazine awards, such as top composer and trumpeter, best jazz album of the year by Entertainment Weekly, and a Grammy nomination (for his 1999 big band album Times Mirror).

Every time I record a new album, I try to make it different from what I've done in the past, says Harrell, who was the subject of an in-depth profile on 60 Minutes II with Charlie Rose.

A brilliant trumpeter, flugelhornist and composer. --Whitney Balliett, The New Yorker

There is no one in jazz today writing with more intelligent, depth and heart than Tom Harrell. --Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes

The premier trumpeter of his generation. --David Hajdu, Entertainment Weekly

A master of melody. --Tom Masland, Newsweek

One of the top trumpeters in jazz for the past two decades and one of the musics most prolific and gifted composers. --Joe Cooper, New York Observer

He is that rare improviser who never resorts to cliche, a talent who seems to have an underground reserve of melody. --Tom Moon, Musician

His playing is sublime, with a dark warm tone and poetic sense of melodyhis music makes you ponder the heart. --Chris Norris, New York



With Toms stature in the jazz world, he can have his pick of the top players. And so this concert features some of New York City's finest.

Tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery has become one of the most talented rising stars and in-demand sidemen. At only 32 he has recorded four CDs as a leader and been on numerous recordings as a sideman. In 2004 Grammy award-winning producer, arranger and trumpeter Don Sickler asked Wayne to be a part of Ben Riley's Monk Legacy Septet (an innovative piano-less group dedicated to carrying on the legacy of jazz great Thelonious Monk). At this time Wayne was also touring with Jazz At Lincoln Centers Music of the Masters consisting of two groups of musicians hand picked by Wynton Marsalis. The Music of Dexter Gordon featured Wayne with saxophonists Jimmy Greene and Gerry Welden, backed by Dexter Gordon alumni George Cables, Rufus Reid and Leroy Williams. The Music of Miles Davis featured Wayne with trumpet great Eddie Henderson and alto saxophonist Steve Wilson in the front line, backed by David Kikoski, Ed Howard and Miles Davis veteran Jimmy Cobb on drums. In 2006 Wayne secured one of the most coveted gigs in jazz: a frontline position in Tom Harrell's working quintet.

Pianist Xavier Davis has Midwestern roots. He graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy and Western Michigan University's School of Music. He has worked with greats like the late Nat Adderley, the late Betty Carter and Wynton Marsalis. Xavier was the first person to receive the New Works Grant twice from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. He is teaching at Julliard during the current school year.

Ugonna Okegwo is one of the most distinctive and sought-after jazz bassists in the world. Critics across the globe have praised him for his rich tone, supple sense of swing, stylistic range and inventiveness. These qualities have not only earned him a place on the bandstand with jazz legends as diverse as Clark Terry, Benny Golson, Pharoah Sanders and Joseph Jarman they have established him as one of the leading lights of a younger generation redefining jazz for the new century. He is very individualistic, both in his soloing and accompanying. I love the way he plays in the ensemble, says Tom Harrell, with whom Okegwo has worked for several years. Ugonna does some really creative things that I haven't heard anyone do with his articulation and timing.

Grammy-nominated drummer and composer Jonathan Blake has been working steadily since his first appearance ten years ago. In addition to Tom Harrell, he regularly plays with Russell Malone, David Sanchez and Kenny Barron. He is the son of Philadelphia's well-known violinist John Blake.


The Cedar Cliff High School Jazz Band starts things off at 5:00 pm.

Tickets for the March 15, 2009 concert are: General Adult Admission - $25, General Student Admission - $12, CPFJ Adult Members - $18 and CPFJ Student Members - $10. CPFJ School Member student with ID - $5, and children under 12 are free. CPFJ Sponsors and Corporate Members receive their tickets in the US mail. Tickets may also be purchased by phoning 717-540-1010 or at the door on the day of the concert. Our website CPFJ.org offers a wealth of information including the option to purchase your tickets on line.

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