The Black Music Education Project presents a special Jazz Appreciation Month event with world famous bassist Henry Grimes, percussionist extraordinaire Ronnie Burrage and super saxophonist Lee Robinson as they come together for the first time on Friday, April 12, 7:30PM at The Irma Freeman Center For Imagination, 5006 Penn Avenue in the Penn Avenue Arts District. The performance space is a community art center with a mission to enrich and diversify the local community by building positive experiences in a multicultural, progressive setting.
This event is sure to be one of the highlights for this year. The Black Music Education Project is a not-for-profit organization. The organization was established in 1995 to meet several objectives which include supporting and encouraging the training of aspiring apprentices with world class potential into the higher techniques, philosophy, creation and application of African-American Arts and Cultural traditions with the unabashed goal of producing future generations of legends in the tradition. Also to identify and present role models which represent the finest examples of the art form or cultural tradition to the community at large.
Admission for this performance is $15 at the door benefits the Each One, Teach One Radio and Music Conference scheduled for August of this year.
The Each One, Teach One event brings together a wide array of music, broadcasting and journalism professionals, who discuss everything from the local music scene to navigating the ever-evolving world of online content. Cost is free of charge and open to the public.
Topics have included copyright issues, preserving music history and musical legacy, how artists can get airplay in the ever changing radio landscape, social media marketing and promotion in addition to how to develop projects within the local media community.
Henry Grimes has played over 5OO concerts in 28 countries (including many festivals) since 2OO3, when he made his astonishing return to the music world after 35 years away. He was born and raised in Philadelphia and attended the Mastbaum School (1949-52) and Juilliard (1952-54). As a youngster in the ’5O’s and early ’6O’s, he came up in the music playing and touring with Willis “Gator Tail” Jackson, Arnett Cobb, “Bullmoose” Jackson, “Little” Willie John, and a number of other great R&B / soul musicians; but drawn to jazz, he went on to play, tour, and record with many great jazz musicians of that era, including Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Haynes, Lee Konitz, Steve Lacy, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Gerry Mulligan, Sunny Murray, Sonny Rollins, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, Cecil Taylor, McCoy Tyner, and Rev. Frank Wright.
Sadly, a trip to the West Coast to work with Al Jarreau and Jon Hendricks went awry, leaving Henry in Los Angeles at the end of the ’6O’s with a broken bass he couldn’t pay to repair, so he sold it for a small sum and faded away from the music world.
Many years passed with nothing heard from him, as he lived in his tiny rented room in an S.R.O. hotel in downtown Los Angeles, working as a manual laborer, custodian, and maintenance man, and writing many volumes of handwritten poetry. He was discovered there by a Georgia social worker and fan in 2OO2 and was given a bass by William Parker, and after only a few weeks of ferocious woodshedding, Henry emerged from his room to begin playing concerts around Los Angeles and shortly afterwards made a triumphant return to New York City in May, ‘O3 to play in the Vision Festival.
Since then, often working as a leader, he has played, toured, and / or recorded with many of this era’s music heroes, such as Rashied Ali, Marshall Allen, Fred Anderson, Marilyn Crispell, Ted Curson, Andrew Cyrille, Bill Dixon, Andrew Lamb, Edward “Kidd” Jordan, Roscoe Mitchell, David Murray, William Parker, Marc Ribot, Wadada Leo Smith, and (again) Cecil Taylor. In the past few years, Henry has also held a number of residencies and offered workshops and master classes on major campuses, including Berklee College of Music, Buffalo Academy for Visual & Performing Arts, CalArts (with Wadada Leo Smith), Hamilton College of Performing Arts (with Rashied Ali), Humber College (Toronto), Mills College (with Roscoe Mitchell), New England Conservatory, the University of Gloucestershire at Cheltenham, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and several more.
Mr. Grimes can be heard on more than 85 recordings on various labels, including Atlantic, Ayler Records, Blue Note, Columbia, ESP-Disk, ILK Music, Impulse!, JazzNewYork Productions, Pi Recordings, Porter Records, Prestige, Riverside, and Verve.
He now lives and teaches in New York City. He can be heard on about a dozen new recordings, made his professional debut on a second instrument (the violin) at the age of 7O, has seen the publication of the first volume of his poetry, “Signs Along the Road,” and creates illustrations to accompany his new recordings and publications. He has received many honors in recent years; including four Meet the Composer grants and a grant from the Acadia Foundation. Henry Grimes is a musician, writer, and educator at the highest levels of creative artistry, and an inspiration to all.