Sunday, April 23, at 5p.m. at the Ben M. Tucker Pavilion, The Club at Savannah Harbor on Hutchinson Island. is a special day in Savannah. The Coastal Jazz Association will present The Annual Duke Ellington Tribute, which celebrates the outstanding music of one of America;s greatest composers and musicians. Ellington is credited for composing well over 1000 songs. This year’s special guest will be the great Alto Saxophoneist, Richie Cole. The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend. Also there will be the dedication of the Benjamin Tucker Pavilion at the Club at the Savannah Harbor. The City of Savannah Department of Cultural Affairs no longer sponsors the Ellington Tribute, so donations will be accepted to help offset the cost of presentation of the jazz orchestra.
Mr. Cole started playing alto saxophone when he was 10 years old in his hometown of Trenton, New Jersey. Influenced by Sonny Rollins and Charlie Parker, Cole’s talent and dedication won him a full scholarship from Downbeat Magazine to the Berklee School of Music in Boston. His professional career began in 1969 when he joined the Buddy Rich Big Band. And after stints with Lionelo Hampton Big Band and the Doc Severinsen Big Band, Cole formed his own quintet and toured worldwide, doing a great deal to popularize bebop and his own “Alto Madness” stle in the 70’s and early 80’s. Cole has r corded with the great vocals artist Eddie Jefferson, the Manhattan Transfer, Bobby Enriquez, Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Stitt, ArtPepper, Tom Waits, Boots Randolph and Nancy Wilson to name just a few of his musical collaborations. Notably, Cole has performed at the Village Vanguard and Carnegie Hall as well as gave a command performance at the for the Queen of “England. Cole has recorded more than 50 albums and CDs, including his top hit album “Hollywood Madness” (1979 Muse Records) and his tribute album to Leonard Bernstein, “Richie Cole Plays West- Side Story” (1997 Music- MastersJazz). Mr. Cole was appointed to the Board of National Jazz Service Organizations and the Board for the National Endowment for the Arts where he served as chairman for one year. He is also a charter member of the International Association of Jazz Educators.
The Savannah Jazz Orchestra under the leadership of Drs. Randall Reese and Teddy Adams is comprised of the area’s best musicians and can be heard on SJO’s dazzling CD, Satin Doll. (The music of Duke Ellington and Johnny Mercer). The large ensemble includes trumpets, trombones, saxophones, piano, bass, drums and fabulous vocals. This event is free (donations accepted) and open to the public. Sunday, April 23, 2017, 5pm at the Benjamin M. Tucker Pavilion at the Club at Savannah Harbor.