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Charlotte Jazz Festival First Night Celebration with Herlin Riley Quintet

Apr 20 , 2017 Jazz Tent at Romare Bearden Park

  • Levine Center for the Arts has enhanced your festival experience! All ticket buyers will receive Levine Center for the Arts museum passes with each order of Charlotte Jazz Festival event tickets. Passes can be used for one visit each to the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture, Mint Museum Uptown, and the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art. Visit before or during the festival - passes will be valid through April 23, 2017.

  • Prices begin at $15

Overview

Join us as we kick off this year’s festival in style with a jazz party featuring legendary jazz drummer Herlin Riley!

Herlin Riley makes a drum set talk. His rhythmic sense is amazing as he seems to effortlessly intertwine down beats, back beats, rolls, riffs, the brightness of cymbals and even African sequences in a way that is seamless. Listening to him is an education in what is possible on a drumset. And he has so much fun doing it that his performances are always infectious, engaging and extremely entertaining.

Herlin Riley is a master drummer, known around the world effervescent style and free-wheeling command of rhythm. The New Orleans native was born into a large musical family – the legendary Lasties – and first began playing the drums at the age of three. He studied trumpet throughout high school and for two years of college, and was a member of Danny Barker’s famed Fairview Baptist Church Brass Band. But his interest in the instrument waned and he began to focus again on drums.

From 1984 to 1987, Riley was a member of Ahmad Jamal's group. He joined Wynton Marsalis in 1988, and toured and performed with them until the group disbanded in 1994. He also performed music by Duke Ellington on the first Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra U.S. tour in 1992.

He has made recordings with Marcus Roberts, Dr. John, Harry Connick, Jr., George Benson, Bennie Wallace, and Mark Whitfield. He has also played in theatrical performances, including One Mo' Time and Satchmo: America's Musical Legend.

Riley is a regularly featured musician at Jazz at Lincoln Center, and played a large part in developing the drum parts for Wynton Marsalis's Pulitzer Prize-winning Blood on the Fields. He is a lecturer in percussion for the jazz studies program at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.

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