Art Works Blog

Art Works Podcast: Jimmy Heath

This week's podcast is a conversation with 2003 Jazz Master Jimmy Heath. Heath is a triple threat: a great saxophonist, a dynamic composer, and an innovative arranger. During his career, he has performed on more than 100 record albums, including seven with The Heath Brothers and 12 as a band leader. Heath has also written more 100 original works, including seven suites, two string quartets, and a symphony.

Starting on alto saxophone and moving to the tenor in the 1950s, Heath has performed with most of the great jazz legends of the 20th century. In 1948, Heath performed in the First International Jazz Festival in Paris with Howard McGhee, sharing the stage with Coleman Hawkins and Erroll Garner. One of Heath’s earliest big bands in Philadelphia included John Coltrane and Benny Golson, and he also played in Dizzy Gillespie’s big band for a couple of years. Afterward, he teamed up with Miles Davis and then Milt Jackson and Art Farmer. Given his resume, I was curious if there was anyone he hadn’t played with that he wished he had. One of his answers may surprise you.

Like jazz? Then don’t miss the 2012 NEA Jazz Masters Concert and Awards Ceremony. It will take place at 7:30 p.m. on January 10, 2012, at Jazz at Lincoln Center. This year, the NEA is honoring drummer Jack DeJohnette, saxophonist Von Freeman, bassist Charlie Haden, singer Sheila Jordan, and trumpeter and educator Jimmy Owens. The concert may be  sold out, but you don’t have to miss the action: we are webcasting it live! Click here for more information about this free event and the live webcast.


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