“One of the…lions of the tenor saxophone.” –Roy Haynes
Saxophonist Don Braden has toured the world with jazz greats Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Tony Williams, Freddie Hubbard, Roy Haynes, and many others. He has been on over 80 CDs as a sideman and has 18 as a leader, the latest of which is “Full Circle”, co-led with vocalist Vanessa Rubin, which will be released in September 2013. He has composed music for countless concerts, for all of his CDs and for a number of independent films. He spent four years as composer for the CBS sitcom Cosby and composed for another Cosby project, Little Bill. In 2000, he received a Doris Duke Foundation New Works composer’s award. A busy educator, he has been Music Director for the Litchfield Jazz Camp for 16 years, he teaches parttime at the Prins Claus Conservatoire in the Netherlands, and he runs NJPAC’s Wells Fargo Jazz For Teens Program. He also currently leads the Harvard University Monday Jazz Band.
Geri Allen is an internationally known composer and pianist. She has recorded, performed and collaborated with Ravi Coltrane, Dianne Reeves, Liz Wright, Bill Cosby, Sir Simon Rattle, Lee Konitz, Clark Terry, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, Dewey Redman, Jimmy Cobb, and others. A Guggenheim Fellow, she now records on the Motema label and has appeared in venues all over the world.
A professor at Howard University, she recently participated in Honor, A Celebration Of the Legacy Of African Music with the great Jessye Norman at Carnegie Hall and received the key to Cambridge during Geri Allen Week at Harvard University. Howard University honored her with its Benny Golson Awardand Spelman College with its African Classical Music Award. She was the youngest —and the first woman—to receive the Danish Jazzpar Prize. She is a graduate of Howard University where she later taught. Ms. Allen honored Litchfield Jazz Camp last year with a Visiting Artist day. This is her first appearance on the Litchfield Jazz Festival.
The Don Braden Quartet is rounded out by the great Avery Sharpe on bass and Alvin Atkinson on drums. Avery is a veteran of 20 years with the McCoy Tyner Trio. This year marks his sixth Festival appearance. Alvin is a first call drummer and a teacher for Jazz at Lincoln Center. This is his second appearance at LJF. Both are long-time faculty members at Litchfield Jazz Camp.
Thumbnail photo by Steven Sussman.