“Even in these times of extraordinary bass players, Sharpe stand out” — Leonard Feather, Los Angeles Times
Avery Sharpe is one of the outstanding bassists or our time. He is perhaps best known for his 20-year association with the McCoy Tyner Trio. He started his musical life at eight on piano and switched to accordion and electric bass in high school. At the University of Massachusetts the great Reggie Workman, a member of John Coltrane’s Quartet, persuaded him to transition to acoustic bass, and he was soon playing with Archie Shepp and Art Blakey.
Avery has appeared on more than 20 recordings with McCoy Tyner. Sharpe has performed and recorded with many Jazz Legends from Dizzy Gillespie to Wynton Marsalis. He has eleven releases on his own record label, JKNM Records, his most recent, Sojourner Truth—Ain’t I A Woman Project is distributed by Allegro Media Group
Avery Sharpe is a respected composder who created the music we will hear today, music that celebrates the life and work of African American abolitionist and woman’s rights activist Sojourner Truth. Born into slavery, Truth escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826. After going to court to recover her son, she became the first black woman to win such a case against a white man. During the Civil War, Truth helped recruit black troops for the Union Army. After the war, she tried, but sadly failed, to secure land grants from the federal government for former slaves.
Avery has been a Teaching Artist at Litchfield Jazz Camp since 2008. This is his third appearance at the Litchfield Jazz Festival. He is joined by Onaje Allan Gumbs on piano, Yoron Israel on drums, Craig Handy on saxophones, Duane Eubanks on trumpet, and Jeri Brown on vocals. His appearance is supported in part by a grant from the MetLife Creative Connections program of Meet the Composer, Inc and the New England Foundation for the Arts with additional support from the six New England state arts agencies and the National Endowment for the Arts.