On Friday, June 29, Flushing Town Hall’s Queens Jazz Orchestra returns to the stage for a special 10th anniversary show in honor of National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Dr. Jimmy Heath. Since 2008, the Queens Jazz Orchestra has performed for thousands of jazz lovers under the direction of Dr. Heath.
“At the age of 91, many of my colleagues have passed, but their memory lives on through their music,” says Dr. Heath. “It is important to have performances like this from the Queens Jazz Orchestra because we don’t want our history to be a mystery, and we want to continue to inspire young people to love jazz.”
The Queens Jazz Orchestra features established jazz heroes and the next generation of greats. Their performances honor music made popular by jazz icons who called Queens their home. The 10th anniversary show will celebrate Jimmy Heath and his life’s journey through jazz.
Looking back on his storied career, Dr. Heath marvels that many of his students are now teaching the next generation. “It is inspiring to see the tradition being passed on continuously,” he says.
Heath’s compositions have been recorded by other legendary artists and jazz greats, including Art Farmer, Cannonball Adderley, Clark Terry, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, James Moody, Milt Jackson, Ahmad Jamal, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie J.J Johnson and Dexter Gordon. “All I can say is, if you know Jimmy Heath, you know Bop,” Gillespie once quipped.
During his storied career, Queens resident Jimmy Heath has performed on more than 100 record albums including seven with The Heath Brothers and twelve as a leader. Jimmy has also written more than 125 compositions, many of which have become jazz standards. He has also composed extended works– seven suites and two string quartets– and he premiered his first symphonic work, “Three Ears,” in 1988.
“We are thrilled to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Flushing Town Hall’s Queens Jazz Orchestra, a group that embodies the deep roots of jazz in our borough,” says Executive & Artistic Director, Ellen Kodadek. “We are proud to be honoring the legendary Jimmy Heath, who has expertly led the Queens Jazz Orchestra since its inception. We will be forever grateful for Dr. Heath’s innumerable contributions to the genre, and we hope jazz lovers will join us to celebrate him with cake and the concert!”
Tickets are $42/$32 members/$20 students and table packages are available for $125/$100 members (reserved table for two with wine and snacks). The event is open to all ages. You can access details by visiting http://www.flushingtownhall.org/ or by calling (718) 463-7700 x222.
Flushing Town Hall is accessible by car, bus, train and foot – located a short distance from the 7 train – at 137-35 Northern Blvd., in Flushing, Queens. Access for wheelchair users and individuals with limited mobility is available.
This season, Flushing Town Hall is opening its doors to teenagers – for FREE. Under the “Teen Access Program,” all 13- to 19-year-old boys and girls (whether a member or not) will be welcomed to attend any performance for free. The program is designed to appeal to students and help foster a greater love in the arts and culture.