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The 23rd Annual North Carolina Central University Jazz Festival will feature performances by saxophonist Benny Golson and the Carl Allen Quartet. The festival, from April 15–20, will also include performances by the NCCU Jazz Ensembles, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, the NCCU Jazz Faculty group, student combos and the UNC–Chapel Hill faculty jazz group.
Benny Golson, a legendary tenor saxophonist, composer and arranger, has performed all over the world in a career that began in the 1940s when he was a teenager in Philadelphia. Now 84 years old, he was inducted into the International Academy of Jazz Hall of Fame in 2009. He has played alongside Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Earl Bostic, Art Blakey and other noted musicians. He is the composer of such jazz standards as “Killer Joe,” “I Remember Clifford,” “Along Came Betty,” “Stablemates,” “Whisper Not,” “Blues March,” “Five Spot After Dark” and “Are you Real?” Over the years, he has recorded more than 30 albums.
Carl Allen is a Milwaukee-born, New York-based drummer, sideman, bandleader and educator. Starting in the early 1980s when he was still in college, he joined trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, served as his musical director for eight years, and recorded several albums with him. He has also played with Benny Golson, Jennifer Holliday, J.J. Johnson, Rickie Lee Jones, Sammy Davis Jr., Branford Marsalis, Lena Horne, Ruth Brown, Herbie Hancock, and many others. In addition to maintaining a busy performing and recording schedule, he is currently the artistic director of jazz studies at the Juilliard School in New York City. In the Carl Allen Quartet, formed just in the past year, he is joined by Tim Green on alto and soprano saxophone, Xavier David on piano and Yasushi Nakamura on bass.
Here is the schedule for the Festival:
April 15 — NCCU Jazz Combos II, III and IV and Big Band II, 7 p.m. in B.N. Duke Auditorium. Free admission, no ticket required.
April 16 — NCCU Vocal Jazz Summit, featuring NCCU Vocal Jazz Combo and Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and additional performances by high school students, 7:30 p.m. in B.N. Duke Auditorium. Free admission, no ticket required.
April 17 — NCCU Faculty Jazz Group and UNC–Chapel Hill Faculty Jazz Group, 8 p.m., B.N. Duke Auditorium. Free admission, no ticket required.
April 18 and 19 — Master class workshops, noon, NCCU Jazz Band Room. No ticket is required.
April 19 — Performance featuring Benny Golson with the NCCU Jazz Ensemble; Opening performance by NCCU Vocal Jazz Ensemble, 8 p.m., B.N. Duke Auditorium.
April 20 — Performance featuring Carl Allen Quartet; Opening performance by the NCCU Jazz Ensemble, 8 p.m., B.N. Duke Auditorium.