The Art of Art Tatum (1909-1956): How a Young Jazz Musician from Toledo Became the Highest Paid Performer on 52nd Street and One of the Greatest Pianists of the 20th Century

New York City: As part of a series of Black History Month events, on February 27, 2007 Baruch College (The City University of New York) will present a talk/demonstration on “The Art Of Art Tatum (1909-1956): How A Young Jazz Musician From Toledo Became The Highest Paid Performer On 52nd Street And One Of The Greatest Pianists Of The 20th Century.”

Arnold Laubich, co-author of Art Tatum – A Guide to His Recorded Music, will present the multimedia talk accompanied by internationally renown jazz pianist, arranger, and teacher Dick Katz who will demonstrate Art Tatum’s jazz piano style. Video clips of Milt Hinton and Ray Charles talking about Art Tatum as well as rare footage of Art Tatum himself will be shown.

The presentation will take place in Baruch Performing Arts Center's Engelman Recital Hall (25th Street between Lexington & 3rd Avenues). The talk begins at 12:45 p.m. It is free and open to the general public and Baruch students, faculty and administration.

This presentation–organized by the Milt Hinton Jazz Perspectives Committee–is funded by the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences and the Baruch Performing Arts Center. The Hinton series is now in its 15th year.

Hinton Series Background

The 1992 inaugural Milt Hinton Jazz Perspectives concert starred jazz bassist Milt Hinton himself together with his picks for an “All-Star” ensemble: Seldon Powell (saxophonist), Bob Rosengarden (Drums), Mike Walters (saxophone and woodwinds), Derek Smith (piano), Jay D'Amico (piano), Mike Grey (trombone), and John “Bucky” Pizzarelli (guitar). This magical first concert saw famed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis join the group during the second half.

The following year Tito Puente and his big band also played to a full house with some students and faculty dancing in the aisles. In 1994 the concert was billed as a “Tribute to Women in Jazz” and featured a performance by singer Ruth Brown and Friends and the group Straight Ahead. In 1995 trombonist extraordinaire Slide Hampton and the Big Band Bird filled the bill for the fourth annual concert.

In 1996 America's jazz statesman Dr. Billy Taylor and the Billy Taylor Trio graced the Baruch College stage. In 1997 Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band gave a performance that offered a unique blend of Latin and jazz traditions. The 1998 concert presented virtuoso drummer Sherrie Maricle and the Diva Big Band.

The world famous Mingus Big Band played at the 8th annual concert in 1999. The Bronx Horns, consisting of Tito Puente’s brass section, together with Dave Valentin (flute) and Randy Brecker (trumpet), performed at the 9th annual concert in 2000. In 2001, The Heath Brothers (“Percy, Jimmy, and Tootie”) with special guest Jimmy Owens, performed at the 10th annual concert.

In 2002 (season #11) the Hinton Committee expanded its offerings with a series of concerts, including a November 6, 2002 concert featuring “The Latin-Jazz All Stars” with several world-renown Latin-jazz musicians: trumpeter/leader Michael Mossman, tenor saxophonist David Sanchez, trombonist Steve Turre, pianist Arturo O’Farrill, alto saxophonist Antonio Hart, bassist Andy Gonzalez, and percussionist Phoenix Rivera.

The 2002-2003 season also featured the Marty Sheller Big Band, Chris Washburne's SYOTOS Latin-Jazz ensemble, and “Rumbamerica,” an Afro-Cuban ensemble made up of some of New York's top Afro-Cuban drummers, singers, and dancers.

The 2003-2004 season featured the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the “Sax in the City” quartet, the Ted Piltzecker Septet, and the Roberta Piket Trio.

As in the previous two years, for the 2004-2005 season the Hinton committee organized a series of concerts starting with the November 4, 2004 performance of the Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Arturo O’Farrill. Dikki Du and the Zydeco Crew performed in the lobby of the vertical campus in early December 2004. On February 10, 2005 Grammy-nominated vocalist Carla Cook appeared in Baruch's Engelman Recital Hall venue, as did the Andy LaVerne Piano-Organ Trio (with drummer Danny Gottlieb and keyboardist Gary Versace) in March 2005.

The 2005-2006 season saw “Drummer of the Year” Bobby Sanabria and Quarteto Ache perform in October 2005, followed by the George Gee Swing Orchestra on December 1, and the 2006 Grammy-award winning Turtle Island String Quartet on February 15, 2006. The 2005-2006 season ended with a performance by the Andy Middleton Octet. This performance marked the first time a Hinton jazz series concert was co-funded by Chamber Music America (CMA). Middleton garnered a prestigious jazz composition commission from CMA in 2004.

The Hinton Jazz series’ 15th season opened with a spectacular performance by world-class bassist Rufus Reid and his quintet on October 19, 2006. In December 2006 the series continued with “Drummer of the Year” Bobby Sanabria leading the 19-piece Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra. As part of Black History Month celebrations, jazz/R&B/Funk bassist Lonnie Plaxico led a sextet at a February 15th concert.

For further information contact:
Eugene Marlow, Co-Chair
Milt Hinton Jazz Perspectives Concert Series
Baruch College
646-312-3924
nmprinc@aol.com

The City University of New York