The Milt Hinton Jazz Perspective Series Celebrates Black History Month with the McCullough Sons of Thunder Brass Band

New York City: Baruch College (The City University of New York): In celebration of Black History Month The Milt Hinton Jazz Perspective Concert Series presents “The McCollough Sons of Thunder Brass Band” at the Baruch Performing Arts Center (55 Lexington Avenue, entrance on 25th Street, between Lexington and 3rd Avenue) on February 20th at 7:30 PM.

The performance will take place in Engelman Recital Hall, in Baruch’s Vertical Campus at 55 Lexington Avenue. The concert is free to Baruch students, faculty and administration. There is a nominal ticket charge for non-Baruch community individuals. To purchase tickets and for more information, please call 646-312- 4085 or visit

This concert–organized by the Milt Hinton Jazz Perspectives Committee–is funded by the Baruch College Performing Arts Center and The Baruch College Fund.

In addition to this concert, Grammy-nominated vocalist Carla Cook performed October 25 to open the Milt Hinton Jazz Perspectives concert series’ 16th season. This was followed by a performance by clarinetist Andy Statman in early December. On April 10, 2008, as part of Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM), jazz journalist Dan Ouellette will present a talk (based on his in-progress, on-line biography) on renowned bassist Ron Carter.

About The McCollough Sons of Thunder

The McCollough Sons of ThunderThe McCollough Sons of Thunder is a brass band institution that has over thirty years combined African-American religious musical expressions, blending African worship style and Christian theology. These multiple manifestations include jubilee music, hymns, a cappella quartet, mass choirs, and many other styles. One of the less widely recognized of these traditions is the instrumental “shout band.”

In the 1920s, a Cape Verde Islands-born charismatic spiritual leader named Marcelino Manoel de Graca, nicknamed “Daddy Grace,” founded the first United House of Prayer for All People, the Church on the Rock of the Apostolic Faith, in Newport News, Virginia. According to gospel scholar Dr. Horace Boyer, Bishop Grace took a musical departure from Psalm 150 where David declared that “Everything that hath breath should praise the Lord and encouraged the use of brass and reed instruments within the church service. It is from this that modern gospel music based the use of the accompanying instruments, other than the piano and organ. Bishop Grace died in the 1960s, but this music continues to energize its audience. The band takes it name from Daddy Grace’s successor, Daddy McCollough.

The current director of The McCollough Sons of Thunder Brass Band is senior elder statesman Edward Babb, nicknamed “Trip.” Elder Babb is a trombone player and says he never took music lessons and cannot read music. He “imagines” most of the band’s music, he hums melodies into a tape recorder and then mentally arranges them for each instrument in the band.

The Hinton Jazz Series

The Milt Hinton Jazz Perspectives Series has made its home at Baruch Performing Arts Center since 2003, although the Series has been a part of Baruch culture since 1992.

The inaugural Milt Hinton Jazz Perspectives concert in 1992 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.

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 15, 2007 concert. The 15th season ended with a lecture on legendary pianist Art Tatum given by Arnold Laubich on February 27.

For further information contact:
Eugene Marlow, Baruch College

The City University of New York