Whatcom Jazz Music Art Center series presents legendary New York City saxophonist Jimmy Heath, with pianist Jeb Patton, at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 25, at The Majestic, 1027 N. Forest St. They will be joined by Michael Glynn on bass and Julian MacDonough on drums.
Heath has long been recognized as a brilliant instrumentalist, composer and arranger. He has performed with nearly all of the jazz greats of the past 50 years, including Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Wynton Marsalis.
In 1948, at the age of 21, he performed in the inaugural International Jazz Festival in Paris. One of his earliest big bands, from 1947 to 1948, in Philadelphia included John Coltrane, Benny Golson, Specs Wright, Cal Massey, Johnny Coles, Ray Bryant and Nelson Boyd. Charlie Parker and Max Roach sat in on one occasion.
Heath has performed on more than 100 albums, including seven with The Heath Brothers and 12 as a leader. He has written more than 125 compositions, many of which have become jazz standards recorded by such artists as Cannonball Adderley, Chet Baker and Ray Charles.
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He has also composed extended works, seven suites and two string quartets, and he premiered his first symphonic work, “Three Ears,” in 1988. After having just concluded 11 years as professor of music at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, Heath maintains an extensive schedule of performances, workshops and clinics.