Jazz Great Kenny Barron’s Trio in Crowell Concert Hall

We are delighted to welcome the magnificent jazz pianist Kenny Barron back to Wesleyan tonight with the Kenny Barron Trio (Barron will be joined by Kiyoshi Kitagawa on bass and Lee Pearson on drums). Barron was here in the eighties when his older brother, distinguished jazz saxophonist, Bill Barron was on the Wesleyan faculty.  Bill Barron arrived at Wesleyan in 1975 and started the Wesleyan Jazz Orchestra.  He served as a distinguished member of the music department faculty, as well as its chair, until his death in 1989.

Kenny Barron is quite simply one of those jazz greats you need to make a point of hearing live…just last year, the National Endowment for the Arts inducted him into its prestigious Jazz Masters class of 2010.  In his words:  “I don’t think of myself necessarily as an innovator. . . But what I have contributed to jazz is keeping a commitment to the honesty of the music. I never do anything that’s too slick, and I play what I feel. I believe in having fun, which took a long time to discover—to not take myself so seriously.”  As a composer, arranger and bandleader, the Philadelphia native has spent five decades at the forefront of the jazz piano aristocracy starting out as a member of Dizzy Gillespie’s Quintet from 1962 to 1966.   An in-demand sideman in his early days on the jazz scene playing with, among many others, Chet Baker, Ron Carter, Stan Getz, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard and Bobby Hutcherson, it’s his maturation as a leader that has brought him well-deserved recognition as a true jazz master.

Barron is also known as a transformative teacher (he’s currently on the faculty at Julliard). In fact, those of you who know the work of Middletown’s own Noah Baerman, may not know that his mentor and teacher at Rutgers University was Kenny Barron (look for Noah’s tribute concert to Barron at the Russell House on October 16).

Barron’s visit to Wesleyan is made possible by the Center for the Arts partnership with the Capitol Region Education Council’s Center for Creative Youth, a program for gifted and talented students in the arts.  They’ll be cheering in the audience tonight.

Kenny Barron Trio
Thursday, July 7, 2011 at 8pm
Crowell Concert Hall
Wesleyan University
$20 general public; $18 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff; $10 students

Pamela Tatge
Director, Center for the Arts

7 thoughts on “Jazz Great Kenny Barron’s Trio in Crowell Concert Hall”

  1. The Kenny Barron concert was great! We are never disappointed when we attend concerts at Wesleyan. Every season we find at least one great jazz concert and this one was no exception. The group was the best we have heard recently. Keep up the good work we look forward to more wonderful jazz at Wesleyan.

  2. Outstanding concert! Kenny’s playing was superb, and the trio was very tight. Congrats to all, and thanks for scheduling this one. More like this, please….

  3. This was an extraordinary experience. I have heard some of the greatest jazz musicians in venues as diverse as a nightclub in London to the original Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island but I know of no better place to hear jazz than the Crowell Concert Hall. The trio was clearly enjoying the venue and the responsive crowd. I was also impressed with the rapt attention of the youngsters up front. Lets hope it means positive things for the future of jazz music!

  4. Loved the Kenny Barron concert, walking through your lovely campus–and, meeting some wonderful young people who are participating in your summer arts program. Bravo to all of you; especially to the very helpful and pleasant Kyle at the box office! Sarah Bedell P.S. Any chance of selling water or wine at these events???

  5. It was a privilege to hear these guys live. The musical interaction between them was terrific. Masters of their own instruments, they reminded an appreciative audience what ensemble playing was all about. Loved the mix of calypso, samba, ballad and all the rest. Huge thanks to Kenny, Kiyoshi and Lee.

  6. Really terrific concert! Kenny Barron’s original tunes are wonderfully lyrical, and Lee Pearson was great fun to listen to.

  7. Went to the Kenny Barron Trio performance last night. Great to see the first five or six rows filled with people lots younger (never mind how much younger) than I. To be able to see and hear a Kenny Barron, Kiyoshi Kitagawa and Lee Pearson live for $20 in that venue, with a real good appreciative crowd is great. I love the NY clubs and Scullers and Regatta Bar in Boston, but being able to hear the Kenny Barrons of the jazz world ( and R. Carter and B. Maupin and T. Sutton and C. Lloyd, etc.) close to home is a treat. Keep that jazz coming!

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