Legendary jazz impresario, George Wein, will be the first recipient of York College’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the College’s 3rd Annual Scholarship Benefit Concert, Monday, April 19, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center, 94-45 Guy R. Brewer Blvd., Jamaica, NY. Wein has spearheaded hundreds of music events annually since 1954 when he produced the first Newport Jazz Festival–an event that started the festival era. Five years later, Wein and folk icon Pete Seeger founded the Newport Folk Festival where the two music giants celebrated 50 years of folk with 15,000 fans in August 2009.
World-renowned saxophonist Branford Marsalis, born in 1960, has always been a man of numerous musical interests, from jazz, blues and funk to such classical music projects as the Fall 2008 tour with Marsalis Brasilianos. The three-time Grammy winner has continued to exercise and expand his skills as an instrumentalist, a composer, and the head of his own label, Marsalis Music, founded in 2002. The New Orleans native was born into one of the city’s most distinguished musical families, which includes patriarch/pianist/educator Ellis and Branford’s siblings Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason. Branford gained initial acclaim through his work with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and his brother Wynton’s quintet in the early 1980’s before forming his own ensemble. He has also performed and recorded with a who’s who of jazz giants including Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock and Sonny Rollins
“On this evening when we honor legendary jazz impresario George Wein with a Lifetime Achievement Award, it’s important to note that tonight’s concert benefits the talented young people at York College who are beginning their lifetime of achievement,” said George P. Aridas, chair of the York College Foundation.