Acclaimed jazz pianist Randy Weston is one of the foremost artists of our time. During his life’s journey, he has drawn from the fullness of many experiences to share his musical gift with the world.
Weston says, “If you were to ask who is Randy Weston, it would be like making a stew. You throw in some Ellington, some Basie, some Monk, some Tatum and some Nat Cole; throw in Africa, throw in Coleman Hawkins, Dizzy Gillespie, and Chano Pozo. You put all of those ingredients in the pot, stir it up, and you have Randy Weston.”
Weston’s early mentors encouraged him to listen to all kinds of music. Weston came to describe his own music as “African Rhythms,” as he asserts that all music has its origins in Africa.
In the words of Langston Hughes: “When Randy Weston plays, a combination of strength and gentleness, virility and velvet, emerges from the keys in an ebb and flow of sound seemingly as natural as the waves of the sea.”
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in 2001 named Weston a “Jazz Master,” which the NEA describes as “the highest honor that our nation bestows on jazz artists.” The list of artists selected by the NEA since the program began in 1982 includes Miles Davis, Betty Carter, Ramsey Lewis and Sonny Rollins.
With over 60 years of musical offerings, Weston has compiled a long list of masterpieces. He is a pianist, composer and bandleader. In 2015, the Jazz Journalists Association gave Weston the Lifetime Achievement in Jazz award. We at Medgar Evers College are pleased to celebrate this living legend.
Medgar Evers College will pay tribute to Weston’s life and work with a FREE book signing event on Friday, June 10, 2016 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the college’s Founders Auditorium at 1650 Bedford Avenue.
Mr. Weston will be selling and autographing copies of his book “African Rhythms: The Autobiography of Randy Weston.”