02/08/11 By Larry Reni Thomas
JAZZ MASTER JIMMY HEATH RETURNS FOR A BOOKSIGNING
Jimmy Heath's Autobiography is the Talk of the Jazz World. The legendary saxophonist will hold a booksigning and perform at the 8th Annual Valentine's Day Jazz Festival in Durham, North Carolina February 13, 2011!
Chapel Hill, NC--The legendary jazz saxophonist/composer/arranger Jimmy Heath, a Philadelphia native, a former Wilmington, North Carolina resident, and a 1943 graduate of Williston High School, in that coastal city, will return to North Carolina, for a booksigning and concert, February 13, 2011, at 3 pm, at The Hayti Heritage Center, Durham, North Carolina. He will appear as a part of the 8th Annual Valentine's Day Jazz Festival, which will feature bands from Duke University, North Carolina Central University (NCCU) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel
Heath's recent best-selling, critically-acclaimed book, "I Walked with Giants," has been the talk of the jazz world since it was published last year. It is an extremely candid account of a very humbled, talented professional who did indeed walk with, become close friends with, and perform, record with such giants as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, as well as, his brothers, The Heath Brothers, drummer Albert
"Tootie" Heath, and the late great bassist Percy Heath.
Heath, 84-years-old, has conducted booksignings in several U.S. cities, including his hometown of New York City; his birthplace of Philadelphia; in Los Angeles, where his brother Al "Tootie" Heath lives; and this past summer (2010) in Charleston, South Carolina, in the state where his mother Arlethia, was born (Sumter).
It was a special occasion because his wife, Mona, accompanied him, and his daughter, Roslyn, who lives in Atlanta, drove up to be with her parents.
Jimmy has been eager to come to North Carolina because he said he had special times here when he lived in this state. He and his brother, Percy, would visit Wilmington (his father, Percy, Sr. was born there in 1898), in the summers and lived in the port city during their high school years in the early 1940s. He said
in an interview, several years ago, that he thoroughly enjoyed going to high school in Wilmington, and throughout the years, he has kept in touch with most of his high school mates, including the ones who were a part of his first jazz group, The Jazz Barons. One of his schoolmates was saxophonist Andy McGhee, ('45),
a former member of The Lionel Hampton Big Band and a retired professor at Berklee College in Boston. Several years ago, at a homecoming concert in Wilmington, he reconnected with many of them. Heath wrote about that event and his time in Wilmington, where he first picked up the saxophone. In fact, the first chapter is titled: "Finding a Rhythm: Philadelphia and Wilmington, NC."
At his Durham, North Carolina, booksigning, Heath will also perform with jazz ensembles from three local universities (Duke, NCCU, and UNC-CH). It will definitely be a joyous, happy concert for Heath and the band members, who will get a chance to work with a performer who has walked with giants, and who is a giant
himself. For more information about the Jimmy Heath booksigning and the 8th Annual Valentine's Day Jazz Festival, at Hayti Heritage Center, Durham, North Carolina, call (919) 683-1709, or go to: www.haytiheritage.org
Larry Reni Thomas
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