Randy Weston & the African Rhythms Quintet

Montgomery County Community College - Lively Arts 25th Anniversary Gala!

In celebration of 25 years of the Lively Arts Series at Montgomery County Community College, cultural arts supporters, funders, and college staff enjoyed a wonderful pre-concert dinner gala. Amongst the speakers was Willard Jenkins, noted music journalist and co-author of African Rhythms: The Autobiography of Randy Weston.

Helen Haynes, Director of Cultural Affairs introduced Randy Weston and the African Rhythms Quintet as part of the series called Africa: The Call and Response. Randy Weston is one of the world's leading pianists and composers encompassing the history of African music.

Mr. Weston brought with him an outstanding group of musicians for African Rhythms – TK Blue on alto, soprano saxophones and flute, Robert L Trowers on trombone, Alex Blake on bass and Neil Clark on African percussion.

Known for his narratives, Randy, a very young 86 years old, told the audience that Jazz is essentially African music, that African music is at its core, sacred and that African culture has shaped world history and music. Mr. Weston has devoted his life to the study of African music. His commitment to African culture has profoundly influenced his compositions and playing. Notably “Blue Moses," "The Mystery of Love”.

A performance by Randy Weston is a special occasion indeed. It was like witnessing a joyous and sacred ceremony. If you have seen any of his performances you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Even with his somewhat imposing 6’ 7” frame, he is so graceful at the piano. Listening to Mr. Weston and African Rhythms was like being filled up with a Great Spirit! The music makes you want to dance, clap your hands then brings you back to a peaceful, gentle, sacred space.

More images from the event are in Ben Johnson gallery http://www.benjohnsonjazzphotos.com

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Community Authors

Karen Brundage-Johnson, PhD.