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Jazz Standard Hosts Tribute To Mark Ledford

Musicians, friends and family will come together on Tuesday, February 15 at Jazz Standard to remember multi-instrumentalist Mark Ledford, who died last month. Numerous artists are scheduled to appear, including Lenny White, Victor Bailey, Carla Cook, Randy Brecker, Alex Bugnon and Jim Beard. Proceeds from the tribute will be given to Ledford’s family.

Ledford, a quadruple threat as vocalist, trumpeter, guitarist and drummer, died of heart disease on November 1, 2004 at 44 years old. Ledford had made a name for himself in the past several years through his work with Pat Metheny, Bobby McFerrin, Mary J. Blige, Eliane Elias and others.

Ledford started his career in Detroit, where he studied violin and trumpet and gained some notoriety as a Michael Jackson impersonator. After graduating from Berklee in 1982, he maintained a busy schedule between New York and Boston, which included jobs with Stephanie Mills, Jon Hendricks, Special EFX, Michael Brecker, Kevin Eubanks, Don Byron, Prince and Bill Evans. He also contributed to a number of film soundtracks, including Spike Lee’s Mo’ Better Blues and Do the Right Thing. Ledford’s interest in African music led to work with Youssou N’Dour, Hugh Masekela, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and bassist Bakithi Kumalo.

In 1986 Ledford began his association with Pat Metheny. 1992’s Miles 2 Go (PolyGram) was Ledford’s only album as a leader, showcasing his trumpet technique, which drew inspiration from Miles Davis. More recently he had worked Bobby McFerrin’s Circle, an a cappella vocal group, and vibraphonist Joe Locke’s Storytelling project.

Tickets to the tribute are available at Jazz Standard.

Originally Published