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[email protected] Celebrates Jimmy Heath

“If you know Jimmy Heath, you know bop,” Dizzy Gillespie once said, and none but a fool would question his authority to make such a statement. Certainly Jazz at Lincoln Center agrees, for the organization will host Heath (pictured left) as both a sax player and a composer in two concerts at Alice Tully Hall on Oct. 19 and 20 to celebrate his 75th birthday. The title of the evening is “He Walked With Giants,” but the evening will undoubtedly prove that Heath is a musician of no mean stature himself.

It may seem somewhat ungenerous to make the birthday boy himself do most of the celebrating, but [email protected] will provide Heath with some superb musicians and one of the most prominent stages in the nation for the party. In the first half of the program, Heath will play in small ensembles with trombonist Slide Hampton, saxophonist Antonio Hart, and pianist Jeb Patton. Heath will also be joined by brothers Percy on bass and Albert (aka “Tootie”) on drums.

The second half of the program features the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, as Heath will team with Wynton Marsalis to conduct new big-band arrangements of classic Heath compositions. Heath will also conduct the premiere performance of a concerto he composed for Hart called “Like a Son.” Marsalis, in turn, will complete the celebration with a new work based on harmonies that Heath provided and dedicated to the honoree of the evening.

Tickets to “He Walked With Giants: Jimmy Heath’s 75th Birthday Party” are $50 and $35 and are available at the Alice Tully Hall box office, from CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500, or at

Originally Published