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Tribute to Fats Navarro

Tuesday, Sept. 24 the Jazz Standard in NYC in conjunction with Jazz Alliance International will host a benefit concert at 8 p.m. for the newly instituted Fats Navarro Scholarship. Performing will be Jon Faddis, Randy Brecker, Cecil Bridgewater, Tom Harrell, Sean Jones, Brian Lynch, Jimmy Owens, Jeremy Pelt, Claudio Roditi, Jim Rotondi, Don Sickler, Lew Soloff, Clark Terry and an all-star rhythm section selected by JAI board member Geri Allen. Tickets are $55 and all proceeds go to the Theodore “Fats” Navarro Scholarship to be awarded to Cuban student musicians to attend Skidmore College and Manhattan School of Music Summer Jazz Institutes. For more information, contact the Jazz Standard at 212-576-2232.

The concert will be the evening portion of a daylong celebration which begins with the dedication of a new headstone for the late trumpeter’s grave at Rose Hill Cemetery in Linden, New Jersey at 11 a.m. The headstone replacement is the work of Stuart Varden, emeritus professor of Pace University and founder of the official Fats Navarro Web site, which can be visited at http://csis.pace.edu/~varden/navarro/navarro.html. Upon searching the Internet for info about Navarro in 1997 with scant results, Varden, a long-time fan of the legendary horn blower, began a grassroots campaign to get the word out about Fats. Varden visited Rose Hill to get a picture of Navarro’s headstone for his website and found it unmarked. With the help of Navarro’s daughter, Linda and Theo Rahak, who has maintained a photo archive of Fats since 1966 called L’Archive Navarro, Varden has raised over $3,000 to make the dedication ceremony possible for the trumpeter who died abruptly in 1950 at the age of 26.

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