The award was presented to legendary alto saxophonist, Charles McPherson, and world renowned drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath. The Redman awards are presented annually to jazz stalwarts based on contributions in jazz education and music, as well as individual musicianship, humanity and dignity that illuminate the spirit of Don Redman. The awards ceremony and jazz heritage concert were held on Saturday June 25, 2016, at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.
National Historical Park of Harpers Ferry
You would never know Harpers Ferry was once a flash point at the start of the Civil War. A violent confrontation between Abolitionist John Brown and Confederate forces led to the start of our long and bloody war. This lovely town is now the site of a National Historical Park. The park is also the location of old Storer College. Storer College was the first college dedicated to educating black students, and the old building remains a part of the National Historical Park of Harpers Ferry.
Known as “The Little Giant of Jazz”, Donald Matthew Redman attended Storer College between 1916 and 1920. During his years there he was one of Storer’s most active and energetic students.
After graduation in 1920 he went on to compose and arrange music for radio, television and many big bands, including his own. He is considered the first great jazz arranger as well as a leading figure in the development of the swing and big band style.