Jazz @ Lincoln Center 80th Birthday Tribute

“To this day I think of myself as a work in progress. It’s all about a journey into consciousness, through humanness. To be expressed via music as opposed to painting or architecture.”

Charles McPherson, 2019

The Concert

Charles McPherson’s 80th Birthday Tribute at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis and the J@LC orchestra was a hit and a deep honor for Charles. Three sold-out concerts (including the Boston Celebrity Series) with family, students, and fans from all over the country attending. Charles’ original compositions were masterfully arranged by Vincent Gardner, Sherman Irby,  Ted Nash, Angel “Papo” Vasquez, Kenny Rampton, Victor Goines,  and Marcus Printup.

“It was an incredible honor for me to be able to meet you, hear you and play with you. I’m still smiling thinking about being able to sit at the piano so close to you playing all of that music on your horn. It’s the same feeling I get when I hear the great records that we love. Thank you for being so generous with your time and talking to me. Thank you for being so inspiring. Thank you for it all.”

Dan Nimmer, Pianist J@LC Center Orchestra

“The bebop master is a true alto saxophonist. He plays the instrument with fire, passion and precision. He can pull your heartstrings with one note, and dazzle you with virtuosity and imagination. There is only one Bird, one Stitt, one Cannonball—and one Charles McPherson.”

Sherman Irby, Alto Saxophonist with J@LC Orchestra

The Reception

“….what we got to experience sitting in the front row was the absolute adoration of the musicians listening to Charles play. It was obvious they were listening to a jazz hero and were enjoying the experience to the fullest. That was the icing on the cake of the experience for me – especially since they were all enormously talented themselves.”

DeAnn Cary

“I can’t tell you what a joy it was to be there and to witness what I knew would be a historical event. What a privilege! Seeing Charles surrounded by his family and being supported by so many friends filled my heart. I’m so glad he felt loved, honored, and appreciated.”

Claudia Russell, KSDS Jazz

“We were thrilled to witness your stunning performance and to hear your Lincoln Center colleagues support you musically with such affection and talent-infused passion. We spoke with Wynton, who couldn’t praise you enough as royalty.”

Colleen Vasquez