Monday, November 17, 2008

Wayne Shorter 75th Birthday Celebration Coming Up

Absolutely Live Entertainment Presents
Sovereign Bank Music Series at Berklee


“The most important living composer in jazz.” --The New York Times

“Jazz’s pre-eminent saxophonist . . .
an intrepid astronaut navigating the musical cosmos with improvisational brio.” --Billboard Magazine

Absolutely Live Entertainment, LLC will present the Wayne Shorter 75th Birthday Celebration concert on Wednesday, December 3 at 8:00 p.m. at Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. This concert is a part of the Sovereign Bank Music Series at Berklee. Tickets at $66 and $46 are on sale now at the Berklee Performance Center box office, at, all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling 617/508-931-2000. For more information, call: 617-747-2261. Berklee Performance Center is wheelchair accessible.

Saxophone legend and NEA jazz master Wayne Shorter celebrates his 75th birthday year with his first concert in Boston in more than five years. Shorter’s ground-breaking quartet features Berklee and NEC professor, pianist Danilo Perez along with one of the finest and most exciting rhythm sections in jazz – bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade. (Hotel Commonwealth Boston is the official hotel of the Wayne Shorter 75th Birthday Celebration concert.)

Regarded as one of the most significant and prolific performers and composers in jazz and modern music, National Endowment for the Arts’ “American Jazz Master” Wayne Shorter has an outstanding record of professional achievement in his historic career as a musician. He has received substantial recognition from his peers, including 9 Grammy® Awards and 13 Grammy® nominations to date.

In the summer of 2001 Shorter began touring as the leader of a talented young lineup featuring pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade, each a celebrated recording artist and bandleader in his own right. The group's uncanny chemistry was well documented on 2002's acclaimed Footprints Live! Shorter followed in 2003 with the ambitious Alegria, an expanded vision for large ensemble, which earned him a Grammy® Award. The quartet then released another live recording, entitled Beyond the Sound Barrier.

Born, August 25, 1933 in Newark, New Jersey, Shorter attended Arts High School and later graduated from New York University. He served in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1958, after which he joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. His five-year tenure as one of Blakey’s Messengers clearly established him as a newcomer to watch and earned him the “New Star Saxophonist” award in the 1962 Downbeat Poll. That same year he came in second place for “Best Composer,” one spot behind Duke Ellington.

In 1964 Miles Davis invited Shorter to go on the road with his band, which included Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams and Ron Carter. He stayed with Davis for six years, recording a dozen albums with him, and creating a new sound with a bandleader who changed the face of music during that tumultuous decade.

In 1970, Shorter co-founded the group Weather Report with keyboardist (and another Miles Davis alum) Joe Zawinul, plus Miroslav Vitous, Alphonse Mouzon and Airto Moreira. It remained the premier fusion group through the '70s and into the early '80s before disbanding in 1985 after 16 acclaimed recordings, including 1980's Grammy® Award-winning double-live LP set, 8:30. Shorter formed his own group in 1986 and produced a succession of electric jazz albums for the Columbia label -- 1986's Atlantis, 1987's Phantom Navigator, 1988's Joy Ryder. He re-emerged on the Verve label with 1995's High Life, and then released 1997's 1+1, an intimate duet recording with Herbie Hancock. The two spent 1998 touring as a duet.

Shorter has received credit for saxophone performances in the motion picture soundtracks Glengarry Glen Ross (1983), The Fugitive (1993), and Losing Isaiah (1995). He was commissioned to write a piece for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Millennium Concert, which was highly acclaimed by the critics. Most recently, Shorter was commissioned by the La Jolla Music Society to compose a piece for the Imani Winds Ensemble, further solidifying his place as one of the most important composers of the 20th century and beyond.

Through his musicianship and compositions, Wayne Shorter has radically changed modern music, and influenced generations of countless other musicians and composers. The events in his incredible life's journey have been compiled by author Michelle Mercer in Footprints: The Life And Music of Wayne Shorter (A Tarcher/Penguin).

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