TENOR TITAN HOUSTON PERSON - LIVE IN THE HOUSE!
Sunday, March 27th, 2022 @ 7:30 PM
rescheduled from Friday, JANUARY 7th, 2022 @ 8:00 PM
This concert is made possible with support from the University of Michigan Department of Jazz
& Contemporary Improvisation.
Artist accommodations provided by Weber’s Boutique Hotel.
Kerrytown Concert House is thrilled to present international jazz legend, tenor saxophonist, Houston Person, for a very special jazz presentation!
On bandstands around the world, Person, who turned 87 on Nov. 10, is the embodiment of the power yielded by strong melodies plus a heavy dose of soul. He springs from the lineage of tenor saxophone titans such as Illinois Jacquet, whom he names a key influence on his early listening and playing. Person’s newest recording, Live In Paris (recorded live in 2019), is an energizing set of driving, soulful swing and balladry that matches him with the talented young organist Ben Patterson, guitarist Peter Bernstein and drummer Willie Jones III. For this KCH appearance, he’ll be backed by regional jazz masters, Pat Cronley (piano), Paul Keller (bass), and David Taylor (drums). Don’t miss this rare opportunity to experience a jazz legend up close and personal!
COVID-19 Safety Policy for Indoor Concerts
- Moving forward, all patrons and artists who wish to attend or present performances indoors at KCH must provide a valid, complete COVID-19 vaccination card OR proof of a negative COVID-19 test performed within the previous 72 hours prior to entry. Such proof must be presented at concert check-in, may be displayed on a smartphone OR presented as a physical copy, and must also be accompanied by a matching, valid ID for verification.**
- Additionally, according to current CDC recommendations, masks are required for audiences inside the House and can only be removed when seated with a beverage (when available). When performing, artists may wear a mask, or not, at their own discretion.
**Proof of vaccination exceptions will be made for children under 12 and people with a medical condition or closely held religious beliefs that prevent vaccination. These guests must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the previous 72 hours prior to entry.
Houston Person knows the music business inside out, from booking his own tours to producing his own albums. As eclectic as he is talented, Person has recorded everything from disco and gospel to pop and r&b, in addition to his trademark, soulful hard bop. After years as producer and house tenor for HighNote Records and touring with the late Etta Jones, Person is now known as a master of popular songs played in a relaxed, highly accessible style reminiscent of the great Ben Webster.
Person grew up in Florence, South Carolina, and remembers his parents listening to lots of music at home, including jazz. First playing piano before switching to the tenor sax at age 17, he went on to study music at South Carolina State College (where he is included in the school’s Hall of Fame), and later pursued advanced studies at Hartt College of Music in Hartford, Connecticut. As a member of the United States Air Force band stationed in Germany, he played with Eddie Harris, Cedar Walton, and Don Ellis, later working as a sideman for organist Johnny “Hammond” Smith in the mid 1960s.
Person built his reputation as a leader with a series of soulful recordings for Prestige in the 60s. However, for a large part of his career he was best-known for his legendary partnership with the great vocalist, Etta Jones, which lasted over 30 years until her death in 2001. Recently he has performed with vocalist Barbara Morrison, the great Ernie Andrews and in the past has worked with Ernestine Anderson, Della Griffin and Dakota Staton.
Houston’s appearances as sideman are legion, and include recordings with Etta Jones, Lena Horne, Lou Rawls, Dakota Staton, Horace Silver, Charles Earland, Joey DeFrancesco, and many others. As a record producer, he has worked with many artists, including Etta Jones, Freddy Cole, Charles Brown, David ‘Fathead’ Newman, Dakota Staton, and Ernie Andrews. In 1990, his recording with Ron Carter, “Something in Common” (Muse), won the Independent Jazz Record of the Year Award, and he received an Indie Award for his recording, “Why Not?” (Muse). Other awards have included the prestigious Eubie Blake Jazz Award (1982) and the Fred Hampton Scholarship Fund Image Award (1993), and he has been honored with a “Houston Person/Etta Jones Day” in Hartford County, MD (1982) and in Washington, DC (1983). Houston Person has recorded over 150 albums as a leader on Prestige, Westbound, Mercury, Savoy, and Muse, which became HighNote Records. His HighNote recordings as both tenor artist and producer, “My Buddy: Etta Jones Sings the Songs of Buddy Johnson” and “Etta Jones Sings Lady Day,”were Grammy finalists in the Best Jazz Vocal category in 1999 and 2000, respectively. HighNote has issued a three-disc collection of some of his finest recordings along with four new tracks all recorded at the famed Rudy Van Gelder Studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Entitled “The Art and Soul of Houston Person” (HCD 7200), this is the first multi-disc retrospective of an artist’s recorded work to be issued by the label. Of Houston’s latest recordings, “Remember Love” (HCD 7315) is an eagerly-awaited new duo recording with the legendary bassist Ron Carter while “Rain or Shine” (HCD 7309) features the same winning combination of outstanding sonics, time-tested tunes and great jazz which has made Houston one of the most respected tenor saxophonists in jazz. In July 2019, Houston released “I’m Just a Lucky So and So” on HighNote Records (HCD 7327). Houston was once again back in the Van Gelder Studio, now under the watchful eye of Van Gelder associate and protegé, Maureen Sickler. His most recent album “Houston Person Live in Paris” (HCD 7338) was released in September of 2021 and recorded in 2019 at Cite de la musique in Paris.
Wrote Gary Giddens in the Village Voice, “I have always admired Houston Person for his huge tone, bluff humor, and pointed obbligato…Person lucidly rides the beat with figures you think you’ve heard but haven’t. These are not recycled licks or clichés; they simply seem familiar, like family… gray hair aside, Person is unchanged, an unmoved mover of certain jazz essentials.” Ask him what’s important in his music, and Houston Person notes that, “It’s important that it’s relaxing…Relaxes you and makes you feel good… I’m going to always play the things that I think contributes to good jazz, such as the blues and swinging.”