Legendary jazz drummer Albert 'Tootie' Heath (John Coltrane,
Herbie Hancock) joins NYC jazz piano star Emmet Cohen and bassist Russell Hall in The Dunsmore Room.
Albert “Tootie” Heath was raised in a musical household as the younger brother of saxophonist Jimmy Heath and bassist Percy Heath. In pursuit of a musical career as a drummer, he moved to New York in 1957 and in a few months made his recording debut with John Coltrane for the saxophonist’s first recording “Coltrane”. Mr. Heath recorded with him again in 1960 on the album “Lush Life”.
Tootie Heath’s career reads like a who’s who in jazz. He has recorded with Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, Nina Simone, Herbie Hancock, Art Farmer, Bobby Timmons, Benny Golson, Yusef Lateef, Milt Jackson, Wes Montgomery, Kenny Barron, Billy Taylor, Mal Waldron, Cedar Walton, J.J. Johnson and countless others. In 1975 together with his brothers Jimmy and Percy, Tootie formed the Heath Brothers band. The band enjoyed international acclaim, toured extensively, and still performs with various bassists after Percy’s death in 2005.
Multifaceted American jazz pianist and composer EMMET COHEN has emerged as one of his generation's pivotal figures in music and the related arts. A recognized prodigy, Cohen began Suzuki method piano instruction at age three, and his playing quickly became a mature melding of musicality, technique, and concept. Downbeat observed that his "nimble touch, measured stride and warm harmonic vocabulary indicate he's above any convoluted technical showmanship." In the same spirit, Cohen himself has noted that playing jazz is "about communicating the deepest level of humanity and individuality; it's essentially about connections," both among musicians and with audiences. Possessing a fluid technique, an innovative tonal palette, and an expansive repertoire, Cohen plays with the command of a seasoned veteran and the passion of an artist fully devoted to his medium.
Emmet Cohen is committed to the intergenerational transfer of artistic knowledge, history, and traditions. His signature professional undertaking is the "Masters Legacy Series," a celebratory set of recordings and interviews honoring legendary jazz musicians. He serves as both producer and pianist for each album in the series. The goal of this landmark, ongoing project is to provide musicians of multiple generations a forum to transfer the unwritten folklore that is America's unique musical idiom. Cohen has observed that playing true jazz "is enriched immeasurably by connecting and studying with jazz masters, forging backward to the very creation of the art form." Volume one of the "Masters Legacy Series" features drummer Jimmy Cobb, and volume two spotlights bassist Ron Carter.
In addition, Emmet Cohen has established a more comprehensive role in the world of the creative arts that extends beyond performing. Cohen visits 50 schools yearly through Jazz at Lincoln Center's "Jazz for Young People" program and regularly presents jazz history and performance lectures. Himself an alumnus of the YoungArts Foundation, he now produces and directs multidisciplinary YoungArts programs nationally that include creative writing, theater, dance, visual arts, cinematography, music, voice, and jazz. Through designing student curricula and selecting master artists as teachers and mentors, Cohen connects effectively with performers and audiences. Cohen has also been involved with interdisciplinary programs directed by choreographers Debbie Allen and Bill T. Jones.
Emmet Cohen's exacting piano artistry has been recognized in many significant forums. He placed first in both the American Jazz Pianists competition (2014) and the Phillips Piano Competition at the University of West Florida (2011). He was a finalist in the prestigious American Pianists Association's Cole Porter Fellowship (2015, 2011) and the Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition (2011). Cohen has appeared in world-renowned jazz events, including, the Monterey, Newport, North Sea, Bern, and Edinburgh jazz festivals and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. He has also performed at the Blue Note, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Birdland, London's Ronnie Scott's, Jazzhaus Montmartre in Copenhagen, Lincoln Center's Rose Hall, and the Kennedy Center, and was received in the Oval Office by President Obama. He is currently Hammond B3 organist-in-residence at Harlem's SMOKE jazz club.