SCFTA Presents Kenny Barron Quintet At Samueli Theater

SCFTA Presents Kenny Barron Quintet At Samueli TheaterSegerstrom Center for the Arts presents the Kenny Barron Quintet for two performances on November 3, 2018 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, the Los Angeles Times calls Barron "one of the top jazz pianists in the world" and Jazz Weekly calls him "The most lyrical piano player of our time." For his return to the Center's Jazz Series, Barron brings his quintet, which includes Mike Rodriguez, trumpet; Dayna Stephens, tenor saxophone; Kiyoshi Kitagawa, bass; and Jonathan Blake, drums.

Single tickets start at $69 and are available now online at, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556-2787. For inquiries about group ticket savings of 10 or more, please call the Group Services office at (714) 755-0236.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts applauds KJAZZ 88.1 for its support of the Jazz Series and its corporate partners including Kia Motors America, Official Automotive Partner; and United Airlines, Official Airline.

Kenny Barron was born in Philadelphia, the birthplace of many great musicians and singers. Kenny was born in 1943 and while a teenager, started playing professionally with Mel Melvin's orchestra. This local band also featured Barron's late brother Bill, who played saxophone.

By 1959 Barron had worked with drummer "Philly Joe" Jones while still in high school. At age 19, he moved to New York City and freelanced with Roy Haynes, Lee Morgan and James Moody after the tenor saxophonist heard him play at the Five Spot. Upon Moody's recommendation Dizzy Gillespie hired Barron in 1962 without even hearing him play a note. It was in Gillespie's band where Barron developed an appreciation for Latin and Caribbean rhythms. After five years with Gillespie, Barron played with Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, Milt Jackson and Buddy Rich. The early seventies found Kenny working with Yusef Lateef, whom Barron credits as a key influence in his art for improvisation. Encouraged by Lateef to pursue a college education, Barron balanced touring with studies and earned his B.A. in music from Empire State College. By 1973 he joined the faculty at Rutgers University as a professor of music. He held this tenure until 2000, mentoring many of today's young talents, including David Sanchez, Terence Blanchard and Regina Bell. In 1974, Barron recorded his first album as a leader for the Muse label, titled Sunset To Dawn. This was to be the first in more than 40 recordings (and still counting!) as a leader.

Following stints with Ron Carter in the late '70s, Barron formed a trio with Buster Williams and Ben Riley which also worked alongside Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Eddie Harris, Sonny Stitt and Harry "Sweets" Edison. Throughout the '80s Barron collaborated with the great tenor saxophonist Stan Getz, touring with his quartet and recording several legendary albums, including Anniversary, Serenity and the Grammy-nominated People Time. Also during the '80s, Barron co-founded Sphere, a quartet that included Buster Williams, Ben Riley and Charlie Rouse. This band focused on the music of Thelonious Monk and original compositions inspired by him. Sphere recorded several outstanding projects for the Polygram label, among them Four for All and Bird Songs. After the death of Charlie Rouse, the band took a 15-year hiatus before reuniting, replacing Rouse with alto saxophonist Gary Bartz. This reunion made its debut recording for Verve Records in 1998.

Kenny Barron's own recordings for Verve have earned nine Grammy nominations beginning in 1992 with People Time, an outstanding duet with Stan Getz, followed by the Brazilian influenced Sambao, and most recently for Freefall in 2002. Other Grammy nominations went to Spirit Song, Night and the City (a duet recording with Charlie Haden) and Wanton Spirit a trio recording with Roy Haynes and Haden. It is important to note that these three recordings each received double-Grammy nominations for album and solo performance. His CD, Canta Brasil (Universal France), linked Barron with Trio de Paz in a fest of original Brazilian jazz and was named Critics Choice Top Ten CDs of 2003 by JAZZIZ Magazine. His 2004 release, Images (Universal France), was inspired by a suite originally commissioned by The Wharton Center at Michigan State University. It features multi-Grammy- nominated vibraphonist Stefon Harris. The long-awaited trio sequel featuring Ray Drummond and Ben Riley, The Perfect Set, Live at Bradley's, Part Two (Universal France/Sunnyside), was released in October 2005. In spring of 2008, Barron released The Traveler (Universal France), a studio recording that features an intoxicating mix of favorite Barron tunes set to lyrics and newly penned compositions.

This year, Kenny Barron will celebrate his 75th birthday and mark the 50th year of a remarkable recording career that shows no signs of slowing down. Additionally, 2018 marks another milestone with the release of his Blue Note Records debut, Concentric Circles. The sublime 11-song set features new originals plus interpretations of songs by Caetano Veloso, Thelonious Monk, and Lenny White. It finds the 11-time Grammy nominee introducing a new edition of the Kenny Barron Quintet with saxophonist Dayna Stephens, trumpeter Mike Rodriguez, bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa, and drummer Johnathan Blake. The lead track, "Blue Waters," can be heard on Blue Note's Jazz Now! playlist on Apple Music and Spotify.

Barron consistently wins jazz critics and readers polls, including those of Downbeat, Jazz Times and JAZZIZ magazines. In 2005 he was inducted into the American Jazz Hall of Fame and won a MAC Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a six-time recipient of Best Pianist by the Jazz Journalists Association and a finalist in the prestigious 2001 Jazz Par International Jazz Award. Whether he is playing solo, trio or quintet, Kenny Barron is recognized the world over as a master of performance and composition.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is an acclaimed arts institution as well as a beautiful multi-disciplinary cultural campus. It is committed to supporting artistic excellence, offering unsurpassed experiences and to engaging the entire community in new and exciting ways through the unique power of live performance and a diverse array of inspiring arts-based education and community engagement programs.
Previously called the Orange County Performing Arts Center, Segerstrom Center is Orange County's largest non-profit arts organization. In addition to its six performance venues, Segerstrom Center is also home to the American Ballet Theatre William J. Gillespie School.

The Center presents a broad range of programming for audiences of all ages, including international ballet and dance, national tours of top Broadway shows, jazz and cabaret, contemporary artists, classical music performed by renowned chamber orchestras and ensembles, family-friendly programming, free performances open to the public from outdoor movie screenings to dancing on the plaza and many other special events.

Segerstrom Center is a leader among the nation's performing arts centers for providing education programs designed to inspire young people through the arts. The Center's programs reach hundreds of thousands of students each year in five Southern California counties. Community engagement programs developed through the Center for Dance and Innovation and Center Without Boundaries also connect the Center more comprehensively with Orange County's many diverse communities. The CDI supports flagship artistic programming and a wide range of projects that celebrate innovation, nurture creativity and engage audiences of the future. It is home to the ABT Gillespie School and the School of Dance and Music for Children with Disabilities. The Center Without Boundaries develops partnerships with non-cultural organizations to help them in their own efforts to respond to the ever-changing needs of the community.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is also proud to serve as the artistic home to three of the region's major performing arts organizations: Pacific Symphony, Philharmonic Society of Orange County and Pacific Chorale, who contribute greatly to the artistic life of the region with annual seasons performed at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

In addition to Segerstrom Center for the Arts as a presenting and producing institution, it also identifies the beautiful 14-acre campus that embraces the Center's own facilities as well as two independently acclaimed organizations: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory and a site designated as the future home of the Orange County Museum of Art.

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