Tenor Saxophonist George Coleman and Pianist Harold Mabern Join the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra for an Evening of Memphis Jazz on Tuesday, October 16 at 8 PM in Juilliard's Peter Jay Sharp Theater

Start Date

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Press Release Images

Tenor Saxophonist George Coleman (Photo by Lena Adasheva)
Tenor Saxophonist George Coleman (Photo by Lena Adasheva)
Pianist Harold Mabern
Pianist Harold Mabern


The Juilliard Jazz Orchestra opens its season with “Memphis Jazz” on Tuesday, October 16 at 8 PM in The Peter Jay Sharp Theater with guest artists, tenor saxophonist George Coleman and pianist Harold Mabern. Coleman has performed with the legendary Miles Davis, among others, and Mabern has played with many jazz greats including Wes Montgomery. James Burton III conducts the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra. Ben Wolfe is assistant conductor.

FREE tickets will be available beginning October 2 at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 6 PM. For further information, call (212) 769-7406 or go to www.juilliard.edu.

The program includes: New York (by Donald Brown, arranged by Bill Mobley), Second Thoughts (by Mulgrew Miller, arranged by Bill Mobley), Waltzing Westward (by Harold Mabern, arranged by Bill Mobley), I’ll Wait and Pray (by George Treadwell/Jerry Valentine), 49th Street (by Bill Mobley), Black Scholars (by James Williams, arranged by Bill Mobley), Farewell to Dogma (by Mulgrew Miller, arranged by Bill Mobley), Father (by George Coleman, arranged by George Coleman), and Alex the Great (by Harold Mabern, arranged by Bill Mobley).

Members of the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra are: Jordan Pettay and Braxton Cook (alto saxophone); Chase Baird and Dean Tsur (tenor saxophone); Adison Evans (baritone saxophone); Enrique Sanchez, Alphonso Horne, Gabriel Medd, and Riley Mulherkar (trumpets); Andrew Clausen, William Hawley, and Matthew Musselman (trombones); Adam Moezinia (guitar); Samora Pinderhughes (piano); Luke Sellick (bass); and Jimmy Macbride (drums).

Tenor saxophonist George Coleman grew up in Memphis and was self-taught on the alto saxophone. At the age of 17, he was invited to tour with B.B. King after the guitarist heard him in a local club. He then spent three more years on the Memphis scene and writing for popular artists, including the Moonglows and Ray Charles. In 1955, he rejoined B.B. King’s band, but this time on tenor saxophone. In 1956, he moved to Chicago, along with Booker Little, where he joined Walter Perkins’ group, The MJT+3. When Max Roach heard him with this group, he invited him to join his own quartet featuring Kenny Dorham on trumpet. Later that year, Coleman moved to New York and has made his home here ever since. Miles Davis called in 1963 and re-united Coleman with his Manassas High schoolmates, Harold Mabern and Frank Strozier. For two years, Coleman was a member of that quintet along with Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams, recording four classic albums – Seven Steps to Heaven, My Funny Valentine, Four, and Miles Davis in Europe – before departing to pursue other projects. Coleman freelanced from 1964-1974, and then focused on his own groups. He has performed with some of jazz’s most prominent figures including Lionel Hampton, Lee Morgan, Elvin Jones, Charles Mingus, Betty Carter, Chet Baker, Shirley Scott, Charles McPherson, Cedar Walton, and others. For the past 30 years, he has been a major force in jazz education. In addition to his private teaching, he has been a consultant and teacher at The New School, Long Island University, NYU, and Mannes College of Music, and has conducted workshops, seminars and master classes at universities all over the United States.

Jazz pianist Harold Mabern was born in Memphis, Tennessee and attended Manassas High School like other Memphis jazz artists George Coleman, Booker Little, and Frank Strozier. He taught himself piano and was influenced by pianist Phineas Newborn. He has worked with Lionel Hampton, Donald Byrd, Miles Davis, J.J. Johnson, Lee Morgan, Sonny Rollins, Freddie Hubbard, Wes Montgomery, Joe Williams, and Sarah Vaughan. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Mabern led four albums for Prestige Records, performed with Lee Morgan, and recorded with Stanley Cowell’s Piano Choir. He recorded as a leader for DIW/Columbia and Sackville and toured with the Contemporary Piano Ensemble (1993-1995). Mabern is a longtime faculty member of William Paterson College and a frequent instructor at Stanford Jazz Workshop.

Juilliard Jazz Orchestra conductor James Burton III, a New York-based trombonist, is quickly earning a reputation as one of the most sought-after performers and educators in the jazz community. Mr. Burton holds a master of music degree and Artist Diploma in Jazz Studies from Juilliard and was a summa cum laude graduate of the Hartt School. Mentored by jazz luminaries Jackie McLean and Curtis Fuller, Mr. Burton has performed and recorded alongside many jazz greats, including Illinois Jacquet, Gerald Wilson, James Moody, Frank Wess, Benny Golson, Jimmy Heath, Slide Hampton, Ron Carter, Joe Chambers, and Christian McBride. He also has performed with the Ray Charles Orchestra, Duke Ellington Orchestra, Count Basie Orchestra, Lionel Hampton Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie All-Stars, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, and Roy Hargrove Big Band. Mr. Burton is on the Juilliard faculty as professor of jazz trombone, jazz theory and conductor of the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra. He was the former director of Jazz Studies at Snow College in Ephraim, Utah.

About Juilliard Jazz

Juilliard Jazz is one of the newest programs of performance education inaugurated by The Juilliard School. Founded in 2001 and having recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, Juilliard Jazz offers degrees at bachelor, master, and artist diploma levels. The curriculum combines tailored studio and coursework with professional performance opportunities designed to successfully integrate students into a thriving jazz environment. In addition, its faculty and students conduct national and international master classes and clinics.

Highlights from the 2011-2012 season include a tribute concert to legendary bassist Ron Carter in March 2012 with guest artists Benny Golson, Herbie Hancock, Jim Hall, Hubert Laws, and Christian McBride; and concerts during the season with guest artists, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon; singer Jane Monheit with the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra performing music from the American Songbook; saxophonist Joe Lovano with the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra; and Gary Smulyan in “The Music of Gerry Mulligan” with the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra.

During summer 2012, Juilliard Jazz participated in summer jazz camps in West Palm Beach, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Melbourne, Australia; and Ephraim, Utah at Snow College.

Today, the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra and its ensembles play more than 50 performances annually including appearances at the Detroit Jazz Festival and New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and tour to destinations, such as Costa Rica, Colombia, Japan, and Brazil. Juilliard Jazz Ensembles perform regularly at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola and the world-renowned Blue Note in New York City. For the past several seasons they also have enjoyed week-long runs at Jazz at Lincoln Center with guest artists such as Ernie Andrews, Kenny Barron, Tom Harrell, Sean Jones, Lew Tabackin, Gerald Wilson, Bobby Watson, Frank Wess, and others.

These talented Juilliard young artists are taught by today’s most active, innovative, and respected jazz musicians. The experienced Juilliard Jazz faculty combines a remarkable variety of technical and musical skill, as demonstrated on stages and in recording studios worldwide.

The Juilliard Jazz Quartet, its faculty ensemble, features Juilliard Jazz Artistic Director, drummer Carl Allen, saxophonist Ron Blake, bassist Ron Carter, and pianist Frank Kimbrough.                                                   

About Carl Allen, Artistic Director of Juilliard Jazz

With more than 200 recordings to his credit, the gifted Milwaukee-born, New York-based drummer, sideman, bandleader, entrepreneur, and educator, Carl Allen’s profound and propulsive percolations provided soulful and syncopated support for more than three decades.

Born in 1961, Mr. Allen grew up on gospel, R&B, and funk, but later turned to jazz after hearing an LP by saxophonist Benny Carter. He studied with drum instructor Roy Sneider and band director Robert Siemele. His first hometown gigs were with sax greats Sonny Stitt and James Moody. He studied at the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay from 1979 to 1981, and transferred to William Paterson College in New Jersey, where he graduated in 1983 with a bachelor of music degree in Jazz Studies and Performance. Mr. Allen joined trumpeter Freddie Hubbard a year before his graduation, served as his Musical Director for eight years, and made many recordings with the trumpeter including Double Take and Life Flight.

Mr. Allen also played with Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Jennifer Holliday, J.J. Johnson, Sammy Davis Jr., Branford Marsalis, Kenny Garrett, Lena Horne, Ruth Brown, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Bobby Hutcherson, Mike Stern, Nellie McKay, Phil Woods, Benny Green, Cyrus Chestnut, Joe Henderson, Billy Childs, and many others. Mr. Allen’s sideman discography also includes Jackie McLean (Dynasty), Donald Harrison (Indian Blues, Noveau Swing), Donald Byrd (A City Called Heaven), and Art Farmer (The Company I Keep).

Dreamboat, released in 1988, was Mr. Allen’s first CD as leader, followed by Piccadilly Square, The Pursuer, Testimonial, and Get Ready, his 2007 Mack Avenue debut release with bassist Rodney Whitaker. Mr. Allen was again joined by Mr. Whitaker for a second album, Work to Do.


Tuesday, October 16, 8 PM, The Peter Jay Sharp Theater

“Memphis Jazz”

Juilliard Jazz Orchestra

James Burton III, conductor

George Coleman, tenor saxophone

Harold Mabern, piano


The Juilliard Jazz Orchestra performs the music of Memphis jazz musicians featuring tenor saxophonist George Coleman and pianist Harold Mabern.

FREE tickets will be available October 2.