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January 9, 2012

Alumnus Kenny Barron '78 and President Davis Interviewed on WGBO Jazz Program

Jazz Great to be Presented the Distinguished Alumni Award by the College

President Alan Davis and alumnus Kenny Barron ’78, a renowned jazz pianist who has been described as “one of the top jazz pianist in the world,”* were interviewed during an hour-long segment on WBGO FM (Jazz88.3 FM) on Dec. 21. The interview will air on Tuesday, Jan. 17. It will be the second segment on the show; and later a link will be posted on the Empire State College website.

Kenny Barron headshot 

Jazz pianist and Empire State College alumnus will be honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award

They were interviewed by host Joshua Jackson on his music magazine program “The Checkout,” which airs every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.  Metropolitan Mentor David Fullard, who is organizing one of the center’s Black History events, arranged the interview.

 Barron, born June 9, 1943 in Philadelphia, is an American jazz pianist known for his lyrical style of playing. He has appeared on hundreds of recordings as both leader and sideman, and is considered one of the country’s most important and influential jazz pianists. His discography includes more than 40 albums under his name and a presence in hundreds of recordings by other artists. He has been playing the piano since 1955.

 Barron’s recordings for Verve have earned him nine Grammy nominations.  Barron spoke about his illustrious jazz career, while President Davis talked about the Metropolitan Center’s programming for Black history month in February, which includes an event, “Made in America: the Depth and Breadth of Jazz Performance,”  scheduled for Friday, Feb. 3 from 4 to 9 p.m. at the Dweck Center for Contemporary Arts at the Brooklyn Public Library.  The event  features  a reception with performances by The Mansoor Sabree Jazz Ensemble; and the Marcus McLaurine Trio, and discussions about  African-American contributions to jazz, the relationship between jazz, society and politics and the impact of the Black Movement in Implementing Change, and other topics of historical interest in black arts and culture.

In addition, the Heritage Award given on certain milestone occasions to recognize and honor individuals who have given of themselves, their energy and their ideals to make Empire State College a distinctive and exemplary institution within American higher education will be presented to former Metropolitan Dean Nancy Bunch, Professor Emeritus, community activist and artist Dorothy Burnham and Rudy Cain, Ph.D., the first faculty mentor and also unit coordinator at the Bedford Stuyvesant Unit.

 Barron will be given the Distinguished Alumni award.

 In addition, a multimedia art exhibit, “Breaking Boundaries,” with an opening reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m.  Friday, Feb. 23 at the Livingston Street Gallery in Brooklyn, will be held in recognition of Black History Month.  Graduate Mentor Raul Manzano is organizing that event.


*Los Angeles Times


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