Contact: Veronica Corpuz, 412-471-6082
Pittsburgh, PA: The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s JazzLive series presents the legendary Lou Donaldson and his quartet on Tuesday, November 23, 2010, at 8:00 pm at the Cabaret Theater. Tickets ($25-$30) are on sale at the Theater Square Box Office, via phone at 412-456-6666, and online at pgharts.org. JazzLive is sponsored by Bank of New York Mellon, DUQ 90.5 FM, the New Pittsburgh Courier, and Pittsburgh Jazz Society.
Jazz critics agree that “Sweet Poppa Lou” Donaldson is one of the greatest alto saxophonists of all time. He began his career as a bandleader with Blue Note Records in 1952 and, at the age of 25, he found his sound, though it would continue to sweeten over the years -- earning him his famed nickname --“Sweet Poppa Lou.”
He cut a series of classic records for Blue Note in the 50’s that showcased many musicians who made their first records as sidemen for him: Horace Silver, Clifford Brown, Grant Green, Blue Mitchell, Donald Byrd, Horace Parlan, and others. After also making some excellent recordings for Cadet and Argo Records in the early 60s, Lou’s return to Blue Note in 1967 was marked by one of his most famous recordings, Alligator Bogaloo. Lou was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters by North Carolina A & T University and a scholarship was established in his name that is awarded to the most gifted jazz musician at North Carolina A & T University each year. He was inducted into the International Jazz Hall of Fame and is the recipient of countless other honors and awards for his outstanding contributions to jazz, America’s “classical music.”
At 83, he is one of the truly great active figures in hard bop. He continues to tour nationally, playing in New York at the Village Vanguard and twice a year and the Birdland Club. He also attends many jazz festivals and concerts around the world. He still plays with the same power and dexterity of his youth, while bringing a hearty sense of humor to the bandstand. “Blues Walk,” Donaldson’s theme song, as well as “Alligator Boogaloo,” his first big hit in the funk era of the late 1960’s, are always the highlight of every session.
His current quartet features the musical excellence of Randy Johnston on guitar, Pat Bianchi on organ and Fukushi Tainaka on drums.