Eric Alexander and Harold Mabern Quartet; Monday, August 5, 2013


Eric Alexander and Harold Mabern Quartet
Monday, August 5
Kuumbwa Jazz

“… melodic conviction, deep feeling and mature expression. – JazzTimes

Eric Alexander is considered one of the premier saxophonists of his generation. Influenced by George Coleman and John Coltrane, Alexander has come a long way since his days performing in grits ‘n’ gravy Hammond organ groups on Chicago’s South Side. Dedicated to extending the modern jazz legacy pioneered by Charlie Parker, Alexander’s quartet features veteran pianist Harold Mabern; drummer Joe Farnsworth; and bassist John Webber. Touch is the name of the quartet’s latest recording on the High Note label.

Alexander started out on piano when he was six years old, switching to clarinet in the fourth grade before moving on to alto saxophone at the age of twelve. It wasn’t until he was a student at Indiana University, in the mid-’80s, that Alexander seriously explored the possibilities of the tenor saxophone. He transferred to New Jersey’s renowned William Paterson College to continue his jazz studies with pianist Harold Mabern who became his mentor. He also studied with saxophonist Joe Lovano and bassist Rufus Reid. His professional career took off in 1991 after taking 2nd place in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, competing against two other young tyros: Chris Potter and Joshua Redman. Since then, Alexander has had a busy career performing and recording with many of his musical heroes, including Elvin Jones, Pat Martino, and McCoy Tyner. And now, as a veteran performer, he leads his own critically-acclaimed groups.

Harold Mabern’s longevity on the music scene is due in no small part to his imaginative piano and compositional skills. Keeping to a low profile in his early years, Mabern was a “sideman’s sideman” who preferred being in a supportive role rather than taking the spotlight. Nonetheless, his energetic piano playing caught the ear of the right people. From the time he set foot in New York City in 1959 – an especially creative year for jazz – Mabern found himself playing in the congregations of Harry “Sweets” Edison, Jimmy Forrest, Lionel Hampton, Roy Haynes, Miles Davis, Donald Byrd, Sonny Rollins, Freddie Hubbard, and many more. Eventually, Mabern struck out on his own as a bandleader and, in 1968 recorded his first album, A Few Miles from Memphis on Prestige Records. At that time, he was also gaining a reputation as a top jazz composer. Today, as a member of the Eric Alexander Quartet, Mabern continues to astound listeners with his eloquence at the keyboard.

Eric Alexander and Harold Mabern Quartet

DATE: Thursday, August 5, 2013
PLACE: Kuumbwa Jazz Center
ADDRESS: 320 Cedar St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
TIME: 7:00 PM
PRICE: $20/Adv $23/Door; ½ Price Night for Students. At the door.
TICKETS: Logos Books & Records, 1117 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz (831) 427-5100 and online at:
MORE INFO: or 831-427-2227

Media contact:
Sandy Sloan

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