Randy Weston African Rhythms Trio
A true giant of jazz piano and an important composer, whose career has remained active since the late 40’s. Inspired by Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington, his style is unique: very rhythmic and capable of different moods, it is informed by his vast knowledge of African music cultures, as well as deep sense of blues. Having often performed solo and with mid-sized groups, he now plays with his trio.
Randy Weston was born to Jamaican parents in Brooklyn, NY, in 1926. As a boy he studied classical piano, but after World War II he ran a restaurant, frequented by jazz musicians, including his favourites Count Basie and Art Tatum. Weston’s debut album as a leader was Cole Porter In A Modern Mood in 1954. Next year he was chosen “new star pianist” in Down Beat’s international critics’ poll. After working with notable jazz men, like Art Blakey, Cleanhead Vinson, Kenny Dorham and Cecil Payne, his music got more and more African influenced in the 60’s. In the next turn of the decade he lived for years in Morocco, recording with the legendary gnawa-musicians of Jajouka.
An endless amount of heavy jazz names have recorded his best-known tunes that are now standards, like Hi-Fly, Little Niles, African Sunrise, Blues Moses, The Healers and Berkshire Blues. Zep Tepi and The Storyteller are the latest albums by the honorary Doctor of Music of NY University. Naturally he also teaches music.