|| news | schedule | biography | resume | discography | sidemen | photos | press | contact || ||
Jazz is rooted in and inspired by African music and Randy Weston practices pan-Africanism through his music. He believes that the key is African music because it has the spiritual power to bring people of all races together. Africa has an abundance of those sounds and those rhythms. Africa is not only the beginning of civilization but also the future.
He calls his jazz, "African Rhythms". Born in Brooklyn New York, he is a composer, band leader, pianist, lecturer and cultural ambassador. One of the most prolific composers in the world, his music encompasses the strong influences of his earlier mentors, which include Duke Ellington, Count Basic and Thelonius Monk, because it is layered with African and Caribbean rhythms, resulting in a unique melody which distinguishes him from any other contemporary pianist.
He has received numerous awards; starting in the USA in 1935 with the New star pianist award of the international critics poll ; and from France, Switzerland, America and today from Nigeria.
This award is a rightful tribute to a giant, both literally and musically; a pianist whose work in Nigeria started with performances and lectures for the American Society of African Culture and continues with repeated appearances, both private and public in this country. He has lived and worked in much of North and West Africa, both as a soloist and as band leader, a lecturer and as a cultural ambassador.
His work is much
recorded by other artists in the USA, where he received a Grammy Award
nomination for best jazz performance by a big band.
The Academy du Jazz in
France who made him a recipient of their first award. He has taken his
African rhythm as far as Polynesia and Asia and worked throughout Europe,
Africa, the Caribbean and the USA, and continues to bring fresh ideas into
every composition. In the words of Duke Ellington, his music is 'beyond
category.' It is totally unique, serious dramatic, infectious and
delightful. The New York Times describes him as a 'descendant of two
strong musical personalities.
Ladies and gentlemen,
this giant nomad of jazz and African Rhythm, RANDY WESTON, is being
honored today by us for consistently enriching our lives through his
projection of the roots of jazz and for remaining so different and yet so
infectious, so accessible, so versatile, to proficient a musician.
^ Top ^