TK Blue, saxophones
Vince Ector, drums
Paul Beaudry, bass
Carlton Holmes, piano
September 20, 2015
Palatine Park, Germantown, NY
TK Blue opened this concert with an exquisite flute rendiiton of his A Single Tear of Remembrance in honor of his cousin and mentor Rob Rondon who passed away just weeks before the concert which he planned. From that moment on the audience of just about 100 were caught in TK and his bandmembers’ spell. Chuck Stewart, the jazz photographer whose images graced the walls at Jazz in GTown’s first concert returned to Germantown for the performance.
From the original announcement:
The TK Blue Quartet will perform selections from Blue’s suite Follow the North Star and will celebrate John Coltrane’s 89th Birthday
T.K. Blue, on alto and soprano sax, flute and kalimba, will be performing with band members Vince Ector on drums, Paul Beaudry on bass and Carlton Holmes on piano in Palatine Park at 5 o’clock on Sunday, September 20.
In 2007, Blue received a commission from the NYSCA and Transart Inc. to compose a piece of music dedicated to the early African-American presence in the Hudson Valley area of upstate New York. T.K. chose to write a suite based on the life of Solomon Northup and his book Twelve Years a Slave. This book was made into a film by Steve McQueen (Brad Pitt productions) and won the Oscar for best picture in 2013.
Northup was born in Minerva and as a young man lived and worked in Saratoga Springs. He was kidnapped in 1841 and published his memoir in 1853. An archaeological dig led by Christopher Lindner of Bard College at Germantown’s oldest house has revealed that beginning in 1840 generations of an African American family made it their home.
TK Blue excels as a performer, composer, arranger, clinician and teacher. He has played with a long list of international artists too numerous to list–Randy Weston, Don Cherry Abdullah Ibrahim, Sam Rivers Archie Shepp, Dizzy Gillespie, Bobby McFerrin, Benny Powel, Paquito D’Rivers, to name a few.
Jessica Sendra of Jazz Times Magazine wrote in 2007:
. . . Follow the North Star takes a very dark chapter in American history and recounts it with astounding beauty and grace. . . There are hints of both Pharaoh Sanders and Yusef Lateef in Blue’s saxophone, flute and kalimba work, and as always his deep-rooted love of African jazz shines through.