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Performance  |  SOLD OUT: COLTRANE: Nasar Abadey, George Caldwell, Joe Ford and Jerry Livingston

Co-presented by the Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Collective, part of a three-day John Coltrane festival in celebration of the jazz icon's 93rd birthday

Friday, September 20, 2019, 8–10 pm

Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Auditorium  


Purchase Tickets Online Here:


Call 878-6011 for Members Benefits

$25 General Admission; $10 Burchfield Penney and Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Society Members

 Opening performance: Maestro Henri Star and the Muhammad School of Music Chamber Players

Joe Ford

Longtime saxophonist, Joe Ford, has a stunning and diverse career that proves a musician’s evolution is worth the years that go into it. “People who haven't seen me as a leader will be surprised. My music isn't about hooks and gratuitous soloing. It has a wide variety of styles allowing the quality of the songs and musicianship stand out. I hope to encourage people to increase their listening palettes. "The development of Joe Ford’s unique style is the result of a lifetime of preparation and diverse musical experiences. Born in Buffalo, New York, Joe grew up in a family that granted him the opportunity to be surrounded by different forms of music. Fostering his artistic aptitude early on, Joe began playing piano at age 7 and switched seamlessly to the saxophone at age 11. While in high school and later attending college as a music major, he performed with a variety of campus groups, guest performers and local funk bands. "All the styles I grew up with and have played professionally, funk, gospel, classical, avant-garde and jazz, are within me. Though I've been playing professionally for many years, every note I play is brand new, providing a current overview of what I'm about at the present time."

After graduating from Central State University, Joe returned to Buffalo to teach music and direct a school band and chorus. In addition to his ‘day’ job, he continuously worked with local groups and house bands where he backed up such touring acts as The Miracles. Ironically, when he stopped teaching and started to tour with a Top 40 band he was hired as a pianist; not a saxophonist. In 1973, as co-leader and co-producer with tenor saxophonist Paul Gresham, and drummer Nasar Abadey, the locally popular Coltrane/Miles-influenced jazz band, BIRTHRIGHT was formed. This alliance resulted in the release of two critically acclaimed albums for Freelance Records: ‘Free Spirits’ and ‘Breath of Life‘. During this time Joe also played with the Buffalo Jazz Ensemble, a group featuring future members of Spyro Gyro. After an invitation to join the McCoy Tyner Quartet, Joe relocated to New York City, and has since established himself as one of the strongest independent voices in jazz. His robust alto and velvety soprano sound has since kept him in high demand.

Since his arrival, Joe Ford has appeared on more than 80 albums and soundtracks, including New York Undercover, the popular Fox police drama. His performances have been witnessed at over 300 jazz venues & festivals with The McCoy Tyner Big Band, Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band, Kenny Kirkland, Abdullah Ibrahim, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Freddy Cole, Malachi Thompson, Charles Fambrough, Nova Bossa Nova, and John Blake. Joe Ford has played on two Grammy winning albums and three Grammy nominated albums. As a member of The Fort Apache Band, and other groups, Ford proved to be a pivotal player helping the bands become winners of the Downbeat Critic’s Poll Award, The World Beat Group Readers Poll Award, a New York Jazz Award, multiple Playboy Jazz Poll awards, The Seagrams Jazz Talent Search and a Jazz Journalist Award.

Fords' legacy was solidified in 2004 when he was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame. Throughout his vibrant career, Joe has stood out as a teacher, composer, pianist and saxophonist. His style is in the tradition of John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter and Jackie McLean, with a personalized approach to improvisation. Joe Ford is continually reaching new audiences in the best way possible; through heartfelt, intensely performed music that strikes a chord with jazz aficionados, fans and critics alike.

Nasar Abadey

Drummer and Composer Nasar Abadey is the founder, leader and driving force of SUPERNOVA®. This band performs music from the threshold of Jazz to beyond space and time, while having an artistic license to express their compositions through traditional African rhythms, bebop, fusion, Afro-Cuban, Afro Brazilian, modal and free form. The band’s musical inspirations include, but are not limited to, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie and many more.  Based in Washington, DC Abadey has also built a solid reputation as a sideman with several groups, and has performed with many national artists throughout his career. Abadey began playing drums at age five, drawing influences from powerhouse drummers such as Tony Williams, Max Roach, Roy Haynes, Elvin Jones, Art Blakey and cousin Frankie Dunlop, to name a few. Nasar Abadey creates music which he refers to as Multi-D: multi-dimensional, multi-directional.

Nasar Abadey’s band SUPERNOVA’s® debut CD, Mirage was released on Amosaya Records, and his sophomore CD Diamond In The Rough was released on DPC Records.  SUPERNOVA® was selected by the US State Department and the Lincoln Center as Ambassadors to tour with the American Music Abroad Rhythm Road. This one month tour took them to five (5) countries in East Africa; Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia, Zambia, and Mozambique.  Abadey has performed with many jazz greats, and has appeared in various music festivals internationally. His credits include: Amiri Baraka, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Rouse, Gary Bartz, David Sanchez, Cyrus Chestnut, Gregory Porter, Sonny Fortune, Ella Fitzgerald, Eartha Kitt, Kenny Kirkland, Gary Thomas, Stanley Turrentine, Sun Ra, Frank Morgan, Bobby Hutchinson, Pharaoh Sanders, Russell Malone, Malachi Thompson, Andrew White, and others. 

Mr. Abadey’s Eleven Piece (11) piece SUPERNOVA® Chamber Orchestra, which includes strings, was invited by Jason Moran to the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage to perform in recognition of International Jazz Appreciation Day.  The Washington Renaissance Orchestra, Abadey’s sixteen piece (16) big band premiered a concert at the historic Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC as a tribute to African American Music Month (June).  Abadey often includes vocals with these ensembles, and is the founder and artistic director of both.

On two separate occasions the Strathmore Mansion in Rockville, MD honored Mr. Abadey as the Artist in Resident (AIR) Mentor first for vocalist, Integrity Reeves, and drummer, Isabelle DeLeon; and the following year to mentor soul vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, Dante Pope; and  alto saxophonist, Trey Sorrells.

Additionally, he has appeared in various festivals including the San Remo (Italy), Montreal (Canada), Cap City (DC), Virgin Island (Caribbean), JVC (NYC), Morocco (Africa), Chicago Jazz Festival, Iowa City Jazz Festival, D.C. Loft Jazz Festival, Atlanta Jazz Festival, Mellon Bank Jazz Festival, (Philadelphia), The East Coast Jazz Festival, the Free World Jazz Festival (DC), International Children’s Festival (Seattle), Guatemala City Jazz Festival, Duke Ellington Festival, DC Jazz Festival, and the Mid Atlantic Jazz Festival among others.

Mr. Abadey is currently a Professor of Jazz Percussion in the Jazz Studies Department at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD

George Caldwell

A fully tenured jazz piano legend who has served with the Count Basie Orchestra, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, as a sideman extraordinaire, and as leader of his own ensembles. Renowned as performer, composer, band leader and teacher, Caldwell presided over the ivory 88s for the Basie Orchestra when the group won a “Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance” Grammy in 1996. He’s one of the pre-eminent swing players in modern jazz and instrumental in co-organizing the annual Coltrane celebration at the Burchfield Penney.

 Jerry Livingston - Bass

Part of

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    Special Event  |  SOLD OUT: Coltrane

    Thursday, September 19, 7 pm–Saturday, September 21, 2019 8:30 pm

    Co-presented by the Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Collective and Burchfield Penney, part of a three-day John Coltrane festival in celebration of the jazz icon's 93rd birthday