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K-State Today

October 23, 2015



Jazz legend, former band leader of the Saturday Night Live Band to perform Oct. 27, 28

By Steven Maxwell

Jazz legend Howard Johnson will be at Kansas State University the week of Oct. 26. He will perform with the K-State Faculty Jazz Combo at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, in All Faiths Chapel. He also will be the featured soloist with the K-State Concert Jazz Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, in Forum Hall at the K-State Student Union.

One of the top jazz soloists since the early 1960s, Johnson is a very versatile player who not only plays tuba and baritone saxophone, but alos other reeds and the trumpet. He moved to New York in 1963, where he worked with Charles Mingus, Hank Crawford and Archie Shepp. In 1966, he started a 20-year off-and-on association with Gil Evans.

Johnson's four-tuba group Substructure performed with Taj Mahal and in the late 1970s, he formed a different tuba band called Gravity that in 1996 finally had the opportunity to record — plus play — at the Monterey Jazz Festival. Johnson recorded with Crawford from 1983-1984, Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition, Jimmy Heath, Bob Moses, George Gruntz's Concert Jazz Band, and frequently with Evans' orchestra, among others. He was the band leader of the Saturday Night Live Band for one season and a member from 1975-1980. He has recorded with numerous legends including John Lennon, B.B. King, The Band, Taj Mahal, Buddy Rich, Quincy Jones and J.J. Johnson.

This event is sponsored by the K-State Diversity Programming Committee, the College of Arts & Sciences Diversity Lecture Series Grant and the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.