CULE Festivals and Guest Artist History: 1992-2000 (Dr. Karlton E. Hester, Director)


- BIOGRAPHIES: Wendell Harrison, McCoy Tyner
- ARTICLES: Cornell Chronicle 03-24-1996, Cornell Chronicle 04-18-1996

5th Annual Cornell University "Jazz" Festival

1996 CU "Jazz" Festival Poster (spring)

April 20
- Concert: Guest Artist McCoy Tyner performs with the Cornell University Lab Ensembles
Dr. Karlton E. Hester, director.
8:15PM - Bailey Hall, Cornell University. Ithaca, NY.

Fall Concert

December 6
- Concert: Clarinetist / saxophonist / composer Wendell Harrison performs with the Cornell University Lab Ensembles
Dr. Karlton E. Hester, director.
8:15PM - Barnes Hall, Cornell University. Ithaca, NY.


McCoy Tyner

TYNER, McCoy/Salaimon Saud, piano, composer; b. Philadelphia, Pa., 11 Dec. 1938. Own septet at 15 W. Cal Massey at 17, met J. Coltrane. 1959 w. Benny Golson, then Jazztet for 6 months. Joined Coltrane 1961, touring and rec. extensively. Led own groups since 1965, personnel incl. Sonny Fortune, Eric Gravatt, Azar Lawrence, Marvin Peterson, A. Mouzon, Gary Bartz.

(Source - Hester, Karlton E.: From Africa to Afrocentric Innovations Some Call "Jazz" - Vol. 4. Ithaca, NY: Hesteria Records & Publishing Co., 2000)

Wendell Harrison

Detroit-based jazz musician Wendell Harrison is a recording artist, performer, teacher, author and entrepreneur. His fame as a clarinetist and saxophonist has spread throughout the United States, Africa, The Caribbean, Middle East, and Europe. His instruction book, the Be Boppers Method Book I with accompanying CD and the Be Boppers Method Book II with CD, is an essential aid for young musicians. Currently, Wendell has been touring the USA performing concerts and conducting workshops.

In early years of development, Wendell attended Northwestern High School in Detroit. While attending Northwestern (noted for developing some of the finest jazz musicians in the world), Wendell met trumpeter Lonnie Hillyard, alto saxophonist Charles McPhearson, and percussionist Roy Brooks. These were the musicians that really got Wendell into playing jazz. Hillyard, McPhearson and other class mates were all studying with legendary great pianist Barry Harris and it was not long before Wendell became under his tutelage. Wendell also attended the Detroit Conservatory of Music (now known as the Center for Creative Studies). Wendell moved to New York when he was 18 years old to make his way in the music world and he did. While in New York, he worked with many famed artists such as Lou Rawls, Joe Henderson/Kenny Dorham's big band, Grant Green, Sun Ra, , Hank Crawford and Betty Carter (to name a few). Wendell also found himself sharing the stage with the likes of the late Eddie Jefferson, Sarah Vaughn, and Ella Fitzgerald.

Wendell now leads his own ensemble which periodically features many known jazz stars such as Steve Turre, Vanessa Rubin, Dennis Rowland, Don Byron, Howard Johnson, Kirk Lightsey and Charles Tolliver. As a leader, Harrison has eighteen (18) releases to his credit on American record labels Tribe, Rebirth and WenHa, and international labels Soul Jazz (London England), and P Vine/Blues Interactions (Japan). Harrison's latest adventure is his famed clarinet ensemble, Mama's Licking Stick which features each member of the clarinet family ( three B flat clarinets, contra bass and bass clarinets, alto clarinet and Eb clarinet plus rhythm section). Don Byron and Howard Johnson often share the stage in this unique ensemble which continues to gain avid listeners. Enja Records in Germany, is releasing Battle of the Tenors which features Harrison with legendary jazz great Eddie Harris. Enja Records is also releasing Rush & Hustle which features Harrison's clarinet ensemble, Mama's Licking Stick.

Harrison received the Arts Midwest Jazz Masters Award and in 1996 toured with an all star ensemble, The Michigan Jazz Masters, in an international performance tour of Africa and the Middle East. In addition, Wendell also performed as a jazz master with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which featured two movements from his suite Something For Pops.


"That noble wooden instrument, the clarinet has a few heroes these days. Buddy DeFranco, Eddie Daniels, Alvin Batiste, the late John Carter, and Don Byron are integrating it into the contemporary language of improvised music., Add to that list Detroiter Wendell Harrison."
Michael G. Nastos - DOWNBEAT

"Wendell Harrison's RUSH & HUSTLE is something new under the sun." Thomas Conrad -


CORNELL CHRONICLE - March 24, 1996


Tyner brings a musical message to student musicians

Jazz pianist McCoy Tyner performs during a workshop with the Cornell Lab Ensembles on April 20 in Bailey Hall.

By Lerato Nomvuyo Mzamane and Simeon Moss
Adriana Rovers/University Photography


Cornell's fifth annual Jazz Festival was enriched last weekend by the participation of modern jazz legend McCoy Tyner. The influential pianist joined student members of the Cornell Lab Ensembles in a collaborative evening performance April 20 in Bailey Hall. Earlier that afternoon, Tyner joined the ensembles in an open rehearsal in Bailey Hall, to the delight of an audience of about 100. Tyner's deep, rich voice and laughter were a pleasant accompaniment, as he signed autographs, shook hands and discussed music with students during breaks.

Festival director Karlton Hester, assistant professor of music and the Herbert Gussman Director of Jazz Studies, worked with Tyner on the list of compositions he would play with ensembles members. "It's been a long time since I played this one," Tyner said at one point, speaking of his composition Message from the Nile. Tyner wound up playing five pieces with the students, My Favorite Things, Moment's Notice, Giant Steps, and two of his
own works. "They were thrilled," Hester said of the students' encounter with Tyner. "A lot of them hung out with him after the concert."

Born in 1938 and raised in western Philadelphia, Tyner began piano lessons at age 13, and by the time he was in junior high
school, he had formed his first band. He said his mother's advocacy was an essential element in his musical growth. A
beautician, she often encouraged him to play for her customers, he said. Tyner's collaboration with ensemble members Saturday may have provided students with the same kind of impetus and challenge.

Of Tyner's music, vibraphonist Cherise Tricia Fung '97 said during the afternoon workshop: "I find it intimidating right now. We
are going to try and play it. His music is very rich. Very complex. Very assertive." But for clarinetist Elizabeth Hays '98, excitement overcame apprehension. "I find his music full of energy," she said. "I enjoy playing it because you can take it in a lot of directions." Tyner said he hoped his visit would have a positive influence. "If you teach at all, it is because of what you can demonstrate -- the possibilities of what can happen in any musical context." he said. "And then, you hope you can inspire."

CORNELL CHRONICLE - April 18, 1996


Jazz legend McCoy Tyner heads Cornell Jazz Festival April 19-21

McCoy Tyner, one of the leading interpreters and innovators of modern jazz, will headline the Cornell Jazz Festival this weekend.

For any jazz lover, the Cornell Jazz Festival has become an annual rite of spring on campus. It's a time when the university's classical music venues make way for the sound of jazz and the likes of Beethoven and Mozart step aside for Monk and Ellington.

Best known as the pianist in John Coltrane's most famous group, Tyner also was one of the innovators of the "free jazz" movement of the 1960s. He has recorded albums with some of the biggest names in jazz history, including Art Blakey, Joe Henderson and Wayne Shorter. After Coltrane's death in 1967, Tyner launched his own recording career, turning out 26 albums and collaborating with the likes of George Benson, Pharoah Sanders and Sonny Rollins. In 1984, Tyner formed a 14-piece band, which has won Grammy Awards for Uptown/Downtown, The Turning Point and Journey.

Tyner and the Cornell University Lab Ensembles will perform Saturday, April 20, at 8:15 p.m. in Bailey Hall. The University of
Rochester jazz band will perform at 6:45 p.m. Tickets for the concert are $8 in advance; $10 at the door. Student discounts are
available. Tickets may be purchased at the ticket offices in Lincoln and Willard Straight halls, Hickey's Music Center, Ithaca
Guitar Works, Stella's Cafe and Rebop Records.

Tyner's rehearsal with the Cornell Lab Ensembles, prior to the evening performance, will be open to the public at 2 p.m. in
Bailey Hall. Tyner's appearance at the festival is supported by the Cornell Council on the Arts, the Student Assembly Finance Commission and Meet the Composer, which receives funding from the Ann and Gordon Gertty Foundation, the Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Other jazz festival highlights include:

*  performances from jazz ensembles from Hunter College, Ithaca College, Syracuse University, Temple University and the
University of Vermont on April 19, 2 p.m., Bailey Hall. Admission is free.

*  jam sessions with musicians at The Nines, 311 College Ave., and ABC Cafe, 308 Stewart Ave., on April 19, 10 p.m.

*  Rosetta Reitz, author and historian, presenting "Women in Jazz and Blues on Film" on April 21, 7:15 p.m., Barnes Hall.

*  a performance of Hesterian Musicism, the process through which composition and performance merge to create aesthetic
environments. The process is named for Cornell Professor Karlton Hester, who will perform in the jazz festival's closing event
on April 21, 8:15 p.m., in Barnes Hall.

Admission to the Reitz presentation and Hesterian Musicism is $3.

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Compiled: September 2001
Last Update: 08/22/2002

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