Suzuki. Humphries. Dolphin. Leake. Coltrane.
Pittsburgh jazz scene legends Yoko Suzuki, Roger Humphries, Dwayne Dolphin, and Max Leake return to the Alphabet City stage for a special Valentine’s themed concert celebrating the romance of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme.
Recorded in a single session in 1964 and not only lasting, but growing in impact in the nearly six decades since its release, A Love Supreme is a defining album, given new life in this program by a sensational quartet of musicians. It is a work as immortal as its subject matter and one that should be experienced in much the same way: by any human being with a heart.
About the Musicians:
Dr. Yoko Suzuki (Alto Saxophone) is a jazz saxophonist, working in the Pittsburgh area for the past ten years. Besides playing jazz, she studies the genre as an ethnomusicologist. Her research projects explore the intersection of race, gender, and sexuality in jazz performance through the lenses of feminist and critical race theories. She currently teaches a wide variety of courses at the University of Pittsburgh.
Roger Humphries (drums) was 3-1/2 years old when his family first discovered his early talent for playing drums. He began playing professionally at the age of fourteen, and within two years, he was leading his own group at Carnegie Music Hall. In 1964 Roger went to New York to join the Horace Silver Quintet. While with Silver, Roger recorded three albums: Song For My Father, Cape Verdean Blues and Jody Grind, with Song for My Father taking its place as one of the most legendary albums of our time. Roger is rated by music critics as one of the most exciting percussionists in the business. He has provided the rhythmic beat for such greats as Ray Charles, Horace Silver, Richard “Groove” Holmes, Stanley Turrentine, James Moody, Lee Morgan, Dr. Billy Taylor, Benny Green, Lionel Hampton, Coleman Hawkins, Clark Terry, J.J. Johnson, Dizzy Gillespie, and countless others. After playing with various groups around the country, ace drummer Roger Humphries decided to organize his own group in 1972 which he calls RH Factor and in 1996 he assembled Roger Humphries’ Big Band.
Dwayne Dolphin (bass) began playing both the drums and bass guitar at the tender age of ten. By the time Dwayne was fifteen, he was on the jazz scene working with Pittsburgh greats like Roger Humphries. Upon graduating from high school, Dwayne headed for the bright lights of New York City to begin his promising jazz career. His talent was immediately recognized by Grammy Award winning trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. While touring throughout the US with Marsalis, Dwayne appeared on The Tonight Show with this award-winning quintet. Later he joined the Hank Crawford Group. Dwayne attributes Crawford with teaching him the true meaning of the blues. Throughout his career, Dolphin has had the opportunity to play and record with the “Who’s Who” of music, including Geri Allen, Nancy Wilson, Melba Moore, Fred Wesley, and Abbey Lincoln. When he is not out on the road, he can be heard in and around Pittsburgh wherever good jazz is played.
Max Leake (piano) began his musical training at age six. By the time he was 15, he was working with local Pittsburgh bands and backing up national acts in local supper clubs. At the age of 18, Max was traveling around the country with acts such as the “Ink Spots” and the “Marcels”. Max spent time playing in show-bands in the Catskill Mountains of New York backing up variety acts, comedians and singers. In 1985 he released his self-produced album Buns in the Sun. Max has been recording, composing, arranging and performing for 35 years with some of the best jazz and blues artists in the world including Roger Humphries, Stanley Turrentine, Rick Margitza, Dwayne Dolphin, Henry Johnson, Rebecca Parris, Billy Price, and Joe Negri, just to name a few. He was voted “Best Jazz Keyboardist” in the “In Pittsburgh” music awards in 1989, 1991 and in 1995. As of January of 2017, Max is an adjunct professor at the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University. In October 2019, Max was honored as a Pittsburgh Jazz Legend by Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild’s jazz program, MCG Jazz.
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