'Jacofest' A Tribute to Jaco Pastorius
The late great bassist-composer Jaco Pastorius, an undeniable force on contemporary jazz during the '70s as well as a towering influence on two generations of musicians, will be feted at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York from November 20 - 23. Included in this all-star gala, produced by impresario Charles Carlini, are Pastorius colleagues and former bandmates like trumpeters Randy Brecker, Miles Evans and Lew Soloff, Saxophonists Alex Foster and Butch Thomas, Trombonist David Bargeron, keyboardist Delmar Brown, guitarist David Gilmore and drummer Kenwood Dennard. Featured bass players are T.M Stephens, Matt Garrison, and Jaco's son, Felix Pastorius. For reservations, please call the box office at (212) 582-2121 or visit www.iridiumjazzclub.com.
Crafted by Musical Director, Kenwood Dennard, this, not-to-be-missed, event, is a heartfelt devotion to his friend and fellow musician Jaco Pastorius, whom Dennard accompanied for many years. It is also an early celebration of what would have been Jaco's Birthday (on December 1, 1951).
Although Jaco Pastorius passed away over 21 years ago (on September 21, 1987), his musical legacy remains as strong today as ever. Jazz artists around the world continue to cover his compositions or offer up personal tributes to the man on their recordings, all attesting to the indelible mark that Jaco made in his relatively short career. Born in Norristown, Pennsylvania on December 1, 1951, Pastorius grew up in Fort Lauderdale and as a teenager began playing around the South Florida music scene.
Originally a drummer, he switched to electric bass at age 16 after injuring his wrist in a football game and adapted remarkably well to his new instrument. Within a year, it was clear to everyone on the scene that he possessed special gifts as a bassist. Growing by leaps and bounds, Jaco would quickly develop a wholly new and unprecedented vocabulary on the instrument. After performing in a series of local Florida bands, Pastorius was "discovered" by Blood, Sweat & Tears drummer Bobby Columby, who produced Jaco's landmark self-titled debut for Epic Records in late 1975.
Jaco joined Weather Report, the premier fusion band of the '70s, in April of 1976 and appeared on the band's groundbreaking 1977 Columbia album, Heavy Weather. He remained with Weather Report for six years, appearing on a string of acclaimed recordings including 1978's Mr. Gone, 1979's Grammy Award-winning 8:30, and 1980's Night Passage. Pastorius' second recording as a leader, 1981's Word of Mouth on Warner Bros., introduced such ambitious Jaco compositions as "Liberty City," "John and Mary" and the adventurous title track along with a full big band arrangement of his most famous composition, "Three Views of a Secret." Jaco's 1983 album, Invitation, documented his Word of Mouth Big Band on tour in Japan. He subequently toured in a scaled-down sextet version of Word of Mouth and with the PDB trio-featuring guitarist Hiram Bullock and drummer Kenwood Dennard.