John Heard - Tribute - A Celebration with His Music and Art


John Heard: The Musician, the Artist

John lived his life in much the same manner that he played, with an uncompromising, improvisational style. His musical career spanned over fifty years, working with the likes of Count Basie, Ahmad Jamal, Oscar Peterson, Cal Tjader, BB King, and bandmates too numerous to name here. When asked about the nature of his music, John concluded, "Jazz improvisation is a series of miraculous recoveries." In addition to his jazz career, John was an accomplished visual artist for most of his life and dedicated the last decades to painting and sculpture. Though often abstract in nature, his artwork also included portraits of many jazz legends. The Paul Mahder Gallery will host a collection of John’s work.

Lorca Hart

Lorca Hart’s career as both a performer and a teacher is dedicated to the craft of drumming, jazz tradition and history, and ensemble collaboration.

Lorca has performed in a vast array of musical situations, working with many of the West Coast’s (and beyond) finest artists including Bobby Hutcherson, Ralph Moore, Carmen Lundy, Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Jordan, Craig Handy, Bennie Maupin, Azar Lawrence, Julian Lage, Hugh Masekela, Meklit, actor/musicians Jeff Goldblum and Peter Weller, Kyle Eastwood, Red Holloway, Plas Johnson, John Heard, Danny Grissett, Justo Almario, Phil Ranelin, Dave Pike, Don Menza, the Clayton Brothers, Anthony Wilson, Calvin Keys, storyteller/radio personality Joe Frank, Ronald Muldrow, Anton Schwartz, Kenny Washington, Nicolas Bearde and the Cross Hart Jazz Experience. He also leads his own trio featuring Josh Nelson on piano and Edwin Livingston on bass. His latest recording with his trio, “Colors of Jazz,” includes Ralph Moore as special guest.

Danny Grissett

Pianist Danny Grissett has been one of the most sought-after musicians on the New York and international jazz scenes for the last 20 years. Upon moving to New York, Danny quickly became a sideman of choice for artists such as Vincent Herring, Nicholas Payton, Jeremy Pelt, and Vanessa Rubin and has worked with Tom Harrell for 16 years.

Danny began his solo career in 2006 with the release of his debut recording “Promise” on the Criss Cross Jazz label. He followed “Promise” with six additional, remarkable recordings over the next 10 years, during which he split his time between sideman projects and touring his trio. This time included stints with Benny Golson, Louis Hayes, Lenny White, Buster Williams, Marcus Strickland, and Jimmy Greene. Danny and his family now live in Vienna, where he is currently on the faculty at Jam Music Lab University. His latest recording, Remembrance, was released on the New York recording label Savant. It received four out of five stars in Downbeat Magazine.

Essiet Essiet

Essiet Okon Essiet first received critical acclaim more than a decade ago as a member of Bobby Watson's post hard bop group Horizon. He has long since established himself as one of New York's premier bassists. Born in Omaha, Nebraska to Nigerian parents, Essiet credits his early exposure to many cultures, languages, folkways, and religions to the fostering of his world view of strength through diversity. "Some musicians are purists" says Essiet, "but I like to mix styles.”

He has performed and recorded with such notables as Benny Golson, Johnny Griffin, James Moody, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Cedar Walton, Sam Rivers, George Adams, Pat Martino, Kenny Burrell, Jackie McLean, Frank Morgan, Kenny Barron, Louis Hayes, Ben Riley, Jimmy Cobb, Billy Higgins, Billy Hart, Art Farmer, Abby Lincoln, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Billy Cobham, Bennie Maupin, Al Foster, Eddie Henderson, Steve Turre, Jon Faddis, Bobby Watson, Victor Lewis, Kenny Garrett, Kenny Kirkland, Mulgrew Miller, Jeff "Tain " Watts, Mike Stern, Kevin Mahogany, Kurt Elling, Fort Apache Band, Danilo Perez, Claudia Acuna, Geri Allen, and Ralph Peterson, to highlight only a partial list.

Ralph Moore

Few musicians have the history and experience as tenor saxophone great Ralph Moore. He has been a heavy weight in the jazz world for decades. His early influencers, such as John Coltrane, can be heard in his tenor sax tone and styling.

Moore has played and recorded music with an amazing list of musicians like Dizzy Gillespie, Horace Silver, Freddie Hubbard, Ray Brown, Roy Haynes, J.J. Johnson, Cedar Walton, Bobby Hutcherson, McCoy Tyner, Roy Hargrove, Oscar Peterson, Kenny Baron to name a few. As well, Moore spent fifteen years playing tenor saxophone in The Tonight Show Orchestra with Jay Leno. During that time, he collaborated with many musicians, jazz quartets and quintets. His passion and life-long study of the tenor sax can be felt in his music.

Moore has released several albums for the Landmark (now 32 Jazz), Criss Cross, Concord, Reservoir and Savoy labels. He can also be heard playing sideman on many other great jazz albums.