Marcus Belgrave assembles an all-star cast
Published: August 29, 2012
Belgrave's workshop was open to any young musician who was serious about playing jazz.
"I got a strong foundation from Marcus. It didn't matter that I played the violin. I could have come to him if I played the kazoo, and he would have taken me in because I was genuinely interested in the music," said violinist Regina Carter recently during a telephone interview from her New Jersey home.
Carter continued: "Marcus is a gem and he's full of stories and history. You can get a degree in music just hanging out with him."
Bassist Hurst was a 10th grader at Rochester High School when he met Belgrave at a school concert. He asked his band director if he could play a duet with Belgrave. Belgrave liked Hurst's playing and hired Hurst for some gigs.
Hurst said, other than his dad, Belgrave was his most influential mentor. Belgrave could play his butt off, conducted himself well and always lived a good life. He prepared Hurst for life as a jazz musician, instilling in him the importance of continuing the art form through teaching.
They'll take the stage to give props to a musician who's built an international reputation over the decades. And despite the health issues, he doesn't plan to slow down. He keeps looking for the next big project. It could be a record with Blue Note Records, which would be his first disc as a leader for a major label. (Although, for the record, he's been prominently featured on major label releases before. Notably, he was a star on Geri Allen's 1991 Blue Note release The Nurturer, which was pretty much a tribute to Belgrave, beginning with the title.)
Before his wife and manager, vocalist Joan Belgrave, cut the interview so Belgrave could take his scheduled breathing treatment, he was asked how he feels about being partly responsible for the successes of Hurst, Allen, Carter and Hayden.
Belgrave answered in his low, raspy voice: "It makes me want to keep on giving and keep on living."
Charles L. Latimer will post to the Metro Times Music Blahg during the festival. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
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