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Randy Weston

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Randy Weston (b. Brooklyn, New York, April 6, 1926) is an American jazz pianist and composer.

Weston has traveled throughout Africa and lived in Morocco, and the musics of these nations have influenced his work significantly. He has performed with Moroccan gnawa musicians, touring with them in 2006.

“When Randy Weston plays, a combination of strength and gentleness, virility and velvet, emerges from the keys in an ebb and flow of sound seemingly as natural as the waves of the sea.” ~Langston Hughes

No musician has been more devoted to exploring the connection between Afro-American classical music (jazz) and the ancestral spirits and rhythms of the African continent than Randy Weston. The Brooklyn-born pianist began his professional career nearly 55 years ago as part of the bebop revolution in New York, playing with Art Blakey, among others, in a manner that synthesized the harmonic and rhythmic innovations of Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell with those of his earlier influences: Count Basie, Art Tatum, Nat King Cole, and Duke Ellington, and developing a personal approach to the piano once poetically described by Langston Hughes as “a combination of strength and gentleness, virility and velvet emerges from the keys in an ebb and flow of sound seemingly as natural as the waves of the sea.”

Weston insists that, even though he is often credited with bringing the music of Africa to the fore in jazz, it was simply a natural evolution in the music’s continuum. “People like Eubie Blake and Duke Ellington, the great artists of the ‘20s, William Grant Stills, people like that did a lot of composition about Africa.

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