We are proud to announce that drummer Carl Allen and saxophonist Rick Margitza will coach the finalists of our Keep an Eye Jazz Award.
With over 200 recordings to his credit, the gifted Milwaukee-born, New York-based drummer, sideman, bandleader, entrepreneur, and educator, Carl Allen’s profound and propulsive percolations provided soulful and syncopated support for nearly three decades.
Born on April 25, 1961, Allen grew up on gospel, R&B, and funk, but later turned to jazz after hearing an LP by the legendary saxophonist Benny Carter.
Allen joined trumpeter Freddie Hubbard a year before his graduation, served as his Musical Director for eight years, and recorded several recordings with the trumpeter including Double Take and Life Flight. Allen also played with Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Benny Golson, Christian McBride, Jennifer Holliday, J.J. Johnson, Rickie Lee Jones, Sammy Davis Jr., Branford Marsalis, Kenny Garrett, Lena Horne, Ruth Brown, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Bobby Hutcherson, Mike Stern, Nellie McKay, Terence Blanchard, Phil Woods and many others. Education has always been part of my mission Allen says. Art Blakey taught me the importance of nurturing the next generation of musicians. 'Every generation needs someone to help them get to the next level and this what I am hoping to do'.
Currently Carl Allen is serving as the Artistic Director of Jazz Studies at The Juilliard School in New York City.
Rick Margitza stands out as one of jazz music’s most distinctive voices on the saxophone with more than 10 solo albums to his name including 3 albums for jazz’ most prestigious label, Blue Note Records.
Starting on the violin at age 4, continuing on to classical piano and then oboe before finally settling on the saxophone, Rick Margitza’s diverse musical beginnings couldn’t be more evident in his body of work to date. Taking on classical studies with Donald Sinta and jazz with Sonny Stitt, Gerry Niewood, Michael Brecker and David Liebman, Rick made a point of surrounding himself with some of jazz history’s most masterful saxophonists.
After completing formal studies at Wayne State University, Berklee College of Music, University of Miami and Loyola University New Orleans, Rick found himself touring with legends such as Maynard Ferguson and Flora Purim.
Cementing his position as one of jazz music’s most respected saxophonists was his stint with Miles Davis starting in 1989. In addition to his time with Miles, Rick has gone on to play with jazz’ most celebrated A-listers including McCoy Tyner, Bobby Hutcherson, Tony Williams, Eddie Gomez, Chick Corea, Maria Schneider, Dave Douglas and many more.
His 10 albums as a leader document the evolution of his playing as well as his growth as a composer. Margitza has also composed music for orchestra including two symphonies and a saxophone concerto. He currently lives in Paris and his most recent recording ‘Bohemia’, on the French label ‘Nocturne’, is his most personal to date. Recorded after moving to Paris in 2003, this project is completely different in style and content from any of his other recordings. The instrumentation ranges from violins, tablas and sitars, to harmonicas, voices and ethnic guitars.
Margitza is a guest soloist with the Jazz Orchestra of the Concergebouw in Amsterdam, April 25.