FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pacifica Radio KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles
KPFK 90.7 Launches the Inaugural Hero Awards & Tribute
A Benefit Awards Series for L.A.-Based Pacifica Station KPFK
Honoring Jazz Musician Billy Higgins
May 1, 2011 at Catalina Bar and Grill
6725 West Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, California 90028
$125 Admission and VIP Reception: http://tktwb.tw/hwfRS6
$75 General Admission: http://tktwb.tw/eLzzJy
This groundbreaking and long-overdue celebration of the life and work of Billy Higgins has prompted an outpouring from other legendary Jazz icons who will perform in tribute to Higgins – Charles Lloyd, George Duke, Stanley Clarke, John Beasley, Will Calhoun, Clayton Cameron, Kamau Daaood, Leon Mobley, Phil Ranelin, Eric Reed, Poncho Sanchez, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Dwight Trible, Trevor Ware and a special video tribute by Cedar Walton. John Densmore, one of the founding members of The Doors, will also be on hand to present a moving poem to Higgins. The entire night will be hosted by KPFK’s own Mark Maxwell and the TheJazzCat.net’s LeRoy Downs. KPFK DJ Carlos Niño, host of Spaceways Radio, will spin during the VIP reception.
Higgins, from Los Angeles, played on Ornette Coleman's first records, beginning in 1958. He then freelanced extensively with hard bop and other post-bop players, including Donald Byrd, Dexter Gordon, Joe Henderson, Milt Jackson, Jackie McLean, Pat Metheny, Hank Mobley, Thelonious Monk, Lee Morgan, David Murray, Art Pepper, Sonny Rollins, Mal Waldron, and Cedar Walton. He was one of the house drummers for Blue Note Records and played on dozens of Blue Note albums in the 60s. On a whole, he played on over 700 recordings, including recordings of rock and funk. In an effort to encourage and promote younger Jazz musicians, Higgins co-founded in 1989 The World Stage, a culture center in Los Angeles that provides workshops in performance and writing, as well as facilitating concerts and recordings. Higgins also taught in the Jazz Studies program at the University of California, Los Angeles.
KPFK 90.7 FM is a member station of the Pacifica Foundation, which consists of five radio stations, over 100 affiliate stations, and the Pacifica Radio Archives, responsible for preserving the voices of artists, activists and progressive journalists since 1949, when the foundation was established by peace activist Lew Hill. To further peace through broadcasting activities, Hill determined that radio sponsored by individual listeners would be the best way to ensure editorial freedom. The KPFK Hero Awards and Tribute is a means to both raise funds and advance the Pacifica Mission. The idea for the series was the result of a heartfelt on-air conversation between KPFK Music Director Maggie LePique and musician Charles Lloyd about Billy Higgins, during which LePique thought it would be relevant for KPFK 90.7 to mark the upcoming 10th anniversary of Higgins’ death by celebrating his life and body of work. She enlisted Kasey Lovelace, Music Consultant and friend of the Higgins family to develop the idea into a full-scale event. Catalina Popescu, owner of Catalina Bar and Grill, honored her long friendship with LePique and Higgins by donating her world-renowned venue for the tribute by Higgins’ esteemed contemporaries.
Kasey Lovelace, Media Consultant
KPFK Hero Awards and Tribute
KPFK MEDIA CONTACT:
Maggie LePique, Music Director
KPFK Radio 90.7 FM
Ph. (818) 985-2711 ext. 326