He has played with such jazz royalty as Charlie Parker, Benny Goodman, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson and Dinah Washington
In a turn toward the pop generation, his playing has also been featured on charttopping songs by Paul Simon and Billy Joel.
But that’s not why you should know the name Toots Thielemans. The Belgian born musician created a singular, groundbreaking jazz voice for the chromatic harmonica over a half-century ago. In his hands, the instrument bears an unmistakably warm, lush and inviting sound no artist has equaled. Few have even tried.
We’re telling you this because, at age 87, the mighty Toots will be making a ridiculously rare concert appearance this weekend in Louisville. He will perform a duet concert with pianist Kenny Werner, who is a bit of an extraordinary player himself, at 3 p.m. at the University of Louisville’s Margaret Comstock Concert Hall.
Tickets are $15 and $25. For ticket info, call (502) 852-6907.
This is living jazz history in action, not to mention part of the only United States tour Thielemans has scheduled for 2010. Treat yourself, please.
We will offer a review of the concert here at The Musical Box on Monday.