Honoring “Tootie” Heath on his 80th

Festival Internacional de JazzUV

Coming up October 21-25, 2015

One of the under-reported stories in jazz is how the art form has become a truly INTERNATIONAL art.

Great players, great venues and great festivals are springing up everywhere.

One of the most intriguing examples of this, and one many fans may not expect, is the burgeoning jazz scene in Mexico.

Cuba gets a lot of credit for being a musical powerhouse – and rightly so – but Mexico is second to none as a country that enjoys and honors music and musicians of all types including jazz.

One of the chief “instigators” of the Mexican jazz scene is Veracruz University in Xalapa, Mexico which will be hosting its seventh annual Festival Internacional de JazzUV, this year honoring Albert “Tootie” Heath.

For more information about the JazzUV Jazz Festival in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico Click here 

Tim Mayer, artistic director for the festival, hipped us to this fascinating clip:

Heath’s first album as a leader was Kwanza (The First). It was released in 1973 and has been recently remastered and is coming out on CD for the first time. It’s the very first recording on which all three Heath brothers appear, and most of the tunes are compositions of Tootie’s.

Before recording the session which featured his own compositions, Tootie took an arranging course from Yusef Lateef. Fellow students included pianist Kenny Barron and bassist Bob Cunningham. Here’s the four of them together from 1972 playing an untitled piece by Kenny Barron at the Parc Floral de Paris on April 22, of that year.


Yusef Lateef: tenor sax
Kenny Barron: piano
Bob Cunningham: bass
Albert Heath: drums, wood flute

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