Methodist University Jazz Festival March 19 Featuring Guest Artist Lew Tabackin

Lew Tabackin

The Methodist University Jazz Festival, featuring special guest artist Lew Tabackin, will be held Saturday, March 19, in Hensdale Chapel. The event, which starts at 1 p.m., also includes concerts from the Fayetteville Jazz Orchestra, the Methodist University Jazz Monarchs, and the Pembroke Jazz Ensemble.

Admission is $10 for the general public, $5 with a student or military ID, or free for children 5 and younger. Tickets are available at the door. Before the festival, Tabackin will teach a private masterclass and workshop with Methodist students.

“I am so thrilled to have the opportunity for my students to hear and learn from a true jazz master,” said Director of MU Bands Daniel McCloud, who is also an event organizer. “Lew Tabackin has been around a long time, performing with some of the most significant names in recent jazz history, and it’ll be great to have him here in Fayetteville.”

To close the event, Lew Tabackin will give the capstone concert at 4 p.m. Tabackin, a flute and tenor saxophonist, was born in Philadelphia and graduated from the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music. After serving three years in the U.S. Army, he played jazz in New York City, including with the big bands led by the likes of Cab Calloway, Maynard Ferguson, Thad Jones and Mel Lewis. Tabackin also worked with Doc Severinsen and the studio band for Dick Cavett’s television show. In his early years as a performer, he also spent time in Europe as a soloist with various orchestras, including the Danish Radio Orchestra and the Hamburg Jazz Workship.

In 1968, Tabackin met fellow musician Toshiko Akiyoshi, and the two married and moved to Los Angeles, where they formed the award-winning big band known as the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra. As well as playing in L.A., he toured Japan with his wife’s orchestra and his own trio.

Tabackin returned to New York in 1982 with Akiyoshi, and re-entered the Manhattan jazz scene. Since then, he has solidified his position as a major tenor saxophone and flute artist, both live and in recordings.