Archive for April, 2013

Benny Golson, Carl Allen Quartet to Perform at NCCU Jazz Festival

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Benny-GolsonThe 23rd Annual North Carolina Central University Jazz Festival will feature performances by saxophonist Benny Golson and the Carl Allen Quartet. The festival, from April 15–20, will also include performances by the NCCU Jazz Ensembles, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, the NCCU Jazz Faculty group, student combos and the UNC–Chapel Hill faculty jazz group.

Benny Golson, a legendary tenor saxophonist, composer and arranger, has performed all over the world in a career that began in the 1940s when he was a teenager in Philadelphia. Now 84 years old, he was inducted into the International Academy of Jazz Hall of Fame in 2009. He has played alongside Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Earl Bostic, Art Blakey and other noted musicians. He is the composer of such jazz standards as “Killer Joe,” “I Remember Clifford,” “Along Came Betty,” “Stablemates,” “Whisper Not,” “Blues March,” “Five Spot After Dark” and  “Are you Real?” Over the years, he has recorded more than 30 albums.

Carl Allen is a Milwaukee-born, New York-based drummer, sideman, bandleader and educator. Starting in the early 1980s when he was still in college, he joined trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, served as his carlallen musical director for eight years, and recorded several albums with him. He has also played with Benny Golson, Jennifer Holliday, J.J. Johnson, Rickie Lee Jones, Sammy Davis Jr., Branford Marsalis, Lena Horne, Ruth Brown, Herbie Hancock, and many others. In addition to maintaining a busy performing and recording schedule, he is currently the artistic director of jazz studies at the Juilliard School in New York City. In the Carl Allen Quartet, formed just in the past year, he is joined by Tim Green on alto and soprano saxophone, Xavier David on piano and Yasushi Nakamura on bass.

Click here to visit the website and purchase tickets.

Here is the schedule for the Festival:

NCCU Jazz Combos II, III & IV; Big Bands II
April 15, 7 p.m., B. N. Duke Auditorium – No ticket is required

Vocal Jazz Summit – NCCU Vocal Jazz Combo & Ensemble & High School Students
April 16, 7:30 p.m. – No ticket required

NCCU Faculty Jazz Group & UNC Chapel Hill Faculty Jazz Group
April 17, 8 p.m., B. N. Duke Auditorium – No ticket is required

Master Class Workshop
April 18 at 2:30 p.m. and April 19 at Noon, Jazz Band Room – No ticket is required

Meet & Greet
April 18, 7 p.m., Beyu Caffe, Durham – Complimentary – No ticket is required

Opening Performance featuring Benny Golson & NCCU Vocal Jazz Ensemble
April 19, 8 p.m., B. N. Duke Auditorium – Purchase $15 Ticket/Combo Ticket $30

Opening Performance featuring Carl Allen Quartet & NCCU Jazz Ensemble
April 20, 8 p.m., B. N. Duke Auditorium – Purchase $20 Ticket/Combo Ticket $30

Carl Allen

Monday, April 1st, 2013


Carl Allen’s multifaceted career provides the perfect template for what a modern musician should be. As Sid Gribetz of Jazz Times wrote, “more than just another fine drummer, Carl Allen has it all together as a bandleader, businessman, and producer, becoming a force in today’s jazz world.”

Allen maintains an exhaustive schedule of recording, touring and teaching. He remains active as a sideman with Christian McBride and Inside Straight, Benny Golson and others. As a leader most recently leading The Carl Allen Quartet.

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. He studied with drum instructor Roy Sneider and band director Robert Siemele. His first hometown gigs were with sax greats Sonny Stitt and James Moody. Allen studied at The University of Wisconsin at Green Bay from 1979 to 1981, and transferred to William Patterson College in New Jersey, where he graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies and Performance.


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, 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, Benny Green, Cyrus Chestnut, Joe Henderson, Billy Childs and many others. Allen’s phenomenal sideman discography also includes Jackie McLean (Dynasty), Donald Harrison (Indian Blues, Noveau Swing), Donald Byrd (A City Called Heaven), and Art Farmer (The Company I Keep).

Allen is currently on faculty at the Julliard School of Music in New York.

The Carl Allen Quartet at NCCU’s Annual Jazz Festival on Saturday, April 20, at 8pm, in the B. N. Duke Auditorium.

Originally published on

Photo references:

  1. Photo on WNCU’s homepage –
  2. Photo #1 shown above –
  3. Photo #2 shown above –