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Jazz Cafe: Patience Higgins

September 20, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

“If you like your jazz uptempo and overflowing with vitality, look no further. Patience Higgins is a cooking, muscular-toned tenorman somewhere between Coleman Hawkins and Sonny Rollins — a musician great enough to have toured with Ellington, David Murray and Stevie Wonder. He really shines with a big, speedy bebop tenor sound.” -ArtsWestchester.org

Patience Higgins, a native son of Greenville, South Carolina, is a multi-reed musician who plays all the saxophones, flutes, clarinets, oboe and English horn. His globetrotting career playing jazz, rhythm and blues, gospel, and rock and roll has taken him to every continent but Antarctica. In 2015, he joined Smokey Robinson, Queen Latifah, James Taylor, and Usher at the White House in concert for President and Mrs. Obama. In 2009, he performed in a private concert at New York City’s Gracie Mansion for Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Playing baritone sax, Higgins joined an amazing group of talented musicians on vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater’s Grammy Award winning “Dear Ella,” a tribute to the great Ella Fitzgerald. He’s also performed in the bands of Tony award-winning Broadway shows, including Hair, Chicago, Dreamgirls, The Wiz, and Avenue Q. His talent has also led to him performing on movie soundtracks, most notably director Spike Lee’s iconic School Daze.

Higgins has toured and/or performed with a who’s who of musical talents in almost every genre: Stevie Wonder, The Pointer Sisters, Wilson Pickett, Yoko Ono, Aretha Franklin, Paquito D’Rivera, Nicholas Payton, Bobby Watson, Cleo Laine, Dionne Warwick, gospel’s Donnie McCracken, tap dancing sensation Savion Glover, and the late, great Ray Charles and Lionel Hampton.

For the last twenty years, Higgins has been a member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, first under the direction of Mercer Ellington and now Paul Ellington. His brilliant solos on alto saxophone and flute have made him an integral part of the T.S. Monk Sextet for over a decade.

In addition to playing in venues and festivals all around the world, Higgins has played in many other NYC venues, such as Smoke Jazz & Super Club, Minton’s, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Lenox Lounge, The Blue Note, Smalls Jazz Club, Birdland, and The Kitano.

When not on the stage or the road, Higgins mentors the next generation of performers privately and through Jazzmobile. He also teaches at New York Jazz Workshop. “I had mentors who stressed the importance of passing on the knowledge. It was very important to them, and it’s also very important to me.”

Doors at 6:30. Following our featured artist is an Open Mic hour.

$10 Members, $15 non-members, includes snacks and a beverage (wine, beer, soda)

The Jazz Cafe is curated by John Wilmeth and Steph Walker. Music Director pianist John Wilmeth is a multi-instrumentalist with experience in many genres. He has worked with the likes of Jerry Garcia, Boz Scaggs, Al Jarreau, James Moody, and Jon Hendricks. Open Mic Emcee Steph Walker is a singer of many genres, and a poet, and has performed at such popular jazz venues as Silvana’s, Flute Bar, The Metropolitan Room, and The Triad.

The John Wilmeth Jazz Trio includes: Dave Meade, renowned drummer/percussionist.  Dave has worked with a wide spectrum of artists and musicians, including Nancy Wilson, Keely Smith, and Tony award winning singers Leslie Uggams, Paulo Szot, and Diahann Carroll. Meade has toured with Aretha Franklin, The Mamas and the Papas, and the Arturo O’Farrill Afro Cuban Orchestra, to highlight a few.  Back in the day, Dave played nightly at the world-famous Rainbow Room; and bassist Ratzo Harris, a Thelonious Monk Competition semi-finalist, has worked with such musicians as Les Paul, Charles Lloyd, and Betty Carter. “Ratzo Harris plays bass that’s living root and steel girder.” (blogcritics).

“Wonderful! A step back in time.” -D. Berkowitz, Asheville, NC

“Totally delighted the whole evening! Classic intimate place, delightful people, and energy the whole time!” – W. T., Brentwood, New York, NY

“The venue for the music was wonderful. There were round tables complete with table clothes and nice mood lighting. The chandeliers were dimmed and it was a nightclub atmosphere. The music was excellent and then there was an open mike so I got to see a number of talented neighborhood folks get up and do their thing. Some people even felt moved to dance. I loved it!” -G. Walsh, Fair Lawn NJ


September 20, 2019
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm


Ceremonial Hall (4th Floor)
2 W 64th St
New York, NY 10023 United States
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