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T.K Blue

T.K. Blue (Eugene Rhynie)

Director of Jazz StudiesAssistant Professor of Music

B.A., New York UniversityM.A., Teachers College, Columbia University

Description

T.K. Blue has released his eighth CD as a leader entitled "Follow The North Star," which has garnered rave reviews and critical acclaim. He received a commission from the NYSCA and Transart Inc. to compose a piece of music dedicated to the early African-American presence in the Hudson Valley area of upstate New York. T.K. chose to write a suite based on the life of Solomon Northup and his book “Twelve Years a Slave.” In a review of the piece, Curtis Davenport of Jazz Improv wrote, “Mr. Blue takes us on a wordless but yet richly satisfying journey through Northup's life, from his ancestry to his return to his family, making all of the painful, harrowing and joyous stops in between ... I found the music to be most compelling when listened to from beginning to end, like a symphonic movement."

T.K. is a musician of the highest caliber who is at the peak of his creative output. His artistry is found on over 60 recordings, and he has performed with a long list of great international artists such as Don Cherry, Abdullah Ibrahim, Sam Rivers, Archie Shepp, Randy Weston, Dizzy Gillespie, Pharoah Sanders, Melba Liston, Johnny Copeland, Billy Higgins, Reggie Workman, Chico Hamilton, Stefon Harris, Eric Reed, Regina Carter, Bobby McFerrin, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Benny Powell, James Moody, Paquito d’Rivera and Jimmy Scott, just to name a few. T.K. holds a bachelor’s degree in music and psychology from NYU as well as a master’s degree in music education from Teacher’s College, Columbia University.

After several years as an adjunct professor at Suffolk Community College and Montclair State University, T.K. is now a full-time professor and the director of jazz studies at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University.

T.K. was part of an historic photo session in Paris, France, called "A Great Day In Paris," which featured close to 60 musicians from the USA who resided there. While residing in Paris, Blue made his first recording as a leader entitled “Egyptian Oasis.” This recording sparked several State Department tours in eastern, western and northern Africa. These tours in Africa were extremely spiritual and deep rooted in a cultural awareness. Blue was very fortunate to experience first hand many cultures and various styles of traditional African music. T.K. is deeply indebted to various organizations such as Jazzmobile, Jazz-interactions, the Henry Street Settlement and the Muse for their support of his jazz studies and performances. Despite his busy schedule, T.K. has found time to teach and mentor budding musicians. He has taught music education and performance from the Pre-K level straight up to the university and graduate levels. His passion for music and teaching is evident in his personal expression. C.W. Post has provided T.K. with the perfect environment and opportunity to grow as a teacher and as a performer.

Specialties

Jazz Performance, Improvisation, Composition, Arrangement, Jazz History, World Music, History of Rock ‘n’ Roll, the Business of Music

Publications

  • Featured in many issues of Jazz Magazine (1982-1986)
  • Cover of Saxophone Journal Magazine (1987)
  • Featured in the Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz (1999)
  • Cover of Jazz Hot Magazine (2001)
  • Featured in “Reed All About It” (2002)

Received many excellent reviews on all of his recordings. His latest release, “Follow the North Star,” was reviewed by Downbeat, Jazz Improv, Swing Journal (Japan), The Washington Post, The Baltimore City Paper, Jazz Times Magazine, The Sanford Herald, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), Dimanche Soir (France), Jazz Hot (France) and Jazz Magazine (France).

Recordings

  • Leader, “Follow the North Star” (2008)
  • Leader, “Rhythm in Blue” (2005)
  • Leader, “The Tide of Love” (2001)
  • Leader, “Eyes of the Elders” (2000)
  • Leader, “Another Blue” (1999)
  • Leader, “Introducing Talib Kibwe” (1997)
  • Leader, “Taja Live at Birdland” (1992)
  • Leader, “Egyptian Oasis” (1986)
  • Side Man on over 70 recordings

Performances

Jazz artist with many groups from the metropolitan area and still performing nationally and internationally.

Performs, records and tours with vocal jazz legend Jimmy Scott and the Jazz Expressions

  • Music Director, Randy Weston and his African Rhythms Quintet
  • Musical Director, Spirit of Life Ensemble (1992-2000)
  • Performer, International Art of Jazz at Stony Brook University (1988-1995)
  • Band Leader, various jazz studies programs and concerts in the public school system
  • Performer, numerous tours, television appearances and radio broadcasts in Europe, Africa, the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and South America.

2008-2009 Performance Highlights:

  • Giants of Jazz Concert honoring Randy Weston (2009)
  • All Nights Soul at St Peter’s Church (2009)
  • Trumpets Jazz Club tribute to Thelonious Monk (2009)
  • Syracuse University with Jayne Cortez (2009)
  • Zinc Bar, NYC, with guitarist Sandro Albert (2009)
  • Lenox Lounge in NYC with Benny Powell (2009)
  • Baltimore Museum of Art with vocalist Jeffrey Smith (2009)
  • Jazzmobile Grant’s Tomb concert with Benny Powell (2009)
  • Twins Jazz Club, Washington, D.C. (2009)
  • Columbia Lake Front Jazz Series (2009)
  • Tour of Spain with Randy Weston (2009)
  • Barnes and Noble, NYC, with vocalist Gregory Generet (2009)
  • Whole Foods Jazz Series (2009)
  • Essaouira, Morocco (2009)
  • The Jazz Gallery, NYC, with Randy Weston (2009)
  • ASCAP tribute to Randy Weston, Jazz At Lincoln Center (2009)
  • Healdsburg Jazz Festival with Randy Weston (2009)
  • Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Jazz at Lincoln Center, with Gregory Generet (2009)
  • Jazz Vespers, Trinity Lutheran Church (2009)
  • Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Jazz at Lincoln Center, with Jimmy Scott (2009)
  • Branly Museum in Paris, France, with Randy Weston (2009)
  • Lenox Lounge, NYC (2009)
  • The Jazz Standard, NYC, with Randy Weston (2009)
  • Sista’s Place, Brooklyn, N.Y. (2009)
  • African Poetry Theater with Benny Powell (2009)
  • Lenox Lounge with Benny Powell (2009)
  • Tribute to Phyllis Hyman, the Triad, NYC, with Allyson Williams (2008)
  • Zinc Bar, NYC, with The African Blue Note (2008)
  • Fes, Morocco (2008)
  • San Francisco Jazz Festival (2008)
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina (2008)
  • “Slave Routes,” NYU Performing Arts Center (2008)
  • Blue Note Jazz Club, NYC (2008)
  • Sanford, N.C. (2008)
  • Iridium Jazz Club, NYC (2008)
  • Lenox Lounge, NYC (2008)
  • Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, NYC (2008)
  • Jazzmobile at Grant’s Tomb & Marcus Garvey Park (2008)
  • Museum of Natural History, NYC (2008)
  • Twins Jazz Club, Washington D.C. (2008)
  • Baltimore Museum of Art (2008)
  • The Sunside Jazz Club, Paris, France (2008)
  • Trumpets Jazz Club, N.J. (2008)
  • The Zinc Bar, NYC (2008)
  • Tilles Center (2008)
  • The Kitano Jazz Club, NYC (2008)
  • Sista’s Place in Brooklyn, NYC (2008)
  • St. Peter’s Church, NYC (2008)
  • The Allen Room, Jazz at Lincoln Center (2008)
  • Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Jazz at Lincoln Center (2008)

Films

  • Featured in “Slave Routes” (documentary), New York University (2009)

Honors/Awards

  • Recipient, New York State Council on the Arts Commission (2007)
  • Recipient, Minority Group Graduate Scholarship, Columbia University
  • Recipient, Martin Luther King Jr. Undergraduate Scholarship Award, New York University
  • Recipient, Minority Group Achievement Award for Excellence, New York University
  • Member, National Honor Society

Affiliations

  • Member, Association for Jazz Educators
  • Member, Committee to Re-establish Newark Symphony Hall as a Major Jazz Venue

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