Memphis native and internationally acclaimed jazz saxophonist Charles Lloyd will receive a note in the Beale Street Brass Note Walk of Fame on Wednesday, April 11, at 11:00 a.m. The ceremony will take place inside Alfred’s at 197 Beale and the public is encouraged to attend. Remarks will be offered by Kirk Whalum and others.
Lloyd was born in 1938 in Memphis and he credits his upbringing in the city’s rich musical culture as a major influence on his career. He began playing saxophone at the age of nine and quickly became a child prodigy. His early teachers included legendary Memphis musicians Phineas Newborn and Irving Reason, and he was classmates at Manassas High with George Coleman, Booker Little, Harold Mabern, and Frank Strozier, who would all go on to become famous professional musicians. As a teenager, Lloyd not only learned from great Memphis musicians, but played professionally as a sideman with Bobby Blue Bland, B.B. King, Johnny Ace, and Howlin’ Wolf, and performed as a member of Phineas Newborn’s orchestra.
Lloyd joined Chico Hamilton’s band in 1960 and eventually became the group’s “music director.” In 1964, he left Hamilton's group to join alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderly, and since the 1960s, Lloyd has been among the most respected jazz musicians in the world.
His list of accomplishments is long and he has had one of the most distinguished careers of any jazz musician in the world. He has led groups that have included such players as Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette, Cecil McBee, John Abercrombie, and Michel Petrucciani. His album “Forest Flower” was the first jazz recording to sell one million copies. He was the first jazz musician to perform in the Soviet Union in 1967, and the first jazz musician to perform at the historic Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco (sharing billing with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Cream, the Grateful Dead, and Jefferson Airplane). In addition to his career as a solo recording artist, he has appeared on albums by rock artists the Doors, Canned Heat and the Beach Boys. He was honored as Jazz Musician of the year by Downbeat in 1967.
On Thursday, April 12 at 8 p.m., Lloyd will perform at Rhodes College in the McCallum Ballroom of the Bryan Campus Life Center with his New Quartet featuring Jason Moran (piano), Eric Harland (drums), and Reuben Rogers (bass). This will be Lloyd’s first appearance in Memphis since 1964, when he performed with alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderly. General admission is $15. Tickets are available for purchase in limited quantities through http://alumni.rhodes.edu/charleslloyd. (The Rhodes concert is sponsored by the Mike Curb Institute for Music, CODA at Rhodes, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Rhodes, with an additional grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission.)
The Beale Street Brass Note Walk of Fame was begun by Performa Real Estate Management in 1986 and currently is administered by the Memphis Music Foundation. Lloyd’s note is the 117th to be dedicated for the walk which stretches along Beale from Second to Fourth. For more information see http://www.bealestreet.com/wordpress/beale-street-walk-of-fame.