Jazz fans take notice! You are invited to celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month with a free lunchtime outdoor concert by the Rocky Gordon Jazz Quartet on Wednesday, April 28, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Centennial Plaza. Bring your lunch and enjoy smooth jazz, be-bop, funk, fusion and rhythm and blues. This city of Las Vegas Downtown Cultural Series performance is open to the public and located at 401 S. Fourth St. adjacent to the Historic Fifth Street School. Call (702) 229-3515 or visit www.artslasvegas.org for more information.
A native of Philadelphia, Pa., Gordon is the son of renowned jazz tenor saxophonist Irv Gordon, who accompanied famous singers such as Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. The family moved from Philadelphia to Las Vegas when Rocky was young and when work was plentiful for musicians on The Strip. Rocky Gordon now resides in both cities.
From his studies at an early age on classical piano, Gordon continued his musical journey behind a set of drums as a student of big band great Irv Kluger. Self-taught on saxophone, Gordon later studied composition, arranging and orchestration privately with jazz legend Wes Hensel, who later left Las Vegas to spend the 1970s and ’80s as director of arranging and orchestration at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Over time, Gordon developed the saxophone into an integral part of his career professionally, solidifying the foundation of his playing under the mentoring of his father, the great jazz tenor saxman Bill Trujillo, and as a graduate of jazz great Dave Liebman’s saxophone master class.
“Saxophone is a true jazz instrument, and jazz is the main reason I play it,” Gordon said. Focusing most of his playing on the soprano-like saxello, Gordon also is a fine alto saxophonist. For more information on Gordon, go online to http://rockygordon.com.