Houston Person Plays New Jersey's Swiss Global/OSPAC

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Fans of tenor
saxophonist, Houston Person, can find him performing as part of the Swiss
Global OSPAC Jazz Festival in West Orange, New Jersey.  The Ninth Annual Jazz Festival will take
place over two days, Friday, September 16th and Saturday, September
17th from 1:00 to 9:00 p.m.

“I played for OSPAC 3
or 4 times.  It’s great for the community,
stated Houston. “A lot of the musicians live in NJ so it’s a chance to get to
see the people in their community.  It’s
a very nice venue.  The show is performed
on a bandstand outdoors.  It’s by a
lake.  I think it’s known as Crystal
Lake. The Festival features Arts and Crafts so it’s great for the family.  The tickets for adults are $10, $5.00 for
seniors and free for children, so in this economy the Festival is very
affordable,” explained Mr. Person.  “In
fact Gary Walker of WBGO will be the emcee this year,” continued the well-known
jazz musician.

“I am performing at
OSPAC with John D. Martino on piano, Chip White on Drums and Harvey S will also
be joining us as well” said Houston of the other musicians playing with him on
stage.  I am also coming out with a new
CD this year, October 11th to be exact.  It’s entitled “So Nice.”  There will be some Cole Porter songs in it
and a Stephen Sondheim medley.  The CD
consists of mostly jazz music but I will be adding a ting of blues.  We will be featuring songs on the new CD like
“I am Growing Accustomed to your Face,” “Easy Living,” and “So Nice,” a song I
also named the CD after.”

Born in Newberry, South
Carolina, Person was attracted to music early on.  His mother was a teacher and his father
worked for the Agricultural Department. 
“I listened to a lot of music in our home as a kid.  We had a piano in the house. I started
singing in the Church Choir and then later in my High School Glee Club.  This got me interested in music.  I went to study music at SC State
College.  I followed that up with a stint
in the Service where I met other musicians. 
After I finished the military, I went back to school and attended Hartt
College of Music in Hartford, Connecticut.   Later I met Etta Jones in a club.  I had a group by then so in time Etta just
became a part of my group,” remarked Houston who ended up performing with Etta
Jones for 30 years.

“Currently, I am doing
different projects.  I recently did a
project with vocalist Ernestine Anderson at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in Manhattan.  I am always on the road touring.  I have toured extensively in and out of the
United States.  I have booked some
performances on the West coast. I will be in San Hose, then in San Francisco.  I also have plans to perform in San Antonio,
Texas and then Toronto, Canada.  I will
also be going abroad where I expect to perform in Lockerbie, Scotland in the
Fall.  I will also be going to England
and Holland in 2012.

Houston Person has recorded everything from disco
and gospel to pop and R&B in addition to his trademark, soulful hard bop.
Best-known for his partnership with the great Etta Jones, which lasted until
her death in 2001, Person has released over 75 albums and worked with a number
of talented artists including vocalist Barbara Morrison, Ernie Andrews, Ernestine
Anderson, Della Griffin and Dakota Staton, et al.  He has recorded with the likes of Lena Horne,
Lou Rawls, and Horace Silver.  In fact,
his recording "Something in Common" with Ron Carter won the
Independent Jazz Record of the Year Award. He also received an Indie Award for
his recording, “Why Not?”  

The Swiss Global Artist
Foundation will be sponsoring the Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center
(OSPAC) this year, lending its name and support to Kate Baker, OPAC’s Executive
Director, for the Swiss Global OSPAC Ninth Annual Jazz Festival which will
feature artists such as Houston Person and his Quartet, Nat Adderly, Jr., and
the Nat Adderly Jr., Quartet, Ali Jackson Quintet featuring Hope Boykin of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater; Sheila
Jordan Quartet featuring Steve Kuhn with Cameron Brown; pianist Bill Charlap;
Brazilian All-Stars: Romero Lubambo, Nilson Matta, and Claudio Roditi.  The talent line-up includes singer and OPAC
Executive Director, Kate Baker, and guitarist, Vic Juris, as well as Ralph LaLama,
Anthony Pinciotti and Harvie S, Bob DeVos and Oscar Perez with the West
Orange/NJ All Stars featuring Mike Lee, Ed Howard, Vince Ector and special
guests Pam Purvis and Kevin Burke. 
Emceed by WBGO’s Gary Walker, OSPAC is held in
an open-air setting complete with international food vendors, artisans and
crafts, a health spa center, and entertainment and activities for
children.  The Saturday showcase will
include “Paint the Music” led by Nitza Horner, a teaching artist and
freelance educator affiliated with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where
patrons will paint what they hear.

“I always enjoy
performing at OSPAC,” said the tenor saxophonist, a producer in his own right,
who served for years as a house tenor for HighNote Records and is currently known
as a master of popular songs which he performs in a relaxed, highly accessible
style reminiscent of the great Ben Webster. 

The Swiss Global OSPAC
Jazz Festival will be held in an Amphitheater at Crystal Lake, located at 4
Boland Drive, West Orange, NJ. 
Interested parties can call 973-669-7385 and/or go on line by visiting www.OSPAC.org for the program schedule and travel
and ticket information.  In case of
inclement weather, a rain date has been set for Saturday, September 24th.

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