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'Day of Giants' showcases blues and jazz notables

February 21, 2013 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM
Location: Grossmont College Griffin Gate
Cost: free

February is Black History Month and Grossmont College’s Black History Month Planning Committee has lined up multiple events, including a rare opportunity to join two celebrated musicians – the Queen of the Kansas City Blues Jeannie Cheatham and legendary jazz artist John Handy -- as they talk about their lives, careers and craft from 2-3:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at Griffin Gate in Grossmont College’s student center.

The presentation, dubbed “Day of Giants,”  is free and open to the public.

Cheatham is a pianist, composer and author whose full-throated vocals and rousing barrelhouse piano led her to perform with rhythm and blues icon Big Mama Thornton for a decade, and, in the ‘80s, to tour with Cab Calloway. “Sweet Baby Blues,” her debut album with her late husband Jimmy Cheatham on the Concord Jazz label, was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque de Jazz, the French equivalent of a Grammy.  The album which includes “Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On,” is regarded as a blues classic.

John Handy, whose soulful and fiery saxophone style is instantly recognizable to generations of jazz fans worldwide, has performed in the world’s great concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center,  and the Berlin Philharmonic Auditorium, and at preeminent jazz festivals including the Monterey Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival and Chicago Jazz Festival. His highly acclaimed original compositions, “Spanish Lady” and “If Only We Knew, ” both earned Grammy nominations for performance and composition.

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