When Trinity University's KRTU kicked off its Year of Jazz in October, the station and its community organization partners aimed to stage a well-rounded concert series to showcase the station, the city's nonprofit organizations and a whole lot of varied jazz. The aim has been true.
Saturday the Year of Jazz moves to the East Side, to the Jo Long Theatre in the Carver Community Cultural Center, a building that has been a hotbed of jazz for decades. Austin trumpet ace, composer and bandleader Jeff Lofton will present his tribute to Miles Davis and the trumpet legend's '50s-era music.
Back in the day, when Jo Long, the theater's namesake and the Carver's founding director, was on the job, she tried to book Davis at a Carver jazz festival. Long tells the long story well, but the upshot is complex negotiations with the trumpeter broke down for good when Long refused to rent a forklift for Davis.
It's unlikely a forklift will be part of Lofton's requirements. The much-heralded Lofton and his band, Ray Charles Orchestra alum, noted player and educator James Polk (piano), Ed Friedland (bass) and Steve Schwelling (drums), will play Davis compositions and other songs made famous during the 1950-1959 part of Davis' career.