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Catch a free tribute to jazz bassist Charlie Haden on Tuesday

Written by
Hank Shteamer

The New Year isn't even two weeks old, and already the 2015 NYC jazz schedule is looking mighty fine. This past weekend, locals and visitors turned out in droves for Winter Jazzfest, an event that celebrates current and future stars; tomorrow, January 13, the Town Hall hosts a free tribute to a master musician we lost in 2014, bassist Charlie Haden. The show starts at 7pm and features A-listers such as Geri Allen, Kenny Barron, Jack DeJohnette, Pat Metheny, Lee Konitz and Bill Frisell.

Charlie Haden's contributions to the past 50-plus years of jazz are hard to quantify, mainly because his work never seemed bound by genre. Growing up in Iowa in the ’30s and ’40s, he sang country and folk with the Haden Family Band, then switched to bass after polio robbed him of his singing voice. From the ’50s on, he played crucial roles in landmark groups led by Ornette Coleman and Keith Jarrett, founded his own bands ranging from the activist-minded Liberation Music Orchestra to the romantic L.A.-centric Quartet West and eventually revisited his Americana roots with help from his wife, Ruth Cameron, son, Josh, and triplet daughters, Petra, Rachel and Tanya. Check out the videos below, featuring the aforementioned groups, an interview with Haden and a Haden solo performance, for an introduction to the bassist's earthy mastery.

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