‘Giants of Jazz 18’ Honors Jazz Pianist George Cables at SOPAC Nov. 28

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The following is from The South Orange Performing Arts Center:

George Cables

George Cables

The South Orange Performing Arts Center and John Lee & Jazz Legacy Productions proudly present Giants of Jazz 18, this year honoring jazz pianist George Cables, on Saturday, November 28 at 8 p.m.

The night will include performances by jazz luminaries Gary Bartz, Don Braden, Tommy Campbell, Sharel Cassity, Larry Coryell, Sullivan Fortner, Roberta Gambarini, Mark Gross, Russell Hall, Roy Hargrove, Billy Harper, Jimmy Heath, Freddie Hendrix, Vic Juris, Victor Lewis, Jeb Patton, Justin Robinson, Claudio Roditi, Wallace Roney, Ameen Saleem, Evan Sherman, Lenny White and Buster Williams. There may be late additions to the roster as more artists stop by to honor Mr. Cables.

Tickets are $50-$60 and can be purchased online at www.SOPACnow.org or by calling the box office at (973) 313-2787.

George Cables was born in New York City in 1944 and was classically trained as a youth. He attended the High School of the Performing Arts, and then Mannes College of Music.

By 1964 he was playing in a band called The Jazz Samaritans which included such rising stars as Billy Cobham, Lenny White. and Clint Houston. Gigs around New York at the Top of the Gate, Slugs, and other clubs attracted attention to Cables’ versatility and before long he had recorded with tenor saxophonist Paul Jeffrey, played on Max Roach’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and earned a brief 1969 tenure at the piano bench with Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Collaborations and recordings with tenor saxophonists Joe Henderson and Sonny Rollins (Next Album), trumpeters Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw (Blackstone Legacy), and vibist Bobby Hutcherson made Cables’ wide-ranging keyboard skills, often on electric piano, amply evident. Demand for his sensitive accompaniment increased and by the end of the 1970s, Cables was garnering a reputation as everyone’s favorite sideman.

Cables has performed and recorded with some of the greatest jazz musicians of our time, including: Joe Henderson, Roy Haynes, Max Roach, Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Sarah Vaughn, Tony Williams, Bobby Hutcherson and Dizzy Gillespie. He has emerged as a major voice in modern jazz and is currently performing and recording as a soloist, with trio and larger ensembles, and as a clinician in college jazz programs. He is noted for his fresh interpretations of classic compositions and for his innovative style of writing.

Giants of Jazz was founded in 1997 by John Lee to honor impressive musicians and to keep jazz alive and well in the South Orange area, which many jazz musicians call home. It was devised as a way to not only honor excellence in musicianship, but also to award those who have had an impact within the jazz community through teaching and mentoring younger musicians.

SOPAC programs are made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.


Since 2006, SOPAC has been serving as a premier performing arts center in the region. SOPAC offers innovative artistic and cultural experiences for diverse audiences in an intimate, inviting environment. The premier arts center hosts a variety of live performances, community events and education programs for all ages. To further expand its offerings, SOPAC has a partnership with the Juilliard School of Music to present Juilliard @ SOPAC—a series featuring upcoming musicians from the acclaimed conservatory. SOPAC is home for Seton Hall University Arts Council’s performances, including Classical Concert Series, Jazz N’ the Hall performances and Seton Hall Theatre productions. SOPAC also presents performances by its theater company in residence, Midtown Direct Rep, and its dance company in residence, Lydia Johnson Dance. For more information, visit SOPACnow.org.

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