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Tyrone Birkett & Emancipation

Tyrone Birkett is a contemporary jazz saxophonist who leans heavily toward his roots in gospel music. Born in 1959, as a youth in the Bronx, New York City, he attended the Holiness Church and was inspired by the music heard there. While learning the saxophone beginning at age ten, he was listening to Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, and Grover Washington, Jr., as well as jazz fusion pioneers Herbie Hancock and Weather Report but was more profoundly influenced by black gospel icons. He started exploring the legacy of Thomas A. Dorsey, Edwin Hawkins, and Andrae Crouch, among many others. Concurrently he was interested in the soul music of Stevie Wonder and disco music of the time. By age 15 he was performing at the St. Peters Lutheran Church, won his high school's Louis Armstrong award and scholarship, landed at the Aaron Copland School of Music, and was subsequently mentored by jazz saxophone legends Budd Johnson and Frank Foster. Taking these lessons to heart, he was a sideman for Lonnie Plaxico and Little Richard, worked with Randy Brecker and Barbra Streisand, and formed his band with his wife, vocalist Paula Ralph-Birkett. He did AIDS awareness and NBA Cares cancer benefit concerts, was a contributor to the film Proud featuring Ossie Davis, and released his solo project In the Fullness of Time in 2006. ~ Michael G. Nastos
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Postmodern Spirituals: The Promised Land

1. The Departure

2. The Struggle

3. The Postmodern Spiritual

4. Motherless Child Revisited

5. Strength

6. Deep River

7. Freedom Dreaming

8. The Promise

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