Saxophonist DeLano leads combo in tribute to Coltrane, Parker

A quartet led by Wayne Delano pays tribute to two geniuses of the saxophone on Feb. 6 .

A quartet led by Wayne Delano pays tribute to two geniuses of the saxophone on Feb. 6 .

A quartet led by Maine saxophonist Wayne DeLano honors two jazz pioneers, John Coltrane and Charlie Parker, in a concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, 75 Russell St.

Admission to the tribute program, titled blue TRANE / BIRD at the roost, is $15, available at batestickets.com. Free tickets for a limited number of students and seniors 65-plus are available at bit.ly/oacbates.

To learn more about the VIP admission or other aspects of the concert, please contact 207-786-6135 or olinarts@bates.edu.

Now a resident of Camden, Maine, DeLano is a Michigan native who established his career in Texas. At Bates, he’ll perform with Thomas Snow, one of Maine’s best-known jazz pianists; drummer Les Harris Jr., a seasoned teacher and freelancer based in Exeter, N.H; and bassist Tim Webb, a Maine resident who plays with the free-improv group Equal Time.

Pianist and Bates Jazz Band director Tom Snow.

Pianist and Bates Jazz Band director Tom Snow.

Why Parker and Coltrane? The work done by saxophonist Parker in the 1940s and early ’50s, in collaboration with such players as trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and pianist Thelonious Monk, was pivotal in the evolution of jazz.

A pioneer in the emergence of the genre known as bebop, Parker developed harmonic approaches to soloing and chord progressions that added a new dimension to the blues and pop roots of jazz. Nicknamed “Yardbird” or just “Bird,” Parker was only 34 when he died in 1955 from the effects of addictions to heroin and alcohol.

Saxophonist Coltrane, aka “Trane,” began his career as a sideman in traditional bebop and hard bop, playing with the likes of Gillespie and Miles Davis. However, it was his forays into experimental genres in the 1960s that made him one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century.

In his brief but brilliant seven-year solo career, Coltrane pioneered free jazz — the art of playing without a set beat, harmonic structure or (at times) the conventional concept of solos — moving jazz still further from its origins. Like Parker, Coltrane died tragically young, at 40, from liver cancer in 1967.

DeLano was a longtime member of Joe McBride’s Texas Rhythm Club and appears on nine CDs with that ensemble. In Texas he also played with Dallas Unlimited, Emerald City, Moving Colors and his own quartet, which performed weekly in Dallas for 17 years.

He has received performance awards from festivals including the Detroit Montreux Jazz Festival and the Notre Dame Jazz Festival. He has shared stages with the likes of Phil Woods, Michael and Randy Brecker, Chaka Khan, Freddie Hubbard and Jimmy Cobb, and He has toured with Maynard Ferguson and Woody Herman and Joe McBride.

A bandleader, composer and educator as well as pianist, Snow is one of New England’s most versatile and sought-after musicians. He has played with luminaries such as Dave Holland, Greg Abate, Larry Coryell, Phil Wilson, Herb Pomeroy, Gene McDaniels and folksinger Jonathan Edwards. In addition to session work on dozens of recordings, he has issued four CDs as a leader, including 2013’s Friends, which features Edwards.

Snow teaches piano at Bates and leads the college jazz band.

Son of the highly esteemed drummer and retired Berklee College of Music professor Les Harris Sr., Les Jr. teaches at the University of New Hampshire, the University of Southern Maine and elsewhere. A professional musician since age 15, he was the drummer with the renowned jazz vocal group The Ritz, was a longtime member of New Hampshire jazz great Tommy Gallant’s band and has worked with numerous notable players including Diana Krall.

Webb parlayed an early interest in guitar rock into the formal pursuit of jazz bass, which he studied at the University of New Hampshire. Active as a freelancer on stage and in the studio, he has played with Dave Bryant, Eddie Gale, Dick Griffin and Charlie Kohlhase, among many others. In addition to Equal Time, he works regularly with the avant-garde groove band Future Memory.

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