The Equinox Music Festival, which has grown into a multi-directional year-round program (with concerts, educational outreach, and other projects), is inaugurating its relationship with Dorchester’s Strand Theatre, and its summer programming, in grand style. On June 14, the organization will present the first Equinox Music Festival Lifetime Achievement Award to the great Brooklyn-born pianist, composer, and bandleader Randy Weston. Weston’s strong rhythmic conception owes as much to his studies in Africa as to the likes of Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk, and Weston pieces like "Hi-Fly" and "Little Niles" have become jazz standards.
At the Strand, Weston will play a solo set, preceded by the Boston Jazz Repertory Orchestra, the Equinox’s performing unit. The Strand has now become the official home of Equinox (which is run by organizer J.T. Duffy and Northeastern University music profs Leonard Brown and Bill Lowe) and of the Boston Jazz Repertory Orchestra (directed by Carl Atkins). The concert will benefit both the Strand’s renovation project and Equinox’s educational-outreach program.
The summer series, called Keys of the City, will continue with performances by Yasko Kubota and the PowerJazz Trio (June 25), the Rollins Ross Trio (July 9), the Laszlo Gardony Trio (July 23), the Frank Wilkins Trio (August 6), and the George W. Russell Trio (August 20). All concerts start at 8 p.m.; a 6 p.m. reception will precede the Weston event. The Strand is at 543 Columbia Road in Uphams Corner; call (617) 282-8000. Writen by Jon Garelick in the current issue of the Boston Phoenix