"Two Jazz Diamonds" celebrated at Catskill Mountain Jazz Series

The Belleayre Music Festival celebrates “Two Jazz Diamonds,” a 75th birthday celebration for David “Fathead” Newman and Curtis Fuller, with Cedar Walton, Rufus Reid, Jimmy Cobb and special guests will be held Saturday, Aug. 16 at 8 p.m. in Highmount. The second weekend of the festival’s Catskill Mountain Jazz Series gets underway on Friday, Aug. 15 at 8 p.m. when Ken Peplowski plays the Belleayre Jazz Club.
David “Fathead” Newman and Curtis Fuller are two of the most celebrated names in jazz, each having carved stellar careers that span more than half-a-century.
David “Fathead” Newman’s began work in 1954 as an original member of Ray Charles’ Band. Newman would spend 12 years with the Ray Charles Band, initially as the baritone player and later as star tenor soloist.
In 1959, Newman recorded his first album as a leader, “Fathead: Ray Charles Presents ‘Fathead,’” which included Newman’s now-famous “Hard Times.” After a short stint in Dallas, he relocated to New York City, where he played with artists like Lee Morgan, Kenny Drew Sr., Billy Higgins, Kenny Dorham and numerous other jazz musicians playing the New York circuit. He traveled the east coast with his own quartet and eventually began touring Europe and Japan.
Newman also spent a fair amount of time in the studio, collaborating with artists such as Herbie Mann, Aretha Franklin, Hank Crawford and Aaron Neville.
Over the past 20-plus years, Newman has recorded a number of albums. His most recent effort, 2005’s “I Remember Brother Ray,” became the No. 1 most-played jazz album in the country.
Newman has appeared on “Saturday Night Live” and as a guest with the CBS orchestra on “The Late Show with David Letterman” as well as in Robert Alman’s film “Kansas City.”
Curtis Fuller is an American “hard bop” trombonist who studied music in high school and began honing his skills in an army band before entering the music scene as part of the quintet of fellow Detroit musician Yusef Lateef.
The quintet moved to New York in 1957 and Fuller recorded his first sessions as a leader for Prestige Records. In the late 1950s, Fuller recorded extensively and was a founding member of The Jazztet with Benny Golson and Art Farmer in 1959. From 1961 to 1965 he played with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, and continued to record for various labels throughout the 1960s.
In the late 1960s, Fuller toured with Dizzy Gillespie’s band and then with the Count Basie in the mid- to late-1970s.
Perhaps his best-known recorded performance came as a sideman on John Coltrane’s “Blue Train” album. He is the only trombonist to have recorded with John Coltrane, Bud Powell and Jimmy Smith, all in the late summer of 1957.
Tickets for the “Two Jazz Diamonds” show range from $65-$45 for reserved seating and $15 for lawn seats.
Referred to by the late Mel Torme as “magic,” Ken Peplowski is a celebrated clarinetist and saxophone player, as well as a charismatic entertainer who has been charming audiences for over 30 years.
He has played the Newport Jazz Festival, the Hollywood Bowl, pops concerts and European festivals and has played on the soundtracks to Woody Allen films. In addition, he has collaborated with the likes of Mel Torme, Peggy Lee, Madonna, Rosemary Clooney, Steve Allen and Charlie Byrd.
The Ken Peplowski show in the Belleayre Jazz Club is general admission with all tickets $20.

Close season
Saturday, Aug. 23 at 8 p.m.: Country Superstar Vince Gill. Reserved $75-$45, $20 lawn.
Sunday, Aug. 24 at 1 p.m.: Kaleidoscope - A Children’s Classical Music Experience featuring The Teaching Artists Ensemble of the New York Philharmonic. Free.
Saturday, Aug. 30 at 8 p.m.: Singer/Songwriter/Movie and TV Star Chris Isaak. Reserved $75-$45, $20 lawn.
Tickets for all shows are now on sale via Ticket- master.com and Ticketmaster Express: 866 448-7849.
Please call 800 942-6904, ext. 344 or visit: www.belleayremusic.org. The festival’s e-mail address is: festival@catskill.net. 
Belleayre Music Festival concerts are held on the grounds of Belleayre Mountain in Highmount.