The “Free Fridays” Concert Series, as part of its celebration of June as African-American Music Appreciation Month, presents 21 Blue with Longineu Parsons and Ted Shumate Friday, June 8 from 8-10 p.m. at the Bo Diddley Plaza. The public is invited to bring their blankets and lawn chairs to our beautiful downtown amphitheater, and enjoy this free world-class blues concert that will take you from Louis Armstrong to Howlin’ Wolf to Miles Davis to Jimi Hendrix and beyond.
Longineu Parsons II (trumpet/flugelhorn/flutes/lead vocals) has been hailed by critics internationally as one of the world’s finest trumpet players. Parsons has performed in some 30 countries in North, South and Central America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. He has performed for such dignitaries as the King of Morocco, the President of Gabon, the Royal Family of the Netherlands, the President of Austria, the U.S. Ambassador to France, the Royal Family of Monaco and for UNESCO. He has been a soloist with the Jacksonville Symphony, Palm Beach Pops, Tallahassee Symphony, Augusta Symphony, Gainesville Symphony and the University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestras, and is currently an Associate Professor of Music at Florida A&M University.
Parsons has performed and recorded with such musical greats as Cab Calloway, Nat Adderley, Cecil Taylor, Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, Herbie Mann, Frank Foster, Mal Waldron, Philly Joe Jones, Archie Shepp, Sun Ra, Sam Rivers, David Murray, Billy Harper and many others.
Ted Shumate (guitar) was born in Meridian, Mississippi. His earliest musical experiences were the gospel music of the Southern Baptist Church and native Delta Blues. At the age of four, his family moved to the musically rich state of Florida. The great migration of Cubans, South Americans and other Caribbean nationals in the early ‘60s brought a wide variety of experiences for the young musician to absorb, and would later help shape his musical personality. Shumate moved to Los Angeles, California in 1980 to attend the Guitar Institute of Technology (G.I.T.). Upon his graduation, he was hired as an instructor at G.I.T., while also playing and recording in the Los Angeles area. In 1983, Shumate was hired as a full-time bandleader/guitarist at the Hurricane Jazz Club in Pass-a-Grille, Florida. After a successful five-year stint at the Hurricane, Shumate left to do numerous jazz festivals and international tours when his 1987 release, "Gulfstream" (Pausa Records) with jazz legend Ira Sullivan made the top 10 jazz charts in the U.S. and abroad.
Some of the noted musicians that Shumate has played and/or recorded with are Nat Adderley (for 10 years), Ira Sullivan, Red Rodney, Gonzalo Mico, Jimmy Cobb, Kenny Drew Jr., Joey Barron, Peter Erskine, Branford Marsalis, Lucky Peterson, Sonny Fortune, Larry Willis, Al DiMeola, Walter Booker, Kenny Werner, Gary Dial, Gumbi Ortiz, Jerry Fuller, Longineu Parsons, Wynton Marsalis and many others.
21 Blue also includes Zac Chester (keyboard), Stan Piper (bass) and Longineu Parsons III (drums).
“Free Fridays” is funded in part by a Tourist Development Tax Grant from the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners in conjunction with the Alachua County Tourist Development Council and Culture Builds Florida. The entire “Free Fridays” 2018 schedule can be viewed at www.freefridaysgnv.com. The Bo Diddley Plaza is located at 111 E. University Ave. in downtown Gainesville.