Dr. Randy Weston

Randy Weston, born in Brooklyn, New York in 1926, didn’t have to travel far to hear the early jazz giants that were to influence him. Though Weston cites Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Art Tatum, and of course, Duke Ellington as his other piano heroes, it was Monk who had the greatest impact.  “He was the most original I ever heard,” Weston remembers.  “He  played  like  they  must  have  played  in  Egypt  5000  years  ago.”

Randy Weston’s first recording as a leader came in 1954 on Riverside Records  Randy Weston plays Cole Porter –  Cole Porter in a modern mood   It was in the 50’s when Randy Weston played around New York with Cecil Payne and Kenny Dorham that he wrote many of his best loved tunes, “Saucer Eyes,” “Pam’s Waltz,” “Little Niles,” and, “Hi-Fly.”   His greatest hit, “Hi-Fly,” Weston (who is 6′ 8″) says, is a “tale of being my height and looking down at the ground.”

Randy Weston has never failed to make the connections between African and American music. His dedication is due in large part to his father, Frank Edward Weston, who told his son that he was, “an African born in America.” “He told me I had to learn about myself and about him and about my grandparents,” Weston said in an interview, “and the only way to do it was I’d have to go back to the motherland one day.”

n the late 60’s, Weston left the country.  But instead of moving to Europe like so many of his contemporaries, Weston went to Africa.  Though he settled in Morocco, he traveled throughout the continent tasting the musical fruits of other nations.  One of his most memorable experiences was the 1977 Nigerian festival, which drew artists from 60 cultures.  “At the end,” Weston says, “we all realized that our music was different but the same, because if you take out the African elements of bossa nova, samba, jazz, blues, you have nothing……….
To me, it’s Mother Africa’s way of surviving in the new world.”

For photographs, discography, and more information, go to www.randyweston.info

Photo: Cheung Ching Ming

Events with Dr. Randy Weston

Healing Ourselves and Our Community: Harmonizing in Retreat
September 22, 2017

The program begins with an Equinox gathering and moves into an evening dialogue about the mysticism of sound and music and the necessity of both in healing.  Saturday is a day for healers of all kinds to share modalities, to offer special gifts and trainings to the group.  In the evening, a public conversation and concert with Randy Weston and special guest, Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, son of Abode Founder Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan and grandson of Hazrat Inayat Khan, will interface (via teleconference), two mystics and the music of the soul.  This concert has recently changed venues to the Berkshire…

A Night of Mystical Music - Dr. Randy Weston in Concert
September 23, 2017

UPDATE:  To ensure the highest musical quality, the venue has shifted to the BERKSHIRE MUSEUM.  We are grateful for their willingness to partner and accommodate this magical evening!  More information can be found HERE.   Music has been the language of mystics and mundanes alike because it speaks the language of the soul.  Dr. Randy Weston, a master musician, has been influenced by the mystical voice of Sufi teacher, Hazrat Inayat Khan, father of the Abode’s founder. Join us for a night of conversation between Dr. Randy Weston and Pir Zia Inayat-Khan (via teleconference), grandson of Hazrat Inayat Khan, followed…