Music at the Library: Tuffus Zimbabwe and John Tecklenburg

The great-grandson of a visionary and leader comes home and performs with the Mayor!

 

For tickets, please click here or call (843) 723-9912.

 Tuffus Zimbabwe is bringing a rich musical tradition back to the Lowcountry, where it all began under the leadership of his great-grandfather, Rev. Daniel Joseph Jenkins, founder of Jenkins Orphanage, and the world famous Jenkins Orphanage Band. Please join us as welcome this masterful arranger and musician back to the cradle of jazz. This historic event will feature the SNL pianist Zimbabwe and Mayor John Tecklenburg. 

This Spoleto Festival USA artist sold out all of his 2016 season concerts, but you're getting another opportunity to see his brilliance. Buy your tickets while you can.

TUFFUS ZIMBABWE is a pianist and composer from the Roxbury area of the city of Boston. He comes from a rich background of artists and musicians, most notably the musical genius Edmund Jenkins. Edmund Jenkins was a brilliant composer and performer in the genres of Jazz and Classical music from the early 1900s. He was internationally renowned and is remembered for his significant contributions to the development of jazz in the United States, via Charleston, South Carolina. Tuffus, a versatile composer and master musician in his own right, started piano lessons at the early age of five. His father, a teacher, and his mother, a visual artist, both armed with knowledge of their rich musical heritage, made it a point to provide Tuffus with substantial musical exposure. Tuffus began by studying classical piano, which he did for roughly two decades. At the age of 12 he explored gospel music at a local Roxbury church where he started playing piano with the men’s choir.

In his early teens, Tuffus joined Berklee College of Music’s City Music Program, where he began his formal training in jazz. Here is where his skills and talents as a musician matured. The program offered him a laboratory to develop his compositions and a forum to perform with his peers. At eighteen, Tuffus received the prestigious Walter Beasley Award, won the song writing competition at Berklee’s Five Week Summer Program, and was subsequently awarded the full-tuition “City Music Continuing Scholarship” to study in Berklee’s undergraduate program (class of ‘05). Here he dual-majored in Music Business and Film Scoring while engaging in extensive studies in composition and performance.

Tuffus’ composition skills landed him a spot on Liz Walker’s CBS-TV morning show where he performed his original “African Breeze” with the Tuffus Zimbabwe Group. One of his original compositions was already being used weekly as the theme for this show.

In 2007 Tuffus continued his education, earning his Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from New York University ('09) . At NYU, he studied with master musicians such as Stefon Harris and Gil Goldstein to name a few. While studying with these artists contributed to Tuffus’ artistic and professional development, attending NYU opened up a new city of possibilities for Tuffus and allowed him another outlet for his creativity and compositions. Two of his works were selected for NYU’s State Orphans’ Film Symposium ('09) and NYU Doctor Radio. Tuffus was also honored as a recipient of the prestigious Barney Josephson Award for Excellence in Jazz. Tuffus Zimbabwe has maintained an active practice as a music educator, teaching for two years at NYU as Jazz Studies adjunct faculty, as well as in numerous youth programs including the Berklee City Music Program, Hamilton/Garret Music & Arts Academy, and presently the Piano Outreach of New York (PONY).

Tuffus currently works as a keyboardist in the Saturday Night Live Band on NBC. He also works in a number of bands such as Ron Ried’s “Sun Steel” band and Jovol Bell’s “Reality”. Tuffus has performed in several festivals and venues across the United States.  (www.sonicbirds.com)