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SNL band member, Roxbury native to perform at park he grew up near

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  July 19, 2011 12:31 PM

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A Saturday Night Live Band member who hails from Roxbury will perform at a free concert at Highland Park on the first Sunday in August.

TuffusZimbabwe.jpg
(Courtesy: Berklee College of Music)
Tuffus Zimbabwe.
Tuffus Zimbabwe, a jazz pianist and composer, has been heard by millions of TV viewers each week since last fall as the keyboard player with the Saturday Night Live Band. He grew up down the street from the park he’ll perform at during the annual “Jazz at the Fort” concert on August 7 at 5 p.m.

Six years ago, Zimbabwe earned a dual degree in music business and film scoring from Berklee College of Music, which will co-host the concert along with the city’s ParkArts program. He also holds a master of music degree in jazz studies from New York University, according to a Berklee press release.

In addition to his late-night televised role, he directs youth service music at the Mount Zion Baptist Church of Newark, N.J. and performs at clubs and festivals across the country with Ron Reid's “Sunsteel” and Jovol Bell's “Reality,” and with his own group, the release said.

"The Jazz Urbane" will also perform at the Highland Park show.

The group, which includes Berklee professors, students and alumni, is described by the college as “a contemporary music movement that infuses jazz with great R&B songwriting, melodies, grooves, and style. The idea, philosophically and demographically, is to share artistry that is mature, sophisticated, and creative, while providing a groove that anyone can feel. The result is a progressive cultural musical response.”

The concert is part of Berklee’s “Summer in the City” series, which features over 80 free outdoor concerts throughout the Boston area from May to September. Natixis Global Asset Management is presenting sponsor of the 2011 concert series.

"Our partnership with Berklee brings some of the world's finest jazz musicians to Boston's neighborhood parks," said Mayor Thomas M. Menino in the release. "Music lovers of all ages and the musicians themselves welcome these opportunities to enjoy the arts in great outdoor spaces like Highland Park."

Roxbury Community College provides parking in the lot on the corner of Columbus Avenue and Cedar Street, the announcement said. Folding chairs, blankets, and picnics are encouraged. The park is wheelchair accessible. The rain date is August 14. For more information visit berklee.edu/events or call 617-747-6057.

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