Charlotte’s Web welcomes Harlan Jefferson

Charlotte’s Web is pleased to welcome perennial favorite Harlan Jefferson in a benefit show this weekend. He’ll be performing at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21 at Lotsa Pasta, 301 S. Main St., downtown Rockford.

An On The Waterfront Best of Rockford winner for the last seven years, Harlan Jefferson has also won six RAMIs! A native Rockfordian, Jefferson began his musical career via his parents’ record collection, which included the soul and funk of the ’70s, Motown gospel of the ’60s, and the jazz and hard bop of the ’50s. At age 10, taught by his father, he began taking saxophone lessons. His father, A.Z. Jefferson, Jr., once a professional saxophonist in his youth, imparted his love of music to his three sons.

Young Harlan began studying saxophone, and by age 12, he was working in clubs and touring the area performing the national anthem at several venues including professional and semi-professional basketball and football games. He performed both as a soloist and freelancing with other bands. In fact, the Web first booked him when he was a sophomore in high school and had been selected to play in the prestigious All State Jazz Band. In his teen years, he played in high school and college bands, winning several awards. He was known as the “National Anthem Player” for in and out-of-town professional basketball and baseball games, the Rockford MetroCentre and regional college events. Later, he began putting together his own band quartets and musical events.

Potent as a saxophonist, flutist, vocalist, composer and actor, Jefferson is a very dynamic, creative and soulful artist, with a kind and beautiful heart. He likes to explore new dimensions of contemporary jazz without relying simply on technique and gimmicks. He has either played with or opened for such artists as Tower of Power, Regina Carter, Rick Nielsen (Cheap Trick), Richie Cole, Parliament Funkadelic, Lonnie Brooks-Blues legion, Jimmy Smith–organist, Floyd and Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Danny Boy, Buddy Guy, Lynn Jordan, Take 6 and many others.

Although Jefferson has played everything from traditional jazz to country to rock, his original musical style has evolved into contemporary jazz with influences of funk, hip hop and soul. Saturday night will celebrate the release of his second CD, Getting

Funky. It’s also a benefit for musicians Floyd Murphy and Matt “Guitar” Murphy, who have both suffered debilitating strokes. Join Harlan Jefferson and the Funk Attack (and guest musicians) for an evening of great music and celebration. Come early and enjoy Lotsa Pasta’s fine food—for reservations, call 962-2596.

Price of the show is $5 admission. For more information on Charlotte’s Web shows, call (815) 964-2238. This benefit is co-sponsored by Lotsa Pasta, Budweiser, WZOK, WNTA, WNIJ and iwebworks.

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