California State University San MarcosÂ awarded an honorary degree, Doctor of Fine Arts, to Charles McPherson during its commencement ceremonies on May 16, 2015.Â See photos, the diploma, the citation, and the University’s press release >>
“McPherson has not merely remained true to his bop origins but has expanded on them, both as improvising soloist and as composer. . . .his sound bold and full, he brought his own values to three of his original pieces: “Horizons,” with its shifting moods; “Illusions in Blue,” a sort of 21st Century variation on the blues with archly ingenious piano chording and the rich, almost lushly evocative “A Tear and a Smile.” Having thus displayed his dual talents as composer/player, McPherson then felt free to tear into “Cherokee” at a breakneck pace.”
Leonard Feather-Los Angeles Times
Charles McPherson interview at the Jazz Standard, NYC with Brian Pace. October 2015
“Let the Doctor play his horn” shows clips from the Jazz Standard performance in New York, and features a great interview with Brian Pace of the “Pace Report”. Brian and Charles discuss the history and some of the great musical contributors to jazz.
Charles McPherson was born in Joplin, Missouri and grew up inÂ Detroit . He studied with the renowned pianist Barry Harris and started playing jazzÂ professionally at age 19. He moved from Detroit to New York in 1959 and performed withÂ Charles Mingus from ’60 to ’72, also collaborating frequently with Harris, Lonnie Hillyer (trumpet), and George Coleman (tenor sax). Read more about Charles >>