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Jimmy Mcgriff, Master of the Hammond B-3 Organ, Will Perform at Ramapo College of New Jersey

(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)April 1, 2005

(Mahwah) – Jazz at the Berrie Center presents Master of the Organ Jam,” Jimmy McGriff and His All-stars on Saturday, May 7 at 8 p.m. in the Sharp Theater on the campus of Ramapo College of New Jersey.

Considered the all-time giant of the Hammond B-3, organ master Jimmy McGriff is know as one of the bluesiest” to come out of Philadelphia, the capital of the jazz organ world. His recording of Ray Charles’ I’ve Got A Woman” was a top five R&B hit and a jukebox staple of the ’60s. His All-stars are drummer Don Williams, a long-time member of McGriff’s touring band, guitarist Geary Moore and tenor saxophonist Jerry Weldon, known for his work with the Harry Connick, Jr. Big Band.

Jimmy McGriff studied at Juilliard in New York City and at Philadelphia’s Combe College of Music. His music is steeped in blues and gospel. Blues has been the backbone of most of the major jazz organists, but throughout his recording career, McGriff has stuck closer to the blues than most of them. After a stint in law enforcement, he turned his focus to the organ and studied at Combe and Juilliard, as well as privately with Jimmy Smith, Groove” Holmes, Milt Buckner and classical organist Sonny Gatewood. In 1962, while performing in Trenton, New Jersey, a scout from a record label called Jell was struck with the organist’s arrangement of I’ve Got a Woman” and offered him a contract. As McGriff’s single was taking off, Sue Records in New York purchased the master and it became a hit, peaking at No. 5 on Billboard’s R&B chart and at No. 20 on the pop list. With that and such subsequent Sue label singles as All About My Girl,” M.G. Blues,” and Bump De Bump,” the organist staked out his own musical turf.

Tickets for Master of the Organ Jam” are $21 for adults, $18 for senior citizens and $12 for youth. The Sharp Theater is located at the Angelica and Russ Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts on the Ramapo College campus. For more information call 201.684.7844.

This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

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About Ramapo College

Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The comprehensive college is situated among the beautiful Ramapo Mountains, is within commuting distance to New York City, was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and boasts the best on-campus housing in New Jersey per Niche.com.

Ramapo College provides its students with individualized attention, mentorship, and supports; hands-on learning; and a range of opportunities for service and leadership development. Its graduation and retention rates exceed national averages and it places approximately 1,000 students per year in internships in New York City. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice; is recognized as the state’s top college on the list of Best Disability Schools by Great Value Colleges; is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools; and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others.  

Ramapo College’s over 40,000 alumni are the confident, intellectually curious, self-aware, and humble people who are highly sought after and who make a positive impact at local, national, and global levels.  Ramapo College is distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com. Every student at Ramapo is enrolled in its unique and award winning Pathways Program which equips and empowers students, across the continuum of their academic career, to secure internships, pursue graduate/professional school, and/or enter the job market. 

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Applied Mathematics, Business Administration, Contemporary Instructional Design, Computer Science, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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