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Rob Middleton Receives BMI Foundation / Jerry Harrington Jazz Composers Award

Posted in News on March 22, 1999
Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra Performs Tribute Concert

Saxophonist, composer, teacher and Manhattan School of Music Masters candidate Rob Middleton was the recipient of the BMI Foundation/Jerry Harrington Jazz Composers Award, it was announced today by BMI, the performing rights organization that sponsors the award. The $2,000 prize was presented this evening during a tribute concert by the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra after a VIP cocktail reception held in Middleton’s honor. His winning piece, “Summer Solstice,” was judged the best composition developed in the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop during the past year and was performed by the Orchestra during the gala concert.

A member of the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop since 1991, Middleton has performed with such jazz greats as Wynton Marsalis, Joe Lovano, Art Blakey, Harry Connick Jr., Dizzy Gillespie and many others. He has recorded with the legendary Lionel Hampton and has performed at major jazz clubs and festivals both here and abroad including the famous Blue Note and Village Vanguard clubs in New York City, the JVC Jazz Festival, and the Grande Parade du Jazz in France. Middleton has led numerous ensembles including the NuYorkestra Big Band, and has had his compositions performed by various other ensembles as well.

| The Jerry Harrington Award was established through the BMI Foundation by Harrington’s longtime friend, BMI’s Evelyn Buckstein, in memory of the late attorney and jazz aficionado to recognize the outstanding compositions created in the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop. The award will be given each year in Harrington’s honor to celebrate his lifelong love of jazz music.

The workshop is directed by noted jazz authority and author Burt Korall, with esteemed co-musical directors Manny Albam, Jim McNeely and Michael Abene. It offers an environment where composers have the freedom to explore all avenues in the creative process with a focus on innovative large ensemble compositions in a collaborative environment. The 17-piece BMI/New York Jazz Orchestra, an integral part of the Jazz Composers Workshop, is comprised of leading New York musicians and assembles once a month to play compositions developed in the workshop. The orchestra showcases these compositions regularly to the public, most recently at the Texaco-New York Jazz Festival gala concert saluting the workshop’s 10th anniversary featuring guest soloists Jon Faddis and Phil Woods.