THE HENRY GRIMES TRIO from left: Henry Grimes, upright bass; Ronnie Barrage, drums and percussions; Lee Robertson, alto and soprano saxophones. (Photo by Rossano P. Stewart)


In celebration of Black Music Education Month, the Black Music Education Project, presented a special Jazz appreciation event at the Ira Freeman Center, located at 5006 Penn Avenue, in the Cultural District of Garfield. World renowned bassist Henry Grimes, percussionist extraordinaire Ronnie Burrage and super saxophonist Lee Robinson, came together for the first time.

The Ira Freeman Center is a community art space dedicated to enriching the community with a positive outlook in a progressive multicultural setting. The evening’s performance was well received by the community audience. Many of Grimes improvisational fusion tunes on violin, and upright bass, were complemented by the electrifying sounds of Ronnie Barrage on Drums and percussion and the riveting sounds of Lee Robertson on Sax, put the audience in a state euphoria.


As a musician and poetGrimes, has a vast repertoire, at his command. After receiving his music education at the Mastbaum School in Philadelphia and Juilliard, Grimes played bass with many master Jazz musicians of the 50’s and 60’s, including such luminaries as Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Haynes, Charlie Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Pharaoh Sanders, and McCoy Tyner. In the late 60’s Grimes had to overcome hardship after a trip to Los Angeles for a chance to play with Al Jarreau and Jon Hendricks went awry.

Left on the West Coast with a broken bass, he couldn’t pay to repair, he sold it for a small sum and faded away from the music scene.

However, great talent is hard to keep down. Keeping his faith, Grimes was rediscovered there by a Georgia social worker and fan.

In 2002, he was given a bass by William Parker and after only a few weeks of ferocious practice, Grimes emerged from his small room to begin playing concerts around Los Angeles.

In May of the following year, he made a triumphant return to New York City, where he now lives, to play in the Vision Festival. He has been at it nonstop ever since, playing nearly 500 concerts throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Middle and Far East, while recording with many of this decade’s music giants.

He can be heard on 85 recordings, including a dozen recent ones, on various labels such as: Atlantic, Ayler Records, Blue Note, Columbia, Esp.-Disk, ILK Music, Impulse!, JazzNewYork productions, Pi Recordings, Porter Records, Prestige, Riverside, Verve, etc.

(For more information about the Ira Freeman Center for Imagination contact:, or advance tickets

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