POTTSTOWN PA – A Pottstown resident whose talent and ability as a jazz saxophonist has been heralded across the country was announced Thursday (Aug. 9, 2012) as the winner of the first “Charlie Parker Cutting Contest,” a music competition conducted by a weekly jazz, blues and comedy program hosted on National Public Radio.
Ben Britton – who teaches music classes at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, and Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia – was voted by listeners of the nationally broadcast “12th Street Jump” program as its contest winner for his improvisation of the Parker song, “Cherokee.” Parker was a highly influential American jazz saxophonist and composer who died in 1955.
“12th Street Jump” co-host Pete Weber used the social media platforms Twitter and Facebook early Thursday morning to announce his listeners’ decision.
The five-year-old program is broadcast from downtown Kansas City MO weekly on Saturdays at midnight, but often is tape-delayed and run at other times on public radio stations nationwide. As contest winner, Britton will receive a trip for two Aug. 22-26 to Kansas City and spend four nights at the historic Phillips Hotel. He’ll also appear as a guest artist during the show’s annual tribute to Parker.
Britton’s website describes him as ” an active performer throughout the northeast United States.” He has recorded several albums and performs throughout the area, including regular appearances at Chris’ Jazz Cafe, a dedicated jazz club in Philadelphia.
Photo from BenBritton.com