Lobero Theatre Ghostlight Society honors jazz artist Charles Lloyd as Artistic Luminary
The Lobero Ghostlight Society is proud to present its first Artistic Luminary Award to Charles Lloyd in honor of his contributions to the genres of Jazz and American Roots Music on Friday, January 8, 2016 with guest artist and emcee, jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli. The Ghostlight Society is delighted to give this inaugural award to a Santa Barbara local and a true legend in the international jazz community. See more coverage from the Independent
Charles Lloyd was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on March 15, 1938. Like Memphis’ rich cultural and musical heritage, Charles Lloyd’s ancestry of African, Cherokee, Mongolian, and Irish cultures reflects a similarly rich inheritance. He was given his first saxophone at the age of 9, riveted by 1940’s radio broadcasts by Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington. Classical music also exerted a pull on the young Lloyd. He left Memphis in 1956 and headed to Los Angeles to earn his Master’s in music at USC. While his days were spent in academia, Lloyd spent evenings in L.A.’s jazz clubs, playing with Ornette Coleman, Billy Higgins, Charlie Haden, Eric Dolphy, Bobby Hutcherson and other leading west coast jazz artists.
Lloyd left Los Angeles in 1961 to join Chico Hamilton where he became the group’s music director. Lloyd joined the Cannonball Adderley Sextet in 1964, and performed alongside Nat Adderley, Joe Zawinul, Sam Jones and Louis Hayes. Lloyd left Cannonball Adderley in 1965 to form his own quartet, a brilliant ensemble that introduced the jazz world to the talents of pianist Keith Jarrett, drummer Jack DeJohnette and bassist Cecil McBee. Their first release together was a studio recording, Dream Weaver, followed by Forest Flower: Live at Monterey, (1966). Forest Flower made history as one of the first jazz recordings to sell a million copies, and the album’s firsts continued as it became a stunning crossover success that appealed to popular mass market audiences and gained heavy airplay on FM radio.
In 1967 Charles Lloyd was voted “Jazz Artist of the Year” by DownBeat Magazine. And then, at the height of his career in the early 1970’s, Lloyd disbanded the quartet and dropped from sight, withdrawing to pursue an inner journey in Big Sur. June 1981 was when Lloyd broke a decade of silence in the jazz world, making his first of many performances on the Lobero stage, followed by extensive touring in the U.S., Europe and Japan. In the past decade, he has graced the Lobero stage on a nearly annual basis. Read Lloyd’s full biography here.
The Lobero Ghostlight Society is the Lobero Theatre’s premier giving circle. Their strong and steady support illuminates our behind-the-scenes efforts and, like the steadfast bulb at center stage, keeps our vibrant theatre from ever going dark. Carrying on the commitment originally made in 1924 by a core group of donors responsible for rebuilding the Lobero Theatre in order to provide a lasting home for live performance in Santa Barbara, these leaders in the community embrace their vital role in keeping the arts alive and accessible for the community at large.
The Luminaries of the Ghostlight Society are a spark of brilliance, not only for the Lobero stage but also for the entire performing arts community in Santa Barbara. We honor the individuals whose passion and commitment provide for the artistry that illuminates our stage. The Ghostlight Society has recognized the following individuals as Luminaries: Lillian & Jon* Lovelace, Anne & Michael Towbes, Lyn & David Anderson, and Baroness Leni Fe Bland*.
If you’d like to learn more about the Lobero Ghostlight Society, feel free to reach out to Jim Dougherty at 805.679.6005