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Lew Tabackin is one of the few jazz musicians who maintains a dual musical personality. As a tenor saxophonist, he is a hard-driving, tough-toned player reminiscent of Sonny Rollins or Don Byas. But as a flutist, he can also sound like a highly expressive master of Asian classical music. Lew moved to New York in the mid 1960s, where he was involved with the big bands of Cab Calloway, Maynard Ferguson, Thad Jones & Mel Lewis among others. His distinctive sound has also graced various studio bands such as Dick Cavett's television orchestra. Tabackin met and married jazz pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi in 1968. Although best known for her work as a big band composer, leader and arranger, Toshiko is also a stunning pianist in the tradition of Bud Powell, and it was her piano work that first got her noticed by Oscar Peterson when he was on a tour of Japan in the 1950's. Together, Lew and Toshiko co-founded the award winning Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra, which had a New York residence at Birdland from 1996 until it disbanded in 2002. Lew Tabackin and Toshiko Akiyoshi return to Birdland this summer for five nights in an intimate quartet setting.

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