Florida A&M University (FAMU) Department of Music Professor Longineu Parsons will perform alongside Broadway’s elite at the world-renowned Carnegie Hall on June 23.
Parsons, a celebrated trumpet player, will appear in the Broadway reunion production, “Black Stars of the Great White Way Reunion: Live the Dream.”
The reunion pays tribute to the role African Americans have played in Broadway’s history and will honor the work of such entertainment legends as Louis Armstrong, Eubie Blake, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Louis Jordan, Paul Robeson and Fats Waller.
Parsons will share the stage with some of Hollywood and Broadway’s greatest contributors such as Obba Babatunde, Keith David, Dule Hill, Norm Lewis, Phylicia Rashad, Chapman Roberts, Glenn Turner, Cicely Tyson and Ben Vereen.
“It’s a big day at the office, a good day at the office,” said Parsons, who will play a tribute to Armstrong. “I look forward to being a part of this historic occasion.”
Parsons himself is etched in the rich history of Broadway. He was the lead trumpeter in the hit Broadway musical revue “Bubbling Brown Sugar” for several years.
“Black Stars,” billed as the largest cast of African-American men to share a Broadway stage in history, is Parsons’ second performance at Carnegie Hall. In 1993, he made an appearance during a tribute to the Nicholas Brothers, taking the stage with celebrities such as Bill Cosby and Lena Horne.
In addition to Carnegie Hall, Parsons has also played at some of the world’s most iconic concert halls, including the Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center and Theatre de Paris.
The protégé of jazz legend and FAMU alumnus Nat Adderley, Parsons has performed in more than thirty countries and has been invited to play for such dignitaries as the king of Morocco, the president of Gabon, the royal family of the Netherlands, the president of Austria, the U.S. ambassador to France, the royal family of Monaco and members of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
He has performed and recorded with an impressive list of music greats, including: Adderley, Calloway, Frank Foster, Billy Harper, Philly Joe Jones, Herbie Mann, David Murray, Sam Rivers, Cecil Taylor, Joe Williams and Nancy Wilson.
According to Parsons, among the many achievements he’s made in his career, his role as a music educator is at the top of the list.
“I leave work with a smile,” he said, “because everyday I’m with these wonderful young people and I get to share what I have with them.”