At 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 7, doors will open at the Charleston Library Society for a special program: a night of exhilarating jazz and riotous storytelling to benefit the Jenkins Institute for Children.
Featuring Saturday Night Live pianist Tuffus Zimbabwe, the evening celebrates Charleston’s elaborate jazz history, specifically that of the Jenkins Orphanage Band. The band was founded in 1892, a year after the Jenkins Orphanage opened its doors on Franklin Street, by the Reverend Daniel Joseph Jenkins. Zimbabwe is the great-grandson of Reverend Jenkins, and carries the Orphanage Band’s musical blood in his veins.
Joining Zimbabwe in sharing his passion for music are Mayor John Tecklenburg, a jazz pianist trained at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and Quentin E. Baxter, a twice-Grammy nominated musician/producer, providing the evening’s backbeat. The night promises effervescence and charm, music and song, with all ticket proceeds benefiting an Institute dedicated to providing services for children in need.
Tickets to the festivities, which include a pre-concert reception, are only $40 and can be purchased online at www.charlestonlibrarysociety.org, or by calling 843.723.9912. Proceeds go directly to the Jenkins Institute for Children. Reserve your tickets soon as this will be a full and funky night.
Tuffus Zimbabwe is the great-grandson of the Rev. Daniel Joseph Jenkins, founder of Jenkins Orphanage, and the world famous Jenkins Orphanage Band. A pianist and composer from the Roxbury area of Boston, Zimbabwe comes from a rich background of artists and musicians, most notably the musical genius Edmund Jenkins, a brilliant composer and performer in the genres of Jazz and Classical music from the early 1900s. Zimbabwe, a versatile composer and master musician, started piano lessons at the age of five. At the age of 12 he explored gospel music at a local Roxbury church where he started playing piano with the men’s choir.
In his early teens, Zimbabwe joined Berklee College of Music’s City Music Program, where he began his formal training in jazz. At 18, he received the prestigious Walter Beasley Award, won the song writing competition at Berklee’s Five Week Summer Program, and was subsequently awarded the full-tuition “City Music Continuing Scholarship” to study in Berklee’s undergraduate program (class of ‘05).
Zimbabwe currently works as a keyboardist in the Saturday Night Live Band on NBC. He also works in a number of bands such as Ron Ried’s “Sun Steel” band and Jovol Bell’s “Reality.”
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg spent much of his career as a businessman and entrepreneur—a family legacy that began with the opening of his great-great-grandfather’s corner grocery store at St. Phillip and Wentworth streets in 1867. Mayor Tecklenburg founded Southern Oil Company in 1978, which he successfully owned and operated for nearly 20 years. Upon selling the business, he was appointed to serve as Director of Economic Development for the City of Charleston, where he helped lead the revitalization of Upper King Street.
Mayor Tecklenburg holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Georgetown University in Washington, DC and also attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston where he pursued his lifelong passion for music and jazz. Since becoming mayor in 2016, Tecklenburg has been committed to improving citizens’ quality of life and making Charleston a city of opportunity for all.
Educated in the public schools of Charleston County and graduate of the College of Charleston (Bachelor of Arts – Music Theory & Composition), Quentin E. Baxter cultivated his musical talents under the wings of regional legends/mentors Robert Ephraim, Oscar Rivers, Jr, Lonnie Hamilton III, George Kenney, Dr. David Maves, Teddy Adams, and Delbert Felix.
Currently touring worldwide with award-winning vocalist and composer René Marie and Grammy-nominated vocalist Freddy Cole, Baxter regularly performs many prestigious venues and festivals. He’s performed at The Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), Jazz at Lincoln Center (New York), Joy of Jazz Festival (South Africa), Toulouse Jazz Festival (France), Umbria Jazz Festival and Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi (Italy), and, of course, Spoleto Festival USA (Charleston).
The mission of the Jenkins Institute for Children is to promote and support the social and economic well being of children, families, and individuals to enable them to become productive and self-sufficient persons in their communities.
The vision for the Jenkins Institute for Children is to “Rekindle the Jenkins Dream – to Reform and Improve the Lives of Children and Families!” The Jenkins Institute, previously known as Jenkins Orphanage was founded, December 16, 1891 by Reverend Daniel Joseph Jenkins. In July of 1892 it was chartered by the State of South Carolina with the mission of providing a safe, secure, loving home environment for orphans and destitute boys and girls in need. The Jenkins Institute currently care for teenage girls ages 11 up to 21 years of age.