Booker T. - 3/4
at City Winery New York City
Tennessee-born 4-time Grammy Award Winner Booker T. Jones is a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, record producer and arranger. Booker became interested in music at a young age; as a boy he would stand outside Club Handy and listen to the musicians though he was too young to go inside. Booker began playing the oboe, saxophone, trombone and piano at school and served as the church organist. At the age of 16, Booker played baritone sax on Satellite Records’ first hit, “Cause I Love You” by Rufus and Carla Thomas. In 1962 the group Booker T. and the MGs was formed and in the same year “Green Onions” was produced and became a huge hit. Though this would have assured a prosperous musical career for Booker, he chose a different path and walked away from a life of stardom to attend the University of Indiana. During college, Booker divided his time between studying, playing with the MGs on the weekends back in Memphis and writing songs that would later become classics.
In the 1970s, Booker began to pursue his solo career, releasing Try and Love Again in 1978. Booker continued to play with Booker T. & the MGs and in 1995, they won their first Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance for “Cruisin’.” Booker is credited with producing and contributing to many albums including Willie Nelson’s hit “Stardust” and has worked with many diverse artists from Ray Charles to Eric Clapton. Booker’s 2009 “Potato Hole” won a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album in 2010. “Potato Hole” is followed by “The Road From Memphis” which was released in 2011 with Anti Records.
Booker has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame and is arguably the most famous Hammond B3 player in history.