NCCU Percussion Showcased at Annual Jazz Benefit Concert

Posted November 15, 2019, 12:40PM

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) instructor and drummer Thomas E. Taylor and New York percussionist/educator Alvin R. Atkinson Jr. will join the impressive gathering of jazz drummers performing at the university’s annual benefit concert Aug. 25.

Give the Drummer Some, an annual jazz percussion benefit concert by NCCU music faculty and alumni, will be presented at 6 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 25, in B.N. Duke Auditorium on campus. The event will honor NCCU alumnus and soul-jazz drummer and singer the late Grady Tate, a renowned self-taught session drummer and rim-shot syncopation expert.

Atkinson and his group The Sound Merchants perform regularly abroad and across the United States. He also has recorded and shared the stage with other notable artists, including Ellis Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, Don Braden and others. He was house drummer for the 2002-2003 season of the “Emeril Live” television show on the Food Network, performed for the Harlem National Tour at the Kennedy Center, and entertained at the White House for former president George W. Bush.

As an educator, Atkinson has taught in a number of settings and currently serves as director of bands and curriculum specialist at the Promise Academy II in New York.

The Give the Drummer Some benefit also offers percussion and music workshops to the public beginning at 2 p.m. in the Old Jazz Band Room at B.N. Duke Auditorium.

The event is free and open to the public, with donations to the Department of Music encouraged.

For more information, please contact Thomas Taylor at or 919-530-6319.

You May Also Like

Ruth E. Carter
Academy Award-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter will deliver the keynote address to graduates on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, for the 134th Commencement Exercises at NCCU.
Ella Fitzgerald Fellowship Recipient Voice Student
Two jazz studies majors from N.C. Central University’s department of music were selected as recipients of a four-year scholarship from the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation.
John Barbee
Making strides in business comes naturally for a talented business leader such as NCCU alumnus and former Board of Trustee vice chairman John Barbee.