PRweb

 

 

Jazz great, former Oscar Peterson drummer Alvin Queen, denied entry into USA.

 

Mount Vernon, New York native Alvin Queen was recently notified that U.S. Homeland Security will not allow him to enter the United States to perform at a prestigioius, long-planned concert in Washington.

 

Mr. Queen, the former drummer for Oscar Peterson, whose career includes memorable collaborations with a veritable who’s who of music royalty, including Nina Simone, Horace Silver, George Benson, Ruth Brown, Buddy DeFranco, Wynton Marsalis, Billy Taylor, Wild Bill Davis, George Coleman, George Braith, Larry Young, Harry Sweets Edison and Johnny Griffin, was set to perform at a concert in Washington, DC on November 15th, 2017, at the behest of The French-American Cultural Foundation.

 

The evening, entitled “JAZZ MEETS FRANCE,” has Wynton Marsalis as its Honorary Chairman, and Dr. David Skorton , Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution , is Master of Ceremonies. The event marks the centenary of the US entry into WWI and specifically honors the Harlem Hellfighters . Ironically, these were the African-American soldiers who served in WWI, and who introduced jazz music to France and the rest of Europe, yet whom were never officially honored, until now.

 

Mr. Queen, who has held a Swiss passport for thirty years, was informed this week that, due to a run-in with the law as a youth, a half century ago, while a minor, he would have to apply for a Waiver from the U.S. Dept of Homeland Security, despite the fact he was born in the USA. This would take months, making it virtually impossible to participate, barring Presidential decree, and we know that’s unlikely. But this is not “fake news.”

 

“Sadly, this doesn’t surprise me one bit,” comments Mr. Queen, 67, from his home in Geneva. “I’ve spent months preparing for this concert. Dozens of others are also implicated in its planning. Funny thing, I gave up my U.S. passport to make life simpler at tax time. I never dreamed I would one day be denied entry, and with such ridiculous reasoning. I am frankly disgusted to be disrespected in this way, after a half century devoted to music.”

 

Mr. Queen, who until 2016 held dual citizenship with the United States and Switzerland, has previously worked numerous times for the US State Department as a Cultural Ambassador, and participated in numerous tours of Brazil, Africa and Japan. Queen also performed at the American International Jazz Day in Paris several years ago.

 

Mr. Queen has held a U.S. passport, and regularly worked under the auspices of the American government, for over fifty years of his life. Like many citizens, he’s had brushes with the law, but these have never impeded his ability to enter and exit his native country. A one-time DWI charge and a minor drug offense both resulted in not guilty charges.

 

For this occasion, the US State Dept had only to apply for an “O1B Work Visa” in order for Mr Queen to enter in the United States. This was done correctly, but after the process was completed, fingerprints matching a 1967 FBI file were dredged up and presented as a reason to prevent him from entering the USA. So now we can see that the infamous “travel ban” is not limited to citizens of Sudan, Syria, and Iran. It extends to a then 16-year-old drummer who once sat in with John Coltrane.

 

How can you process someone fifty years later for charges that occurred when they were a youth, a mere child? And why punish this now acclaimed adult, a leading light on the international jazz scene, who is now 67 years old? He obviously forged a path and created a fabulous life for himself. Adds Queen, “I feel this is more about racial profiling than anything. It’s all about trying to control everyone. I am not a criminal and in fact never was. When I became a Swiss citizen, I “became a criminal” again in the eyes of US law enforcement. If I was undesirable fifty years ago, why have I been issued a fresh passport every ten years for the past six decades?” Indeed, this is the question.

 

For now, those wanting to experience Alvin Queen’s jazz mastery will need to follow him to Montreal, Canada, where he is set to give a master class with pianist Wray Downes on Fri Nov 3 at 1:00 pm (free and open to the public) at Concordia University and then a full concert with his trio the following evening, at Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill , on Sat Nov 4, for two sets, at 7:30 and 9:45 pm.

 

Queen has the last word. “If someone wants to apologize to me and make this right, fine. But I’m not holding my breath. In the meantime, I’ll bring my music, this American art form, to every other country in the world. I know they like me in Canada. I’ll start there.”

 

This coming week Alvin will be featured on The Jazz Network Worldwide http://www.thejazznetworkworldwide.com with a sneak peek of two singles from his CD re-issues of "Mighty Long Way" and "I Ain't Looking' At You" slated for late fall 2017.

 

The official website for Alvin Queen is http://www.alvinqueen.com to learn more about his current engagements and all things Alvin.

 

Mr Queen is available for interviews relating to this story.

 

##

Contact:

Lunched Management Jean-PierreLeduc
+15142470706 jpleduc@lunchedrecords.com

PRweb

Featured This Week On The Jazz Network Worldwide: Legendary Jazz Drummer Alvin Queen kicks off his European Summer Tour and Launches New Website.

Alvin Queen always at the top of this game, touring and keeping up with the trends of keeping a prominent face in the industry. His new website dons everything from his music catalogue, touring schedule, personal photography and reflections of a stellar musical career.

“The Jazz Network Worldwide is proud to feature legendary drummer Alvin Queen.  He has been a mainstay with our network since its inception in 2008 and we couldn’t be prouder to design and launch his new website and promote his upcoming summer tour.  He’s played with the best in the industry and continues to shine his light on any stage he sets his spirit to, its truly an honor to support his countless gifts as he launches his quest of ‘keeping up with Alvin” in todays technology,” says Jaijai Jackson of The Jazz Network Worldwide.

Oscar Peterson was quoted saying “First and foremost, Alvin is basically a comedian, in a personal sense, being able to see humor in almost any circumstance. His whole personality is based on this premise.  It is noticeably carried over into the music by that joyful, kid-like smile that he gets when the group seems to reach a very cohesive groove.  He has a tremendous command of his instrument, along with a very creative and diversified musical cadence, speaking from the aspect of his solo work.  It is a joy and inspiration to exchange musical ideas with him, which results in heightening of my own ideas as we go along.  By the way, so far I have forgotten to mention the most important aspect that he brings to our group impeccable time!.” 

Not only is Queen an accomplished musician, he is an impeccable photographer that truly has that gift of capturing the essence of a moment in time with depth, color and variety. There are quite a few of his favorite moments throughout his musical journey from his travels viewable on his new website (www.alvinqueen.com)  In addition, Alvin shares some of the priceless memories he holds close to his heart as ‘reflections’ on his website.

The summer tour on tap for Alvin is going to be ‘real hot’ as New Legacy Concerts coordinated top-tier musical happenings that include Alvin on each concert with other jazz greats.  Beginning June 1-July 10 Randy Brecker, Gary Peacock at The Jazz Standard in Copenhagen.  June 1-9 Niels Lan Doky introducing Tobias Dall, June 10-12 Alvin Queen & Tobias Dall introducing Calle Brickman, June 14-19 Randy Brecker A.Q, June 28 - July 10 Copenhagen Jazz Festival: Gary Peacock A.Q.

Its no surprise the caliber of artistry Alvin has graced worldwide stages with, its like the ‘who’s who of jazz’ ie.: Eric Alexander, Terence Blanchard, Manny Boyd, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Arnett Cobb, Dolo Cocker, Al Cohn, George Coleman, Bob Cunningham, Dee Daniels, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Jessie Davis, Buddy de Franco, Dorothy Donegan, Kenny Drew Sr., Mercer Ellington, Robin Eubanks, Art Farmer, Jimmy Garrison, Dizzy Gillespie, Eddie Gomez, Dexter Gordon, Al Grey, Johnny Griffin, Roy Hargrove, Milt Jackson, Plas Johnson, Kevin Mahogany, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Christian McBride, Jay McShann, Mulgrew Miller, Joe Newman, Horace Parlan, Nicolas Payton, Niels Henning, Orsted Pederson, Oscar Peterson, Red Richards, David Sanchez, Pharoah Sanders, Zoot Sims, Terell Stafford, Lou Tabackin, Buddy Tate, Leon Thomas, Mickey Tucker, Stanley Turrentine, Warren Vache, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Bennie Wallace, Peter Washington, Randy Weston, Joe Lee Wilson and Reggie Workman. That’s just to name a few! 

Currently, Alvin is seeking non-exclusive agents worldwide to jump on his bandwagon in booking concerts for the 2017/2018 calendar year.  In addition to live performance, Alvin is opening up his musical vault looking to assemble some classic sessions for his fans.

Be sure to come by and check out his feature on The Jazz Network Worldwide at www.thejazznetworkworldwide.com as well as visit his new website and say hello at www.alvinqueen.com.  If in the area, be sure to buy your tickets to save your spot for his ‘hot’ summer tour.

###