Although this 78-year-old Chicago transplant has not made many recordings under his own name for more than a decade, eclectic multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan needs little introduction. A legendary figure in his hometown up North, he made a name for himself there in the mid-Fifties as he performed with the likes of Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, and many others. He even shared the stage with Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock when they were still unknown young music students in the Windy City.
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Sullivan came to Miami in the Sixties to visit his parents and decided to stay. In the early Seventies, he became a regular performer at Disney World's now-defunct Jazz Lounge at Lake Buena Vista, where he led a small group in which several visiting friends often performed. And while touring the country, he also found time to become a mentor to the Fort Lauderdale-born Jaco Pastorius as well as guitarist Pat Metheny. At the Van Dyke, he will be joined by his Inter/Outer Continental Quartet, playing a mix of styles that includes spiritual numbers (he often plays services) such as "Amazing Grace," a trademark tune that closes every one of his performances.