Kenny Garrett, the internationally recognized jazz saxophonist, may be hitting the ceiling as he jumps for joy after being named William Paterson University's director of the Jazz Studies Program.
Garrett will begin with faculty on September 1 and take the ranks of those who preceded him: legendary trumpeter Thad Jones, renowned bassist Rufus Reid and the acclaimed pianist James Williams.
It's most recent appointee, preeminent pianist Mulgrew Miller and lifelong friend to Garrett, died in May 2013 leaving room for his buddy to step in.
In 1974, Garrett had begun his career at the age of 18, becoming a member of the Mercer Ellington Orchestra (just four years after Duke's death). Here, he met Mulgrew Miller, spawned an uncanny friendship and ultimately became a regular player in bands led by the Duke, Dizzy, Freddie Hubbard, Woody Shaw, Art Blakey and Joe Henderson.