NEW YORK (AP) — Jazz harmonica virtuoso Toots Thielemans quips that his legs don't work but his mouth does.
Thielemans was pushed onstage in a wheelchair during the first of two Jazz at Lincoln Center concerts this weekend celebrating his 90 years. Thielemans had canceled all his other U.S. dates because of poor health, and up to the last minute, producers were not sure if Thielemans would even be able to play.
But energized by an enthusiastic audience and musical friends such as pianist Herbie Hancock and Brazilian guitarist-vocalist Dori Caymmi, the Belgian harmonic player rose to the occasion at Friday night's concert.
He played highlights from his lengthy career — the Gershwins' "I Loves You Porgy/Summertime," the Brazilian bossa nova classic "Chega da Saudade" and his own swinging jazz waltz "Bluesette."