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KU School of Music presents 37th Annual KU Jazz Festival concerts at Kansas Union featuring special guests

Thursday, February 20, 2014

LAWRENCE - The University of Kansas School of Music proudly presents the 37th Annual KU Jazz Festival concerts at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 7 and Saturday, March 8 in Woodruff Auditorium at the Kansas Union. This year’s concerts feature special guest artists Jaleel Shaw, saxophone (March 7) and Dave Douglas, trumpet (March 8). Both concert events are open to the public.

The March 7 concert features alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw with the KU Jazz Festival All-Star Band. In addition to his own quartet and quintet, Shaw performs with The Roy Haynes Quartet and Charles Mingus Big Band. He has also performed with such world-class artists as Clark Terry, Roy Hargrove, Christian McBride, Nicholas Payton, the Village Vanguard Orchestra, and the Count Basie Orchestra. Shaw’s latest CD The Soundtrack of Things to Come was released on his record label Changu Records in 2013. The KU Jazz Festival All-Star Band is comprised of KU School of Music Faculty, guest clinicians at the KU Jazz Festival, and professional jazz artists from throughout the United States. 

The March 8 concert features trumpeter Dave Douglas with KU Jazz Ensemble I. Douglas is a prolific trumpeter, composer and educator from New York City. His unique contributions to improvised music have garnered distinguished recognition, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Aaron Copland award and two Grammy nominations. Douglas has developed his work for several unique ensembles with whom he is currently active, including his new quintet, an electric sextet (Keystone), and Sound Prints Quintet, co-led with saxophonist Joe Lovano. His new quintet released its debut recording, Be Still, in September 2012 with singer Aoife O’Donovan, the first time Douglas has featured a vocalist on a recording. The follow-up to that critically-acclaimed recording, Time Travel, was released in April 2013 on Douglas’ record label Greenleaf Music.

Both Shaw and Douglas will be featured on new arrangements of their compositions written for the occasion by KU Jazz Studies students and faculty, including works by 2013 DownBeat Student Music Award winners David von Kampen and Clint Ashlock.

For nearly four decades, the KU Jazz Festival has been one of the focal points for jazz performance and education in the central United States, providing the region an opportunity to hear and learn from world-class jazz musicians and educators. The evening concerts feature a first-rate lineup of some of the most important and exciting musicians in the world of contemporary jazz, and daytime clinics and master classes allow students and community members to interact with world-famous jazz musicians outside of the concert hall.

The evening concerts will begin with the Outstanding High School Ensemble (Friday) and the Outstanding College Ensemble (Saturday). During the day, approximately 60 high school, middle school and college jazz ensembles from throughout the central United States perform in Murphy Hall. Based on performance merit, visiting clinicians will select one group from the big bands and combos that perform each day to perform again on the evening concert. Revolving trophies will be presented to the middle school, high school and college outstanding ensembles. These trophies will stay with the recipients until next year’s 38th Annual KU Jazz Festival, when they will be presented to the 2015 Outstanding Ensembles.

Tickets for each concert are $12 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $7 with a KU ID. Tickets can be purchased at the Kansas Union Programs office or by calling 785-864-7469.

Following the main stage concerts at Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union, the music will continue with the KU Jazz Festival After Hours Jazz Sessions, held at the All Seasons Den at The Oread Hotel (1200 Oread Avenue, Lawrence, KS), from 10:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. both evenings.

These jazz sessions will feature performances by the Matt Otto Quartet and special guests. Otto, a saxophonist and member of the KU Jazz Studies faculty, is one of the most prominent musicians in Kansas City. He is joined both evenings by three in-demand Kansas City-area musicians Danny Embrey, guitar; Jeff Harshbarger, bass; and Brandon Draper, drums - all members of the KU Jazz Studies faculty.

Admission to these sessions is free; a cash bar will be available. Valet parking at the Oread is available for $5.00.

For more information about the KU Jazz Festival visit http://kujazzfestival.com or contact the KU School of Music at 785-864-3436 or www.music.ku.edu.

Media Contact:
J.D. Warnock
KU School of Music

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