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UW-Eau Claire alumnus to conduct Midwest tour with jazz trio

August 21, 2014

CORRECTION: Please note correction in the time of John Raymond’s guest forum Sept. 13 in Haas Fine Arts Center. It begins at 11 a.m., not at 10 a.m. as previously announced.

EAU CLAIRE — A University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire music graduate and professional jazz trumpeter is returning to his roots in September for a weeklong tour of performances and master classes.

John Raymond
UW-Eau Claire music graduate John Raymond is bringing his New York-based Roots Trio to the Midwest for a tour beginning with a concert at Eau Claire's State Theatre.

John Raymond is bringing his New York-based Roots Trio to the Midwest for a tour that will open with a BackStage Concert at Eau Claire's State Theatre Sept. 12. The trio also will record its debut album during the tour.

The Roots Trio features Raymond on flugelhorn and two other rising-star New York musicians: guitarist Gilad Hekselman and drummer Colin Stranahan. Raymond said the trio's repertoire includes unique takes on American folk songs, renditions on classic hymns, select indie-rock covers and deconstructed arrangements of jazz standards.

Listen to the Roots Trio recorded live during the 2014 Center City Jazz Festival in Philadelphia.

The BackStage concert at the State Theatre begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available online at or by calling 715-832-2787. The trio also will present a master class for UW-Eau Claire music students earlier in the day on the university campus, and Raymond will present a guest forum at 11 a.m. Sept. 13 in Haas Fine Arts Center 160 titled "The Freelance Life: What Every Performing Musician Needs to Know." His talk is free and open to the public.

The Roots Trio's Midwest tour schedule includes several stops.

  • Sept. 13: Jazz at Studio Z, master class and performance, St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Sept. 14-15: recording session at The Terrarium, Minneapolis
  • Sept. 16: Stillwater High School master classes, Stillwater, Minnesota
  • Sept. 17: UW-La Crosse master class, performance at the Root Note, La Crosse
  • Sept. 18: Wheaton College master class and performance, Wheaton, Illinois
  • Sept. 19: Roosevelt University master class and performance, Chicago; performance at the Jazz Estate, Milwaukee

After graduating from UW-Eau Claire in 2009, Raymond moved to New York City to pursue a career as a jazz musician. The Minneapolis native has since been a featured artist at the FONT Festival, Winter Jazz Festival and Center City Jazz Festival. He also has led bands at most of the major New York venues, including the Blue Note, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola and Smalls Jazz Club, and has performed with such world-class musicians as Billy Hart, John Abercrombie, Chris Potter, Ben Williams, Maria Schneider, Linda Oh and Otis Brown III. His debut album, "Strength & Song," produced by legendary trumpeter Jon Faddis, attracted national and international attention, with The New York Times describing Raymond as "a prepossessing young trumpet player."

While attending UW-Eau Claire, Raymond was among a group of student jazz musicians who traveled to China with jazz studies director Robert Baca to perform as part of Jinan University's centennial celebration. Raymond returned to the area in 2011 to present a BackStage Concert at Eau Claire's State Theatre and in 2012-13 to perform during the Eau Claire Jazz Festival.

Raymond said his UW-Eau Claire education gave him significant advantages.

"I can honestly say that I wouldn't be anywhere near where I am today if not for my time at UW-Eau Claire," Raymond said. "The music education and mentoring I received is a very rare combination that I'm convinced has helped springboard my career and establish me as an up-and-coming musician in New York."

More information about Raymond's activities and accomplishments can be found on his website.



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