MAILED: May 18, 2001
EAU CLAIRE—University of
Wisconsin-Eau Claire junior Andrew Neesley, Glendale, was selected to
participate in Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead, a national jazz residency program
for outstanding emerging artists and an annual part of the John F. Kennedy
Center for the Performing Arts Jazz Program, Washington, D.C., April 12-21.
Neesley is one of 23 young artists selected by a panel of
jazz artists to take part in this program. The entrants were judged on their
ability to perform their own compositions.
The program consists of a week of intense training in
performance, composition and arrangement, culminating in two concert
performances to be aired live over the Internet and on Black Entertainment
When Neesley was told of his acceptance to the program, he
was excited and enthused.
“This is a great opportunity to work and perform with
great musicians from around the world,” he said. “I am honored and very
excited to be chosen for a program such as this.”
Neesley began his musical journey with the violin
at age 4. He attended the Interlochen Arts Camp where he completed eight
summers of intense musical study and began to play the trumpet. Since then, he
has performed with many jazz greats, including Jon Faddis, Lewis Nash, Byron
Stripling, Slide Hampton, Ingrid Jensen, Ed Calle and Bill Reichenbach.
Legendary jazz vocalist Betty Carter founded Jazz Ahead
in 1993 as a vehicle to bring new talent and life into jazz and teach the most
promising artists what she knew. Carter brought her program to the Kennedy
Center in 1998, and after her death Dr. Billy Taylor and the Kennedy Center
decided to insure her legacy by continuing Jazz Ahead.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: May 18, 2001