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Jazz Trumpeter Byron Stripling to Kick Off
UW-Eau Claire's Jazz Festival

RELEASED: March 17, 2005

EAU CLAIRE — Jazz trumpet virtuoso Byron Stripling will kick off the 2005 Jazz Festival at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with an Artists Series performance Thursday, March 31. He will begin his concert with Jazz Ensemble I, under the direction of Bob Baca, at 7:30 p.m. in Zorn Arena.

The show is titled, "Trumpet Kings: A Portrayal of the Great Trumpet Artists Throughout Jazz History." Stripling has described UW-Eau Claire's Grammy-nominated Jazz Ensemble I as having "saxes that spit fire, bones that bite like sharks, trumpets that soar the heavens and a rhythm section that makes you want to dance. Bob Baca has shaped this ensemble into a masterpiece."

Los Angeles Times critic Charles Champlin called Byron Stripling "a towering and powerful trumpet player, who has been compared to a later Louis Armstrong, but whose lightning runs and startling intervals are right out of bop. When he played ... the effect was an abbreviated history of jazz in two choruses."

Stripling has played and recorded extensively with legends Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry and Buck Clayton, in addition to The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, and The GRP All Star Big Band. A pops orchestra favorite throughout the country, he made his Carnegie Hall debut with Skitch Hendersen and the New York Pops and was selected by conductor John Williams of the Boston Pops Orchestra to perform as featured soloist on the PBS' "Evening at Pops."

Millions have heard his trumpet and voice on television commercials, TV theme songs (including ABC's "20/20" and CNN), soundtracks of favorite movies and as featured soloist on the worldwide telecast of the Grammy Awards.

Also an accomplished actor and singer, Stripling portrayed Louis Armstrong in an episode of the ABC-TV series "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles." He was chosen to star in the lead role of the Broadway-bound musical "Satchmo" after a worldwide search. His virtuoso trumpet and comedic performance in the 42nd Street production of "From Second Avenue to Broadway" won critical acclaim.

Born in Atlanta and now living in New York, Stripling was educated at the Eastman School of Music and the Interlochen Arts Academy.

Tickets are $15 for the public, $13 for those 62 and older and UW System or Chippewa Valley Technical College faculty and staff, and $5 for those 17 and younger and UW System or CVTC students. Reserved seats are available at the Service Center counter in the east lobby of Davies Center. The Service Center is open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Patrons may also charge their tickets to MasterCard or Visa when they order by phone. Call (715) 836-3727 — or, outside the immediate Eau Claire area, call toll-free (800) 949-UWEC. A $3 handling fee will be added to all telephone charge orders.

General admission tickets will be sold at the door.

The Artists Series is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin. Wisconsin Public Radio and Community Television have contributed generous promotional support. Best Western Trail Lodge Hotel & Suites Eau Claire (715-838-9989) at 3340 Mondovi Road is the exclusive accommodations partner for the Artists Series.

Funded by the students of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, the Artists Series is administered by the Activities and Programs office.

-30-

JS/NW

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