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UW-Eau Claire Award-Winning Jazz Ensemble I
Records Christmas CD

RELEASED: Dec. 8, 2006

Jazz Ensemble I
Jazz Ensemble I

EAU CLAIRE — The award-winning Jazz Ensemble I at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has recorded its first Christmas CD.

"Jazz in Clear Water-Christmas Day, My Favorite Day" features nearly 30 current UW-Eau Claire jazz students or alumni performing holiday classics like "Good King Wenceslas," "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," "Let It Snow," "Jingle Bells" and "Silent Night."

Directed by Robert Baca, the ensemble's newest CD also includes performances by Michael Andrew and Five by Design.

Andrew, a 1987 UW-Eau Claire graduate, is a singer, composer and entertainer who performed this fall at the university's annual Big Band Era concert. He was the headline singer and bandleader at the world famous Rainbow Room atop Rockefeller Center in New York City for two years. He now performs throughout the country with his 18-piece big band.

Five by Design is a vocal quintet whose core members booked their first gigs as a UW-Eau Claire jazz group. Alumni members include Kurt Niska, Lorie Carpenter-Niska, Terrence Niska and Michael Swedberg. They perform dozens of shows a year, many of them with symphony orchestras throughout the United States.

Jazz Ensemble I has recorded a CD each year for the past decade. Two of those CDs — "Jazz in Clear Water-Harpoon" and "Jazz in Clear Water-Things to Come" — have been nominated for Grammy Awards.

UW-Eau Claire's jazz studies area has received Down Beat magazine's "Best College Big Band" award five of the last eight years, and eight students have received individual awards. Down Beat is a national publication for student, amateur and professional musicians and educators involved in jazz, rock, blues and electronics.

Details about "Jazz in Clear Water-Christmas Day, My Favorite Day," as well as purchasing information, are available online.

-30-

JB

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