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Acclaimed Guest Performer and Special Award
Added to Salute to the Big Bands Line-up

RELEASED: Sept. 22, 2008

EAU CLAIRE — A special guest performer and an award presentation have been added to the line-up of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's annual concert and dance, "A Salute to the Big Bands: Let Freedom Ring," set for 2 p.m. Sept. 28 in Zorn Arena.

Nachito Herrera
Nachito Herrera

Internationally recognized jazz pianist Nachito Herrera will make a guest appearance to support the benefit concert. Herrera, who performed at UW-Eau Claire in fall 2007, stunned Cuban audiences when he performed Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 2 with the Havana Symphony at the age of 12. Throughout the years, Herrera also pursued studies in traditional Cuban music and Latin jazz, later becoming musical director at the famous Tropicana nightclub and, in the late 1990s, the lead pianist, arranger and musical director at Cubanismo! He now resides in Minneapolis and appears often at The Dakota Jazz Club.

Proceeds from "A Salute to the Big Bands" enables the UW-Eau Claire jazz studies area to host clinics with acclaimed artists like Herrera and share the experiences with local schools and the community.

Also during the concert, a Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to retired music business owner and musician George Day, who opened three area music and repair shops known as Day Music. The stores were later sold and are now known as Schmitt Music. Day was a popular musician in the Eau Claire community, performing on piano and accordion. He served in World War II with the Marine Air Group Mag 25.

"Mr. Day reflects the attributes of this award, and we are so honored to be able to recognize his contributions," said Robert Baca, director of jazz studies at UW-Eau Claire.

Baca said the award is presented to people who have positively impacted the Chippewa Valley through their commitment and dedication to music as a vital art form, and who also have served in the military in an exemplary fashion.

In recognition of the many dedicated servicemen and women who have served the country, this year's music will pay tribute to the Big Band Era and America's freedom. Hosted by nationally recognized UW-Eau Claire Jazz Ensembles I and II, this concert will feature the Grace Notes bell choir of Bethesda Lutheran Brethren Church; Two to Tango, a university dance group; and a variety of student vocalists.

Tickets are $14 for the general public; $10 for seniors 62 and older and youth 17 and younger; $12 for UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff; $8 for organized groups of 10 or more and UW-Eau Claire and UW System students.

Tickets can be purchased at the University Service Center in Davies Center. Call 715-836-3727 or 800-949-UWEC to request a brochure with more information and a ticket order form. Tickets can be charged by phone for an additional $3 fee. Patrons are requested to identify any special assistance needs when purchasing tickets.

Tickets for all campus events also are on sale at the Service Center's ticket office in the main lobby of Haas Fine Arts Center. The ticket outlet is open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and is closed during holidays and academic breaks.

All tickets are general admission and will be sold at the door as space allows. Special needs seating is available.

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PH/NW

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