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Jazz I to perform lost music of Stan Kenton for May 5 concert

RELEASED: April 29, 2011

Jazz Ensemble IEAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's Jazz Ensemble I, directed by Robert Baca, professor of music, with special guest Brian Grivna on saxophone and clarinet, will present "The Lost Music of Stan Kenton" at 7:30 p.m. May 5 in Gantner Concert Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center.

The Stanley-Boyd High School Jazz Band, under the direction of Sean Hanson, also will perform before the Jazz I concert beginning at 6:45 p.m.

The Jazz Ensemble I performance will begin with music never recorded by the Stan Kenton Orchestra. Featured selections will include "Quintessence," "Bop City Revisited," "Reflections," "Terracotta," "Exodus" and "Tribute."

"For Kenton fans, this is a must see concert," Baca said.

The second half of the concert will feature Grivna, a former member of the Buddy Rich Band and premier jazz saxophonist in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. He is a regular performer with the Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and has participated in more than 1,000 recordings and live performances. He will be featured in "Under the Wire" and "Got a Match."

In addition to performing Kenton's music at the concert, Jazz Ensemble I will participate in recording the late artist's works for an Illinois-based record label, Baca said. The project will honor the 100th birthday of Kenton, who was an American pianist, composer and arranger known for his Mellophonium Band of 1960-63, which won Grammy awards for the albums "Adventure in Jazz" and "West Side Story."

"When Jazz I was on tour in Chicago last December, the owner of Tantara Productions asked the ensemble to be involved in a project recording the Kenton tunes," Baca said. "The recordings will be put on a two-CD set that will be available through Tantara's record label and distributed internationally."

"We are ecstatic that the jazz ensemble would be honored with an invitation of this magnitude," Baca said. "I consider the invitation a byproduct of the strength of the entire music department, and it's an honor for us to participate in this great CD effort."

Recording of the album will occur in mid-May. The Kenton charts, which date back to the 1960s and 1970s, include compositions that contain complex meter changes and elaborate chord progression. Despite the challenge, Jazz Ensemble I is looking forward to their recording sessions, Baca said.

Jazz Ensemble I has a new CD, "Gentleman John," which was released in April during the 44th Annual Jazz Festival. The CD will be available for purchase before and after the concert as well as during intermission. CDs will be available at the special concert prices of $12 each or $10 per CD with the purchase of three or more.

Tickets for the concert, available online at the University Service Center, 715-836-3727 or 800-949-UWEC, are $5 for the general public; $3 for those 62 and older, 17 and younger, and faculty and staff with a university ID; and free for students with a university ID.

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JC/JP/RD

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