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Dec. 2 Jazz I concert, CD releases to mark 50th anniversary of jazz at UW-Eau Claire

RELEASED: Nov. 23, 2011

Jazz 1
UW-Eau Claire's Jazz Ensemble I
Preceding UW-Eau Claire Jazz Ensemble I
Dec. 2 will be a performance by Eau Claire Memorial High School's Jazz Ensemble 1, under the direction of Dennis Luginbill, a UW-Eau Claire music alumnus.

EAU CLAIRE — In celebration of 50 years of jazz studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, the university's Jazz Ensemble I — a six-time winner of the Down Beat Award for Best College Big Band and a two-time Grammy nominee — will perform its winter concert and release two new CDs at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2 in Gantner Concert Hall of the Haas Fine Arts Center.

The concert will feature many varieties of music, including movie themes by Patrick Williams; early 1930s jazz; big band music from Buddy Rich, Stan Kenton and The Airmen of Note; as well as student compositions and a special selection from the last album recorded by fusion saxophone genius Michael Brecker.

Featured selections will include bass trombonist David Behm, a junior music education major from Rosemount, Minn., on "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"; voice faculty member Dr. Mitra Sadeghpour on a new Geoffrey Keezer arrangement; Eau Claire community vocalist Dixie Duffey singing a Christmas favorite; and a premiere Wisconsin performance of Artie Shaw's Clarinet Concerto featuring UW-Eau Claire's new clarinet professor, Dr. Melissa Koprowski.

CD Cover
Two new CDs featuring Jazz Ensemble I, "Funk in Deep Freeze" and "Double Feature, the Stan Kenton Orchestra and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Jazz Ensemble I," will be available for the first time at Jazz I's concert Dec. 2.

The concert also will be the venue for Jazz I's new CD release, "Funk in Deep Freeze," named after a composition by student Tyler Anderson, a senior music major from Eagan, Minn. This will be the first venue where the recording will be available. The CD features 11 tracks of the widest variety of jazz music of any CD release to date, said Robert Baca, professor of music and Jazz I director. Guest artists on the CD include vocalist Connie Evingson; Bobby Sanabria, a Latin scholar, percussionist and director of the Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra; and Buddy Rich saxophonist Brian Grivna, who will perform a clarinet feature.

The CD's last selection features spontaneous rap singing by former UW-Eau Claire student Mary Claxton. The liner notes were written by Alan Baylock, staff arranger for the U.S. Air Force Airmen of Note jazz ensemble.

"'Funk in Deep Freeze' is sure to be a wonderful stocking stuffer, to say the least," Baca said.

Also to be available at the concert is "Double Feature, the Stan Kenton Orchestra and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Jazz Ensemble I," a two-CD set featuring Jazz I performing never-recorded Kenton selections. Earlier this year, the ensemble engaged in an unprecedented honor for a college jazz orchestra, Baca said.

"We were approached by Tantara Productions owner Bill Lichtenhauer to record a two-CD set of lost Stan Kenton music from 1968 to 1977 honoring the 100th anniversary of Kenton's birth," Baca said. Read a related news release.

The set features Kenton and his jazz orchestra in remastered live-concert settings and UW-Eau Claire's Jazz Ensemble I on 12 never-recorded Stan Kenton selections. In December, the CD set will be distributed nationally at venues throughout the United States.



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