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John Handy Jazz Festival

SOURCE: Published:
John Handy Quintet Reunion Performance Highlights Second Annual John Handy Jazz Festival At San Francisco State University

INFO: http://www.sfsu.edu/~allarts/handy/handy2000pr.html

SAN FRANCISCO, July 20, 2000 -- A special reunion performance by the legendary John Handy Quintet who gained fame at the 1965 Monterey Jazz Festival will highlight of the Second Annual John Handy Jazz Festival, presented September 7 through 10 at San Francisco State University. The festival will also feature performances by Randy Weston, Sir Roland Hanna, Kenny Drew Jr., Denise Perrier, and student and faculty artists of the Jazz and World Music Program at SFSU. The John Handy Jazz Festival is sponsored by the SFSU College of Creative Arts, Union Bank of California, and the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport Hotel.

“John Handy is one of the premiere jazz artists of our generation," says Dee Spencer, director of the Jazz and World Music program at SFSU. “In his performances, teaching and advocacy, John Handy has always promoted music as a means of bringing people together, across generational, racial and ethnic divides. He is one of the most innovative and versatile artists working in jazz today, always willing to incorporate different cultural influences into his music, constantly expanding his musical vocabulary. His principled integrity and artistic excellence are an inspiration to all jazz musicians."

The SFSU Jazz and World Music program features a dynamic curriculum led by a faculty of renowned Bay Area jazz and world music artists. In addition to fulltime faculty pianist Dee Spencer and saxophonists Hafez Modirzadeh and Andrew Speight, the SFSU Jazz faculty features numerous notable lecturers, including Jeff Chambers, Eddie Marshall, David Motto, Wayne Wallace and John L. Worley, Jr. Beginning this fall, acclaimed saxophonist Branford Marsalis joins John Handy as artists-in-residence for the Jazz and World Music program at SFSU.

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2000 JOHN HANDY JAZZ FESTIVAL SCHEDULE:

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 | NOON - 2 PM | SFSU CAMPUS LAWN | FREE Jazz Student Combos

The John Handy Jazz Festival begins with a free performance on the plaza lawn by the student artists in the Jazz and World Music Program at San Francisco State University.

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 8 | 7 PM | MCKENNA THEATRE Sir Roland Hanna, Kenny Drew, Jr., Denise Perrier

Sir Roland Hanna ranks among the major artists in jazz today, and is viewed as one of the most versatile pianists of any generation. Born in Detroit and now based in New York, Sir Hanna has provided sensitive accompaniment to many prominent jazz artists, including Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Al Hibbler, Charles Mingus, The Benny Goodman Big Band, and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Sir Hanna has performed on more than 50 recordings, and his most recent releases include Roland Hanna Plays Gershwin (1993) and Sir Roland Hanna, Maybeck Recital Hall Series Vol. 32 (1994). Sir Hanna will perform with bassist John Wiitala and drummer Eddie Marshall.

Raised in a prominent musical family, Kenny Drew Jr. has performed worldwide with many prominent musicians, including Stanley Jordon, Out of the Blue (OTB), Stanley Turrentine, Slide Hampton and the Jazz Masters, the Mingus Big Band, Steve Grossman, Yoshiaki Masuo, Sadao Wantanabe, Smokey Robinson, Frank Morgan, and Daniel Schnyder. The winner of the 1990 Great American Jazz Piano Competition, Drew has performed at festivals and major jazz clubs around the country and has recorded nine albums as a leader and has also made numerous recordings as a sideman. Drew will perform with bassist Jeff Chambers and drummer Ralph Penland.

One of the great jazz divas of the Bay Area, Denise Perrier gained fame as a vocalist in Louis Armstrong's band. “Perrier's regal presence is awesome unto itself," wrote Phil Elwood of the San Francisco Examiner. “Her voice and interpretive skills also command attention and respect." A Bay Area resident most of her life, Perrier has performed around the world, including a tour of Russia and a concert at the 1999 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

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SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9 | 7 PM | MCKENNA THEATRE Randy Weston, John Handy Quintet (Reception after performance in Studio One, Creative Arts Building)

A towering pianist born in Brooklyn in 1925, Randy Weston gained fame playing in the legendary Greenwich Village jazz scene of the 1950s, performing at Birdland, Caf Bohemia and other venues with artists such as Sam Gill, Cecil Payne, Grover Washington Jr., Clifford Jarvis. His 1960 recording Uhuru Africa, inspired by the continent's political liberation, marked Weston's start of his lifelong exploration of the ancestral links between jazz and West African music. Weston resided for many years in Morocco, traveled extensively in Africa, often collaborating with other artists such as trombonist and composer Melba Liston. Weston's interest in the music of Morocco's Gnawa people - black non-Arabs who were brought to North Africa from West Africa during centuries of slave trading - led to his acclaimed 1995 album The Splendid Master Gnawa Musicians of Morocco Featuring Randy Weston. He also toured internationally with a program featuring the Gnawa musicians as well as the late Houston blues artist Johnny Copeland, who appeared on Weston's 1993 album Volcano Blues. Weston will perform with bassist James Leary and percussionist Babatunde Lea.

A musician for all time, John Handy won a place in jazz history with his performance and live recording at the 1965 Monterey Jazz Festival, which drew great critical acclaim and two Grammy nominations. For the 2000 John Handy Jazz Festival, Handy will reunite with violinist Michael White, guitarist Jerry Hahn, bassist Don Thompson, and drummer Terry Clarke, members of the then unheralded band that ignited the 1965 event with their playing on Handy's compositions “Spanish Lady" and “If Only We Knew." Recently Koch Jazz digitally remastered, reproduced, and re-released Handy's Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival recording. Handy has performed with many legendary jazz artists, including Charles Mingus and Ali Akbar Khan, and received the Bill Graham Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1997 Bay Area Music Awards.

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SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10 | 2 PM | MCKENNA THEATRE SFSU Jazz Faculty All-Stars

The SFSU Jazz Faculty All-Stars will include pianist Dee Spencer, saxophonists Andrew Speight, Hafez Modirzadeh and John Handy; with other artists to be announced.

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The McKenna Theatre is located in the Creative Arts Building on the campus of San Francisco State University. Unless otherwise indicated, admission to each performance is $15 general; $5 students and seniors. The Saturday evening performance features a special $30 “Golden Horn" admission option that includes parking, preferred seating and a reception with John Handy and other guests following the performance in Studio One of the Creative Arts Building. A special $50 “Golden Horn PLUS" option is available that includes admission to all three concerts, parking, preferred seating and the September 9 reception.

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What: Second Annual John Handy Jazz Festival When: Friday, September 8 | 7 pm Sir Roland Hanna, Kenny Drew Jr., Denise Perrier Saturday, September 9 | 7 pm Randy Weston, John Handy Quintet Sunday, September 10 | 2 pm SFSU Jazz Faculty All-Stars & Guests Where: McKenna Theatre, Creative Arts Building San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue Admission $15 general/$5 students, seniors “Golden Horn" Admission: $30 ("Golden Horn" admission includes parking, preferred seating, and a reception with John Handy and other guests on September 9.) “Golden Horn PLUS" Admission: $50 ("Golden Horn PLUS" admission includes admission to all three concerts, parking, preferred seating and the September 9 reception.) Info/Tickets 415.338.2467 www.sfsu.edu/~allarts

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