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Jazz Stars Appear at Evening J.E.N. Concerts May 20 - 22

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Jazz Stars Appear at Evening J.E.N. Concerts

Who: Educators, Students, Musicians (professional & amateur), Industry Representatives,Technicians, Producers, Exhibitors, Jazz Enthusiasts, Media

What: Jazz Education Network Conference “Shaping the Future of Jazz Education"

When: May 20 - 22, 2010: Concert Series: 8pm nightly; Conference: 9am -- 1am daily

Where: University of Missouri -- St. Louis campus: Touhill Performing Arts Center & Millenium Student Center

Why: A unique opportunity to network, visit with music product professionals, review materials and exhibits that provide innovative solutions, and expand one's knowledge of jazz through on-stage performances

Cost: 3-Day Conference: $150/member; $35/spouse; $25/student member with valid ID. 1-Day Conference: $110/non-member; Meet Me in St. Louis Celebration: $45; Evening Concerts Only: $30/night (limited seating); NOTE: Day Passes and conference registrations include evening concerts.

Tickets: Visit www.JazzEdNet.org

St. Louis: The Jazz Education Network (J.E.N.) opens its three-day inaugural conference on the campus of the University of Missouri -- St. Louis (UMSL) May 20, 2010. Over two dozen icons of the jazz genre will donate their time and talents as featured artists.

Each night there will be at least one group featuring a unique combination of musicians who are rarely, if at all, ever heard performing together. On Thursday evening the unique combination is The J.E.N. All-Stars, the University of Missouri-St. Louis Jazz Ensemble featuring Stefon Harris, Wayne Bergeron and Ruben Alvarez are this group on Friday, and Rosana Eckert & Friends on Saturday.

Thursday's evening concert kicks off with a collage of sounds from a large assortment of very talented musicians:

Evening Concert: Thursday, May 20 -- 8 pm
The U.S. Army Blues “Pershing's Own"
Members of the U.S. Army Blues celebrated its 35th anniversary three years ago. In 1972, the Army Blues became an official part of the United States Army Band “Pershing's Own." Over the years, it has evolved into the premier jazz ensemble of the U.S. Army. As a component of The United States Army Band “Pershing's Own," the Army Blues is one of the few remaining professional big bands working today. The “Blues" were awarded their first ever “Wammy" (Washington Area Music Awards) in February 2008 for “Blues at Thirty Five." CW5 Charles H. Vollherbst directs the band.

Brubeck Institute Quartet
The members of the Brubeck Institute Quintet (BIJQ) are in the Institute's Fellowship Program. Winners of numerous Downbeat awards, including the 2007 and 2009 awards for best collegiate jazz group in the country, this group has performed at the Monterrey Jazz Festival, Playboy Jazz Festival, Brubeck Jazz Festival, Detroit Jazz Festival, and others. The members of the 2009-2010 BIJQ are: Nick Frenay, Trumpet; Chad Lefkowtiz-Brown, alto sax; Noah Kellman, piano; Zach Brown, bass; and Corey Fonville, drums.

The J.E.N. All-Stars
Hosted by John Clayton, this performance features a multitude of favorite artists attending the conference. Be certain not to miss the excitement and spontaneous combustion created by this group! The J.E.N. All-Stars features Shelly Berg, Ndugu Chancler, Lou Fischer, John Clayton, Mark Levine, Bill Mays, Bob Mintzer, Frank Potenza, Rufus Reid, Bob Rummage, Terell Stafford and Marvin Stamm.

Caswell Sisters
The riveting performances of the Caswell Sisters, vocalist Rachel and violinist Sara, are the culmination of years of working together. Their seamless sound combined with their unique interpretation of repertoire ranging from the “Great American Songbook" to contemporary jazz including their own compositions is propelled by arresting improvisation. The Sisters have given concerts nationwide and continue to provide audiences with electrifying performances through their unique combination of sound and artistry.

Both small combos and a big band are featured during Friday evening's concert with an equally talented group of musicians:

Evening Concert: Friday, May 21 - 8 pm
University of Missouri -- St. Louis Jazz Ensemble Featuring Stefon Harris, Ruben Alvarez, and Wayne Bergeron
Under the direction of Jim Widner for its seventh year, the UM -- St. Louis Jazz Ensemble features vibraphonist Stefon Harris, percussionist Ruben Alvarez, and trumpeter Wayne Bergeron. These jazz luminaries set the stage for St. Louis' jazz-loving public and music students alike. In recent years the band has appeared on stage with icons such as Clark Terry, Peter Erskine, Lou Marini, Tim Ries and Buddy DeFranco, Jon Faddis, Bobby Watson, Steve Wiest, Mulgrew Miller and Mike Metheny.

Rufus Reid OUT FRONT Trio
Rufus Reid's professional career began in Chicago and has continued since 1976 in New York City. His extensive jazz background and discography reads literally like the 'Who's Who' in jazz. Reid has traveled, performed and recorded with many of the great jazz masters, including Gene Ammons, Kenny Dorham, Eddie Harris, Sonny Stitt, Don Byas, Philly Joe Jones, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis, Dexter Gordon, Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, and Art Farmer. The OUT FRONT trio is yet another chapter being written by one of the world's truly evolving bassist. Rufus Reid (bass); Steve Allee (piano); Duduka Da Fonseca (drums).

Sixth Wave
An award-winning Los Angeles-based a cappella vocal sextet, Sixth Wave's vibrant sound span a wide spectrum of styles presented in original arrangements including jazz, contemporary rock/pop and traditional choral music. Sixth Wave was the 2001 National Harmony Sweepstakes Champions and currently is highly in demand as festival performers and clinician/educators throughout the US and Canada. The group features the talents of Elin Carlson, Cindy Bourguin, Jennifer Barnes, Greg Whipple, Greg Jasperse, and Eric Bardley. Their third and most recent CD recording, Happy Madness, has received critical acclaim for its originality, eclecticism and overall musical integrity.

The inaugural J.E.N. Conference culminates with four premier jazz groups.

Evening Concert: Saturday, May 22 -- 8 pm
Hannes Sigfridsson Trio
As winners of the Swedish Jazz Federation youth jazz competition in 2009, this contemporary jazz trio is a mature and exciting group. Together they have been performing original music at a high-level from an early age. During the J.E.N. Conference this week, the group will do outreach activities with a St. Louis area school. Directed by Fredrik Noren, the combo featuresJohan Lindvall, piano; Tom-Eddye Norden, bass; and Hannes Sigfridsson, drums.

Marvin Stamm / Bill Mays Duo
Highly skilled and accomplished as individual band leaders, collectively Marvin Stamm and Bill Mays are a dynamic combination. Explore the beauty, the excitement, the subtlety, and the grace of the world of music from the Great American Songbook. Enjoy magnificent jazz standards, even music from the classical world -- all through the spontaneous interaction of jazz, documented by their critically acclaimed CD, By Ourselves.

Rosana Eckert & Friends
With smooth sounds, dynamic spontaneity, exciting rhythms, and a selfless musical sincerity, Rosana Eckert embraces and captivates her listeners, taking them on a musical journey that is often described as joyous, breathtaking, and inspiring. Her acclaimed debut CD, At the End of the Day, was praised as “an occasion for celebration" by AllAboutJazz.com, a “superior debut" by Cadence Magazine, and it was a finalist for Best New Jazz Album in the 2008 Independent Music Awards. Her newest CD Small Hotel once again showcases her knack for storytelling and her ability to breathe new life into beloved standards with her contemporary style. Friends include Shelly Berg, piano; Lou Fischer, bass; Ndugu Chancler, drums; and Gary Eckert, percussion.

Clayton Brothers Quintet
This world-renowned quintet is the brain-child of saxophonist Jeff Clayton. According to Jeff, some 30 years ago he and Grammy Award winning brother, bassist/composer/arranger John, agreed to support each other's preferred formats. Jeff's love of small groups led to the formation of the Quintet. The band's latest album Brother to Brother was released in November 2008 and was nominated for a Grammy Award. John and Jeff Clayton prove conclusively, that while blood may be thicker than water, it can also carry an unimpeded flow of pure creativity. John Clayton, bass; Jeff Clayton; alto saxophone; Gerald Clayton, piano; Terell Stafford, trumpet; Obed Calvaire, drums.

About JEN
The Jazz Education Network, commonly called JEN, is the not-for-profit organization that unifies, leads and strengthens the global jazz community. The organization -- and its annual conference -- serves as a hub for people who wish to advance education, promote performance and develop new audiences. Founded in June 2008, JEN proudly represents a worldwide community of people who are passionate about jazz and jazz education, providing them with the tools, learning and networking environment they need to pursue it. JEN is presently comprised of more than 800 members and continues to grow on a daily basis. For more information about JEN, please visit www.JazzEdNet.org.

Corporate Partners
12 Points Graphics, Advance Music, Alfred Publishing, Amerian Classic Music Festivals, ASCAP, Buffet Crampon USA, Columbia College Chicago, Concord Music Group, Cultural Tour Consultants, D'Addario & Company, Inc., DANSR Inc., ejazzlines / Jazz Lines Publications, Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation, EM-BEE ideas, Hal Leonard Music Publishing, Inc., Jamey Aebersold Jazz, Jazz Cruises, Jupiter Band Instruments, Kendor Music, Monterrey Jazz Festival, Pacific Coast Jazz, Pender's Music Company, SABIAN, Shattinger Music, Sher Music Co., Stanton's Sheet Music, Superscope Technologies, Inc., Symphony Publishing, Tenor Madness, Vic Firth, Inc., Visual Jazz Publications, Warburton Music Products, Yamaha.

Institutional Partners
American School of Modern Music, Anita Brown Jazz Orchestra, Brubeck Institute, Capital University, Columbia College Chicago, Cornish College of the Arts, Detroit International Jazz Festival, Five Towns College, Gettysburg College, Jazz Arts Group of Columbus, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Jazz St. Louis, Marshall University, MCG Jazz - Manchester Craftsman Guild, Music for All, Inc., National Jazz Wrokshop, New England Conservatory of Music, New York Academy, Northern Illinois University, Orbert Davis' Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, SFJAZZ, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Souza Lima, Stanford Jazz Workshop, University of Arkansas Ft. Smith -- Dep't. of Music, University of Cincinnati, University of Kentucky, University of Manitoba -- Faculty of Music, University of Miami, University of Missouri -- St. Louis, University of New Orleans - Dep't. of Music, U.S. Army Blues, USC Thornton School of Music, Vail Jazz Foundation

Network Affiliates
AAJE: Arizona Association for Jazz Education, California Alliance for Jazz, Central Illinois Jazz Society, International Society of Bassists, Jazz Education Connection of Ohio, JazzMN, Inc., JodyJazz, Inc., MOAJE: Missouri Association for Jazz Education, Pentastic Jazz Festival Society, Polyrhythms, SAJE: South African Association for Jazz Education, Swedish Jazz Federation, Traditional Jazz Educators Network, University of Northern Colorado, URBAN JAZZ COLLECTIVE.

For additional information about the 2010 JEN Conference, including lodging and parking, please visit JEN's “Conference Central" at www.JazzEdNet.org.

This story appears courtesy of DeBlaze & Associates.
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