The sounds of piano, trombone and jazz combos will fill the air at Bowling Green State University starting March 28 as Jazz Week 2011 kicks off.
Events run from March 28 to April 1 with performances, clinics and appearances by BGSU jazz students, faculty and special guests Jay Ashby and Russell Schmidt.
Schmidt is the featured piano performer for the first concert, at 8 p.m. March 28 in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Joining Schmidt on a series of selections will be BGSU jazz faculty members David Bixler, alto sax; Chris Buzzelli, guitar; Jeff Halsey, bass, and Roger Schupp, drums.
Schmidt is a previous Director of Jazz Activities at BGSU and holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with legendary jazz pedagogue Rayburn Wright.
As a performer, Schmidt was one of only two American jazz pianists selected to participate in the second Martial Solal International Jazz Piano Competition in Paris. Among his recent recordings are “Season of Change,” which is his debut release as a leader, “Jazz Vespers,” by Paul Ferguson, and “The Surprise of Being – Live at Birdland” by the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra featuring Joe Lovano.
BGSU students in chamber jazz ensembles will take the stage at the Bryan Recital Hall at 8 p.m. March 29.
On March 30, trombonist Jay Ashby and members of the BGSU jazz faculty will perform as part of the Faculty Artist Series. Ashby is a four-time Grammy Award-winning producer whose resume includes over 100 recordings, ranging in style and genre from jazz and pop to world music.
In recent years, Ashby has performed, traveled and recorded extensively with some of the most renowned artists in the industry. His longtime association with trumpet master Claudio Roditi helped develop his strong affinity for “Brazilian Jazz.” As a member of Dizzy Gillespie’s United Nation Orchestra in the early 1990s, Ashby forged relationships with jazz greats Paquito D’Rivera and Jon Faddis. In 1999, in a testament to his versatility, he began his first foray into the pop world as trombonist, percussionist and arranger with pop music icon Paul Simon.
In an educational capacity, Ashby has conducted master classes, residencies and clinics world wide, including annual events in Germany, Brazil and Russia.
BGSU’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble will be featured at 8 p.m. March 31 in Bryan Recital Hall.
On April 1 at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall, Ashby will join the Jazz Lab Band I in a program that will include some of Ashby’s own material and arrangements including “The BGSU Blues.”
All events are sponsored in part by Marlene Norton and Jerry Liss and are free and open to the public. To view a schedule of events, click here.
(Submitted by Susan Knapp)