DeBlaze and Associates      
 
       
Radio
Film & TV
Print
 

 Jazz Fest Expands to Four Days
“Big Phat Band Makes One Midwest Appearance ”

 

High Resolution Photos

(see page bottom)


"Now (the U.S. Bank Saint Louis Jazz Festival ) has some increasingly serious competition from the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival..." - Terry Perkins, Jazz Times


"Hellzapoppin' swing...jaw-dropping, to say the least...the music literally dances

in front of your eyes (Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band) ." - Jazz Times

 

Bobby Watson - "1990: Jazz Musician of the Year"
- Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll

 

Who:      University of Missouri - St. Louis and Jazz St. Louis

What:     2007 Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival
When:    Wednesday - Saturday, April 18-21
Where:   Jazz at the Bistro, 3536 Washington, St. Louis, 63103 (Wed & Thurs)

              Touhill Performing Arts Center, 8001 Natural Bridge, St. Louis, 63121 (Fri & Sat)

Cost:      Daytime = Free, Evenings = $10 - $35

INFO:     Schedule (click here) then press CTRL + P to print

              Visit www.jatb.org or call (800) 239-5949

              Visit www.touhill.org or call (800) 516-4949


   

St. Louis, MO, USA - March 30, 2007 Join UM-St. Louis' Jazz Studies Director Jim Widner (bass) and guest artists Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, Bobby Watson (saxophone), Mike Metheny (trumpet) and Steve Wiest (trombone) for a jazz festival that is both educational and entertaining -- concerts and clinics all rolled into one.

In four swing-filled days, Widner and master musicians demonstrate the techniques that jazz artists use to paint their musical landscape and how those techniques might be applied to concert performances.  Jazz artists use improvisation that leaves the jaws of their audience gaping.  What they say is based on the interplay of the musicians around them.  They build stories with their songs that keep listeners listening and hanging on each note.  They are also original, witty, insightful and hard driving.

How do they do that?  Widner and guest artists will supply some of the answers at the festival.

The jazz artists scheduled to appear are seasoned veterans from across America who perform in world-renowned venues around the globe.  Quite accomplished, they have earned Grammy ® Awards, Emmy ® Awards, Grammy ® nominations and film and television credits.  Widner is an Artist-in-Residence at UMSL and full-time big band guru with 30 years jazz camp experience extending to California State University in Sacramento.
 

Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival
For the first time in festival history, the organizers will lengthen the event from two to four days creating the largest jazz educational event in the region.  Jazz St. Louis, a Des Lee Collaborative member, joins the UM-St. Louis once again to co-present programs.  Tune in to the unmistakable sound of L.A.'s finest musicians when the Big Phat Band performs for one Midwest show only.

 
According to Jim Widner, the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival is "the finest jazz education festival in this part of the country."  What is the university's niche?  In part, UM-St. Louis offers "first class performances, clinics, venues and guest artists," Widner said.  For the  last two seasons they have hosted more jazz guest artists than any other higher learning institution in the St. Louis area.  Widner continues to grow the university's world-class jazz program and he assures us they "cut no corners."

The festival hosts high school ensembles and orchestras that perform for clinician's critique and comments.  Nearly 750 students will be evaluated at the Touhill Performing Arts Center and Jazz at the Bistro - a 50% growth spurt from last year.  The public is invited to observe free informal daytime performances and first-class evening concerts on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
  

About University of Missouri - St. Louis

The Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center, located on the UM-St. Louis campus, provides an extraordinary, world-class venue for faculty and students to showcase their talents of artistic innovation.  A cultural classroom for the community, this state-of-the-art performance laboratory is a valued home to St. Louis and Midwest audiences.  It symbolizes the University's commitment to integrate education, innovation and excellence. 

 

Don't miss special guest artists, the UMSL Jazz Ensemble and one of the hardest swinging jazz ensembles in the world, Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band.  The UMSL Jazz Ensemble will appear with Bobby Watson, Mike Metheny and Steve Wiest on Friday, April 20, and Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band will appear on Saturday, April 21 both at 8 p.m. at the Touhill Performing Arts Center located on the UM-St. Louis campus.  Admission is $10-$35 with student discounts available.  For more information about the evening performances, visit www.touhill.org or call (314) 515-4949 / toll free (866) 516-4949 for advance tickets.

 

The UMSL Jazz Faculty will appear with special guest all-stars Bobby Watson, Mike Metheny and Steve Wiest on Wednesday, April 18 at 8:30 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. at Jazz at the Bistro in the historic Grand Center Arts District.  Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students with a valid i.d.  For more information about Wednesday's performance, visit www.jazzstl.org or call (314) 534-1111 / (800) 293-5949 for advance tickets or (314) 289-4030 for Bistro information.

 

Date
Time
Location
Artists
Cost
Guests
Wednesday, April 18
9:30 a.m.
-
4:00 p.m.
Jazz at the Bistro
Eight (8) High School Jazz Combos
Free

Clinicians:

Bobby Watson

Mike Metheny

Steve Wiest

Wednesday, April 18
8:30 p.m.
&
10:15 p.m.
Jazz at the Bistro

UMSL Jazz Faculty

Jim Widner

Ken Kehner

Bob Borstede

Miles Vandiever

$15

(students:

$10 with valid i.d.)

Artists:

Bobby Watson

Mike Metheny

Steve Wiest

Thursday, April 19
9:30 a.m.
-
4:00 p.m.
Jazz at the Bistro

Eight (8) High School Jazz Combos

12 Noon

Guest Artist

San Gabriel 7

Free

Clinicians:

Bobby Watson

Mike Metheny

Steve Wiest

Friday,

April 20

8:30 a.m.
-
5:00 p.m.
Touhill PAC Anheuser-Busch
Performance Hall
Sixteen (16) High School Jazz Orchestras
Free

Clinicians:

Bobby Watson

Mike Metheny

Steve Wiest

Friday,

April 20

8:00 p.m.
Touhill PAC Anheuser-Busch
Performance Hall

UMSL Jazz Ensemble

Director:

Jim Widner


$20-$15-$10

(students:

$9-$13 with valid i.d.)

Artists:

Bobby Watson

Mike Metheny

Steve Wiest

Saturday,
April 21
8:30 a.m.
-
5:00 p.m.
Touhill PAC Anheuser-Busch
Performance Hall
Sixteen (16) High School
Jazz Orchestras
Free

Clinicians:

Bobby Watson

Mike Metheny

Steve Wiest

Saturday,

April 21

8:00 p.m.
Touhill PAC Anheuser-Busch
Performance Hall
Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band
$35-25-$15

 

Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival

2007 Performing Artist's Bio's

About Gordon Goodwin

As winner of the 2006 Grammy Award for his Instrumental Arrangement of Incredits from the film The Incredibles, as well as three-time Emmy Award winner and five-time Grammy nominee, you would think that Gordon Goodwin had fulfilled his dreams and achieved all of his goals. Not by a long shot. The leader of L.A.’s most exciting 18-piece big band jazz ensemble, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, has quickly become one of the hardest swinging large jazz ensembles. The Big Phat Band celebrates and personifies the best of the big band tradition with a very contemporary and original sound. Gordon’s witty and insightful arrangements propel the listener on a journey through a myriad of styles: latin, blues, swing, classical, hard-hitting jazz and even an homage to Looney Tunes.

Known for featuring guest artists from Arturo Sandoval, Brian McKnight and Johnny Mathis to the incomparable Michael Brecker, the band released its third album last year. The Phat Pack (Immergent Records) features guest stars Dianne Reeves, David Sanborn, Take 6 and more. Goodwin’s ability to combine traditional jazz excellence with any musical style makes head-bangers and be-boppers agree in their praise of the Big Phat Band.

Throughout his career, Gordon Goodwin has built a larger-than-life reputation for his composing, arranging and musical instrumentation skills with names like Ray Charles, Christina Aguilera, Mel Torme, Natalie Cole, Sarah Vaughn and Quincy Jones. Goodwin has also conducted with world-renowned symphony orchestras from Dallas to Toronto and London. Working within the television and film industry, his cinematic scoring and orchestration craft can be heard on at least twelve films, including the upcoming Bah Hum Duck! A Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck riff on the classic, A Christmas Carol.

About Jim Widner

Jim Widner, Artist in Residence/Director of Jazz Studies at UM-St. Louis, is an alumnus of the Stan Kenton, Woody Herman and Glenn Miller big bands.  Besides his role as Director of the UM-St. Louis bands and leader of the Jim Widner Big Band, Jim is a Yamaha national recording artist poised to release Out of This World (Chase Music Group).  He maintains an ambitious clinic and festival schedule at high schools and colleges throughout the US that can be found at www.jimwidnerbigband.com.  Recently he was inducted into The Statesmen of Jazz.  Jim has performed with artists Clark Terry, Buddy DeFranco, Bill Watrous, Mulgrew Miller, Louie Bellson, Randy Brecker, and Marilyn Maye.

About Bobby Watson

Saxophonist, composer, producer and educator Bobby Watson earned his “doctorate” on the bandstand as musical director of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.  Following his tenure, the gifted and sought-after Watson worked with Max Roach, Branford Marsalis and Wynton Marsalis.  Later he launched the first edition of Horizon.  Modeled in many ways after the Jazz Messengers, Horizon has its own modern twist.  His latest project, Horizon Reassembled (Palmetto Records) rocketed to number one on the national jazz charts.  Watson has also led groups known as the High Court of Swing, Tailor–Made Big Band and 29th Street Saxophone Quartet.  Now a seasoned veteran, Bobby Watson has 26 recordings as a leader and appears on nearly 100 other recordings.  Watson’s classic release Love Remains (Red Records) is recognized as a core collection of “must-haves” for any jazz aficionado.  Bobby has served as a faculty member at William Patterson University, Manhattan School of Music and, currently, as director of jazz studies at the University of Missouri / Kansas City where he was selected as the first Distinguished Professorship in Jazz Studies.  At this time he is involved with the Thelonius Monk Institute’s yearly high school outreach program, “Jazz in America.”

 

About Steve Wiest

Celebrated jazz trombonist-composer-clinician Steve Wiest first came to the music world’s attention as an exciting featured artist with Maynard Ferguson.  Wiest recently reunited with Ferguson at the Blue Note in New York last summer as part of an all-star band.  The same group recorded works by Wiest, Denis DiBlasio, Chip McNeil and others for Maynard’s final CD.  In addition, Wiest has performed and recorded with the Doc Severinsen Big Band.  Steve’s new recording Excalibur (Arabesque) features a brilliant big band full of seasoned jazz artists with compositions and arrangements all penned by Wiest.  A successful guest artist and clinician for Edwards Trombones throughout the U.S. and Europe, Steve has been featured at countless universities, high schools, jazz festivals and conferences.

 

About Mike Metheny

Trumpet/flugelhorn soloist Mike Metheny is a freelance performer, educator and music journalist.  A previous faculty member at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, Mike taught private trumpet, music theory and jazz improvisation.  While there, he led his own Boston-based jazz quartet appearing in clubs, concerts and festival settings in the U.S.  A recipient of the “Outstanding Brass Player” award from the annual Boston Music Awards, Mike has appeared on numerous jazz recordings as a sideman and recorded eight albums as a leader.  Metheny is one of the few trumpeters to regularly perform on the EVI (Electronic Valve Instrument), a trumpet synthesizer with an eight octave range.

About Ken Kehner

A jazz piano and combo leader, Ken Kehner has been a featured soloist with several orchestras throughout the Midwest.  He is a Jazz Piano Instructor at UM – St. Louis, and is on staff with the Jim Widner Summer Jazz Camp Series.  Kehner has a degree in Piano Performance from Truman State University where he also earned his Master’s and served as an adjunct jazz instructor. You can hear Ken perform regularly with the Jim Widner Big Band.  He has appeared with such noted artists as Clark Terry, Bill Watrous, Bobby Shew, Buddy DeFranco, Louie Bellson and Jim Widner.

 

About San Gabriel Seven

San Gabriel Seven is a high energy jazz/Latin/funk ensemble based in Los Angeles, California. Formed in February 2005 by trombonist Jim Lewis, the San Gabriel Seven (SGS) quickly became one of the hottest new groups on the jazz scene.  Together they were chosen by Bill Watrous as his favorite group to perform with in Southern California.  Their music is a mix of contemporary originals and new arrangements of standards.  The SGS has featured greats such as Bill Watrous, Pete Christlieb, Steve Huffsteter, and Bruce Lofgren.  They have already released two CDs, “Chop Check” (2005) and “Blame It On Trio” (2006), and they are currently planning a European tour in 2007.

 

Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival

2007 Artists Quotes

 

GORDON GOODWIN’S BIG PHAT BAND

“The Big Phat Band provides potent testimony to the sheer exhilaration of
big band jazz…a combination of crisp accuracy and fiery soloing.” – L.A. Times

"Hellzapoppin' swing...jaw-dropping, to say the least...the music
literally dances in front of your eyes." – Jazz Times

JIM WIDNER

“I was very thrilled to witness the work…by my ol’ buddy Jim Widner whose expertise in the field of jazz education proved invaluable in putting this masterful CD (Yesterdays & Today) together.” – Clark Terry

“You…gave all your children a chance to shine while you supplied
them with a great swingin’ foundation.” – Louie Bellson

BOBBY WATSON

”1990: Jazz Musician of the Year” - Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll

“One of the stellar jazz artists…(Watson) is on a quest for
musical perfection through learning by living.” – Jazz Review

STEVE WIEST

“…(Steve Wiest) demonstrates his mastery of his instrument as well as his virtuosity
and expansive imagination as a composer and arranger.” – Jazz Times

“Excalibur is a dream come true for the fans of great modern big band arranging,
writing and playing. It is highly recommended.” – Jazz Improv

MIKE METHENY

“He has an incredibly full, rich tone and a focused sound…Mike's musical ideas are fluid and
tasteful and his improvisation consists of well thought-out swinging phrases, never playing
throw-away notes for the sake of being flashy.” – International Trumpet Guild Journal

"Intriguing, impressive, and easy on the ears, KC Potpourri is one of the better
big band albums to come along in quite a while." – Jazziz Magazine

SAN GABRIEL SEVEN

"...a very exciting, high energy experience with first-class musicians."
– Bill Watrous, Master Trombonist

 

Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival

igh-Resolution, Downloadable Photos):

2007 Artist Photos

 

2007 Jazz Fest Logo

Big Phat Band     Gordon Goodwin - Martini Glass Caricature

Phat Pack Poster
Jim Widner

Bobby Watson
Mike Metheny
Steve Wiest


Ken Kehner (Unavailable at Press Time)


 
www.deblaze.com
© 2004-2009 deblazeandassociates, LLC
All Rights Reserved