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SU planning jazz festival featuring drummer

By Staff | Mar 2, 2012

The Eastern Regional Jazz Festival Concert, sponsored by the Friends of Music, will feature the Shepherd University Jazz Ensemble and special guest artist, drummer Gary Hobbs, Saturday, Mar. 3 at 8 p.m. in the Frank Center. The concert will feature a range of tunes from Thad Jones, Bill Holman, Hank Levy, Paul McKee and Maria Schneider.

Hobbs will conduct a clinic, “How Drums Rule the Universe,” at 1 p.m. on Mar. 3 in the Horton Walker Shipley Recital Hall. The clinic is free and open to the public. Throughout Saturday, the West Virginia Eastern Regional Jazz Festival will feature middle and high schools from throughout the region from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Frank Center.

Hobbs has played professionally for more than three decades and appears on 60 recordings. He played with the Stan Kenton Orchestra from 1975 through 1977 and has played with Randy Brecker, Ken Peplowski, Pete Christlieb, Greta Matassa, Anita O’Day, Suzanna McKorkle, Dan Siegel, Glen Moore, the New York Voices, Eddie Harris and many others. Hobbs teaches at the University of Oregon and travels the U.S., conducting clinics, concerts, and jazz camps with the help of Bosphorus Cymbal Company and Yamaha Drum Company.

The Jazz Program at Shepherd University includes Dr. Kurtis Adams, David Marsh, Cam Millar, Ronnie Shaw and Dr. Mark Cook. Each year the ensembles work with a major jazz performer in clinics and concerts. The group has worked with Kenney Werner, Bill Watrous, Paquito D’Rivera, Alan Vizzutti, Ingrid Jensen, Claudio Roditi, Tim Hagans, Hal Galper, Juanita Williams, Chris Vadala and John Fedchock.

The Shepherd University Jazz Ensemble has performed throughout the East Coast and in Europe and is in great demand as a feature band in jazz festivals around the globe. Invited to the world-renowned Montreux Jazz festival in 2003, the Jazz Ensemble played throughout Switzerland and Italy on a nine-day concert tour. In 1999, the band took its Ellington Tour to England and France. In the United States they have been featured at the Longwood, the Blue Ridge, and the East Coast jazz festivals, as well as regional festivals throughout Virgina, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey.

General admission tickets for the Eastern Regional Jazz Festival Concert are $22 in advance and $27 at the door; $22 for seniors, faculty and staff; and $15 for students 18 and under.

For tickets and more information, call 304-876-5765 or visit www.sufom.org.