Xavier University celebrates jazz with series of free events

Xavier University celebrates jazz with series of free events
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POSTED: Sunday, April 14, 2013 - 3:00pm

UPDATED: Sunday, April 14, 2013 - 3:04pm

While music-lovers across the country prepare to converge on New Orleans for the annual Jazz & Heritage Festival in April, Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA) is hosting a festival of their own. The Xavier University Jazz Festival is a three-day event which highlights various genres of the Jazz art form. The event kicks off Tuesday, April 16, with three evening concerts at the Old US Mint and various clinics, workshops and lectures by local and national music artists during the day in the Xavier Music Recital Hall. All events are free and open to the public.

“The purpose of the Xavier University Jazz Festival is to expose New Orleans to the sophisticated insight into the artistry and effort that goes into the creation of the music and the making of Jazz legends,” said XULA Department of Music and Director of Bands Chairman Dr. Timothy Turner. “With this educational goal as the focus, local junior and senior high school students have a unique opportunity to join the with college and professional-level musicians during the workshops to absorb and learn about the craft.”

Dr. Michael White and the Original Liberty Brass Band, Trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis and his group, and the internationally-recognized Saxophonist Donald Harrison are all on the schedule for this year’s event. Harrison will bring the festival to a close with the Xavier University Jazz Ensemble directed by Dr. Turner. The Clinic/Workshop Day will feature the festival guest artists in lecture presentations on various jazz topics relative to their particular expertise.

Schedule of Events:

April 16 – 7 p.m, Old US Mint
Traditional Jazz Day featuring Dr. Michael White and the Original Liberty Brass Band

Traditional Jazz Day will begin the festival with an evening concert featuring internationally acclaimed Traditional Jazz Musician Dr. Michael White and his Original Liberty Brass Band. Dr. White is a New Orleans born Traditional Jazz musician and historian who has received international recognition as a lecturer, historian and musician presenting the music and history of original New Orleans Traditional Jazz. The Original Liberty Brass Band has received numerous performance awards and has traveled the globe presenting New Orleans Traditional Jazz in most of the world’s leading jazz festivals.

April 17 – 7 p.m, Old US Mint
Contemporary Jazz Day featuring Delfeayo Marsalis

Contemporary Jazz Day will continue the festival with another evening concert featuring New Orleans’ own Jazz Trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis. As a trombonist, Delfeayo has toured internationally with legendary jazz artists Art Blakey, Abdullah Ibrahim, Elvin Jones, Slide Hampton and Max Roach, as well as touring with his own modern jazz ensemble. During a tour with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, he was filmed as part of the Ken Burns documentary Jazz. A mainstay on the New Orleans modern jazz scene, he has released three solo albums to critical acclaim, Pontius Pilate's Decision in 1992, Musashi in 1997, and Minions Dominion in September 2006. Along with late trombone master J.J. Johnson, several music reviewers have labeled Mr. Marsalis as one of the freshest modern voices on the instrument to arrive in the 90’s.

April 18 – Workshops begin at 12 p.m., Xavier Music Recital Hall
Clinic/Workshop Day

The festival will begin its final day of the concert series with a Clinic/Workshop Day structured for the high school student to the professional. A series of various one-hour lecture presentations featuring renowned jazz artists and clinicians beginning at noon will open with Traditional Jazz Techniques featuring Dr. Michael White discussing various aspects and nuances performed in Traditional New Orleans Jazz.

The second hour will continue the lecture series with Contemporary Jazz Improvisation featuring Delfeayo Marsalis discussing various aspects of modern jazz improvisation, focusing on theoretical concepts and ear training as it pertains to jazz improvisation.

The third hour of the lecture series will focus on Advanced Improvisation featuring Jazz Saxophonist Donald Harrison. Mr. Harrison will discuss theoretical devices and techniques used in approaching advanced jazz improvisation.

April 18 EVENING – 7 p.m, Old US Mint
Xavier University Jazz Ensemble featuring Donald Harrison

The evening concludes the concert series and the festival with its final concert featuring the Xavier University Jazz Ensemble with Mr. Donald Harrison as featured soloist. Mr. Harrison has performed with Roy Haynes, Jack McDuff, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and Don Pullen in the 1980s and also played with the reformed Headhunters band in the 1990s. A talented post-bop altoist with a personal, angular style, Mr. Harrison came to fame with Art Blakey’s Messengers and is widely considered to be one of the finest jazz voices in modern jazz. 

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