On Wednesday, May 8, three of WMU's best Jazz groups will be performing in Chicago's Jazz Showcase from 8 until 11. Located just south of the Loop, The Jazz Showcase is the oldest jazz club in Chicago and has hosted such industry titans as Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey, and Count Basie.
The Jazz Studies Program at WMU has gained international recognition for its innovative approach to jazz education. Graduates of the program are among today's leaders in jazz and pop performance, Broadway, recording studio production, writing, arranging, singing, and music education. The WMU Jazz Studies Program has amassed over 140 DownBeat Student Music Awards in nearly every category.
The featured artists include:
The Jazz Orchestra, directed by Tom Knific, has performed with John Clayton, The New York
Voices, Alon Yavnai and Tim Hagans this year alone. The set will include music written for them
by Clayton and others.
The Jazz Octet, just back from headlining at the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, is under the direction of Andrew Rathbun. The octet performs original compositions and arrangements exclusively. Their inaugural CD, Rhythm Spirit, made top ten in jazz radio.
The Western Jazz Quartet features faculty members Andrew Rathbun, saxophone; Jeremy Siskind, piano; Tom Knific, bass; and Keith Hall, drums. The group has been featured on five continents, and has performed, toured and recorded with artists such as Randy Brecker, Art Farmer, Stefon Harris, Kenny Werner, Billy Hart, Mark Murphy, Dave Liebman, Janis Siegel, and Bobby McFerrin. The WJQ is about to release their 6th CD of original material.
For ticket information, please visit The Jazz Showcase website. Learn more about the WMU Jazz Studies Program here.