news releases

2005.01.21 > For Immediate Release
contact: Teresa Gleason - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: tmgleason@mail.unomaha.edu

Annual UNO Great Plains Jazz Festival Feb. 18-19

OMAHA – Hundreds of junior high and high school students from across Nebraska will travel to the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) next month to participate in the 33rd annual Great Plains Jazz Festival.

The event will be held Friday and Saturday, Feb. 18-19.  All festival activities will be held in the Strauss Performing Arts Center and Milo Bail Student Center on the UNO campus.

Participating students will have the opportunity to work with an impressive group of clinicians, adjudicators and guest artists.  In addition, two UNO Great Plains Jazz Festival Scholarships will be presented to two students who are considering attending UNO.

The festival's featured guest artist is jazz trumpet soloist Bobby Shew.  Born in Albuquerque, N.M., Shew began playing trumpet professionally as a teenager.  Early in his career, he performed with the likes of Tommy Dorsey, Woody Herman, Della Reese and Buddy Rich.  One of his albums, "Outstanding in His Field," was nominated for a Grammy in 1980.  Another, "Heavy Company," was awarded the Jazz Album of the Year in 1983.  Today, Shew maintains a busy performing and private teaching schedule. 

Jamey Aebersold, who will conduct clinic sessions Feb. 18, currently teaches jazz improvisation at the University of Louisville.  He was inducted into the International Association of Jazz Educators in 1989, joining other jazz luminaries such as Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker and Louis Armstrong, among others.  Aebersold was one of the first to encourage small group improvisation classes.  His clinics and lectures concentrate on demonstrating how the creative and spontaneous nature of each person can be brought to light.

"Jamey Aebersold and Bobby Shew are two of the biggest jazz names in the world, and we are thrilled to have them both on our campus for this year's festival," said Pete Madsen, coordinator of jazz studies and assistant professor of trombone at UNO.  "We have groups coming this year from as far away as Missouri to attend, and I am glad we can offer them a great educational and artistic experience."

In conjunction with the festival, the general public will be able to attend two concerts Saturday, Feb. 19. 

The UNO Jazz Ensemble and festival adjudicators will perform in concert at 4 p.m. in the Strauss Performing Arts Center Recital Hall.  The festival's awards ceremony will take place at the concert.  This concert is free and open to the public.

Later that evening at 7:30 p.m., the Bobby Shew Quartet will perform in the Strauss Performing Arts Center Recital Hall as part of the Ecoutez! series at UNO.  The word "ecoutez" is French for "listen."  Tickets are $15 per person for the general public.  Tickets are free to all students with identification, but reservations are recommended by calling (402) 554-3427. 

The festival schedule is listed below.

Friday, Feb. 18

7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Junior high/high school performances and clinic sessions presented by Jamey Aebersold and Carlos Figueroa.

Saturday, Feb. 19

7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Junior high ⁄ high school performances continue; clinic presented by featured guest artist Bobby Shew.

4 p.m.

Concert featuring UNO Jazz Ensemble and festival adjudicators.  The awards ceremony will take place at the concert.

7:30 p.m.

Ecoutez! concert featuring The Bobby Shew Quartet.

For more information, contact Madsen at (402) 554-2297 or petermadsen@mail.unomaha.edu.

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