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(Published: August 07, 2014)


Los Angeles, Calif. - Renowned jazz educator and electric bassist JB Dyas, PhD will perform with bassoon virtuoso Kim Walker at this year's Washington Square Music Festival in New York's famed Washington Square Park on August 8. Sponsored in part by the International Double Reed Society and New York University, Dyas and Walker will perform Trilogy, a concerto for bassoon, string orchestra, electric bass, and percussion composed by Dyas's mentor, David Baker. The duo premiered the work 15 years ago at Indiana University where Dyas was a doctoral student under Baker's tutelage and Walker served as chairperson of the woodwind department. Dyas also has performed and recorded with Baker's big band and sextet, and was a contributing author to his biography, David Baker - A Legacy in Music (IU Press, 2011).

"I'm so looking forward to playing this incredible piece again with Kim Walker," said Dyas from his office at UCLA where he currently serves as vice president for education and curriculum development for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. "David [Baker] has fused classical music with jazz beautifully and brilliantly here, and Kim is one of the best ever to play the instrument."

Baker, one of the top jazz pedagogues and most eclectic and prolific composers in the world today, considers Dyas one of his foremost protégés. "JB excels in everything he does," Baker said. "Perhaps best known for his contributions to and leadership in jazz education, especially through his work at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz and the Brubeck Institute, he is also an outstanding performer, conductor, teacher, author, lecturer, and tireless advocate for jazz throughout the United States and around the world."

Now living in Los Angeles, Dyas grew up in New York's Greenwich Village in the late 1960s where he played at Washington Square Park numerous times. "But then it was on monkey bars and swings," he explained. "This time it will be a different kind of swinging!" Dyas is also looking forward to the rehearsals prior to the concert, one of which will be held at St. Joseph Church just two blocks from the park. "I haven't been to St. Joseph's since my first communion," he added. "David Baker, Washington Square, the church - you gotta love the serendipity; it's good to be coming home."

Trilogy will be among several pieces performed at the Festival, featuring New York's Village Orchestra conducted by Constantine Kitsopoulos, beginning at 8:00 PM on August 8 on the Main Stage in the center of Washington Square Park just south of Fifth Avenue. Admission is free. For further information, call 212-252-3621 or visit www.washingtonsquaremusicfestival.org.


The Washington Square Music Festival was founded in 1953 by violinist Alexander Schneider and the Washington Square Association. Now in its 56th season, it is the second oldest outdoor free classical music series in New York, the Naumburg series being the eldest. Programmed by Music Director Lutz Rath, the Festival runs in June and August and offers familiar and adventurous musical evenings of chamber orchestra, opera, vocals, and jazz performances that delight and educate large and diverse audiences. The Festival is funded in part by public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council through Councilwoman Margaret Chin and the New York State Council on the Arts, as well as grants from the Earle K. & Katherine F. Moore Foundation, Washington Square Association, Music Performance Trust Fund, Margaret Neubart Foundation Trust, New York University Community Affairs & NYU Community Fund, Salamon-Abrams Family Fund, Down The Hatch/Three Sheets/Off The Wagon, Con Edison, Washington Square Park Conservancy, Washington Square Hotel, and NYC Parks & Recreation.

Kim Walker is recognized as one of the world's leading bassoonists, having performed on five continents - Asia, North America, Europe, Australia and Africa - and appears on more than 30 highly acclaimed recordings as a soloist and chamber musician. Her career began in her teens with a benchmark recital at the Wigmore Hall in 1982, of which the London Times wrote: "She outclassed many an operatic rival." Since then, Walker has performed at numerous musical festivals worldwide with many of the great European Orchestras and preeminent conductors. She was a founding member of Queens of the Night Quartet and the Fidelio Wind Ensemble in Geneva. She has collaborated with the Guarneri Quartet, the Ensemble Contrechamps, as well as with Menahem Pressler, Richard Tognetti, Dimitri Sitkovetsky, Stadler, Ougorssky, and many other renowned musicians. Walker also has freelanced as guest principal bassoon with the Montreal Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, l'Orchestra de la Suisse Romande, and l'Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne under the batons of Leonard Bernstein, Armin Jordan, Antal Dorati, Sir George Solti, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Richard Hickox, Lorin Maazel, Joseph Silverstein, Maurice Bourgue and Jacques Zoon. Besides being a world class performer, Walker is a dedicated educator and has served as Chair of the Woodwind Department at the Indiana University School of Music and Dean of the Conservatorium of Music at the University of Sydney, and continues to present workshops and master classes around the globe. www.kimwalker.com.au

Bassist J.B. Dyas, PhD has been a leader in jazz education for the past two decades. Formerly the Executive Director of the Brubeck Institute, Dyas currently serves as Vice President for Education and Curriculum Development for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz at UCLA in Los Angeles. He oversees the Institute's education and outreach programs including Jazz in America: The National Jazz Curriculum, one of the most important and wide-reaching jazz education initiatives in the world (www.jazzinamerica.org). Throughout his career, Dyas has performed across the country with a wide array of major artists, directed large and small ensembles, developed and implemented new jazz curricula, and written for DownBeat magazine and other national music publications. He has performed and recorded with David Baker's big band and sextet, and was a contributing author to his biography, David Baker - A Legacy in Music. Having served on the Smithsonian Institution's Task Force for Jazz Education in America and presented numerous jazz education events worldwide with such artists as Dave Brubeck and Herbie Hancock, Dyas most recently introduced his "What is Jazz and Why It's Important to the World" lecture for International Jazz Day in Osaka, Japan. He also has made a series of teacher-training jazz education videos which can be found online at www.artisthousemusic.org. Dyas received his master's degree in Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Miami and PhD in Music Education from Indiana University, and is a recipient of the DownBeat Achievement Award for Jazz Education.

David Baker is considered one of the most eclectic and prolific composers of his generation. With over 2,000 compositions to his credit, he has been commissioned to write everything from jazz and sonatas to orchestral works and film scores by more than 500 individuals and ensembles, including Josef Gingold, Ruggerio Ricci, Janos Starker, Harvey Phillips, the New York Philharmonic, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Beaux Arts Trio, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, the Louisville Symphony, the Ohio Chamber Orchestra, the Audubon String Quartet, and the International Horn Society. A Distinguished Professor of Music at Indiana University and a virtuosic performer on multiple instruments and top in his field in several disciplines, Baker has taught and performed throughout the USA, Canada, Europe, Scandinavia, New Zealand, and Japan. He has served as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, written over 70 books and 400 articles on jazz pedagogy and related areas, and recorded more than 100 albums as performer, composer, or arranger. He received both bachelor's and master's degrees in music education from Indiana University, and honorary doctorates from Oberlin College, Wabash College, and the New England Conservatory of Music. A Pulitzer Prize and Grammy Award nominee, Baker has received numerous awards and citations including jazz's highest honor: the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Award. www.davidbaker.org.

Constantine Kitsopoulos is one of the leading and most versatile conductors today. His musical experiences span the worlds of symphony, opera, and musical theater, with appearances in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, London's Royal Albert Hall, and on Broadway. He currently serves as music director of the Queens Symphony Orchestra, general director of the Chatham Opera, music director of the Festival of the Arts Boca, and artistic director of the OK Mozart Festival. He also has guest conducted numerous eminent orchestras worldwide, including the New York Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, Russian National Orchestra, and Hong Kong Philharmonic. His busy opera schedule has included annual productions at the Indiana University Opera Theater, including Verdi's Falstaff, William Bolcom's A View from the Bridge, Richard Strauss's Die Fledermaus, and Loesser's The Most Happy Fella. As a theater conductor, both on Broadway and nationwide, Kitsopoulos has served as music director and conductor of the Tony Award-winning The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, the Tony-nominated A Catered Affair and Coram Boy, the American Conservatory Theatre's production of Kurt Weill's Happy End, and Matthew Bourne's Broadway production of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, among others. He also has a number of recordings to his credit, including the Grammy Award-winning original Broadway cast album of the Gershwins' Porgy and Bess. www.kitsopoulos.com

More Information: https://www.washingtonsquaremusicfestival.org

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