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(Published: February 09, 2015)

Carolina Jazz Festival

Founded in 1977, the Carolina Jazz Festival promotes a broad range of programming spanning performance, education, and scholarship. In addition to appearances by students and faculty from the UNC Jazz Studies program, this year's 38th annual festival features performances by Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band and Artists-in-Residence Etienne Charles (trumpet) and Rodney Whitaker (bass).

For additional information about the Carolina Jazz Festival, contact Festival DirectorJim Ketch (mailto:jketch@email.unc.edu'subject=Jazz Festival inquiry).

Carolina Jazz Festival (February 18-21)

38th Carolina Jazz Festival

We invite you to attend and enjoy the events of the 38th Carolina Jazz Festival. Our schedule includes many free events. For those events that do require tickets, please note that tickets are available at the Memorial Hall Box Office (919-843-3333) or at the door in advance of the concert. For information beyond what is listed please contact Jim Ketch at jketch@email.unc.edu or 919-962-7560.

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, February 18

1:25-2:15pm Open Rehearsal with the UNC Jazz Band (Jim Ketch, director) Artists-in-Residence: Rodney Whitaker, bass, and Etienne Charles, trumpet. Free, Open to Public, Room 1201 Kenan Music Building

4:00-6:00pm Faculty-Student Showcase Concert featuring Artists-in-Residence: Rodney Whitaker, bass and Etienne Charles, trumpet. UNC Jazz Faculty - Juan Alamo, vibes; Stephen Anderson, piano; Dan Davis, drums; Jason Foureman, bass; Jim Ketch, trumpet; Andy Kleindienst, trombone. Selected students from the UNC Jazz Program. Free, Open to the Public, Room 1201 Kenan Music Building

Thursday, February 19

2:00-3:30pm A jazz forum with Rodney Whitaker and Etienne Charles. A conversation on jazz history, listening to jazz, jazz improvisation, becoming a complete musician, and other topics. Free and open to the public.

7:30-9:30pm Latin Jazz Night
Featuring "Tribute to Cal Tjader" featuring Juan Alamo, vibes; Andy Kleindienst, trombone, Jim Crew, piano; Pete Kimosh, bass; Nelson Delgado, percussion; Cristina Alamo, vocals. Charanga Carolina*, Andy Kleindienst, Director Free, Open to the Public, Room 1201 Kenan Music Building. *Dancing will be allowed during the set performed by Charanga Carolina. A short dance class will be offered at intermission.

Friday, February 20

1:25-2:15pm Open Rehearsal with the UNC Jazz Band, Jim Ketch, Director. Artists-in-Residence: Rodney Whitaker, bass and Etienne Charles, trumpet. Free, Open to Public, Room 1201 Kenan Music Building

4:00-6:00pm UNC Jazz Combos Concert, Stephen Anderson, Dan Davis, Jason Foureman, and Ed Paolantonio, Directors. Rodney Whitaker, bass and Etienne Charles, trumpet. Free, open to the public, Room 1201 Kenan Music Building.

8:00pm Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band. Memorial Hall. Ticketed event. Memorial Hall Box Office: 919-843-3333. Sponsored by Carolina Performing Arts. www.carolinaperformingarts.org

10:30pm TENTATIVE. Workshop featuring Brian Blade and the Fellowship
Band, Room 1201 Kenan Music Building. Free. This event has yet to be confirmed by Brian Blade.

Saturday, February 21

8:30am-5:30pm 10th annual North Carolina Regional Essentially Ellington High School. The day will feature:
• Performances by High School Jazz Bands from North Carolina and Virginia to be held in Room 1201 of the Kenan Music Building.
• Performances by High School Jazz Combos from North Carolina and Virginia to be held in Room 107 of the Hill Hall Music Building.
• An awards ceremony in the late afternoon to present: Outstanding Jazz Band, Outstanding Jazz Combo, Outstanding Community Jazz Ensemble, &nOutstanding Student Performer awards.

8:00pm Concert: UNC Jazz Band, James Ketch, Director. Featuring Guest Soloists and Artists-in-Residence: Rodney Whitaker, bass and Etienne Charles, trumpet. Music of Duke Ellington, Thad Jones, Etienne Charles, Rodney Whitaker, Dave Pietro, Jeb Patton, and others. Admission Charged at the Door: $10; $5 Scholarship Benefit Concert.

Jazz Festival Personnel

Headliner - Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band

Jazzfest headliner Brian Blade
Blade was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana. The first music he experienced was gospel and songs of praise at the Zion Baptist Church where his father, Brady L. Blade, Sr., has been the pastor for fifty-two years. In elementary school, music appreciation classes were an important part of his development and at age nine, he began playing the violin. Inspired by his older brother, Brady Blade, Jr., who had been the drummer at Zion Baptist Church, Brian shifted his focus to the drums throughout middle and high school.

During high school, while studying with Dorsey Summerfield, Jr., Blade began listening to the music of John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk, Elvin Jones, and Joni Mitchell. By the age of eighteen, Brian moved to New Orleans to attend Loyola University. From 1988 through 1993, he studied and played with most of the master musicians living in New Orleans, including John Vidacovich, Ellis Marsalis, Steve Masakowski, Bill Huntington, Mike Pellera, John Mahoney, George French, Germaine Bazzle, David Lee, Jr., Alvin Red Tyler, Tony Dagradi and Harold Battiste.

In 1997, Blade formed The Fellowship Band with pianist Jon Cowherd, bassist Chris Thomas, saxophonists Myron Walden and Melvin Butler, guitarist Jeff Parker, pedal steel guitarist Dave Easley and guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel. The Fellowship Band released its debut album, Brian Blade Fellowship, in 1998, Perceptual, in 2000, Season of Changes in 2008 and "Landmarks" in 2014.

While continuing to work with the Fellowship Band, Blade has been a member of Wayne Shorter's quartet since 2000. He has recorded with Daniel Lanois, Joni Mitchell, Ellis Marsalis, Marianne Faithfull, Emmylou Harris, Billy Childs, Herbie Hancock, Dorothy Scott and Bob Dylan.

Artists-in Residence

Rodney Whitaker

Jazzfest Artist-in-Residence Rodney Whitaker (bass)
Internationally renowned bassist and Mack Avenue recording artist, Rodney Whitaker, currently holds the titles of Professor of Jazz Bass and Director of Jazz Studies at Michigan State University where he has built one of the leading jazz degree programs and performing faculty in the United States of America. He is considered one of the leading performers and teachers of the jazz double bass in the United States. He is also the Artistic Director of the Michigan State University Professors of Jazz, former Artistic Advisor of Jazz @ Wharton Center, Director of Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Civic Jazz Orchestra and a member of the Jazz @ Lincoln Center Orchestra. Whitaker received his first national recognition performing with the Harrison/Blanchard Quintet.

Building on his Detroit roots and enormous talent, Whitaker went on to earn an international reputation as one of the world's finest jazz double bass performer. He completed seven-year tenure as bassist with Wynton Marsalis' Septet and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. He has toured the world over the last twenty-five years, collaborating and performing with legendary jazz artists such as Jimmy Heath, Eric Reed, Cyrus Chestnut, Vanessa Rubin, Kathleen Battle, Dianne Reeves, Cassandra Wilson, Diana Krall, Jon Faddis, Donald Harrison, Terence Blanchard, Rodney Jones, Wycliffe Gordon, Kenny Burrell, Bob James, Benny Golson, Regina Carter, Pat Matheny, Nicholas Payton, Jimmy Cobb, Joshua Redman, Stephon Harris, Johnny O'Neal, Marcus Belgrave, James Carter, Steve Turre, Claudio Roditi, Junko Onishi, Harry Allen, Ronnie Matthews, Chick Corea, Kenny Garrett, Kevin Mahogany, Ingrid Jensen, Barry Harris, Ron Blake, Jeff Clayton, Dana Hall, Gerald Wilson, Sean Jones, Niki Harris, Wessell Anderson, Don Vappie, Johnny O'Neal, Cedar Walton, Renee Rosnes, Randy Brecker, Rickey Woodard, Bobby Shew, Gary Smulyan, Joe LaBarbera, Randy Napolean, Peter Martin, Nnenna Freelon, Donald Byrd, Branford Marsalis, Greg Hutchinson, Carl Allen, Herlin Riley, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Terrell Stafford, Tim Warfield, Bruce Barth, Jon Carl Hendricks, Roy Hargrove, the late greats: Dizzy Gelispie, Mulgrew Miller, Tommy Flanagan, John Lewis, Marian McPartland, Donald Walden, Joe Henderson, Hank Jones, Frank Morgan and Betty ‘Bebop' Carter as well as performing with leading symphony orchestras world-wide. Whitaker has also toured internationally as a featured performer with the Roy Hargrove Quintet. In addition, he has appeared and presented master classes at the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) conferences.

Rodney is one of the hardest working and swinging bass players on the scene and has recorded with great musicians such as Roy Hargrove, Pat Metheny and Wynton Marsalis. Featured on more than 100+ recordings - from film to compact discs - Whitaker's film scores, China, directed by Jeff Wray, was released on PBS Fall 2002 and Malaria and Malawi, released on PBS Fall 2010. Also, Whitaker has a DVD release featuring Michigan State University's Jazz Department entitled, "Inside Jazz" and two new compact discs entitled, "Get Ready" & "Word To Do"-both on Mack Avenue. In 2011, more recently he was nominated for an EMMY for the ‘Original Music' category, "Malawi and Malaria: Fighting to Save the Children" produced by Robert Gould and Sue Carter.

A proven and committed jazz educator, Whitaker has presented numerous master classes across the nation at locations such as Duke University, Howard University, University of
Iowa, University of Michigan, Barbican in London, the New School (NY), Lincoln Center, and the Detroit International Jazz Festival. In addition, he is a consultant with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in the development of the jazz education department, and has served on the faculties of University of Michigan and Julliard Institute of Jazz.

In 2006, he was nominated for the Juno Award, Canada's equivalent to the Grammy, for his work on "Let Me Tell You About My Day," produced by Alma Records. Whitaker collaborated with musicians Phil Dwyer (musician) and Alan Jones on the album, which was nominated for Traditional Jazz Album of the Year.
Now based in East Lansing, Whitaker continues to serve many of the talented in the state of Michigan. His legacy of teaching promises to be distinguished with former students currently performing with jazz greats such as Wynton Marsalis, Dianne Reeves, Pat Matheny, The Count Basie Orchestra and Stephon Harris.
Whitaker attended Wayne State University, studied with trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, bassists-Stephen Molina, Ralph Armstrong, the late Herbie Williams (trumpeter) and the late Robert Gladstone (bassist).

Jazzfest Artist-in-Residence,

Etienne Charles (trumpet)

Etienne Charles is the Assistant Professor of Jazz Trumpet at Michigan State University. Hailed by New York Times as "an auteur" and by Jazz Times as "A daring improviser who delivers with heart wrenching lyricism." According to Downbeat Magazine "Charles delivers his ebullient improvisations with the elegance of a world-class ballet dancer." Etienne has received critical acclaim for his exciting performances, thrilling compositions and knack for connecting with audiences worldwide. In June 2012, Etienne was written into the US Congressional Record for his musical contributions to Trinidad & Tobago and the World.

Perhaps more than any other musician of his generation or Eastern Caribbean origin, Etienne brings a careful study of myriad rhythms from the French, Spanish, English and Dutch speaking Caribbean to the table. Crucially, as a soloist, he fully understands the New Orleans trumpet tradition (which is readily discernible in his trademark instrumental swagger) and what famed Crescent City Pianist, Jelly Roll Morton so succinctly captured in the now immortal phrase, ‘The Spanish Tinge'.

His latest recording, Creole Soul has received critical acclaim worldwide for it's fusion of root grooves from the Afro-Caribbean. His previous release, Kaiso (Culture Shock Music 2011), features his arrangements and interpretations of the music of calypso legends Lord Kitchener, Mighty Sparrow & Roaring Lion.
As a sideman he has performed and or recorded with Monty Alexander, Roberta Flack, Frank Foster, Ralph MacDonald, Johnny Mandel, Wynton Marsalis, Marcus Roberts, Maria Schneider, Count Basie Orchestra, Eric Reed, Lord Blakie, David Rudder and many others. He holds a Master's degree from the Juilliard School and a Bachelor's degree from Florida State University. For more information please visit etiennecharles.com
UNC Jazz Faculty

James Ketch, Professor of Music -

Trumpet; Director of Jazz Studies; UNC Jazz Band, UNC Jazz Combos; Jazz Improvisation, Jazz History, Director Carolina Jazz Festival

Stephen Anderson, Associate Professor of Music - Composition and Jazz Studies; Piano; Jazz Theory, Jazz Composition and Arranging; Jazz History, Jazz Improvisation; Classical Composition; Director UNC Summer Jazz Workshop

Juan Alamo, Assistant Professor of Music - jazz vibes and marimba; Latin and World Percussion; Jazz History; all classical percussion.
Adjunct Faculty in Jazz

Dan Davis - jazz drumset, jazz combos, summer jazz workshop

David Finucane - jazz saxophone, summer jazz workshop

Jason Foureman - jazz bass, jazz combos, summer jazz workshop
Andy Kleindienst - Charanga Carolina

Ed Paolantonio - jazz piano, jazz combos

Scott Sawyer - jazz guitar, summer jazz workshop


The Carolina Jazz Festival salutes our sponsors. We are most grateful for their support of jazz, jazz education, and the jazz studies program at Carolina.


Jazz at Lincoln Center, Essentially Ellington, Jamey Aebersold Jazz


WUNC-FM, WSHA-FM, Jazz Foundation of North Carolina, Inc., Greenwald Family Charitable Fund of Triangle Community Foundation


Carolina Performing Arts, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, Carolina Union Activities Board, Institute for the Arts and Humanities, Center for the Study of the American South, Department of Music, UNC Jazz Studies, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonians

More Information: https://www.carolinaperformingarts.org/ros_perf_series/brian-blade-and-the-fellowship-band/

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