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Solvang Jazz Festival Announces Justo Almario as Special Guest
(Published: September 13, 2009)

Grammy award winning, multi-instrumentalist Justo Almario joins top, international talent at fall weekend Festival

Justo [Almario] is one of the top multi-reed players in the jazz world.
-Latin Beat Magazine

The Universal Guild for Jazz and Progressive Music is pleased to announce that world-renowned, Grammy award winning, multi-instrumentalist Justo Almario will join this year's stellar Solvang Jazz Festival lineup. Almario will perform two shows with the Eugene Maslov Trio. Almario joins Maslov and other special guests for the Festival's "Hip Improvisational Evening of Jazz - Night Club Performance" on Friday, September 25th, at 7:30 p.m. and at 9:30 p.m. at Hotel Corque In addition to his extensive roster of honors and credentials, Justo Almario is also heard on the soundtrack of Oscar-winning film "Sideways".

"Justo Almario has been a significant influence on Jazz and collaborations across musical genres," said Stix Hooper, Founder and Artistic Director of the Solvang Jazz Festival and President of the Universal Guild of Jazz and Progressive Music, the nonprofit presenting the Festival. "We are honored to present the true wizard of woodwind at this year's Solvang Jazz Festival."

A native of Colombia, Justo Almario is a reedman, musician, clinician, composer and arranger who continues to mesmerize audiences worldwide. He fuses Latin, Afro-Cuban, South American, Funk and Jazz genres into his own offering. A multi-instrumentalist of the highest caliber, Mr. Almario has mastered the soprano and tenor saxophones, clarinet and flute. Almario studied at the prestigious Berklee School of Music before a stint with Mongo Santamaria as the band's musical director.

Almario has performed with many other top figures in Jazz and other popular music, including Patrice Rushen's Grammy Awards Orchestra, Freddie Hubbard, Roy Ayers, George Duke, Tito Puente, Machito, Dave Grusin, Ndugu Chancler, Alex Acuna, Abraham Laboriel, TOLU, Donald Vega, Harold Land Jr. Al Mckibbon, Master P, Bebe Winans, Queen Latifah, Charles Mingus, Chaka Kahn, Linda Rondstadt, Herb Alpert, Bobby Shew, John Heard, Lorca Hart, Billy Higgins and "Jose Rizo's Jazz on the Latin Side All-Stars". Almario's stellar career was recently celebrated during a segment of "World Stage Stories", a comprehensive oral history series that chronicles the evolution of jazz.

Almario is also the recipient of numerous honors from prestigious music, education and cultural organizations including recording and production on Grammy- winning and nominated albums, and soundtracks for Oscar-winning films including "Sideways" and "Happy Feet".

Along with Almario, The Solvang Jazz Festival is bringing artists from the world over, in a variety of jazz genres, to the Central Coast. This year's lineup includes:

Friday September 25th, TWO SHOWS: 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. A Hip Improvisational Evening of Jazz - Night Club Performance: Eugene Maslov Trio with Special Guest Justo Amario, other guests to be announced, Hotel Corque

Eugene Maslov is a Russian pianist and has performed at Carnegie Hall with Al Jarreau, Joe Lovano and other jazz greats. He has jammed with jazz legends like Pearl Bailey, Louis Belson, Pat Metheny and Dave Brubeck's quintet. Justo Almario is a master of woodwinds and has performed with Mongo Santamaria, , Freddie Hubbard, Tito Puente, Queen Latifah, Charles Mingus, Chaka Kahn, Linda Rondstadt, Herb Alpert, and many others.

Saturday, September 26th, 12 to 4 p.m. Student Jazz Group Performance, Solvang Festival Theater
A variety of local student jazz groups will perform; this event is open to the community.

Saturday, September 26th, 7:00 p.m. All Star Jazz Concert, Tribute to Freddie Hubbard:

Take 6 and a tribute band under the leadership of Kamasi Washington with other guests to be announced, Solvang Festival Theater Winners of 10 Grammy Awards, 10 Dove Awards, one Soul Train Award and two NAACP Image Award Nominations, Take 6 is an a cappella jazz group that combines swing, gospel and jazz influences. The group has performed or recorded with top jazz luminaries including Quincy Jones, Ella Fitzgerald and more.

While bringing the legends and bright new stars of Jazz music and culture to the Central Coast, The Solvang Jazz Festival aims to promote awareness and appreciation of America's indigenous musical art form - jazz. The Universal Guild for Jazz and Progressive Music (UGJPM), presenter of the Festival, provides local educational opportunities including competitions for students ages 10 to 19 and a workshop program led by local and guest artists and educators. Competition winners are awarded financial assistance to help further their musical education. An exciting new opportunity for students this year is the Student Jazz Group Performance at the Solvang Festival Theater on Saturday, September 26 from 12 to 4 p.m.

About Universal Guild for Jazz and Progressive Music (UGJPM)
The Universal Guild for Jazz and Progressive Music (UGJPM) was founded to honor, promote, protect and preserve America's indigenous musical art form, Jazz, along with other progressive musical genres. Through seminars, concerts, clinics and forums, UGJPM strives to educate, inform, teach and enlighten music professionals, while providing general knowledge, information and accessibility of the music(s) to the general public. Festival schedule, tickets at www.solvangjazz.com.

More Information: http://www.solvangjazz.com

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