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UNCW Jazz Festival Celebrates 25th Anniversary
(Published: March 20, 2007)


UNCW Jazz Festival Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Wilmington, N.C. - Two of the leading names on the contemporary jazz scene, saxophonist Jim Snidero and composer Tom Davis will be the featured guests for the University of North Carolina Wilmington Guest Artist Jazz Festival (March 30 - 31). Presented by the Department of Music Jazz Programs, this annual celebration offers a wide variety of exciting opportunities for students, performers and connoisseurs, including workshops for N.C. high school ensembles, master classes for UNCW jazz students and evening performances open to the public. This year's concert line up includes the UNCW Big Band on Friday, Mar. 30 and features the Jim Snidero Quartet on Saturday, Mar. 31. Both concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Cultural Arts Building Recital Hall.

Currently in its 25th year, the UNCW Guest Artist Jazz Festival combines educational outreach and live performance in an informative and entertaining weekend of events. The 2007 featured performer is Jim Snidero, recognized as an important alto sax soloist, quartet virtuoso and international recording artist. In addition to achieving national recognition as a best-selling author and educator, Snidero has recorded and performed with music greats ranging from Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and The Mingus Big Band to Sting, Billy Joel, and Elton John among others.
Composer Tom Davis will also be featured in the weekend's festival activities. An educator and professional musician for over 20 years, Davis has written for the New Orleans Brass Quintet, the Eastman Jazz Ensemble, Wynton Marsalis and Sir Roland Hanna. One of Davis' most recent works, "85 on 96 at 12" will premiere on Friday evening when UNCW's Big Band takes the festival stage under the direction of Frank Bongiorno.

Festival Schedule
Friday, March 30, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m., Jazz Workshops for local high school students and UNCW Jazz students, Cultural Arts Building, Instrumental Rehearsal Room (CA 1080), Observation free and open to the public

7:30 p.m., Jazz Concert: The UNCW Big Band, featuring the premiere of a new work by Tom Davis, Cultural Arts Building Recital Hall, $5 general admission / Free to UNCW students with a valid ID

Saturday, March 30
1 p.m. - 5 p.m., Jazz Workshops for local high school students and UNCW Jazz students, Cultural Arts Building, Instrumental Rehearsal Room (CA-1080), Observation free and open to the public

7:30 p.m., Jazz Concert: The Jim Snidero Quartet, Cultural Arts Building Recital Hall, $5 general admission / Free to UNCW students with a valid ID, Concert tickets will be available at the Cultural Arts Building Box Office one hour prior to curtain.

For more information visit www.uncw.edu/music or call 910-962-3500.

Biographical Information
Jim Snidero is considered to be one of the top alto saxophonists and authors in jazz today. A resident of New York City for over 20 years, he has made numerous recordings as a leader, and has performed and/or recorded with many important jazz artists. Snidero is on the faculty at the New School University, is an active jazz clinician for the Selmer Company, and author of the best selling books Jazz Conception, Easy and Intermediate Jazz Conception, published by Advance Music.

Snidero's recordings have received critical acclaim by leading jazz critics. Several have received 4 stars in Downbeat, in which critics hailed Snidero as "a master musician" and "alto sax virtuoso." 'Strings'- which he both composed and arranged, was released on Milestone Records in March 2003, his first recording for a major label. Jazziz called it "a masterful blend of composition, arranging and improvisation", while Swing Journal, Japan's #1 jazz magazine, stated "this is miraculously wonderful jazz... a masterpiece". Celebrated jazz critic and author Gary Giddens, featured on Ken Burns' Jazz, said Snidero has "a wonderfully aggressive broadsword of a sound, recalling Bird in its sheer jubilance" (Village Voice), while the New York Times called his solos "dazzling." His second recording on Milestone, "Close up," features tenor great Eric Alexander.

As a side-man, he has worked with some of the biggest names in both jazz and rock. He was in Frank Sinatra's orchestra for 4 years, including the recording "Duets Two." He was a member of the Downbeat poll winning Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra for 20 years, and toured extensively with The Mingus Big Band. Other jazz credits include Jack Mcduff, Frank Wess, Tony Bennett, Eddie Palmiari, Maria Schneider, Conrad Herwig, Brian Lynch, Walt Weiskopf, Joe Magnarelli and many others. He has performed with rock greats Sting, Billy Joel, Elton John, Ricky Martin, and others.

Snidero also has a long and varied experience as both an educator and author. He attended the University of North Texas, and has been on the faculty of the New School University since 1996. He has given literally hundreds of jazz clinics on style and improvisation through out the US, Europe and Asia, many of which being sponsored by the Selmer Company. He is also sponsored by Rico Reeds.

Snidero has authored two best selling jazz etude series, Jazz Conception (17 books) and Easy Jazz Conception (15 books). For both style and improvisation, they are used in high schools, universities and conservatories through out the world, including major programs such as Berklee College, Julliard Conservatory, U. of North Texas and New School University. They have been translated into both Japanese and German.

Submitted By: jazzears

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