Morris Jazz Festival to feature Bill Pierce, Steven DavisThe 35th annual University of Minnesota, Morris Jazz Festival will be held Friday, April 5, through Saturday, April 6.
The 35th annual University of Minnesota, Morris Jazz Festival will be held Friday, April 5, through Saturday, April 6. Featuring guest artists Bill Pierce, tenor saxophone, and Steven Davis, trombone, the 2013 festival promises to be a unique and soulful experience, say organizers. Performances will be held nightly in the Student Center's Edson Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. As is tradition, the West Central All Stars will open the Friday evening performance, while the UMM Alumni Jazzers will play on Saturday night. All are welcome to attend.
Founded in 1978 by Professor Emeritus of Jazz Jim “Doc” Carlson, Jazz Fest is in its 35th year. The festival brings together high school, community, and college jazz ensembles for two days of clinics and master classes with world-renowned jazz musicians. Each night the festival concludes with a performance by guest artists and the Morris jazz ensembles.
“I am honored to be directing the jazz ensembles for this year's Morris Jazz Fest,” says Jason Squinobal, head of jazz studies and jazz ensembles director. “I am extremely excited to have Steven Davis and Bill Pierce as my guests. There has been a very long and distinguished tradition of excellence at the Morris Jazz Fest and throughout the Morris jazz program. It is my intention to rebuild the program and to carry on that tradition.”
Saxophonist and internationally recognized educator William Pierce studied at Tennessee State University and Berklee College of Music. In 1980 he joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers as musical director. Pierce later returned to Berklee, where he became an associate professor and, later, was appointed chairman of the woodwind department. Since the mid 1980s he has divided his time between academia, performing, and recording under his own name for the Sunnyside label.
Steven Davis graduated from The Hartt School’s Jackie McLean Institute (University of Hartford, Connecticut). He is widely regarded as one of today’s leading improvisers on the trombone. His hard-swinging style first gained him broad recognition during the 1990s when he worked with the bands of jazz legends Art Blakey, Jackie McLean, Chick Corea, and the cooperative sextet One For All. In recent years “StevieD” has worked regularly with a broad range of jazz icons.
Tickets for the evening concerts—$18 for adults, $12 for senior citizens and youths under 18, and $5 for UMM students—will be available online at tickets.umn.edu or by phone at 320-589-6077 beginning Friday, March 8. Ticket order forms are also available at Higbies and the Office of Student Activities. Advance orders will be processed on Friday, March 8, and remaining seats will go on sale Monday, March 11.