February 28, 2007

Gary Thomas

LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Jazz at Bucknell series of new jazz music will continue with The Gary Thomas Group Wednesday, March 7, at 8:30 p.m. in Bucknell Hall. Admission is free.
 
Tenor saxophonist and composer Thomas will be joined by the virtuoso ensemble of Russell Kirk, saxophones; Paul Bollenback, guitar; Herman Burney, bass; and Steve Williams, drums. Thomas' distinctive style, sound, and conception have made him into one of the most sought-after performers of his generation.
 
A native of Baltimore, Gary Thomas has performed around the world as both leader and sideman. His numerous credits include work with Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Jack DeJohnette, John McLaughlin, Dennis Chambers, Pat Metheny, Wynton Marsalis, David Sanborn, Bobby McFerrin, Betty Carter, George Benson, Ravi Coltrane and a host of others. Two of his 11 recordings as a leader were named best of the 1990s by Downbeat Magazine. Founder, director, and chair of jazz studies at the Peabody Institute, he is the first African-American degree program director at the conservatory. In demand as a clinician worldwide, he also teaches jazz studies at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Russell Kirk is featured regularly throughout the region with George Clinton's Parliament Funkadelic, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Soulful Symphony, Cuba Gooding Sr., Eubie Blake Legacy Band, Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, and Rumba Club among many others. When not traveling, he teaches in Baltimore at Friends Private School and in Howard County at Woodbridge Music.
 
Paul Bollenback's performing credits include work with Stanley Turrentine, Jeff Tain Watts, James Moody, Charlie Byrd, Paul Bley, Carol Sloane, Chris McNulty, Herb Ellis, Jimmy Bruno, and East Meets Jazz. He is artist-in-residence at the Litchfield Jazz Festival Summer Music School, and regularly teaches at Queens College, The New School, and the Peabody Conservatory.
 
Herman Burney grew up in Winston-Salem, where he was first initiated into jazz with Bill Bright's Quintet. A member of Freddy Cole's band for nearly five years, he traveled the world with Nnenna Freelon, Marcus Roberts, Wynton Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, Etta Jones, Oscar Brown, Natalie Cole, and many others. Burney is composing and arranging for two recording projects of his music.
 
Steve Williams has performed in Washington, D.C., with numerous jazz artists including Milt Jackson, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Williams, Woody Shaw, Mulgrew Miller, and Buck Hill. His professional relationship with the pianist and singer Shirley Horn afforded him the opportunity to tour the world, leading to recording dates with Toots Thielemans, Branford and Wynton Marsalis, Carmen McRae, and Miles Davis. A recently released first album as a leader, New Incentive, features pianist Olivier Hutman and bassist Michael Bowie, and saxophonists Donvonte McCoy and Antoine Roney.
 
Jazz at Bucknell is a chamber series which was conceived to present international modern masters and young visionaries to the campus and surrounding community several times annually.  Programming showcases the entire tradition of jazz, from standards to the avant-garde, with an eye on artists who continue the innovative tradition of the music with their personal approaches to sound, style, and composition. Jazz at Bucknell is produced by Phil Haynes.

Posted Feb. 28, 2007

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