LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Steve Rudolph Trio will perform in a free jazz concert on Wednesday, March 25, at 8 p.m. in the Rooke Recital Hall of the Weis Music Building at Bucknell University. Rudolph will be joined by bassist Drew Gress and drummer Phil Haynes.
The performance, part of the ongoing Janet Weis Cabaret Jazz Series at Bucknell, is made possible by funding from the Weis family.
Steve Rudolph, who studied trumpet and composition under scholarship at Butler University, switched to piano at age 22 and was hired by Buddy Morrow to perform with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in 1977. Since moving to Harrisburg in 1978, he has been largely responsible for the growth and development of the thriving jazz scene in Central Pennsylvania.
He is past president and a founder of the Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz, one of the most successful jazz organizations in the country. Presented as an "Emerging Artist" at the 1998 Jazz Times Convention in New York City and winner of the 1999 Jazziz Magazine – Seven Springs Jazz Festival Piano Competition, he also received the prestigious 2002 Harrisburg Arts Award for his service to the community.
Eight international tours, including a 2003 tour of Russia and Siberia, an Indian tour in 2007, and receipt of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Jazz Fellowship in 1995 and 2001 highlight his career. Rudolph has appeared in concert with Louie Bellson, Al Grey, Buddy Tate, Clark Terry, Paquito D'Rivera, Herb Ellis, Buddy DeFranco, Terry Gibbs, the Mills Brothers, and countless other jazz masters. A recording artist and producer, he has eight CDs on R&L Records and three for the PACT label. Rudolph is on the roster of Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour.
Drew Gress, a veteran of more than 100 recordings, has been "first-call bassist" for international artists on the jazz and contemporary improvised music scene ranging from the pianists Uri Caine, Bill Carrothers, Fred Hersch, and Simon Nabatov, to woodwind specialists Tim Berne, Don Byron, and Ravi Coltrane, to name but a few. He grounded performances of Buddy Hackett, Phyllis Diller, Zoot Sims, Cab Calloway, and Pia Zadora. His harmonically gifted compositions are featured on a 2005 release, 7 Black Butterflies (Premonition Records), 2001's Spin & Drift (which includes his performing on pedal-steel guitar), and the quartet Jagged Sky's 1998 underground classic Heyday (Soul Note). The Guardian selected a concert given by his Spin & Drift quartet as London's Best Jazz Concert for 2002, and in the same year he received a SESAC Composer's Award. The recipient of grants from the NEA and Meet the Composer, he has served as artist-in-residence at St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia and at the University of Colorado-Boulder.
Phil Haynes made his recording debut with the Paul Smoker Trio's QB, which was named the Number One Jazz Album of 1985 in Coda Magazine. Among his more than 40 features on LP and CD, he has 10 recordings as a leader including his ground-breaking quintet 4 Horns & What?, Continuum with violinist Mark Feldman, The Hammond Insurgency with organist Jeff Palmer, Free Country with cellist Hank Roberts, and a solo percussion recording, Sanctuary. Haynes is jazz artist-in-residence at Bucknell University.
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