Big Bands, Big Name in Jazz Coming to UK
A selection of performances by Jeff Coffin and the Mu'tet. Video courtesy of www.jeffcoffin.com.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 28, 2014) — Big band ensembles and a famous saxophonist will blast rhythm and jazz onto the University of Kentucky's campus this weekend in the 2014 Big Band Blast. The event will feature the UK Jazz Ensemble, the Bluegrass Area Jazz Ambassadors (BAJA) and the Jazz All-Stars of Central Kentucky, as well as special guest artist, saxophonist and member of the Dave Matthews Band, Jeff Coffin. The free public concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at the UK Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall.
Saxophonist, bandleader, composer and educator Jeff Coffin is a Grammy award-winning musician known to captivate audiences by playing two saxophones at a time. Coffin is famous for his work with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones from 1997-2010 and the Dave Matthews Band, which he joined as a member in 2009. When he is not touring with the Dave Matthews Band, he leads his own band, Jeff Coffin and the Mu'tet, performing music influenced by funk, jazz, African, New Orleans, Indian, folk, electronic, Gypsy, rock, Brazilian and more. An advocate of music education, Coffin also leads music clinics across the country.
Graduating from the University of North Texas with a music education degree, Coffin's success in music began by studying with composer and saxophonist Joe Lovano on a National Endowment for the Arts grant and playing in the esteemed One O’Clock Lab Band.
Since then, Coffin has taken the stage and the studio with a range of famed musicians including Branford Marsalis, Maceo Parker, Martina McBride, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Willie Nelson and Garth Brooks among others. Performing in concert with many ensembles, a number of Coffin's compositions have been published through the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Press as big bang arrangements.
BAJA is a popular performing ensemble affiliated with the Bluegrass Area Jazz Association, a nonprofit organization committed to the promotion of jazz education and the performance of jazz in the Bluegrass area. The group is comprised of musicians from the community, both professional and amateur, as well as students from UK Jazz Studies. This 18-piece big band, which came together in 2004, performs under the direction of Raleigh Dailey, assistant professor of jazz studies at UK.
The Jazz All-Stars of Central Kentucky (JACK) is a select honor jazz ensemble put together specifically for this concert. The group features jazz talents from around the Bluegrass.
The UK Jazz Ensemble, one of several jazz ensembles in the UK School of Music, is conducted by Miles Osland, director of UK Jazz Studies and professor of saxophone at UK since 1989. The UK Jazz Ensemble is a recipient of the Outstanding Jazz Ensemble certificate at the Annual Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival and winner of Downbeat Magazine’s DeeBee award for Best Jazz Instrumental Studio Orchestra. The ensemble has been featured with many national touring artists, including David Liebman, Tom Harrell and Mel Torme, and has performed internationally at the world's most prestigious jazz festivals in France, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The UK Jazz Ensemble has also received invitational performances to the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference and the Midwest Clinic International Band, Orchestra and Music Conference.
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