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News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Jon Faddis/Chicago Jazz Ensemble to perform at PSU Jazz Festival

Jon Faddis and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble will be the featured artists for the 33rd annual Pittsburg State University Jazz Festival on Friday, March 2. The performance is set for 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Auditorium at 5th & Pine in downtown Pittsburg.

Faddis, a musician, composer, conductor and teacher, is known around the world as a consummate trumpet player. Inspired by a television appearance by Louis Armstrong, Faddis began playing at age eight. A meeting with Dizzy Gillespie when Faddis was 15 proved to be the beginning of a unique friendship that spanned over three decades.

Before he turned 18, Faddis was playing with Lionel Hampton's big band. Faddis then worked as lead trumpet for the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra at the Village Vanguard. He eventually formed his own quartet and soon began directing big band orchestras, including the Grammy-winning United Nation Orchestra, the Dizzy Gillespie 70th Birthday Big Band, the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Stars, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band (1992-2002), and eventually the Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra of New York. The Chicago Jazz Ensemble, which celebrated its 40th anniversary at Columbia College Chicago, named Faddis as its artistic director in 2004. Faddis conducts both the Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra of New York and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble. He has also served as guest conductor and featured guest with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

Faddis' original compositions include the jazz opera “Lulu Noire.” Others are included on his albums “Remembrances,” “Into the Faddisphere,” and “Hornucopia.” Faddis' latest album, “TERANGA,” features new compositions by the trumpeter joined by members of the Jon Faddis Quartet.

The 21-member Chicago Jazz Ensemble is an elite group of Chicago jazz musicians, ranging from established stars with national reputations to the city's brightest young talents. Founded in 1965, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble is recognized internationally as one of American's leading jazz ensembles. The CJE is dedicated to preserving the tradition of American big band jazz music while promoting the continuing evolution of the art form by regularly performing and commissioning contemporary works. As a professional jazz ensemble in residence at Columbia College Chicago, the CJE is equally committed to education, building new audiences and fostering the next generation of American talent by training and mentoring young musicians.

The PSU Jazz Ensemble I under the direction of Bob Kehle will open the evening concert.

Tickets for the concert are $10 for adults and $8 for persons 65 and over or 12 and under. Tickets may be purchased at the PSU Ticket Office, 620-235-4796.

---Pitt State---