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IU Summer Festival Jazz 'Dream Team' debuts June 30

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Who can forget the U.S. men's 1992 Olympic basketball team? After international rules had changed and NBA players were allowed to join, organizers were able to pick the very best of the best and assemble what would become an American icon: the "Dream Team."

It was with this similar commitment to excellence that Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Dean Gwyn Richards approached IU Distinguished Professor and Chair of the IU Jazz Studies Department David N. Baker and the rest of the jazz faculty about assembling the crème de la crème of the Indiana jazz world, and beyond, to form a new ensemble to add to the already impressive ranks of the IU Summer Music Festival. The Festival Jazz Orchestra, directed by Baker himself, makes its debut on Friday, June 30, at 8 p.m. in the university's Musical Arts Center.

"The assemblage of such top-flight jazz talent into one performance group is unprecedented since I've been here," said Baker, "and I've been here since 1949!"

Baker and his IU jazz faculty colleagues handpicked a roster of primarily IU graduates, all of whom have gone on to extremely successful careers in performance, teaching or recording -- often, all three. The group reads like a who's who of jazz:

  • Saxophones: Tom Walsh, Kristy Norter, Ralph Bowen, Hunt Butler, Jon Gudmundson;
  • Trombones: Loy Hetrick, Tim Coffman, Brent Wallarab, Rich Dole;
  • Trumpets: Pat Harbison, Lennie Foy, Ansyn Banks, Mike Hackett;
  • Rhythm: Jeremy Allen, bass; Luke Gillespie, piano.
  • Drummer Steve Houghton and trumpeter Joey Tartell, both faculty members at the Jacobs School, are the only musicians who didn't study at IU.

Indeed, the Festival Jazz Orchestra well-represents the legacy of jazz at IU, with the affiliations of its members, composers and arrangers dating back as far as 1951 and as recent as today. In many ways, the orchestra vividly portrays the past, present and future of jazz at IU.

For this group of standout players, Baker has chosen music made by Indiana's most distinguished composers and arrangers, including Freddie Hubbard, Slide Hampton, Cole Porter, Brent Wallarab, Al Cobine, the Brecker Brothers, Hoagy Carmichael and Baker, among others.

Tickets are on sale now for this historic concert:

  • In Person: The Musical Arts Center Box Office is located on Jordan Avenue between Third and Seventh Streets and is open Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Phone 812-855-7433 for information.
  • By Phone: Call Ticketmaster at 812-333-9955.
  • Online: http://www.music.indiana.edu/summer.

Here are Web links to the artists performing in the ensemble:

Jacobs School of Music faculty

David Baker: http://info.music.indiana.edu/sb/page/normal/22.html

Luke Gillespie: http://info.music.indiana.edu/sb/page/normal/863.html

Pat Harbison: http://info.music.indiana.edu/sb/page/normal/864.html

Steve Houghton: http://info.music.indiana.edu/sb/page/normal/1010.html

Tom Walsh: http://info.music.indiana.edu/sb/page/normal/831.html

Joey Tartell: http://info.music.indiana.edu/sb/page/normal/856.html

Additional musicians in the ensemble

Kristy Norter: http://www.summerjazzworkshops.com/bio_kristynorter.asp

Ralph Bowen: http://musicweb.rutgers.edu/info/fac-bio/bowen/

Hunt Butler: http://www.summerjazzworkshops.com/bio_huntbutler.asp

Jon Gudmundson: http://www.opus102.com/Interpretes/Gudmundson.J.html

Tim Coffman: http://music.depaul.edu/faculty/user.php?username=tcoffman

Brent Wallarab: http://www.bwjo.org/about.htm

Lennie Foy: http://www.depauw.edu/music/faculty/fac/foy.asp

Mike Hackett: http://michaelhackett.com/index.php?band=hi