Four nights of Jazz offered at URI

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KINGSTON, R.I.—April 3, 2008— Jazz lovers can celebrate spring this month with four nights of lively jazz being offered at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston April 15, 18, 22 and 24. The concert series will cover a broad range of jazz styles and will showcase URI’s premiere jazz bands and combos, along with guest performers. All jazz series concerts will be held in the Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, 105 Upper College Road on URI’s Kingston campus. Admission for each concert is $8 for the general public, $2 for students.

The series begins Tuesday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. with an evening featuring performances by the Afro-Cuban Ensemble, directed by Eric Platz, and URI Jazz Prototype, version 2.0, directed by Jared Sims. Both Platz and Sims are Boston-based jazz performers and recording artists who teach at URI as guest artists in the URI Jazz Program.

The concert on Friday, April 18 at 8 p.m. will feature URI’s Traditional Jazz Band and the B101 Big Band. The Traditional Jazz Band specializes in early 20th century traditional jazz and dance music and is directed by the band’s founder, noted tuba performer and composer Gary Buttery. The B101 Big Band is directed by URI’s Jazz Program director and Grammy-nominated pianist/composer Joe Parillo, with Assistant Director Steve Johnson, a master’s degree candidate in the Jazz Program.

The Dolphy Ensemble, directed by Boston-based jazz guitarist Eric Hofbauer, the Jazz Spectrum Ensemble, directed by Steve Johnson, and the Standards Jazz Ensemble, directed by basist/composer Dave Zinno, will be featured on Tuesday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m.

On the final night of the series, Thursday April 24 at 7:30 p.m., the C100 Big Band, directed by Newport-based jazz guitarist John Monllos, will perform, and the Newport Junior Jazz Quartet, directed by Sarah Geremia, will be featured as special guests.

The quartet consists of faculty coach/pianist Geremia, who currently directs the Thompson Middle School Orchestra and teaches K-5 general music, chorus and band for the Newport Public Schools; group founder and bass player Jordan Vidamo, an eighth grader who has played in the Thompson Middle School orchestra, jazz band and Rhode Island Junior Division All State Orchestra; Chase Ceglie, alto saxophone, and William Chilton, trumpet, both seventh graders who play in the Thompson Middle School band, jazz band, and Rhode Island Junior Division All State Band. In addition, Ceglie performs with the Jamestown Community Band, and Chilton plays with the Rhode Island Junior Division Honors Band.

Seating for all concerts is on a first-come basis. The box office opens 45 minutes before each event. The concert hall is handicap accessible and parking is in the lot behind the Fine Arts Center off Bills Road.

For more information, call the URI Music Department at 874-2431.