UMD Jazz Big Band's European Tour
The UMD Big Band, also known as Jazz Ensemble I, with its 20 members, is performing at two of the most famous festivals in the world this July. They play at the 2006 Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland on July 9 and 10 and the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam, Netherlands on July 14.
The Big Band is one of the two large jazz ensembles at UMD and it is made up entirely of students. At the festivals, they will perform music by Bobby Shew and Tom Harrell, both who have performed with the UMD Big Band. They will also perform work by Stan Kenton, Vince Mendoza and others.
UMD was selected for both festivals by "blind audition," said director, Ryan Frane. "We sent in a CD and the panel juried us, strictly by listening to the music. Montreux Jazz Festival is the most historic festival in the world and the North Sea Jazz Festival is one of the largest. "It will make for an unbelieveable experience, not only from a performing perspective, but also for the music that students will get to hear," Frane said. At the North Sea Jazz Festival, UMD will be one of only seven colleges among over 200 professional musical groups.
About the UMD Big Band
Recent performances include the Teatro Politeama in Palermo, Italy, the Minnesota Music Educators Association's annual conference/convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and other events including the annual UMD Head of the Lakes Jazz Festival. The ensemble has performed with jazz greats, including: John Scofield, Kenny Werner, Ernie Watts, Tom Harrell, Slide Hampton, and Bobby Shew.
About the Montreux Jazz Festival
In 1967, the first Montreux Jazz Festival opened its doors. The festival lasted for three days and featured almost exclusively jazz artists. The highlights of this era were Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette, Bill Evans, Nina Simone, and Ella Fitzgerald. Originally, purely a jazz festival, today it presents artists of nearly every imaginable music style. It lasts about two weeks and attracts an audience of more than 200,000 people.
The roster of artists who have played at Montreux reads like a "Who's Who" of the music scene: Miles Davis, Santana, James Brown, Wynton Marsalis, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Cliff, Marvin Gaye, Leonard Cohen, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Joe Cocker, Los Lobos, The Manhattan Transfer, Tracy Chapman, and Van Morrison. New artists also appeared on stage: Sting, Bob Dylan, Fats Domino, Deep Purple, Al Jarreau, Chaka Khan, Johnny Cash, Dick Ziker, Marianne Faithfull, Ice T, ZZ Top, David Bowie, Paul Simon... Montreux Jazz Festival
About the North Sea Jazz Festival
The North Sea Jazz Festival, one of the most prestigious jazz festivals in the world, began in 1976 with an initial audience of about 9,000. The festival has grown into an international spectacle, with 16 stages presenting 220 acts over a period of three days and over 100,000 people in attendance. It has become world-renowned for the many musical genres which it offers each year, ranging from traditional New Orleans Jazz, Swing, Bop, Free Jazz, European House, Fusion, Avant Garde and electronic Jazz to Blues, Gospel, Funk, Soul, Grove, HipHop, R&B, World Beat and Latin. Some of the names who were first introduced at the North Sea Jazz Festival to European audiences include Shirley Horn, Tania Maria, Roy Hargrove and Rachelle Ferrell. North Sea Jazz Festival
Montreux Jazz Festival 4:45 p.m. on July 9, 4 pm on July 10,
North Sea Jazz Festival, 8 pm July 14
For information contact Ryan Frane, 218-726-6327
Written by Cheryl Reitan
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