The Clark Terry UNH Jazz Festival

The annual UNH jazz festival features guest artists, UNH jazz faculty, the UNH Jazz Band, and high- and middle-school students from throughout New England.

The UNH jazz faculty enjoyed a long-standing relationship with jazz great, Clark Terry. In his honor and name, the Music Department holds an annual jazz festival. The festival includes adjudicated performances by high- and middle-school groups, clinics and performances by guest artists and UNH students, and gala concerts by guest artists and the UNH Jazz Band.

Each year, the festival attracts jazz groups from 55-60 high schools and middle schools throughout New England and New York. Performing groups include high school big bands, middle school big bands, jazz combos, jazz choirs, as well as solo vocalists. All groups are adjudicated and given written and recorded comments.

Jazz Fest 2019
Saturday, March 9

Guest Artists: Dick Oatts and Terell Strafford

Evening Performance with UNH Faculty
Memorial Union Building
Granite State Room
7:00PM

Apply to Jazz Fest

 

Contact Information

Nathan Jorgensen
Assistant Professor of Music (jazz, woodwinds)
M129 Paul Creative Arts Center
30 Academic Way
University of New Hampshire

Phone: (603) 862-2404
Fax: (603) 862-3155
Email: nathan.jorgensen@unh.edu

Lyndsay Boysen
Program Assistant
Summer Youth Music School
Clark Terry UNH Jazz Festival
Email: lyndsay.boysen@unh.edu

Department of Music
Paul Creative Arts Center
30 Academic Way

Phone: (603) 862-2404
Email: music.info@unh.edu

Born and raised in the state of Iowa, Dick Oatts was brought up in a musical family. He was introduced to the saxophone by his father Jack Oatts, a respected jazz educator and saxophonist. After high school, Dick attended Drake University and in 1972 he began his professional career in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Oatts moved to NYC in 1977. Shortly there after, joined the Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Orchestra. Since then, he has toured, recorded, and performed as a sideman in small groups with Bob Brookmeyer, Red Rodney, Eddie Gomez, Mel Lewis, Jerry Bergonzi, Joe Lovano, Dom Salvador, Vic Juris, Soren Moller, Terell Stafford, Ray Mantilla, Jon Faddis, David Berkman, Flim & the BBs, Ray Mantilla, Fred Hersch, Joe Morello, Lalo Schiffrin and several others. 

His Big Band and large ensemble experience include Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orch,, The Mel Lewis Jazz Orch., Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, Jon Faddis Jazz Band, Tito Puente, Lester Bowie, Sam Jones/Tom Harrell, Jim McNeely, Kenny Wheeler, Joe Lovano Paquito D'Rivera,and Gunther Schuller. Oatts has been a featured artist with the Metropole Orchestra, WDR Big Band, Stockholm Jazz Orchestra,Danish Radio Big Band, Millenium Jazz Orch., Norboten Radio big band, High Coast Jazz Orchestra, RIAS Radio big band, Concerto BouOrchestra, Mats Holmquist/Dick Oatts Orchestra, Rome Radio, UMO big band, Winnipeg Jazz Band, and the Wellington Jazz Orch. Oatts has accompanied such vocalists as Joe Williams, Sara Vaughn. Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme, Neena Freelon, and Milton Nascimento. He has recorded solos for R&B artist, Luther Vandross and Everything but the Girl. 

As a Steeplechase recording artist, Oatts has recorded 10 solo CDs and 5 co-led CDs. He has recorded 3 CDs on the DMP label with co-leader and pianist, Garry Dial and another on the Temple Univ. record label entitled "That Music Always Round Me". Oatts and Terell Stafford are co-leaders on "Bridging the Gap" on Planet Arts. Dave Santoro and Oatts are co-leaders on "Meru" on Red Records.

For the past 35 years, Oatts has appeared at College Jazz Festivals as a soloist and clinician throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, Mid-East, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and Taiwan. Oatts is a professor at the Boyer School of Music and Dance at Temple University and has been an "Artist in Residence" at the Amsterdam Conservatory since 1998.

Terell Stafford, acclaimed trumpet player based in New York, has been hailed as “one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player” by piano legend McCoy Tyner. Stafford is recognized as an incredibly gifted and versatile player, he combines a deep love of melody with his own brand of spirited and adventurous lyricism. Stafford’s exceptionally expressive and well defined musical talent allows him to dance in and around the rich trumpet tradition of his predecessors while making his own inroads.

Since the mid-1990’s, Stafford has performed with groups such as Benny Golson’s Sextet, McCoy Tyner’s Sextet, Kenny Barron Quintet, Frank Wess Quintet, Jimmy Heath Quintet and Big Band, Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Alumni Band. Stafford with the Hamilton-Clayton Jazz Orchestra, performed on Diana Krall’s GRAMMY nominated From this Moment On (2006). John Clayton invited Stafford to perform with the Clayton Brothers Quintet and Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. Stafford is a member of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and they were awarded a GRAMMY in
2009 for Best Large Ensemble, Live at the Village Vanguard. Stafford can be heard on over 130 albums of which his latest recording has been hailed as “the first must have album of 2011” and “genius”, This Side of Strayhorn.

Stafford is the Director of Jazz Studies and Chair of Instrumental Studies at Temple University, founder and band leader of the Terell Stafford Quintet, and Managing and Artistic Director of the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia (JOP). Stafford is renowned in the jazz world as an educator, performer and leader and has received countless award nominations and accolades. Terell Stafford was born in Miami and raised in Chicago, Illinois and Silver Spring, Maryland. He received a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of Maryland in 1988 and a Masters of Music from Rutgers University in 1993.

Passing: Clark Terry

Release Date: Monday, February 23, 2015

Jazz great Clark Terry passed away on February 21, 2015. He was 94 years old.

Clark Terry was an affiliate professor of music at the University of New Hampshire. He had a 40-year relationship with the institution. Music Professor Dave Seiler brought Terry to UNH in the mid-1970s to headline his new jazz festival. Thus started a long friendship between the two and an ongoing affiliation, with Terry returning to UNH annually to perform and record with scores of UNH students and faculty members. Terry led student tours of Europe and, in 1976, fronted the UNH Jazz Band that became the first college ensemble ever to play on an evening bill at the famed Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. UNH awarded Terry an honorary doctorate, his first, in 1978, and the Pettee Medal in 2002.

An obituary in the Boston Globe explains Terry's impact on the world of jazz and jazz education.

"He left a real lasting impact on kids," David Seiler, director of jazz studies at UNH, told the Globe. "I've had all kinds of people here doing clinics, but nobody tops him. He inspired kids so readily."

Seiler added that Terry "exuded joy through his instrument" and that when he taught young musicians, "he'd say, 'The purpose of the clinic is the perpetuation of the jazz language.' He always said that. Even in his 90s he was inspiring people."

Terry was recently in the public eye thanks to a documentary about him released last year. Called Keep On Keepin’ On, the critically-acclaimed film by Alan Hicks examines the relationship between the trumpeter Clark Terry and the young pianist Justin Kauflin.

More information on Terry can be found in the New York Times tribute: Clark Terry, Master of Jazz Trumpet, Dies at 94.