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 2018
Saturday, March 10
Steve Wilson, saxophone
Steve Wilson has attained ubiquitous status in the studio and on the stage with the greatest names in jazz, as well as critical acclaim as a bandleader in his own right. A musician's musician, Wilson has brought his distinctive sound to more than 150 recordings led by such celebrated and wide-ranging artists as Chick Corea, George Duke, Michael Brecker, Dave Holland, Dianne Reeves, Bill Bruford, Gerald Wilson, Maria Schneider, Joe Henderson, Charlie Byrd, Billy Childs, Karrin Allyson, Don Byron, and Mulgrew Miller among many others. He has eight recordings as a leader.
Starting his formal training on saxophone in his native Hampton, Virginia, Wilson also played oboe and drums in school bands while performing in various R&B/funk bands throughout his teens. After a year-long stint with singer Stephanie Mills he majored in music at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, where he performed and/or studied with Jimmy and Percy Heath, Jon Hendricks, Jaki Byard, John Hicks, Frank Foster and Ellis Marsalis. During those years he was also in constant demand for recording studio work, and as backing musician for touring shows such as The Four Tops and Sophisticated Ladies. Landing a chair with O.T.B (Out of the Blue), a sextet of promising young players recording on Blue Note Records, Wilson moved to New York in 1987 and the following year toured the U.S. and Europe with Lionel Hampton. Read more.
Simply considering the range of music that Marshall Gilkes has played over the course of his career, it would be easy to assume that the trombonist/composer is a musical chameleon, able to alter his sound to fit into whatever situation he finds himself. After all, it seems unlikely that an individual sound would be able to express itself in such diverse contexts as the lush impressionism of the Maria Schneider Orchestra; the exotic chamber jazz of Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda’s trio; or the fiery combustion of New York’s thriving Latin music scene.
But listen to the four albums that Gilkes has released under his own name – in particular his latest, a stunning set of compositions for the WDR Big Band named for its home base, Köln – and it immediately becomes clear how the versatile trombonist can integrate myriad influences into a singular and distinctive voice. Gilkes combines the spontaneous invention of jazz with the elegant architecture of classical composition; straightahead swing with adventurous modernism; virtuosic technique with passionate emotion. It’s a rare combination that has made Gilkes an in-demand performer, composer, sideman, and clinician since his arrival in New York City in the late 1990s. Read more.
Evening Performance with UNH Faculty
Memorial Union Building
Granite State Room
Paul Creative Arts Center
30 Academic Way
In Memoriam: Clark Terry
Jazz great Clark Terry passed away on February 21, 2015. He was 94 years old. Terry was an affiliate professor of music at UNH. Emeritus Professor of Music 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. More.