Upcoming free jazz events at NDSU

January 19, 2017

The NDSU Challey School of Music will heat up its concert halls this winter with two free performances by distinguished jazz performers on Jan. 26 and Feb. 11.

SONSAX saxophone ensemble performs Jan. 26

The NDSU Challey School of Music welcomes the Costa Rican band SONSAX for a free performance on Thursday, Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Beckwith Recital Hall. The family-friendly show will appeal to all ages with its exuberant homage to Latin American music.

For more than 20 years, Javier Valerio, Pablo Sandi, Harold Guillen, Arturo Castro and Manrique Mendez have pursued a creative vision that has made their group one of the most influential saxophone ensembles from Latin America, performing hundreds of concerts in countries such as Russia, Japan, Canada, United States, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, France, Germany, Scotland, México and Central America, among others.

The Montreal International Jazz Festival described SONSAX as “a ‘world saxophone quartet’ in every sense of word. The ‘sax’ part is the four principal members of the family (baritone, tenor, alto, soprano—plus percussion), and the ‘son’ can be from anywhere: sometimes cool, sometimes frenzied, sometimes laid-back lounge, sometimes pure funk — and always with enough Latin flavor to move you to dance or dream.”

NDSU Jazz Festival closing concert on Feb. 11

Guest artists will provide area jazz students with expert instruction and a concert performance during NDSU’s annual High School Invitational Jazz Festival on Feb. 10 and 11. The festival will feature several regional high school jazz ensembles working with two nationally acclaimed jazz musicians who will perform a free closing concert on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. in Festival Concert Hall with the NDSU Jazz Ensemble.

Headlined by trombonist Anthony Williams and drummer Sam (Slammin’ Sammy K) Kestenholtz as clinicians and guest performers, the artists will present a series of clinics and master classes. Student ensembles will perform and receive critiques from 9–10:30 a.m. and 1:30–3:30 p.m. on Feb. 11. The student performances are in Festival Concert Hall and are free and open to the public.

Anthony Williams is Assistant Professor of Trombone at the University of Northern Iowa. An active clinician, he has worked with middle school, high school, and college students throughout the United States and internationally in Canada, Central America and Europe. Williams performed as guest soloist with the University of Northern Iowa Wind Symphony during their 2016 Italian Tour and will be traveling as a guest artist with the university’s top jazz ensemble to Cuba in March 2017. Other recent projects include performing as lead trombonist on the Mike Waldrop Big Band’s recent release on Origin Records as well as live performances at the 2016 and 2015 Jazz Education Network conferences. He has performed with artists and ensembles such as the Memphis Symphony, Arkansas Symphony, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, Dubuque Symphony, Memphis Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Orchestra of the Delta, Ray Charles Orchestra, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Natalie Cole, The Temptations, The Cab Calloway Orchestra, Jimmy Dorsey Tribute Orchestra, Slide Hampton, Peter Erskine, Natalie Cole, Rufus Reid, Jeff Coffin, Clark Terry, David Sanchez and Donald Brown.

Based in Los Angeles, Grammy-nominated musician Sammy K is an active clinician and performer who has appeared at the International Association of Jazz Educators International Conference, Brandon Jazz Festival, Indianapolis Jazz Festival, Montreux/Detroit Jazz Festival and Yamaha’s Music for All Summer Symposium, among many others. He has performed with or recorded for numerous artists that include Bob Hope, Alan Paul of Manhattan Transfer, Engelbert Humperdinck, Lucy Lawless, Burt Bacharach, the Los Angeles Laker Band and Dave Brubeck, and has recorded for TV shows and films, including “The Fast and the Furious.” He created the “Groove Boot Camp” program of intense drum set instruction which he presents to students and educators across the U.S. and Canada. His website is www.slamminsammyk.com.

For more information on the festival, visit: https://www.ndsu.edu/performingarts/music/jazz_festival/

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