Fred Sturm Jazz Celebration Weekend brings professional jazz artists to the Lawrence campus for a 100% non-competitive jazz education festival. Instrumental and vocal jazz educators continue to appreciate the low-pressure clinic environment, the inspirational boost at the start of the school year, the extended ensemble workshop clinics with renowned clinicians, the special focus upon improvisation, the absence of ratings and trophies, and a "Who's Who" list of professional jazz artists.
Regina Carter Quartet
Friday, Nov. 2, 2018 / 7:30 p.m.
“A talented, charismatic player who is almost single-handedly reviving interest in the violin as a jazz instrument.” —The Los Angeles Times
For Grammy nominated artist Regina Carter, the violin isn't simply an improvisational vehicle; it’s a passport to unexpected realms. Her quest for beauty combined with her passion for excellence did not escape the attention of the MacArthur Foundation, which awarded Regina their prestigious MacArthur fellowship “genius grant”. San Francisco Performances also took note of Regina's exceptional work and appointed her Artist-in-Residence for five years. She also served as one of the Resident Artistic Directors for the discerning SFJAZZ during its inaugural season in its spectacular new home. Most recently, the acclaimed violinist was selected as the 2017 Showcase Artist for the prestigious Monterey Jazz Festival and in 2018 was appointed as the Director of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s All-Female Jazz Residency, a unique summer immersion program for aspiring women jazz professionals.
Her albums reflect that singular quest for beauty - in 1995, Regina released her self-titled solo debut on Atlantic Records. She released three more albums in rapid succession after her debut – Something for Grace (1997), Rhythms of the Heart (1999) and Motor City Moments (2000). Traveling to Genoa, Italy and making history being the first jazz musician and African American to play the Guarneri Del Gesu violin inspired her next effort, Paganini: After a Dream in 2003. I'll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey (2006) became a powerful and heartfelt tribute to her late mother. The connection to family, history, and tradition continued into Reverse Thread (2010) and Southern Comfort (2014), drawing ties between her own African heritage and her family’s history. Her most recent release, Ella: Accentuate the Positive (2017), celebrates the music and spirit of her inspiration: musical legend Ella Fitzgerald.
Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 / 7:30 p.m.
“One of New York’s institutions ...its strengths are its colors and its soloists.”
—The New York Times
The multiple-Grammy-winning 16 piece Vanguard Jazz Orchestra features some of world’s finest musicians, most of whom lead their own bands when not performing with the orchestra. Co-founded by legendary trumpeter Thad Jones and drummer Mel Lewis, the ensemble still plays virtually every Monday night at the renowned Village Vanguard Jazz club, New York City’s most famous basement, where it got its start in 1966. The beautiful melodies and unique arrangements of Thad Jones enchanted audiences worldwide. The mixture of the music from diverse backgrounds created their innovative sound and the band was quickly recognized as a world-class big band. The ensemble cultivated its rich history while commissioning new music that made them the prototype of innovative big band music. 2016 marked 50 years of continued performances of Monday Night Live at the Village Vanguard.