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
”Sony Masterworks recording artist Regina Carter is the foremost jazz violinist of her generation. Her quest for beauty combined with her passion for excellence did not escape the attention of the MacArthur Foundation, who awarded Regina their prestigious fellowship “genius grant.” Regina’s recent release, Ella: Accentuate the Positive, and touring program, Simply Ella, mark the 100th birthday of a musical legend. The program celebrates the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald—THE source of Regina’s musical inspiration. An influence she has cherished throughout her life, Regina describes her visceral connection to Ella’s music:
“Growing up in Detroit, there was always music playing in our home. While there was a variety of music I enjoyed, there were a few recordings and artists I found consistently captivating. Ella Fitzgerald was one of these exceptions. To this very day, whenever I hear an Ella recording it grabs me at my core. I’m entranced by her voice, her melodic improvisations and the passion and artfulness with which Ella sings a song. She helps me understand a song by providing a window to its essence. In a word, Ella is sublime, and she is at the top of my go-to list when learning a jazz tune. Perhaps Jimmy Rowles said it best, ‘Music comes out of her. When [Ella] walks down the street…she leaves notes.’ I’m so excited to celebrate Ella Fitzgerald, an artist who has meant so much to all the notes in my musical life.”
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.