TAHLEQUAH – Northeastern State University Jazz Studies continues the 2008-‘09 Green Country Jazz Series with the Fourth Annual NSU Jazz Studies JAMbalaya! on Thursday, Feb. 5, starting at 6:30 p.m. in the NSU Jazz Lab.
Cajun food, a silent auction and live performances from NSU jazz groups have become a staple for the annual event. This year’s event also features one of the stars of the Los Angeles jazz scene, saxophonist Bob Sheppard.
Sheppard is regarded as one of the top improvising musicians in jazz, and is an in-demand studio musician, having recorded over 100 scores for film and television. A versatile jazz and pop artist, Sheppard has recorded and toured with a diverse lineup of internationally renowned artists, including Chick Corea and Origin, Peter Erskine, Steely Dan, Manhattan Transfer, Freddie Hubbard and Elvis Costello.
After an immensely successful career as a sideman, Sheppard is finally receiving the spotlight as a solo artist, having released two critically acclaimed CDs. Sheppard is also an active clinician and educator, and is on the faculty at the University of Southern California.
“Bob has long been an inspiration for me musically,” said Dr. Arthur White, NSU director of Jazz Studies. “In my opinion, he has been an ‘unsung hero’ in the jazz world for far too many years. This artist is truly amazing, and it will be a great honor to have him at JAMbalaya!”
Sheppard will perform with White and the NSU Faculty Jazz Combo, and the award winning NSU Jazz Ensemble. The band is celebrating the release of their fourth CD, the critically acclaimed “Global Citizen” with trombonist Robin Eubanks.
Local artists, businesses and civic groups have donated services and items for the popular silent auction. Proceeds go to benefit the NSU Jazz Studies program, which promotes jazz performance and education throughout the region, and promotes the cultural and popular arts scene in Tahlequah. This year, a portion of the proceeds will go to the Joe Davis/Jacob Farinelli Memorial Jazz Scholarship Fund.
“JAMbalaya! has really blossomed into a great event,” said White. “With the addition of wonderful guest artists such as Bob Sheppard, the evening becomes even more special.”
Tickets are $20 for adults, $35 for couples, and $10 for students. For more information on the benefit, call (918) 444-4602 or (918) 444-4603.