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Green Country Jazz Series Kicks Off With Mike Mainieri

TAHLEQUAH – Critically-acclaimed and award winning vibraphonist Mike Mainieri will perform with the NSU Jazz Ensemble on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 8 p.m. in the NSU Jazz Lab in Tahlequah. The concert is the first of the 2007-‘08 Green Country Jazz Series, sponsored by the NSU College of Liberal Arts, Department of Music, and the NSU Jazz Studies program. This concert marks the first for Mainieri at NSU.

Mike Mainieri is universally known for his unique composition and arranging style, and is, without question, a world-class jazz musician. His appearance will be a great highlight for NSU Jazz,” said Arthur White, NSU director of Jazz Studies.

During the late ‘70s, Mainieri founded the pioneering jazz-fusion group “Steps Ahead,” which included Michael Brecker, Eddie Gomez, Steve Gadd and Don Grolnick. A group at the front of musical innovation, “Steps Ahead” is a launching pad for young talent and new musical ideas. Alumni of the band include some of the biggest names in modern jazz, including Peter Erskine, Eliane Elias, Rachel Z, Victor Bailey, Warren Bernhardt, Chuck Loeb, Daryl Jones, Mike Stern, Bob Berg, Marc Johnson and Jimi Tunnell. Mainieri has performed on over 100 gold and platinum recordings, including collaborations with pop music icons Paul Simon, Bonnie Raitt, Aerosmith, Billy Joel, James Taylor and Dire Straits.

Mainieri will be featured with the NSU Jazz Ensemble I, the flagship ensemble of the NSU Jazz Studies Program. The band is celebrating the release of their recent CD, “The Point,” and has appeared in concert recently with Bobby Watson, Scott Wendholt, Henry Johnson, Mulgrew Miller, Kevin Mahogany, and Bob Mintzer, among others. The band’s second CD, “Appointment in Milano,” was named one of the top 10 university jazz CDs of 2006.

Mainieri is a terrific musician and composer, and a dedicated educator. I am very confident that it will be an amazing concert,” said White.

Tickets for the general admission show are $12 or $6 for NSU students, and can be reserved by calling (918) 444-4603. Mike Mainieri will present a free master class open to the public the day of the show at 3 p.m. at the Jazz Lab. The concert is supported with a grant from the Oklahoma Arts Council, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

“The Point” can be purchased online at, or at the NSU Jazz Lab for $12, and will be available the night of the show. For more information on the album or concert, contact Arthur White at (918) 444-4602.


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