Erskine Headlines 41st Annual Green Country Jazz Festival

TAHLEQUAH- Oklahoma’s longest running jazz festival, the NSU Green Country Jazz Festival will take place Monday, March 3, with legendary drummer and Grammy-award winner Peter Erskine as the festival guest artist.

Erskine is the premier drummer of his generation, having performed in the legendary big bands of Stan Kenton and Maynard Ferguson, as a member of the fusion groups Weather Report and Steps Ahead, and performing worldwide as a solo artist and band leader. Erskine has recorded on over 400 albums, including albums by Gary Burton, Pat Metheny, Steely Dan, Chick Corea, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and twelve critically acclaimed solo albums. In addition to touring, Erskine is a faculty member at the University of Southern California, and has numerous instructional materials published by Hal Leonard, Inc.

Peter Erskine’s concerts at GCJF ‘08 will be so remarkable and memorable,” said Arthur White, NSU director of Jazz Studies. “His abilities are amazing, and his resume is well-defined, but it’s his passion for jazz education that will be on display.

The evening concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the NSU Center for Performing Arts. Tickets are $12 general admission or $6 for students.

The GCJF will also present the 4th Annual Judges Jam, on Sunday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m., at the Jazz Lab, with a ticket price of $5. In addition to Erskine, White and pianist/festival coordinator Shane Ohlson, performers include saxophonist/flutist Paul Scea, director of Jazz Studies at West Virginia University, bassist Steve Haines, director of Jazz Studies at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and guitarist James Greeson, director of the jazz ensemble at the University of Arkansas.

During the day of the festival, junior high and high school jazz bands from across Oklahoma will perform for judges at the NSU Center for the Performing Arts and the NSU University Center. Erskine will also host a clinic for the students. These performances are free and open to the public.

Erskine will perform with the NSU Jazz Ensemble. The group is celebrating the release of their newest CD, the critically acclaimed “The Point,” with guest Henry Johnson on guitar. “The Point” was recently named to the Best of 2007 big band CD list by allaboutjazz.com, the world’s largest and most extensive website for jazz. The NSU Jazz Ensemble has recently performed with world renowned artists Mike Mainieri, Bob Mintzer, Paul Hanson, Joe Lovano, Robin Eubanks, Mulgrew Miller and others.

We could not be more excited to work with this living legend of jazz. His performance will be one for the ages,” said White.

The GCJF is supported with a grant from the Oklahoma Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. To reserve tickets for the concert, call the NSU Jazz Lab at (918) 444-4603. For additional information, contact White at (918) 444-4602 or whitea@nsuok.edu.

2/20/2008

 
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