Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
PORTALES—The 2004 Eastern New Mexico University Jazz Fest will be held on March 4-5 on the Portales campus. It is free and open to the public. Events on March 4 in Buchanan Hall in the Music Building start at 4:30-5:30 p.m. with a clinic by guest artist Jon Birdsong (former trumpet player for Beck). The evening concert begins at 7 p.m. with performances by the High Winds Jazztet and the Bert Dalton Trio.
The concert on Friday evening at 7 p.m. will be in the University Theatre Center and feature the ENMU alumni sextet and the ENMU jazz ensemble with guest artist Jon Birdsong, trumpet. Birdsong has appeared on Grammy award-winning artist Beck's "Midnight Vultures" (Geffen Records, 1999) and toured internationally with the group. He has worked with Brit Award-winning artist Beth Orton, playing on and doing horn arrangements for her album "Daybreaker" (EMI records, 2002).
Birdsong has also played on Victoria Williams' records and toured internationally with her as well. He has appeared on and penned arrangements for bossa nova duo Smokey and Miho's "Tempo de Amor" and their self-titled albums. The group played jazz festivals internationally including the Newport Jazz Festival and Montreal Jazz Festival last year. He has had a diverse career in popular music but comes from a background in jazz, studying at the University of North Texas, graduating in 1992. Birdsong grew up in Canyon, Texas. He has led his own groups while living in San Francisco, New York, and now Antwerp, Belgium, where he is collaborating with creative musicians there.
The Bert Dalton Trio is a straight-ahead piano trio based in the Santa Fe-Albuquerque area. This tightly arranged trio has been performing every Monday and Tuesday night at the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe since its formation three years ago. Led by pianist Bert Dalton, the group features Rob "Milo" Jaramillo on bass and John Bartlit on drums. The trio performs a mix of standards, Latin jazz, Brazilian, and original compositions. The trio recently performed works for trio and orchestra with the 70-piece Allen Philharmonic Symphony in Allen, Texas.
The High Winds Jazztet is a newly formed quartet (May 2003) from the Portales area. Their repertoire consists of jazz standards, popular classics, and original compositions. The group can be heard at many fine dining establishments throughout the region. An upcoming date in Alamogordo on the Flickinger Center's outdoor "tailgate concert series" this August is expected to be a highlight. Faculty members of the group from ENMU include: Chris Beaty-saxophone, Jim Constantopulos-bass and Neil Rutland-Drums. Travis Erwin, guitar/vocals, completes the quartet and is a faculty member at South Plains Community College.
2004 marks the first year that an alumni group, the ENMU Alumni Jazz Sextet, will perform at the Jazz Fest. The sextet will feature traditional combo arrangements, jazz standards and vocals. All group members were students during the early 1960s era and all members of the "first generation" of jazz ensembles at Eastern. The early 60s groups were under the direction of Dr. Merle Hogg.
The ENMU Jazz Ensemble is the premier jazz organization at Eastern. The ensemble is open, by audition, to those students who wish to perform and develop an appreciation for the jazz ensemble/big band literature. Repertoire covers a wide range of jazz styles. The jazz ensemble performs throughout the fall and spring semesters for University and civic events.
For more information, contact Jazz Fest director Chris Beaty at 505.562.2471, or e-mail email@example.com.