McIntire Department of Music

On Saturday, April 28th, at 8:00 P.M. in Old Cabell Auditorium, the UVA Jazz Ensemble under the direction of trumpeter John D'earth, will present their Spring Guest Artist Concert featuring the amazing multi-instrumentalist, Ira Sullivan. Ira Sullivan is an elder statesman of mainstream jazz having come to New York from Chicago, in 1956, to join Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Celebrated internationally as a brilliant improviser, Mr. Sullivan is unique in that he is the only person in jazz to play trumpet and saxophones at the highest level. Except for his case, this is virtually unheard of. He played trumpet with Charlie Parker and tenor sax with Roy Eldridge. His own recordings have consistently met with critical acclaim, and his collaboration trumpeter Red Rodney, in the 1980s was celebrated worldwide. He has influenced and helped to nurture several generations of jazz musicians, working in Chicago with an eighteen-year-old Herbie Hancock and mentoring electric bass innovator Jaco Pastorius. After many decades of great jazz music it is still astonishing to see him perform on a barrage of instruments with his characteristic passion and creativity.

Mr. Sullivan will be giving a three-day residency to the University's jazz students. "Ira's devotion to working with the students is impressive," says Jazz Ensemble Director John D'earth. "He said that he wanted to meet with as many student players, soloists, and rhythm sections as possible while he's here, even if they're not in the Jazz Ensemble." Mr. Sullivan will be giving workshops and master classes to the jazz students throughout his residency. On the morning of the concert, at 11:00 a.m. in Old Cabell Hall, he'll be leading a workshop/discussion that is free and open to the public.

The music for the April 28th concert will be from across the spectrum of jazz styles including original music from within the band. John D'earth will be writing an arrangement of My Funny Valentine that will be sung by visiting French student Lelia Otmani. "The setting will feature Ira with some unusual instrumentation including harp, viola da gamba, alto flute and melodica," says D'earth. "Lelia Otmani has a haunting voice and we have dedicated, talented jazz students on these instruments who will get a chance to show their work. This should be something special." The Jazz Ensemble will also play Central Park North, a voluminous composition by one of the band's favorite writers: Thad Jones. Also represented will be Charles Mingus' Better Get It In Your Soul and latin jazz saxophinist Paquito D'Rivera's Alna Llanera, based on an Argentinian folk song. With the inclusion of Count Basie's incendiary Whirlybirds, and a latin version of Dizzy Gillespie's Groovin' High, all of the music will be geared toward featuring the instrumental prowess of Ira Sullivan and the students in the ensemble. "We have one of our strongest bands in years," says D'earth. "With our new lead trumpeter Eric McQuillan and our many excellent soloists we are making some very strong music. We stand to learn so much from Ira Sullivan. I think it will be a memorable night. His attitude towards jazz is refreshing. I read that he rejects the idea of a 'battle of the saxophones.' 'Battle? He says, 'we've got enough war in the world. Music is harmony, melody, and rhythm!'"

Tickets are $10 General, $5 Students, and 5ARTS$ for UVA Students. Tickets can be purchased at the Cabell Hall Box Office at (434) 924-3984, 12pm to 5pm, Monday through Friday and two hours before the concert.

We would like to thank the Hampton Inn & Suites for supporting the Arts.

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Maintained By McIntire Department of Music
Last Modified: Monday, 28-Jul-2008 23:27:24 EDT
112 Old Cabell Hall, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Departmental Information: (434) 924-3052
Cabell Hall Box Office: (434) 924-3984