Thirteenth Annual IUP Jazz Festival

Posted on 4/11/2013 10:30:55 AM

The 13th annual IUP Jazz Festival, presented by the IUP Department of Music, will be held in Fisher Auditorium in the IUP Performing Arts Center on Saturday, April 27, 2013, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The festival will feature the IUP Jazz Band and the IUP Jazz Ensemble. The featured guest soloist for the concert is saxophonist Joe Eckert.

The IUP Jazz Band is led by Keith Young, professor of Saxophone. The IUP Jazz Ensemble is directed by Kevin Eisensmith, professor of Trumpet.

Also featured in this concert will be the IUP High School Honors Jazz Band, directed by Eisensmith and Young. Twenty-five students from nine different high schools, including Altoona, Forest Hills, Halifax, Saltsburg, Indiana Area, Punxsutawney, Southmoreland, and United, will perform works for jazz band. These students were recommended for participation in the IUP Jazz Festival by their band directors, and they will rehearse throughout the day on Saturday prior to their Saturday evening performance.

High school and college music students alike will participate in a clinic presented by Joe Eckert on Saturday afternoon.

Eckert is the first full-time professor of saxophone at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas, joining the faculty in fall 2007. In fall 2011, he assumed additional duties as director of Jazz Studies and director of the Jazz Ensemble. He retired in 2004 from a 20-year career as lead alto saxophonist/woodwind specialist and director for the USAF Band’s Airmen of Note in Washington, D.C. Eckert received his B.M. from Baldwin-Wallace College in saxophone performance and went on to complete graduate and post-graduate studies at the University of North Texas, where he was a member of the world-renowned One O’clock Lab Band, principal saxophonist with the Wind Symphony, and soloist with the Symphony Orchestra.

While with the “Note,” Eckert toured extensively across North and South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. As producer for the Jazz Heritage Concert Series, he collaborated with some of the great names in jazz, including Louie Bellson, Bob Berg, Randy Brecker, Jimmy Heath, Cleo Laine, David Liebman, Mike Mainieri, and Clark Terry. He has also performed with Bob Mintzer, Peter Erskine, Jon Faddis, Bunky Green, J.J. Johnson, Carmen McRae, Sammy Nestico, Tommy Newsom, Red Rodney, Kenny Werner, Paquito D’Rivera, Claudio Roditi, Arturo Sandoval, Billy Taylor, Joe Williams, and many others. As coordinator of the Jazz Outreach Education Series, he brought the expertise of Airmen of Note to aspiring music students throughout the country. Some of his freelance activities include performances with the Dallas Symphony, the Fort Worth Symphony, and the National Symphony Orchestra and tours with Liza Minnelli and Nelson Riddle. In the popular music world, he has performed with the likes of Lou Rawls, Diana Ross, Frank Sinatra, Jr., Anthony Newley, Natalie Cole, and Michael Jackson.

He continues to remain active as a performer, playing regularly with the Fort Worth Symphony and as a jazz soloist and recitalist nationally. He has served as an adjudicator and clinician at music festivals, high schools, and colleges nationally and internationally. Eckert’s professional affiliations include the American Federation of Musicians, Music Educators National Conference, North American Saxophone Alliance, Texas Bandmasters Association, and the Jazz Education Network. Eckert is a Yamaha-Performing Artist/Clinician and Rico Performing Artist. For more information, please refer to the Joe Eckert website.

Eckert’s appearance at the IUP Jazz Festival has been made possible in part through grants from the Yamaha Corporation, Rico, and Volkwein’s Music, with additional, generous support from the IUP College of Fine Arts and the IUP Department of Music.

Cost of tickets for the evening concert is $9 for regular admission, $8 for senior citizens and students, and $6 with an I-Card.

For more information about this concert, please call the IUP Department of Music at (724) 357-2390.