The nationally recognized and award-winning high school big band — Tucson Jazz Institute
Ellington Big Band — opens the Tucson Jazz Festival
! Terell Stafford
— «one of the great trumpet players of our time» — will be joining them! They are the opening act for phenom Joey Alexander
— the most advanced player for his age in the history of jazz piano! An incredible line-up for this Festival opener.
Tucson Jazz Institute
Ellington Band is comprised of high school musicians from the greater Tucson area and Nogales who study at this award-winning community jazz music school. The Ellington BigbBand (one of six at TJI) is loved for their swinging diverse and energetic sounds. This #1 High School Big Band placed in the top 3 eight years in a row (5 times 1st place) at the prestigious national Jazz at Lincoln Center Essentially Ellington
Competition presided over by Wynton Marsalis. They were named the Best Community Jazz Band in the Annual Student Music Awards in DownBeat Magazine in May 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017.
The Tucson Jazz Institute teaches middle school students on Saturdays and high school students on Sundays. They study jazz improvisation in small group classes (combos) and swing era music in big bands. TJI gives many children an outlet and 'opportunities' they would not have otherwise. Over 90% of TJI graduates get substantial college scholarships. Their alumni attend some of the most prestigious schools in the nation including Juilliard, the Manhattan School of Music, The New England Conservatory, Princeton, USC and Swarthmore (many on scholarship) and have gone on to major careers in jazz music.
To learn more about the TJI, visit http://tucsonjazzinstitute.com/
JOEY ALEXANDER, a native of Bali, Indonesia, taught himself to play piano by listening to classic jazz albums his father shared with him. An amateur musician, Joey’s father soon recognized his son’s gift for jazz, as his technique and ability to grasp complicated musical concepts was beyond someone of his years. Due to the lack of jazz education where he lived, Joey began attending jam sessions with senior musicians. From there, his musical intuition flourished, as did his love of playing jazz. In recognition of his talent, UNESCO invited Joey to play solo piano in honor of his jazz idol, Herbie Hancock, who provided early enthusiastic support to Joey’s budding career. The world has taken notice of this phenomenal and exciting pianist with the astonishing technique and soulful sound. Joey has been featured at festivals worldwide including Jakarta’s International Java Jazz Festival and the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. With his third studio effort, Eclipse, his most personal statement to date, Joey takes another giant step forward, demonstrating his aptitude as a composer, bandleader and musician, hinting at the many artistic paths open to him in the decades ahead.
TERELL STAFFORD, guest appearing with TJI EBB
Terell Stafford, acclaimed trumpet player based in New York, has been hailed as “one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player” by piano legend McCoy Tyner. Stafford is recognized as an incredibly gifted and versatile player, he combines a deep love of melody with his own brand of spirited and adventurous lyricism. Stafford’s exceptionally expressive and well defined musical talent allows him to dance in and around the rich trumpet tradition of his predecessors while making his own inroads. Since the mid-1990’s, Stafford has performed with groups such as Benny Golson’s Sextet, McCoy Tyner’s Sextet, Kenny Barron Quintet, Frank Wess Quintet, Jimmy Heath Quintet and Big Band, Jon Faddis Jazz Orchestra, Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Alumni Band. Stafford with the Hamilton Clayton Jazz Orchestra, performed on Diana Krall’s GRAMMY nominated From this Moment On (2006). John Clayton invited Stafford to perform with the Clayton Brothers Quintet and Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. Stafford is a member of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and they were awarded a GRAMMY in 2009 for Best Large Ensemble, Live at the Village Vanguard. Stafford can be heard on over 130 albums. Stafford is the Director of Jazz Studies and Chair of Instrumental Studies at Temple University, founder and band leader of the Terell Stafford Quintet, and Managing and Artistic Director of the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia (JOP). Stafford is renowned in the jazz world as an educator, performer and leader along with countless award nominations, accolades and associated acts.
JAZZ FESTIVAL LINE-UP: http://tucsonjazzfestival.org/
Fest runs January 11-21 closing with a free outdoor DOWNTOWN JAZZ FIESTA on MLK Day, Monday, January 21, featuring Poncho Sanchez
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