Doors at 6:30 PM, Show at 7:30 PM
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INDIVIDUAL Public Onsale: June 12, 2019 4:20 PM to October 19, 2019 7:30 PM
The Jazz Studies Program at North Carolina Central University is under the leadership of saxophonist/flutist Ira Wiggins. There are eight ensembles in the program: two big bands, four combos, a guitar ensemble, and a vocal jazz ensemble. Dr. Wiggins is assisted by the following: Assistant Director, Baron Tymas - Guitar, Robert Trowers -Trombone, Albert Strong - Trumpet, Arnold George - Piano and Vocals, Lenora Zenzalai Helm - Vocals, Ed Paolantonio - Piano, Thomas Taylor - Drumset, Aaron Hill - Saxophone and Damon Brown - Bass. Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo have been artists-in-residence since 2005.
Many internationally known jazz artists have been featured in concert with NCCU's Jazz Ensembles including: Jimmy Heath, James Moody, Kenny Burrell, The Count Basie Orchestra, Branford Marsalis, Ed Thigpen, Vanessa Rubin, Roy Hargrove, Fred Wesley, Louie Bellson, Alvin Batiste, Clark Terry, Frank Foster, Nnenna Freelon, Nicholas Payton, Steve Wilson, Geri Allen, Slide Hampton, Christian McBride, Dick Oatts and others.
NCCU's groups have appeared at numerous festivals receiving top honors, including first
place honors at the Villanova Jazz Festival held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2007 and 2011. In 1995, the NCCU Jazz Studies Program produced its first compact disc recording, Central Visions. Accolades from that recording resulted in performances at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Euro-Disney in Paris and two performances at the White House at a reception for the White House Staff and Congressional Aides and a week later for a National Press reception hosted by President and Mrs. Clinton. Subsequent recordings are Beyond The Horizon, Central Standard Time, Blues and the Verdant Green, Yesterdays & Forever, Arrival, and Slightly Blued. In 1999 the ensemble made a second appearance at the Montreux Jazz Festival and the Vienne Jazz Festival in France. Other notable performances include the National Music Educators Conference in Nashville, International Association For Jazz Education (IAJE) performances in Long Beach, California, Toronto and New York, as well as a tribute to Dr. Billy Taylor in Kansas City, Missouri.
In January 2008, the Big Band and Vocal Jazz Ensemble performed at the 35th Annual IAJE Conference in Toronto, Canada with Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo. Also in 2008, the Big Band and Vocal Ensemble performed British Virgin Islands' Jazz Festival. In 2009 ensembles performed at the Notre Dame Jazz Festival, the 30th Detroit Jazz Festival and the 55th Newport Jazz Festival. In 2010 and 2013, the NCCU Vocal Jazz Ensemble performed at Lincoln Center during the New York City Jazz Festival. Recent performances include the Jazz Education Network Conferences in Atlanta, and Louisville, Kentucky and a return to Jazz at Lincoln Center in Dizzy's Coca Jazz Club on April 12, 2016. In January 2018, the Jazz Ensemble performed at the JEN Conference in Dallas, Texas. The Jazz Studies program offers the Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies and the Masters of Music in Performance and Composition.
The Jazz Studies Program at North Carolina Central University is dedicated to fostering a quality education, shaping the future of aspiring musicians, and maintaining the integrity of a great art form.