Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival Announces 2014 Artist Lineup

Wednesday, September 18 2013

MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival will celebrate its 47th year with a stellar lineup of artists in Moscow, Idaho, Feb. 19-22, 2014.

This year’s theme, Pioneers of Jazz: A Legacy of Innovation, compliments the artist lineup and showcases jazz’s evolution through the years.

"I really see the festival as having created a cultural legacy here in Idaho,” said Steve Remington, festival director. “We actually have third-generation Idahoans – and Inland Northwesterners –participating in the event; their parents and grandparents still remember the experience, and they have an appreciation for jazz music now that will stay with them for the rest of their lives."

The Wednesday, Feb. 19 opening night concert, presented by Avista Corp., will feature NEA Jazz Master Benny Golson, Ken Peplowski, Grace Kelly with the All-Star Quartet featuring Josh Nelson, Shawn Conley, Bruce Forman and Kevin Kanner, and the Lionel Hampton School of Music Jazz Band 1 in the Student Union Building Ballroom.

Golson, a multi-talented and internationally famous jazz legend, continues to make important contributions to the jazz world. He is the only living jazz artist to have written eight standards for jazz repertoire. Those standards are still used in countless recordings internationally. He has recorded over 30 albums and has written more than 300 compositions.

The Thursday, Feb. 20 evening concerts, presented by Pepsi, will feature Ken Peplowski and the Terell Stafford Septet, NEA Jazz Master Sheila Jordan with the All-Star Trio, and Geoffrey Keezer.

Born in Cleveland, Peplowski made his professional debut at age 10. By 19, he had spent two years touring with the Tommy Dorsey ghost orchestra. Peplowski settled in New York City, where he played with Benny Goodman. He signed with Concord in 1987 and has worked with artists such as Mel Torme, Dee Daniels and Rosemary Clooney. He was one of the top clarinetists of the 1990s and a talented tenor player.

Raised in poverty in Pennsylvania, Jordan started singing at a young age. By her early teens, she was performing semi-professionally in Detroit clubs. She became a member of the vocal trio Skeeter, Mitch and Jean. The trio worked with Charlie Parker to sing versions of Parker’s songs. In the early 1950s, she married Parker’s pianist Duke Jordan.

At only 17, Keezer joined the Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers as the last pianist. He worked alongside artists such as Horace Silver, Bobby Thimmons, Cedar Walton, James Williams and Benny Green. After Blakey’s death, Keezer recorded with Sunnyside, Blue Note, DIW/Columbia and Sackville. Additionally, he played on records led by Art Farmer, Roy Hargrove and Antonio Hart, among others. He also performed and recorded with the Contemporary Piano Ensemble and the Ray Brown Trio. In early 2000, he teamed up with Zero One.

The Friday, Feb. 21 evening concerts, presented by Alaska Airlines, will feature Groove for Thought, Rene Marie and the Yellowjackets.

Groove for Thought is comprised of seven singers, combining swing with smooth jazz and classic pop. The group of friends formed in 2000, meeting weekly in living rooms. Each member of the group has ties to jazz education in the Pacific Northwest, many of them as experienced music teachers, and toured throughout North America and Europe. They won the 2005 National Harmony Sweepstakes Competition, the 2006 and 2011 Contemporary a cappella Recording Awards for “Best Jazz Song” and “Best Holiday Song.” They released their self-titled debut album in 2006.

Marie’s style incorporates elements of jazz, soul, blues and gospel. Marie has received several awards throughout her career including Best International Jazz Vocal CD by the Academie Du Jazz in Paris, France. She has graced the Billboard Charts multiple times propelling her to headliner status at major festivals in the U.S. and abroad, including the Women In Jazz festival at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C., the Edinburgh Jazz Festival in Scotland and the Shanghai Jazz Festival in China, among many others. In 2007, Marie released “Experiment in Truth,” as well as the single “This Is (Not) A Protest Song,” a fundraiser for the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. In 2009, she released the soundtrack for her touring one-woman play, “Slut Energy Theory.” Her next album is set to release in November.

Formed in 1977 and known originally as the Robben Ford Group, the eventually-named Yellowjackets consisted of Robben Ford, Russell Ferrante, Jimmy Haslip and Ricky Lawson, all top-notch L.A. session musicians. Ford originally assembled this lineup to record his 1979 solo album “The Inside Story,” which was released under the name of Robben Ford. During this initial period the band’s sound combined elements of blues, jazz fusion and progressive rock with Ford contributing vocals. Over the next year the group moved in a more democratic direction with no vocals and embraced a jazz-funk approach overall. They signed with Warner Bros. as Yellowjackets. In May 2008, the Yellowjackets released their 20th recording “Lifecycle.” The album was nominated for the 2009 GRAMMY Awards in the category of Best Contemporary Jazz Album. They released their latest album, “A Rise in the Road,” in June 2013.

The Saturday, Feb. 22 evening concerts will feature the Lionel Hampton Jazz Youth Orchestra with special guests Jason Marsalis, NEA Jazz Master Benny Golson, followed by NEA Jazz Master Eddie Palmieri Latin Jazz Septet.

Palmieri was born in Spanish Harlem in 1936. At an early age, he started playing piano. By age 13, he joined his uncle’s orchestra, where he played timbales. He began his professional career in the early 1950s with Edie Forrester’s Orchestra. He joined Johnny Segui’s band in 1955. By 1961, he had formed his own band La Perfecta, which featured a trombone section in place of trumpets.

Visit or call 208-885-6765 for the most up-to-date festival information.
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