Manhattan Transfer to Headline 2011 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival

Friday, October 29 2010

New Format Unveiled for 2011 Festival

MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho's Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival will have some new elements for the 2011 event, which runs Feb. 23-26 in Moscow, Idaho.

"The theme for this festival is 'Explorations of the Heart,'" said Steven Remington, new executive director of the festival. "For nearly 45 years, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival has focused on jazz education and is the world's largest educational jazz festival. Building on that stronghold, we have some special offerings this year that will allow us to help students fine-tune their skills as they explore jazz."

The Wednesday schedule, which in the past has included college, elementary and middle school student performances, will have a completely different look from previous years. This year the festival will hand pick select schools to take part in a new "master class" especially created for these invited groups.

Invited groups and soloists with their own accompaniment will perform in a 90-minute intensive performance class with clinicians, and attend a focused workshop afterward.

All Wednesday performances and clinics are open to other schools and the general public to view.

The Wednesday evening concert will follow the same format as the 2010 festival, with some new offerings. The lineup will feature a surprise jazz master yet to be announced, and will include the Lionel Hampton All-Star Rhythm Section, comprised of Josh Nelson on piano, Graham Dechter on guitar, Sean Conley on bass and Kevin Kanner on drums. Charenee Wade, a rising star on the jazz scene, will take the lead on vocals.

Wrapping up the evening will be special guest Terell Stafford on trumpet , performing with the university's Lionel Hampton School of Music Jazz Band One under the direction of Vern Sielert, assistant professor of trumpet and jazz studies. The evening concert will take place at 8 p.m. in the university's Student Union Building Ballroom, 709 Deakin Ave. in Moscow and will include special reduced pricing for this year’s event.

Thursday's day-time events will include traditional performances by college, elementary and middle school students, along with clinics and workshops.

This year’s event features a new “festival seating” format for Thursday evening, which is sponsored by Pepsi. Three separate groups will be playing concerts at three locations on campus, recreating that festival ambiance that jazz lovers experience at other major jazz festivals. These “staggered sets” will provide different starting times for each of the following acts:

• Renee Rosnes and Bill Charlap will perform from 7:30-10 p.m. as a piano duo in the University Auditorium in the Administration Building, 851 Campus Dr. in Moscow.

• Nikki Yanofsky, a teenaged Canadian jazz vocalist, will perform with Festival All-Stars Josh Nelson on piano, Sean Conley on bass and Kevin Kanner on drums. This concert will take place from 8-10:30 p.m. in the newly remodeled Haddock Performance Hall in the Lionel Hampton School of Music Building, 1010 Blake Ave. in Moscow.

• Atsuko Hashimoto, the Japanese Hammond organ virtuoso, returns with Jeff Hamilton on drums and Graham Dechter on guitar in the Student Union Building Ballroom from 8:30-11:15 p.m.

"This ‘festival’ format at the Thursday’s evening concerts,” Remington explained, “will allow people to move from venue to venue and catch multiple sets, or they can just stay put and see two sets of their favorite act."

Thursday night’s paper ticket will be exchanged at the door for a wristband, good for admission to all three venues.

Friday's daytime events include high school vocal performances, as well as clinics and workshops.

The Friday evening concert, presented by Alaska Airlines, will feature The Manhattan Transfer, a multiple Grammy Award-winning vocal group that has been performing for more than 30 years with their current line-up. In 1981, The Manhattan Transfer made music history by becoming the first group to win Grammy Awards in both pop and jazz categories in the same year for their hit "Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone." The group's most recent album, "The Chick Corea Songbook," was released in September 2009.

Friday night also will feature the Victor Wooten Band. Wooten, an innovator, composer, arranger, lecturer, producer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, is a five-time Grammy Award winner. He was voted Bassist of the Year by Bass Player Magazine three times and is the only person to have won the award more than once. He will be joined by his brothers, Regi Wooten on guitar and Joseph Wooten on keyboards, as well as Derico Watson on drums. A mix of jazz, jam and funk, the band's sounds will delight audience members of all ages.

The Friday evening concert will take place at 8:30 p.m. in the ASUI-Kibbie Activity Center, 1000 Stadium Way in Moscow.

Saturday daytime events include high school instrumental performances, as well as more clinics and workshops.

The Young Artists Concerts allow invited student ensembles a chance to perform on the main stage, and at the beginning of the week, the Jazz In the Schools program brings the music to the students, allowing artists and educators an opportunity to outreach with educational jazz materials and presentations – reaching nearly 7,000 kids in more than 25 schools throughout the Northwest.

The Lionel Hampton Big Band will lead the Avista-sponsored Saturday evening concert at 8:30 p.m., also housed in the ASUI-Kibbie Activity Center. The band will include vocalist Carmen Bradford, as well as drummer Ed Shaughnessy and tenor sax Pete Christlieb, both who played with "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" band. Special surprise guests are common on Saturday, so don’t miss this all-star lineup.

The 2011 festival will wrap up with a special homage to Lionel: a "mallet-palooza" percussion extravaganza that will feature the Alma University Percussion Ensemble. It will be led by director David Zerbe, spiced with professional musicians and students from Dan Bukvich’s Lionel Hampton School of Music percussion ensemble. Bukvich is professor of percussion and theory and the director of Jazz Choir at the University of Idaho.

As in the past, the festival will have late evening events at local venues.

The 2011 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival will take place Feb. 23-26. For more information, visit or call (208) 885-5900.
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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s land-grant institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year. The University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation classification for high research activity. The student population of 12,302 includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars, who select from more than 130 degree options in the colleges of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Art and Architecture; Business and Economics; Education; Engineering; Law; Letters, Arts and Social Sciences; Natural Resources; and Science. The university also is charged with the statewide mission for medical education through the WWAMI program. The university combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities and focuses on helping students to succeed and become leaders. It is home to the Vandals, the 2009 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl champions. For more information, visit

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit