NEA Grant to Bring Benny Golson, Eddie Palmieri and Sheila Jordan to the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival

Tuesday, September 3 2013


MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho’s Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival received a $15,000 grant from the NEA Jazz Masters Live grant program to support the performances of Benny Golson, Eddie Palmieri and Sheila Jordan.

The festival was one of six non-profit organizations to receive a grant to support performance and educational activities featuring NEA Jazz Masters, recipients of the nation’s highest honor in jazz.

"I am pleased the NEA will provide opportunities for members of the public to experience performances by some of our nation's jazz greats," said Joan Shigekawa, NEA senior deputy chairman. "These six organizations are providing invaluable opportunities for the public to interact with these artists and furthering the understanding of their remarkable contributions to jazz in this country."

NEA Jazz Masters Live is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and managed by Arts Midwest. The program offers a unique opportunity for the public to engage with the NEA Jazz Masters through such activities as performances, speaking engagements, master classes, workshops, lecture and demonstrations, panel discussions, and public interviews or speaker forums.

“There’s nothing more validating than to have the National Endowment for the Arts recognize – for the second time in three years – and support the contribution the University of Idaho’s Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival is making to the students of our region,” said Steve Remington, executive director.

Golson is a multi-talented and internationally famous jazz legend who has made major contributions to the world of jazz. He is the only living jazz artist to have written eight standards for jazz repertoire. The standards have been used in countless recordings internationally and continue to be used in today’s recordings. He has recorded over 30 albums and has written more than 300 compositions.

He has composed and arranged music for Count Basie, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Sammy Davis Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Quincy Jones, Diana Ross and many other jazz legends.

Golson also has written scores for hit television series’ and films including M*A*S*H, Mannix, Mission Impossible, Mod Squad, The Patridge Family and The Academy Awards. Additionally, he has written music for national radio and television spots for some of the major advertising agencies in the country.

“Benny Golson is amazing. He hasn’t been here since 1997, and we’ve really missed him. He’s the most eloquent man I’ve met in years. And of course, he wrote the Ore-Ida Potatoes commercials,” said Remington.

Jordan was raised in poverty in Pennsylvania and started singing at a young age. By her early teens, she was performing semi-professionally in Detroit clubs. She was 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.

In the early ‘60s, she made her first recording. Her style encompassed jazz liturgies sung in churches and extensive club work. Throughout her career, she worked with Steve Kuhn, Steve Swallow, Harvie Swartz and Cameron Brown.

“Ms. Jordan is a well-spring of enthusiasm and joy. She knows jazz inside and out and has really lived her art,” said Remington.

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.

His musical career has spanned over 50 years as a bandleader of Salsa and Latin Jazz orchestras. His musical style merged black and Latin styles to produce a sound that had elements of salsa, funk, soul and jazz. Throughout Palmieri’s career, he received nine GRAMMY Awards®.

“To have these three living masters come and share their artistry with the students of the Pacific and Inland Northwest is more than just a treat – it’s a ‘must see’ in a long line of ‘not-to-be-missed’ performances in the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival’s history,” said Remington.

The 2014 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival will take place Feb. 19-22. For more information, visit www.uidaho.edu/jazzfest or call (208) 885-5900.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at www.arts.gov.

About Arts Midwest
Arts Midwest promotes creativity, nurtures cultural leadership, and engages people in meaningful arts experiences, bringing vitality to Midwest communities and enriching people’s lives. Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest connects the arts to audiences throughout the nine-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. One of six non-profit regional arts organizations in the United States, Arts Midwest’s history spans more than 25 years. For more information, please visit www.artsmidwest.org.
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About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho inspires 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, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Through the university’s $225 million Inspiring Futures capital campaign, private giving will enhance student learning, faculty research and innovation, and a spirit of enterprise. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu.