NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath to Perform at Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival

Wednesday, December 1 2010

MOSCOW, Idaho – National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Jimmy Heath has long been recognized as a brilliant instrumentalist and a magnificent composer and arranger.

Heath will bring his internationally acclaimed talents to the University of Idaho's 2011 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. He will perform at the Wednesday evening concert, and will join the Lionel Hampton New York Big Band for the Saturday evening concert.

"Bringing Jimmy Heath back to the festival in 2011 reminds us of our roots," said Steve Remington, executive director. "These great jazz masters are not long with us, and it’s important for the students to feel that connection to our past – to get a chance to learn from them while they are still vital and want to pass along the legacy."

Heath has a distinctive sound on tenor, is a fluid player on soprano and flute, and a very talented arranger/composer.

In addition to his evening performances, Heath will lead workshops on Thursday and Friday.

"Jimmy speaks to students and the youth, encouraging them to continue to grow and to learn – something he exemplifies in his own life," said Remington. "It will be an honor for us to have Jimmy Heath here at the 44th Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival."

Heath has performed with nearly all the jazz greats of the last 50 years, from Howard McGhee, Dizzy Gillespie, and Miles Davis to Wynton Marsalis. In 1948 at the age of 21, he performed in the First International Jazz Festival in Paris with McGhee, sharing the stage with Coleman Hawkins, Slam Stewart, and Erroll Garner. One of Heath’s earliest big bands (1947-1948) in Philadelphia included John Coltrane, Benny Golson, Specs Wright, Cal Massey, Johnny Coles, Ray Bryant, and Nelson Boyd. Charlie Parker and Max Roach sat in on one occasion.

During his career, Heath has performed on more than 100 record albums, including seven with The Heath Brothers and 12 as a leader. Heath also has written more than 125 compositions, many of which have become jazz standards and have been recorded by other artists including Art Farmer, Cannonball Adderley, Clark Terry, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, James Moody, Milt Jackson, Ahmad Jamal, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie J.J Johnson and Dexter Gordon. Heath also has composed extended works – seven suites and two string quartets.

Heath maintains an extensive performance schedule and continues to conduct workshops and clinics throughout the U.S., Europe, and Canada. He has also taught jazz studies at Jazzmobile, Housatonic College, City College of New York, and The New School for Social Research.

The Wednesday evening concert is presented by Avista Corporation.

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