Legendary American jazz saxophonist, composer, Grammy winner and 2010 NEA Jazz Master Bill Holman has spent many of his 82 years influencing, composing and arranging for the best musicians in the world, from Stan Kenton, Mel Lewis, Louie Bellson, Count Basie and Buddy Rich to vocalists Natalie Cole, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme and Sarah Vaughan.
Joining the University of Nevada, Reno’s 2010 Reno Jazz Festival in concert, Friday, April 23, at 7:30 p.m. in Lawlor Events Center, Bill Holman and his Big Band will perform work JazzTimes has called “a wonder…a match made in heaven, superbly conceived and executed.” The Festival opens Thursday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. in Nightingale Concert Hall with another award-winning jazz artist, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen and University’s faculty jazz ensemble, The Collective, in concert.
In recognition of Bill Holman’s enormous commitment to music, he was named in 2010 to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Masters Fellowship, the highest honor the United States bestows upon a jazz musician. Each year since 1982, the program has elevated to its ranks a select number of living legends who have made exceptional contributions to the advancement of jazz.
“Jazz is America’s unique contribution to the art of the world, and I am proud to have my contributions recognized by the awarding of this honor,” Holman said recently. “The list of past and present NEA honorees contains most of my heroes and influences, and to be included among them is truly humbling and gratifying.”
A revered multi-award-winner, Holman has been granted many accolades since his arrival on the jazz scene in 1949, after first studying engineering and, later, composing and arranging at the Westlake College of Music in Los Angeles. Says jazz archivist and historian Annie Byrnes Kuebler of Rutgers University’s Institute of Jazz Studies, “Bill Holman was, is, and will be considered one of the major forces in the history of American Jazz from the early 1950s to the early 21st century.”
To date, Holman has received 14 Grammy nominations and won three Grammy Awards: Best Instrumental Arrangement of “Take the ‘A’ Train” for Doc Severinsen and the Tonight Show Orchestra (1987); Best Instrumental Composition for “A View from the Side” for the Bill Holman Band (1995); and Best Instrumental Arrangement of “Straight, No Chaser” for the Bill Holman Band (1997). He was voted “Best Arranger” in the JazzTimes Readers’ Poll four times; and received the “Arranger of the Year” award three times in the Down Beat magazine’s Readers’ Poll and Critics’ Poll.
In 2000, the Bill Holman Collection of scores and memorabilia became part of the Smithsonian Institution’s permanent collection in Washington, DC, and in 2006, Holman was inducted into the Rutgers Jazz Hall of Fame. In 2008, he was doubly honored: a Golden Score Award from the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers and a place in the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Jazz Wall of Fame.
The finest jazz educators and musicians on the planet travel to the University of Nevada, Reno each spring to perform and teach at the Reno Jazz Festival and this year is no exception. In addition to evening concerts by world-renowned guest artists Bill Holman Big Band and Ingrid Jensen, the Reno Jazz Festival also offers daytime competitions, workshops and clinics by scores of professional jazz artists and adjudicators for more than 9,000 young jazz musicians from throughout the West. The three-day festival culminates in a showcase concert and awards ceremony Saturday, April 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Lawlor Events Center, to honor the best and brightest young standouts.
Individual tickets for Ingrid Jensen and The Collective, April 22: General $20/Senior $17/Student $10. The Ingrid Jensen and The Collective performance (preferred seating) is also included in the festival’s Jazz Fan Pass, which provides entry to all festival events April 22-24: General $60.
Individual tickets for the Bill Holman Big Band, April 23: General $24/Senior $21/Student $15. The Bill Holman Big Band performance (preferred seating) is also included in the Jazz Fan Pass, which provides entry to all festival events April 22-24: General $60.
Individual tickets for the Reno Jazz Festival Showcase and Awards Ceremony, April 24: General $15/Senior $12/Student $8. The Reno Jazz Festival Showcase and Awards Ceremony (preferred seating) is also included in the Jazz Fan Pass, which provides entry to all festival events April 22-24: General $60.
To purchase individual tickets in advance (with a convenience fee), visit the Reno Jazz Festival website at http://www.unr.edu/rjf or call 1-800-225-2277. Tickets may also be purchased in person (without a convenience fee) on the University of Nevada, Reno campus at the Lawlor Events Center box office, open weekdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m. If the concert is not sold out, tickets may also be purchased at the door the evening of each performance.
For more information about the Reno Jazz Festival, call (775) 784-4ART or visit http://www.unr.edu/rjf
The University of Nevada, Reno Jazz Festival is funded in part by a grant from the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and the Recovery Act. Additional support is provided by the City of Reno Arts and Culture Commission, Maytan Music Center, the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, and For the Love of Jazz. Accommodations for guest artists are provided by the Sands Regency Casino Hotel. For more information visit http://www.unr.edu/rjf/sponsors.htm .