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Reno Jazz Festival celebrates 50 years of jazz – 1962-2012


Two Grammy winners – Joe Lovano and The Mingus Big Band – set to kick off 50th anniversary of the Reno Jazz Festival, April 26-28, 2012

Considered one of the best of its kind in the world, and lauded by the San Francisco Chronicle as “showcasing music’s future,” the Reno Jazz Festival has been bringing jazz superstars and the finest emerging young artists to town for decades. Celebrating 50 years of jazz, 1962-2012, the Reno Jazz Festival marks its 50th anniversary with three days of concerts and events on the University of Nevada, Reno campus, Thursday through Saturday, April 26-28, including Grammy winners Joe Lovano and The Mingus Big Band.

“We have been collecting memorabilia, oral histories, vintage photographs and recordings from musicians, photographers, community members and, of course, from the John Carrico family, who were the festival’s founders. We’ve collected items and stories from dozens of folks who have been instrumental in presenting the Reno Jazz Festival over the past 50 years,” said Larry Engstrom, who has been the festival’s director since 1990 and who competed in the festival as a student. “The festival website includes a wonderful timeline of notable dates and great images from throughout our history. I encourage folks to visit it for a vintage kick!”

The Reno Jazz Festival’s 50th anniversary tribute timeline can be seen at http://www.unr.edu/rjf .

Joining the 2012 University of Nevada, Reno Jazz Festival in concert, jazz titan Joe Lovano returns to kick off the festival Thursday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Nightingale Concert Hall, performing with the University’s stellar faculty jazz ensemble, The Collective. The Grammy-winning tenor saxophonist, composer, bandleader and educator Joe Lovano has been called by the New York Times “one of the greatest musicians in jazz history.” The Wichita Eagle calls him “a bridge between jazz’s past and future…and as big as they come.”

Lovano grew up with jazz, where his father, bandleader Tony “Big T” Lovano, set the stage for Joe’s lifelong immersion (a career of 40 years and counting) in the world of exceptional music, playing alongside incredible musicians. As an educator he teaches at the Berklee College of Music and has mentored some of the finest young artists around, including recent Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding. As a musician known for his mastery and control, edgy spontaneity, and deep reverence for the collaborative work of others, Lovano has become a legendary jazz giant – to audiences, students and colleagues alike. Who better to kick off the 50th anniversary of the Reno Jazz Festival? “…a master…exultant and sumptuously at ease.” – The New York Times

On Friday, April 27, the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Reno Jazz Festival with The Mingus Big Band begins at 7:30 p.m. in Lawlor Events Center. The Festival is partnering with the University’s Performing Arts Series to host the world-class band to wow the enthusiastic fans of RJF.

The 14-piece Grammy-winning Mingus Big Band celebrates the music of one of America’s greatest 20th century composers, the legendary late bassist Charles Mingus, under the direction of Sue Mingus. Jazz greats who regularly play with the band have included such superstars as Randy Brecker, Robin Eubanks, Jeff “Tain” Watts and many more. “The hippest big band in the universe – robust, earthy, sanctified.” – Time Out New York

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, 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 28 at 6:30 p.m. at Lawlor Events Center, to honor the best and brightest young standouts.

For more about Joe Lovano, visit http://www.joelovano.com .
For more about the Mingus Big Band, visit http://www.mingusmingusmingus.com .
For more about The Collective, visit http://www.unr.edu/cla/music/ensembles/the_collective.htm .

Individual tickets for Joe Lovano and The Collective, April 26: General $20/Senior $17/Student $10. The Joe Lovano and The Collective performance is also included in the festival’s Jazz Fan Pass (preferred seating), which provides entry to all festival events April 26-28: General $60/Senior $50.

Individual tickets for the 50th Anniversary Celebration with the Mingus Big Band, April 27: General $33/Senior $29/Student $15. The Mingus Big Band performance is also included in the festival’s Jazz Fan Pass (preferred seating), which provides entry to all festival events April 26-28: General $60/Senior $50.

Individual tickets for the Reno Jazz Festival Showcase and Awards Ceremony, April 28: General $18/Senior $15/Student $11. The Reno Jazz Festival Showcase and Awards Ceremony is also included in the festival’s Jazz Fan Pass (preferred seating), which provides entry to all festival events April 26-28: General $60/Senior $50.

To purchase the Jazz Fan Pass, call Extended Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, (775) 784-4046 or 1-800-233-8928, email [email protected]or visit http://www.unr.edu/rjf .

To purchase individual tickets in advance (with a convenience fee), visit the Reno Jazz Festival website at http://www.unr.edu/rjf or call 1-800-325-7378. 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. 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) 784-4046 or visit http://www.unr.edu/rjf .

The University of Nevada, Reno Jazz Festival is funded in part by the University of Nevada, Reno School of the Arts and Extended Studies; the Nevada Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; the City of Reno Arts and Culture Commission; and For the Love of Jazz. Accommodations for guest artists are provided by the Circus Circus Reno Hotel and Casino. For more information visithttp://www.unr.edu/rjf/sponsors.htm .

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