Jazz Festival featuring Chris Vadala

Don't miss an exciting night of jazz, when special guest artist, saxophonist Chris Vadala, joins the Shepherd University Jazz Ensemble on the stage of the Frank Arts Center Theater, Saturday, February 27 at 8:00 p.m. for the Eastern Regional Jazz Festival Concert, sponsored by the Friends of Music.

Throughout the day on Saturday, February 27, come see the best and brightest in the West Virginia Eastern Regional Jazz Festival as middle and high schools from throughout the region perform starting at 9:00 am in Shepherd University's Frank Arts Center.

One of the country's foremost woodwind artists, Chris Vadala is in demand as a jazz/classical performer and educator. He has appeared on more than 100 recordings to date, as well as innumerable jingle sessions, film and TV scores, performing on all the saxophones, flutes, and clarinets. A native of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., he graduated from the Eastman School of Music, earning the honor of the Performer's Certificate in saxophone as well as a B.M. in Music Education, received an M.A. in clarinet from Connecticut College, and pursued postgraduate study in woodwinds at Eastman.

Vadala's performing career has been highlighted by a long tenure as standout woodwind artist with the internationally-recognized Chuck Mangione Quartet, which included performances in all 50 states, Canada, Australia, Japan, Philippines, China, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, England, Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Netherlands, Poland, Belgium, and Switzerland, and performing credits on five gold and two platinum albums, plus two Grammy, one Emmy, one Georgie (AGVA) and one Golden Globe Award. In addition, he has performed and/or recorded with such greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, B.B. King, Chick Corea, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Placido Domingo, Sarah Vaughn, Natalie Cole, Herbie Hancock, Ray Charles, Henry Mancini, Doc Severinsen, Phil Woods, Joe Lovano, and many others. As one of the Selmer Company's most requested Artist in Residence clinicians and D’Addarrio/Rico Artists, Vadala travels worldwide, performing with and conducting student and professional jazz ensembles, symphonic bands, and orchestras. Within the past six years alone, he has appeared with over 200 groups across the nation and Canada, and has conducted 38 All-State, as well as numerous All-County and All-District Jazz Ensembles. He has served three terms as President of the Maryland Unit of the International Association for Jazz Education, is a permanent member of its Executive Board (College Faculty Representative), and was a Woodwind Representative to its International Resource Team.

Vadala is the Director of Jazz Studies and Saxophone Professor at the University of Maryland. Previous academic appointments include teaching studio woodwinds and conducting jazz ensembles at Connecticut College, Montgomery College, Hampton University, Prince George's Community College and Mount Vernon College, as well as Visiting Professor of Saxophone at the Eastman School of Music.

The Jazz Program at Shepherd University has an outstanding faculty including Brett Lemley, David Marsh, Cam Millar, Ronnie Shaw, Dr. Mark McCoy and Dr. Mark Cook. Each year the group works with a major jazz performer in clinics and concerts. The group has worked with Kenney Werner, Bill Watrous, Paquito D'Rivera, Alan Vizzutti, Ingrid Jensen, Claudio Roditi, Tim Hagans, Hal Galper and Juanita Williams. There will be a free master class with Chris Vadala at 6:00 p.m. before the concert on February 27 at the Frank Arts Center.

The Shepherd University Jazz Ensemble has performed throughout the East Coast and Europe and has been a feature band in Jazz Festivals around the globe. Invited to the world-renowned Montreux Jazz festival in 2003, The Jazz Ensemble played throughout Switzerland and Italy on a 9-day concert tour. In 1999, the band took their Ellington Tour to England and France, and most recently toured England in May 2007. In the United States they have been featured at the Longwood, the Blue Ridge, and The East Coast Jazz Festivals, as well as regional festivals throughout Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey.

General admission tickets for the Eastern Regional Jazz Festival Concert are $20 in advance and $25 at the door; $15 seniors, faculty, staff and students 18 and under; free for Shepherd students. For tickets and information call 304-876-5765 or visit www.sufom.org.