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Music ensembles to present a night of jazz

ISSUED: 15 October 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University will present a night of jazz Tuesday, October 29 at 8 p.m. at the Frank Center Theater with the Shepherd Jazz Ensembles and Lab Band, under the direction of Dr. Kurtis Adams, and Jazz Combos, under the direction of Dr. Nathan Lincoln-DeCusatis. Works by Sammy Nestico, Matt Harris, Horace Silver, Jerome Kern, Kurt Weill, Alan Baylock, Charles Mingus, John Clayton, Maria Schneider, and Radiohead will be featured.

The Shepherd University Jazz Ensemble has performed throughout the East Coast and Europe and is in great demand as 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 nine-day concert tour. In 1999, the band took their Ellington Tour to England and France. In the United States they have been featured at Longwood, Blue Ridge, and East Coast jazz festivals, as well as regional festivals throughout Virgina, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey. The group was recently featured in the Friends of Music annual Tuxedo Junction gala with music inspired by the eclectic style of New Orleans.

Dr. Kurtis Adams received his bachelor of music education degree from Tennessee Tech University and his master of music in performance and doctor of musical arts in jazz studies from the University of Colorado. He has performed with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra, Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, and the 9th & Lincoln Orchestra, and has shared the stage with great musicians including Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D’Rivera, Greg Gisbert, Pat Bianchi, Jeff Jenkins, Brad Goode, Peter Sommer, and Paul Romaine. In 2005, Downbeat Magazine named Adams the college co-winner for best original composition for his composition “Instable Mate?” and in 2007 he was selected to participate in the Paquito D’Rivera Latin Jazz Workshop, performing with the Grammy-winning saxophonist at Carnegie Hall in New York. While on the music faculty at Gordon College, Adams continued as a freelance performer in Atlanta, Georgia. He was visiting assistant professor of jazz studies at Boise State University before joining the Shepherd University music faculty in the fall of 2010 as director of jazz studies.

Dr. Nathan Lincoln-DeCusatis is an award-winning composer whose projects include performances by the Chesapeake Orchestra, the Left Bank Quartet, saxophonist Noah Getz, flutist Molly Barth, and upcoming commissions by the Inscape ensemble and the piano and saxophone duo Six Impossible Things. Recent awards and accolades include a 2006 Walsum prize in composition for his string quartet Quinta Corda, a River Concert Series commission for large orchestra and narrator celebrating the 375th anniversary of the founding of the Maryland colony (2009), and an American Music Center CAP award (2009). Lincoln-DeCusatis graduated from Ithaca College in 2004 with a B.M. in composition, and then went on to be a university fellow at the University of Maryland, College Park, obtaining a D.M.A. in composition in 2008. During this time he also studied at the Ecole Normale de Musique-Alfred Cortot in Paris, France, was an Associate Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts studying with composer/musician Henry Threadgill, and completed a masterclass with various Italian composers at the Alba International Music Festival in Alba, Italy. At Shepherd, Lincoln-DeCusatis teaches composition and jazz piano.

General admission to jazz night is $10 for adults; $5 for Shepherd faculty, staff and alumni, and seniors and students 18 and under; and free to Shepherd students and Friends of Music MAC cardholders. Admission and seating is first-come first-served. Box office opens one hour prior to performance. For more information call 304-876-5555 or visit

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