Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Jazz Legend Paquito D’Rivera, Pianist Alex Brown Headline 41ST Annual A&M-Kingsville Jazz Festival March 28-29

KINGSVILLE - March 17, 2008

Contact: Jason Marton
jason.marton@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4143

Nearly 20 middle, high school bands in free public performance competitions

Paquito D'Rivera
Paquito D'Rivera

Grammy-winning jazz clarinetist and saxophonist Paquito D’Rivera and rising jazz pianist Alex Brown headline the 41st annual Texas A&M University-Kingsville Jazz Festival Friday and Saturday, March 28-29, at Jones Auditorium, located on campus on Armstrong Street near the intersection of Santa Gertrudis Boulevard.

Jazz bands from nearly 20 Texas middle schools and high schools will showcase their talent, perform among their peers and learn from the headlining artists.

Friday, March 28, middle school bands will compete from 3-6 p.m. At 7 p.m., A&M-Kingsville’s Jazz Band III will play and awards for the day’s middle school band competition will be handed out. All of Friday’s events take place at Jones Auditorium and are free to the public.

Saturday, March 29, high school jazz bands compete from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1:15-5:30 p.m. in Jones Auditorium, with the public invited to attend for free. Headline performers D’Rivera and Brown offer a free jazz clinic open to the public from noon to 1 p.m. in the Bellamah Music Building Recital Hall, located on Engineering Avenue next to Jones Auditorium.
At 7 p.m., D’Rivera and Brown perform with A&M-Kingsville Jazz Band I. Also featured will be A&M-Kingsville Jazz Band II and presentation of high school band competition awards. Tickets to the concert, happening at Jones Auditorium, are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Call 361-593-2803 for tickets.

About Paquito D’Rivera

D’Rivera has been an acclaimed figure in jazz for 30 years, but has been performing both classical and jazz since he was a child. Born in Havana, he was performing with its National Theatre Orchestra by age 10, studied at the Havana Conservatory of Music, and was a featured soloist with the Cuban National Symphony at age 17.

He was a founding member and co-director of the jazz-rock-classical-Cuban ensemble Irakere, which has toured around the world. D’Rivera also was a founding member of the United Nation Orchestra, and has more than 30 solo albums to his credit. For these efforts and numerous other ensembles he has founded or played with, D’Rivera has been awarded with nine Grammy Awards.

About Alex Brown

Like D’Rivera, pianist Alex Brown started his career at a young age, and has proven his skills in both the jazz and classical genres. By age 13, Brown had performed Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with a full orchestra and had been awarded an Honorable Mention from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers for his original composition, “Take the T.” The next year, he became the youngest member ever accepted into the prestigious BMI Jazz Composers’ Workshop in New York City, which he attended for a year.

Brown has performed with jazz notables Slide Hampton, Jon Faddis and Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, among many others. He is a member of D’Rivera’s current jazz ensemble.

 For more information on the 41st Annual Texas A&M University-Kingsville Jazz Festival, call 361-593-2803.           

Schools competing at the 41st Annual Texas A&M-Kingsville Jazz Festival include:
Cedar Park High School, Westlake High School
Edinburg: Edinburg High School, Edinburg North High School
Harlingen: Gutierrez Middle School, Harlingen High School, Harlingen South High School, Memorial Middle School, Vernon Middle School
Kingsville:  Memorial Middle School, H.M. King High School
Laredo: United High School
Los Fresnos: Los Fresnos High School
Lyford: Lyford High School
McAllen: Nikki Rowe High School
Pharr: PSJA North High School
San Antonio: Woodlake Hills Middle School
Weslaco: Beatriz G. Garza Middle School

Schedule at a glance:
Friday, March 28

3-6 p.m. Middle school jazz band competition

7 p.m. Free Concert featuring Texas A&M-Kingsville Jazz Band III
Awards presentation for the day’s competition

Saturday, March 24
9 a.m.-noon  High school jazz band competition

Noon-1 p.m. Jazz clinic with Paquito D’Rivera and Alex Brown, Bellamah Music Building Recital Hall

1:15-5:30 p.m. High school jazz band competition

7 p.m. Concert featuring Paquito D’Rivera and Alex Brown with Jazz Band I
Jazz Band II
Awards presentation for the day’s competition
Admission-$10 for advance sale, $15 at the door
Call 361-593-2803 for tickets.
All concerts and competitions take place in Jones Auditorium, unless otherwise noted.

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