Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

October 22, 2003

Grammy-Winning Trumpeter Nicholas Payton to Perform
with Whitworth Jazz Ensemble

Internationally known jazz trumpeter and Grammy-winner Nicholas Payton, who appeared on the jazz scene at age eight and is now just 30 years old, will perform in a concert Nov. 8 with the award-winning Whitworth Jazz Ensemble.

"Nicholas is a great musician who is very serious about learning and developing all aspects of jazz musicianship," jazz musician Wynton Marsalis once said of Payton. "He has tremendous talent and a work ethic that matches that talent; this is a rare combination which insures originality fundamental to jazz expression."

Payton and the Whitworth Jazz Ensemble, which has won first place at the University of Idaho's Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival four times in the past seven years, will perform Saturday, Nov. 8, at 8 p.m. in Cowles Auditorium at Whitworth College. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through TicketsWest at (509) 325-SEAT or www.ticketswest.com; through the Whitworth Music Office at (509) 777-3280; or at the door the evening of the concert.

In addition to his Saturday-evening performance, Payton will present a free clinic for Whitworth students, Spokane-area students, and the general public on Friday, Nov. 7, at 5:15 p.m. in the Music Building Band Room at Whitworth. For more information about the concert or clinic, please call (509) 777-3280.

Payton, the son of a classical pianist and a prominent bassist, grew up in New Orleans, where he began his jazz career at age eight. The following year he and his father began playing in the Young Tuxedo Brass Band. He joined the All-Star Jazz Band in the United States and Europe at age 12.

Payton graduated from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and studied with Ellis Marsalis, Harold Battiste and Victor Goines at the University of New Orleans. Payton has collaborated with jazz greats such as Doc Cheatham, Joe Henderson, Clark Terry, Jimmy Smith, Marcus Roberts, Art Blakely, Carl Allen and Elvin Jones.

Payton's original compositions include Beginning of the End, The Sleepwalker and Young Payton Blues. He earned a Grammy in Best Solo Jazz Performance in 1997 for the song Stardust, on the album "Doc Cheatham & Nicholas Payton."

Payton recently shifted from playing mainstream and standard-style jazz to electronic funk on his 2003 album "Sonic Trance."

"For me now, there is a certain sense of urgency to create jazz music that has relevancy in the times in which I live," Payton said in an interview with OffBeat.com, an online music magazine based in New Orleans.

Payton has recorded seven albums: "From This Moment" (1995), "Gumbo Nouveau" (1996), "Payton's Place" (1998), "Trumpet Legacy" (1998), "Nick @ Night" (2000), "Dear Louis" (a tribute to Louis Armstrong; 2001) and "Sonic Trance" (2003).

Payton has performed in concert with such groups as the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and the Newport Jazz Festival All Stars.

"Playing music is something that I've always loved, and to be able to travel and be able to share that with people, I can't think of a greater joy," Payton said in an Exclusive Magazine interview.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,200 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.


Dan Keberle, professor of music and director of the Whitworth Jazz Ensemble, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4582 or dkeberle@whitworth.edu.

Joan Lack, music department program assistant, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3280 or jlack@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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