February 9, 2004
Whitworth Jazz Ensemble Performs in Rome with Top Italian Jazz Artists
The award-winning Whitworth Jazz Ensemble and its director, Whitworth Professor of Music Dan Keberle, spent 13 days during January performing with top Italian jazz artists in Rome, Italy. The 23-member ensemble traveled to Rome during Whitworth's innovative Jan Term session, during which students can participate in a variety of brief international and domestic study programs led by Whitworth faculty.
While in Rome, the ensemble performed with renowned Italian jazz saxophonist Maurizio Giammarco at the La Palma Jazz Club, and gave a special performance for a dinner concert at Rome's Magistrate Club, which included invitees from the American Embassy. The group also performed in Segni, Italy - a small village south of Rome - with Gerardo Iacoucci's top jazz students from the Frosinino Music Conservatory.
"Europeans in general appreciate jazz much more than Americans," Keberle says. "They love the self-expression and the spontaneity of jazz; they find it very interesting and exciting. All of the jazz clubs we went to were packed with people; you could hardly fit in the door. It was great for the students to perform for such enthusiastic jazz fans."
When they were not rehearsing or performing, the students viewed classic Roman architecture and art, as well as historical sites such as the Colosseum, the Vatican, the basilicas of St. Peter, St. Giovanni, and St. Peter in Chains, the Roman Forum, the catacombs, the Appian Way, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Rome Opera House and the Church of the Cappucine Monks.
"There are very few cities in the world that offer the culture, history, religion and night life that Rome does - perhaps only New York and Paris," Keberle says.
The Whitworth Jazz Ensemble also traveled to Italy in 1993, 1996 and 1999; during these visits the group performed at jazz clubs and community centers in Rome and the surrounding area. The ensemble also performed with Italian jazz superstars such as Enrico Pieranunzi, Roberto Gatto, and Giammarco at Rome's blues and jazz club "Big Mamas," as well as in communities such as Veroli, Artena, Ferentino, and in several of Rome's schools and churches.
The Whitworth Jazz Ensemble has won first place in the college/university division at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival five times in the past eight years. The ensemble was also selected to perform at five recent Music Educators All-State and All-Northwest conventions. In recent years the group has performed in concert at Whitworth with guest artists including Bob Mintzer, Joe Lovano, Slide Hampton, Jimmy Heath and Nicholas Payton.
The ensemble has also performed in Germany with Munich University of Music jazz students and in Australia at the Melbourne Jazz Festival. In March 2004, the jazz ensemble will perform on tour in Hawaii with the Whitworth Wind Symphony. Last fall the ensemble released its fifth CD, "East of the Sun, West of the Moon."
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, director of the Whitworth Jazz Ensemble and professor of music, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4582 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or email@example.com.