October 4, 2005
Grammy-Nominated Alto Saxophonist Kenny Garrett to perform Nov. 5
Multi-Grammy-nominated alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett, who has performed with jazz legends Art Blakey, Woody Shaw and Miles Davis, will perform in concert with the award-winning Whitworth Jazz Ensemble on Saturday, Nov. 5.
Garrett and the Whitworth Jazz Ensemble, which has won first place five times in the past nine years at the annual Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, will take the stage at 8 p.m. in Cowles Auditorium at Whitworth College. Tickets are $10. For tickets, call TicketsWest at (509) 325-7328 or purchase online at www.ticketswest.com, or call the Whitworth Music Department Office at (509) 777-3280. Tickets can also be purchased at the door the evening of the concert.
Garrett will also conduct a free jazz clinic for Whitworth students, Spokane-area students, and the general public on Friday, Nov. 4, at 5:15 p.m. in the Music Building Recital Hall at Whitworth. For more information about the concert or clinic, please call 509-777-3280.
During the Nov. 5 concert Garrett will perform several of his original compositions that Whitworth Jazz Ensemble Director and Professor of Music Dan Keberle has arranged for jazz band, plus several jazz standards.
"Any jazz musician who was hired by Miles Davis to play in his group is special, and Kenny Garrett is very special," Keberle says. "Kenny has such enormous technical ability on the saxophone; he can play anything he hears. His great technique is coupled with very strong musicianship - he is one of the most creative individuals in jazz, and he expresses his creativity to the fullest. His original compositions and his improvisational solos are equally astounding."
Garrett, a Detroit native, spent his childhood surrounded by music; he first encountered the saxophone through his father, who played tenor sax. While jazz strongly influenced Garrett's early years, he also was exposed to classical, soul and gospel music.
In 1978 Garrett joined the Duke Ellington Orchestra, which Duke's son, Mercer, directed at the time. Garrett also played with the Mel Lewis Orchestra and the Dannie Richmond Quartet, in New York. Garrett debuted as a leader on his 1984 album, Introducing Kenny Garrett (Criss Cross, 1994). In 1986 Garrett joined Miles Davis' band, with which he spent five years and recorded four albums.
Garrett has since performed with an array of artists whose styles span the musical spectrum; they include Art Blakey, Peter Gabriel, GURU, Woody Shaw and Sting. His ever-evolving style reflects different musical genres and international influences. A Latin-jazz influence courses through Garrett's "Short Speech" on his newest album Standard of Language (Warner Bros., 2003). Garrett wrote "Short Speech" in memory of his personal friend, the late pianist Kenny Kirkland, who emphasized Latin-jazz monotuno chord progressions in his own music.
Garrett's interest in Asian music is apparent on his CD Happy People (Warner Bros / Wea 2002), which includes a song written for an 80-year-old aboriginal whose music Garrett encountered in Taipei. In other songs, Garrett fuses the rhythms and melodies characteristic of Japanese music with gospel and funk. He has traveled to Japan numerous times to absorb the culture and learn the language.
In addition to Standard of Language and Happy People, Kenny Garrett has recorded 10 albums: Old Folks (Westwind, 2001), Simply Said (Warner Bros / Wea, 1999), Solid with Woody Shaw (32. Jazz Records, 1999), Songbook (Warner Bros / Wea, 1997), Pursuance: the Music of John Coltrane (Warner Bros / Wea, 1996), Trilogy (Warner Bros / Wea, 1995), Introducing Kenny Garrett (Criss Cross, 1994), Two Tenor Winner with Junior Cook (Criss Cross, 1994), Black Hope (Warner Bros / Wea, 1992) and African Exchange Student (Atlantic / Wea, 1990).
Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,400 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.
Daniel Keberle, director of the Whitworth Jazz Ensemble and professor of music, (509) 777- 4582 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie Riddle, public information officer, (509) 777-3729 or email@example.com.