Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

February 29, 2008

Whitworth Jazz Ensemble Named Outstanding Group at 2008 Lionel Hampton Festival

The Whitworth Jazz Ensemble was named outstanding group in the college/university division at the 2008 Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival, held Feb. 20-23 at the University of Idaho in Moscow. This is the sixth time in the past 12 years that Whitworth's jazz band has received top honors at the annual competition. Seniors Nathanael Ankeny and Jared Hall were named outstanding soloists in the categories of alto-sax and trumpet, respectively.

Other schools that participated in the festival include the University of Washington, Washington State University, the University of North Dakota, the University of Utah, Boston College, Lewis & Clark State College, and Brigham Young University of Idaho. The Washington State University and University of Washington ensembles were named runners up in the college/university category.

"The music department faculty is very proud of our jazz students – of how hard they work and of how seriously they take this art form," says Dan Keberle, director of the jazz ensemble and director of jazz studies at Whitworth. "Their success at the Hampton Jazz Festival for more than a decade is indicative of the high-quality full-time and adjunct jazz faculty we have here at Whitworth."

The 19-piece group performs several concerts each year on campus, as well as at jazz festivals, public schools and civic events, and on annual tours throughout the U.S. The group has also participated in international jazz residencies and cross-cultural trips to Munich, Rome, Melbourne, Havana, and Sao Paolo; the ensemble returned to Italy in January 2008.

"It's notable that most of the universities we compete against are not only larger than Whitworth, but they also have graduate students at the master's level playing in their bands, whereas Whitworth's jazz bands have always been undergraduate students only," Keberle says.

In addition to its success at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, the Whitworth Jazz Ensemble has been honored numer­ous times by being selected from colleges and universities in the five Northwest states to perform at the All-Northwest and All-State Music Educators Festivals. Most recently, the ensemble was selected to perform at the National Association for Music Education’s 2008 Washington Music Educators All State Conference, which took place Feb. 15, in Yakima.

In recent years, Whitworth has welcomed some of the giants of jazz to campus; the ensemble has performed in standing-room-only concerts with guest artists including Terence Blanchard, Robin Eubanks, Kenny Garrett, Eric Reed, Nicholas Payton, Jimmy Heath and Joe Lovano. The ensemble has produced seven CDs; the most recent is Apple Flambé, released in Sept. 2007. For more information on the Whitworth Jazz Ensemble, please visit www.whitworth.edu/jazzensemble.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,600 students, offers 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


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

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

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