Jazz Ensemble

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Guest Artist: Steve Turre

Named trombonist of the year in 2000 by Down Beat magazine and described by Rolling Stone as "A powerful technician with soulful tone and quick wit," Turre has 10 CDs to his name and has performed and recorded since the late 1960s with jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Woody Shaw and Max Roach.

Turre recorded with Santana in 1970 and spent a year on the road with Ray Charles in 1972. The next year he toured with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra. He was a regular performer with Chico Hamilton for two years and then recorded with Kirk, worked a year with Slide Hampton's Collective Black Artists big band, and performed in Cedar Walton's quintet and Woody Shaw's quintet.

Turre joined the Saturday Night Live band in 1984 and Dizzy Gillespie's United Nations Orchestra in 1987. He also performs with Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy and McCoy Tyner's Latin All-Stars.

Not only did Turre's mentor, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, help Turre discover his own style of improvisational freedom and expression as a trombonist, Kirk inspired Turre to take up another lesser-known instrument - the conch shells. Not one to play it safe as a musician, Turre has brought shells to prominence as a musical instrument. During live performances, Turre unpacks his suitcase full of seashells and, by blowing into the shells and using his hands to mute and alter their tones, performs tunes such as Miles Davis' "All Blues" with the skill of a symphonic virtuoso.

During his career Turre has released 10 CDs, including this year's TNT (Trombone-N-Tenor) and In The Spur Of The Moment (Telarc, 2000), which is divided into three segments of blues, modal jazz, and Latin jazz, with each segment featuring pianist greats Ray Charles, Stephen Scott and Chucho Valdes.