Eastman Jazz Heard from New York to Rotterdam this Summer

Exclusive invites give students exposure to international audiences, experience with musicians from other countries

June 14, 2007

More Information:
For Media Only: Helene Snihur (585-274-1057, hsnihur@esm.rochester.edu)

ROCHESTER, N.Y.—Musicians from the Eastman School of Music are on the bill of the upcoming JVC Jazz Festival in New York City and will be participating in the North Sea Jazz Festival next month in Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

Reflecting the prize-winning caliber of Eastman’s jazz ensembles, a special Eastman Jazz Performance Workshop Honors Unit has been invited to play in a session sponsored by Downbeat magazine during the JVC festival, which boasts more than 200 concerts between June 17 and 30 with artists like Marian McPartland and Keith Jarrett.

The Eastman Jazz Performance Workshop will appear at St. Peter’s Church in New York City during a session starting at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 21. Since the workshops were launched by faculty member Harold Danko in 1999, students have consistently won Downbeat awards and been invited to play at prestigious festivals and international conferences. Led by bassist Miles Brown, the select group includes pianist Sam Farley, saxophonist Matt Stuver, trumpeter Jeff Ostroski, trombonist Pete Fanelli, and alumnus drummer Jared Schonig.

In July, Danko and two students will travel to the Netherlands to take part in a jazz summer school at Codarts, the University of Professional Arts Education, and then perform for daytime crowds during the North Sea international jazz festival there July 13 to 15.

Ostroski and trombonist Clarence Hines are the only Americans among the 55 students selected to attend the Codarts jazz summer school in Rotterdam this year. The students work intensively in classes and give nightly performances in various venues from July 7 through 12. They also form separate bands to present a “Jazz Around the World” concert at the end of the session. During the North Sea Jazz Festival, which features such headliners as Wynton Marsalis and Eastman alumnus Ron Carter, the student bands will stage lunchtime concerts around the city. Both Hines and Ostroski have earned Downbeat awards.

“Codarts offers a tremendous educational and professional opportunity for Jeff and Clarence to experience jazz on a different continent and work with jazz musicians from different backgrounds,” said Danko. Danko, a pianist, is chair of the Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media Department and will teach and coach a piano trio at Codarts.

The students’ participation in the jazz summer school program is receiving support from Codarts, the Eastman School of Music, and a fund established by jazz pianist Marian McPartland.

“To be selected to appear at these prestigious events is a real tribute to our talented students,” said Danko.

The JVC and North Sea festivals are two of three international events featuring Eastman jazz studies musicians this summer. The Eastman Jazz Ensemble and two student-led groups, the Mike Cottone Quartet and the Matt Valerio Trio, as well as the Eastman Community Music School’s Youth Jazz Orchestra, performed during the Rochester International Jazz Festival.

The Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester educates talented musicians from around the world who become leaders and innovators in all fields of music. Established in 1921 by Eastman Kodak Company founder and philanthropist George Eastman, the School has achieved international prominence through its commitment to the highest standards of artistry, scholarship, and leadership.

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Related links:

Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester

JVC Jazz Festival

North Sea Jazz Festival