posted February 12, 2010

Hope Jazz Ensembles to Perform with Clay Jenkins on Feb. 25

The Hope College jazz ensemble, featuring guest artists Clay Jenkins, will perform on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 7:30 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

The public is invited. Admission is free.

The concert will feature three ensembles:  the Contemporary Ensemble, the Mainstream Ensemble and the Jazz Arts Collective.  Jenkins will be performing with all three groups.

The Contemporary Ensemble features Brian Coyle, who is director of jazz studies at Hope, as coach; freshman Kin Fong of Northbrook, Ill., alto saxophone; freshman Michael Bass of Hudsonville, bass; freshman Michael Reynolds of Tampa, Fla., piano; and junior James Sa of Rochester Hills, drums. They will be performing "Scotch and Water," by Cannonball Adderley; "Got A Match," by Chick Corea; and "Witch Hunt," by Wayne Shorter.

The Mainstream Ensemble features Rob Hodson, associate professor of music, as coach; senior Larry Figueroa of Holland, piano; junior Nate Roberts of West Milton, Pa., guitar; sophomore Zach Pedigo of Chippewa Falls, Wis., bass; and sophomore David Webster of Troy, drums. They will be performing "Peaceful Warrior," by Aaron Parks; and "Work First" and "Love Alone," by Clay Jenkins.

The final group of the evening, Jazz Arts Collective, is the premiere large jazz ensemble at Hope College.  Directed by Coyle, the collective places a creative focus on ensemble communication and improvisation. Comprised of a rhythm section and approximately seven horns, this select group performs compositions and arrangements from across the full spectrum of music.  The collective's repertoire ranges from the great historical jazz composers such as Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus, to works by modern jazz masters like Vince Mendoza, Jim McNeely and John Hollenbeck.  Similarly, the group frequently performs commissions, works by emerging young composers, and originals by HopeCollege faculty and students. The ensemble also collectively reinterprets and re-imagines the music from the 20th century classical repertoire.

Personnel in Jazz Arts Collective include senior Katie Zigterman of Aurora, Ill., flute/saxophones; freshman Kin Fong of Northbrook, Ill., alto saxophone; senior Emily Brower of Hudsonville, saxes; sophomore Zach Pedigo of Chippewa Falls, Wis., tenor saxophone; freshman Allyson McMeeking of Homer, baritone saxophone; senior Kirsten Schroeder of Warren, violin; freshman Michael Reynolds of Tampa, Fla., piano; junior Nate Roberts of West Milton, Pa., guitar; freshman Michael Bass of Hudsonville, bass; and junior James Sa of Rochester Hills, drums. They will be performing "Home Jubilation," by Fred Sturm; "Truth be Told," by Charles Artgersinger; "Little Flamenco," by Chick Corea; and "Moanin,'" by Charles Mingus.

Clay Jenkins' career as a jazz artist has covered a wide range of musical experiences and responsibilities, bringing him to the forefront of the jazz performing and teaching arenas. He began his experience as a performer at an early age, playing with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. He recorded three live albums with the Kenton Band and was also involved with the "Stan Kenton Orchestra in Residence Jazz Camps." In 1978, Jenkins moved to Los Angeles, where he was in demand as both a live performer and studio-recording musician, and studied with the renowned trumpet teacher, James Stamp. From Los Angeles, he toured with the big bands of Harry James, Buddy Rich and the Count Basie Orchestra.

Jenkins attended the University of North Texas (then named North Texas State University) where he earned his bachelor's degree in music theory and studied trumpet with John Haynie. He received his master's degree in jazz studies from the University of Southern California, studying trumpet with Boyde Hood, and currently studies with Uan Rasey. Prior to joining the faculty at Eastman, Clay held teaching positions at The University of Southern California, California State University at Northridge, California Institute of the Arts, Colburn School of Performing Arts, and The Foundation for the Junior Blind.

Brian Coyle is currently associate professor of music and director of jazz studies at Hope. He is an active performer, composer, arranger, adjudicator and clinician who frequently appears at festivals, universities, colleges, high schools and clubs both nationally and internationally. He received a Bachelor of Music degree in trumpet performance from the University of South Florida, a master's degree in instrumental conducting from California State University at Northridge, and a doctorate in instrumental conducting from Michigan State University.

Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.