University of Rochester

EVENT: University Jazz Ensemble Premieres Commissioned Work

March 28, 2005

An upcoming concert by the University of Rochester Jazz Ensemble will feature a commissioned work whose composer also will be holding jazz clinics while on campus.

Robert Washut, professor of music at the University of Northern Iowa, will conduct the jazz ensemble in the premiere of “Arenas” at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 14, in Strong Auditorium on the River Campus. The concert is free and open to the public.

The piece, which translates from Spanish as “The Sands,” combines Afro-Cuban jazz with some Middle Eastern influence. The work was commissioned by the University of Rochester Jazz Ensemble with support from the Department of Music and the Music Interest Floor. The jazz ensemble also will perform Big Band selections, jazz works by composers such as Thad Jones and Oliver Nelson, and other works either composed or arranged by Washut.

Washut served as director of jazz studies at University of Northern Iowa for 22 years. Under his direction, the school’s award-winning Jazz Band One toured Europe three times, received “Outstanding Band” recognition at collegiate music festivals in the Midwest, and was awarded three “Outstanding Performance” citations in Downbeat magazine’s annual student music awards. Washut has recorded and released a jazz trio CD titled Sea Breeze Jazz.

Washut will conduct a clinic on jazz improvisation at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, in the May Room in Wilson Commons on the River Campus. A second clinic, on concepts and techniques of basic jazz arranging, is geared toward those with a basic knowledge of music theory and will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 14, in lower Strong Auditorium. The clinics are open to the public.

For more information, contact the Department of Music at (585) 275-2828.