West Virginia University at Parkersburg
2004-2005 Distinguished Performance Series opens with Yellowjackets
CONTACT: Dr. H.G. Young III, professor of music and series coordinator, 304-424-8248.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The 2004-2005 Distinguished Performance Series begins at a fast pace Friday, Sept. 24, with the Grammy award-winning jazz group the Yellowjackets.
The 8 p.m. concert opens West Virginia University at
Parkersburg's series. It will be held in the college's multi-purpose room.
With over a dozen Grammy nominations and two Grammy awards, the Yellowjackets continue to flourish as one of America's top-selling contemporary jazz groups. The band's subtlety and sensitive interplay produces heartfelt ballads and songs inflected with R & B, bebop, or fusion with equal aplomb. The 'Jacket's 2004 Grammy-nominated "CD Times Squared" bridges late '70s fusion, '80s smooth jazz, and progressive 21st century contemporary sounds, showcasing the band as one of the most creative ensembles of today's rhythm and jazz genre.
Named for the flame-haired priest and
composer Antonio Vivaldi, the English ensemble Red Priest has
re-defined the art of Baroque music performance, combining swashbuckling virtuosity, creative
re-composition, heart-on-sleeve emotion, and compelling stagecraft. International music critics have described the Red Priest style as "electrifying," sheer daring," "immaculately forged," "sonically supercharged," and "deliciously twisted." The ensemble has performed at some of the most prestigious festivals and venues throughout Europe and the United States.
The American masterpiece, George Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess," will be the series' third program of the season at 8 p.m., Friday, February 25. It tells the moving story of the crippled Porgy and his beloved Bess on Catfish Row in Charleston, SC. The opera entwines pride, prejudice, pathos, and passion through its jazz and blues influenced score. Classic Gershwin songs include "Summertime," "It Ain't Necessarily So," and "I Got Plenty of Nuttin'." This fully-staged production, with orchestra, includes singers from some of the United States' leading opera companies and has been performed in over 400 cities to worldwide acclaim on five continents.
The series will conclude with the special beauty and variety of a cappella singing featuring the Western Wind ensemble at 8 p.m., Friday, April 15. The ensemble's fascinating repertoire reveals its versatility, ranging from Medieval and Renaissance to new works by contemporary composers, early American music to vocal jazz. The Western Wind has been acclaimed on many of the world's finest stages, including Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center in the U.S., Teatro La Fenice in Venice and La Grand Theatre de Geneve in Europe, and the Hokutopia Festival in Japan.
Adults tickets are $10/Students $5. (WVU Parkersburg students may purchase special advance tickets for themselves and one guest for $2 each in the business office. All tickets at the door will be regular price.) There are no reserved seats. Ticket information is available by contacting the college's Business Office, 424-8223.
Financial support for the series is provided by the West Virginia's Commission on the Arts, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and WVU Parkersburg.
For additional information, contact:
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