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Jazz Legend Joe Chambers is Guest Soloist

WINSTON-SALEM – Ron Rudkin will direct the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) Jazz Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16, in a program featuring guest soloist Joe Chambers on drums and vibes.

A jazz legend, drummer and vibraphonist Joe Chambers is the Thomas S. Kenan Distinguished Professor of Jazz at UNC-Wilmington.

The performance will be in the Thrust Theatre in Performance Place on the UNCSA campus, 1533 South Main St., Winston-Salem. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. Patrons should call the UNCSA Box Office at 336-721-1945 for reservations, or visit www.uncsa.edu/performances to purchase tickets online.

The program will include a broad range of Big Band jazz. Among works on the program are “Lover” by Richard Rodgers, arranged by Marty Paich; “Chelsea Bridge” by Billy Strayhorn, arranged by Sammy Nestico; “Donna Lee” by Charlie Parker, arranged by Rick Lawn; “Say It Softly” by Thad Jones; “Punjab” by Joe Henderson, arranged by Joe Chambers; and “Poinciana” by Buddy Bernier/Nat Simon, arranged by Joe Chambers.

Chambers will also give two master classes for UNCSA students while on campus.

Rudkin said: “We have a terrific band this year with many very talented students, and Joe Chambers is one of the true masters of jazz drumming.”

Joe Chambers earned his undergraduate degree in music from the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music and by age 22 had cut his first session on Freddie Hubbard's Breaking Point album. This led to road work with Harold Land, Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, Eric Dolphy, and Dizzy Gillespie.

A member of the '60s fraternity that recorded some of Blue Note's greatest music, Joe Chambers can lay claim to a place alongside such innovative artists as Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner and Bobby Hutcherson. Chambers' intense drumming, a trademark blend of cymbal-driven forward motion, deep rhythmic continuity, and explosive creativity, graced many landmark albums which fostered one of the most fertile eras in recent jazz memory. Chambers' credits include Hubbard's Breaking Point, Hutcherson's Components, Shorter's Schizophrenia and Etcetra, Andrew Hill's Compulsion, and Tyner's Tender Moments, as well as Archie Shepp's New Thing at Newport, Charles Mingus' Like a Bird, and Chick Corea's Tones for Joan's Bones and many others.

Chambers' legacy is not only as drummer extraordinaire. A conservatory-trained musician, Chambers has seen his compositions covered by Hutcherson, Hubbard, and M'Boom. More recently, following a handful of fine solo recordings, Chambers scored soundtracks for several Spike Lee films, including MO' BETTER BLUES.

Among Chambers’ recordings are Double Exposure, Phantom of the City, The Almoravid and Mirrors, which marks Joe Chambers' return to the Blue Note fold. It includes compositions both old and new, with renditions of material by Rod Temperton and Janet Jackson.

Mirrors' lineup reflects Chambers' past and present: Vincent Herring, saxophones; Eddie Henderson, trumpet; Mulgrew Miller, piano; and Ira Coleman, bass. Chambers performs on both drums and vibraphone.

Ronald Rudkin directs the Jazz Program and teaches Music Theory at UNCSA. He holds a Master of Music from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Music from East Carolina University, where he received a Distinguished Alumnus Award.  He also currently directs the UNCSA Jazz Ensemble which has received widespread acclaim performing across the state and around the Southeast at jazz festivals, concert halls, public schools and other colleges each year. The band includes talented student musicians from the graduate, undergraduate, and high school divisions of the School of Music.  The group's repertoire includes an extensive variety of Big Band jazz ranging from the traditional greats like Count Basie and Duke Ellington to Latin pieces and music in more contemporary styles.

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. More than 1,100 students from high school through graduate school train for careers in the arts in five professional schools: Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the state’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts. UNCSA is located at 1533 S. Main St., Winston-Salem. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.



The UNCSA Jazz Ensemble concert on Nov. 16 is a part of Six Days in November, which is supported by SunTrust Bank.