MARCH 22, 2001

CONTACT: Pat Wright, 661/664-2138, pwright@csub.edu


Local Jazz artist earns national honors

California State University, Bakersfield alumnus Kris Tiner has been selected to participate in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program, a national jazz residency program for outstanding emerging artists, sponsored by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C., April 12-21. Tiner was outstanding graduate in music at CSUB in 2001.

Tiner is one of 23 young artists selected to take part in the program at the Kennedy Center, which has hosted the residency since 1998. The participants were selected by a panel of jazz artists. The program comprises a week of intense training in performance, composing, and arranging, which will culminate in three concerts performed at the Kennedy Center and a concert performed in New Jersey.

Tiner grew up in Wasco and began studying trumpet when he was 10. He began listening and playing along to recordings of Louis Armstrong. Tiner drew the attention of CSUB jazz studies director, Doug Davis, while the youngster was still in high school. At CSUB, Tiner honed his performance and composition skills and performed widely. Tiner was named two years in a row outstanding musician at the Pacific Coast Collegiate Jazz Festival held each year at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2000, he earned awards as outstanding performer and composer.

Legendary jazz vocalist Carter founded Jazz Ahead as a vehicle to bring new life into jazz and teach the most promising fledgling artists what she knew.

About her decision to create the program, Carter said, "It is a concern of mine that jazz in its classical sense stands a chance of being placed in the background of the musical spectrum. Regardless of the fact that jazz is considered one of the first of America's true musical statements, it cannot survive simply on reputation alone. Creativity and explosive musical minds built this music with the sweat of what inspired them. It isn't the lack of explosive talent that burdens us. We need to create a wider pool for young talent to emerge, to be seen, and to be heard, in order to help them create viable careers of their own."

The Jazz Ahead program was originally developed by Carter in 1993 at 651, an arts center in Brooklyn, and the first concert was presented at the Brooklyn Art Museum's Majestic Theater. In 1997, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Billy Taylor, the center's artistic advisor for jazz, invited Carter to bring Jazz Ahead to Washington.

After Carter's death in September 1998, Taylor and the Kennedy Center decided to continue her legacy by making the Jazz Ahead program, with the principles Carter laid down as the foundation, an annual event.

Presenting Sponsor for the 2001 Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead program is "BET on Jazz."

For more information, please call 661/834-0115, or to speak with Tiner, 661/861-1314. For more information about the Jazz Ahead program, please call 202/467-4600 or 800/444-1324.



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