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Legends of Jazz at CSUB
 
  January 31, 2006
CONTACT:
Mike Stepanovich, 661/654-2456, mstepanovich@csub.edu,
or Jaclyn Loveless, 661/654-2138, jloveless@csub.edu

California State University, Bakersfield’s Legends of Jazz concert series presents the Bennie Wallace/Anthony Wilson Quartet at the CSUB Doré Theatre at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4.

With a relationship spanning the last decade, the Grammy and “Record of the Year” winning composer/players Wilson and Wallace will perform their collaborative Coleman Hawkins Centennial project as the centerpiece of their concert at CSUB.

With Wallace’s assimilation and transmutation of so much of the saxophone’s history, and Wilson’s compositional prowess and innovative vision, the upcoming recording of this tribute to the legendary giant of jazz saxophone, Coleman Hawkins is sure to bring the jazz tradition into the twenty-first century bearing the unique stamp of their individuality, said Doug Davis, CSUB director of jazz studies.

Hawkins became an international sensation with the success of his recording of “Body and Soul” in 1939, and he used his position of fame and success to support innovative younger musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonius Monk, who were giving birth to bebop and modern jazz. The Wallace/Wilson Quartet is also a group that features seasoned veterans playing with young stars reaching their zenith.

Of the older generation, saxophonist Wallace certainly emerged with a tremendous impact in the late 1970s when his first recording won a number of honors, including Germany's equivalent of a jazz Grammy, a High Fidelity critics' award for Best Jazz Album of the year, and Billboard's top jazz album. As an indication of his high acclaim, Wallace is a five-time winner of Downbeat magazine's Talent Deserving Wider Recognition Award. Wallace albums with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Dr. John caught the attention of director Ron Shelton, and Wallace was invited to provide music for his film “Bull Durham.” That involvement led to five more films, two of which were nominated for Oscars.

Guitarist Wilson also had an auspicious start when he won the Thelonious Monk Composers' Competition in 1995 and in 1997, the prestigious Gil Evans Fellowship of the International Jazz Educators. His first CD was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance category, and the albums to follow each earned a rare "5 stars" in Downbeat Magazine. Since 2001, Wilson has been recording and touring the world with the celebrated vocalist/pianist Diana Krall, including her Grammy-winning CD/DVD “Live In Paris.” For the last five years, Wilson has consistently been chosen as "Talent Deserving Wider Recognition" in the Downbeat Critics' Poll as both a guitarist and composer.

Joining Wallace and Wilson is the legendary drummer Alvin Queen and the young virtuoso Danton Boller on bass. At the age of 11, Queen joined an all-star lineup of drummers that included Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, and Max Roach for the annual Gretsch Drum Night. After Queen played, all poured accolades on the young prodigy. The following year he sat in with John Coltrane after Jones invited him up during the famous live club recording at Birdland. He was then 12 years old. Still a teenager, Queen joined the Horace Silver Quintet, then the George Benson Quartet, Stanley Turrentine, and Clark Terry to start an illustrious career.

Bassist Boller has played with Roy Hargrove, The Village Vangard Orchestra, Exegesis, and Ron Blake.

Tickets are $18 for general admission and $12 for students and seniors. For more information please call (661) 654-3093.

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