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The Oberlin Jazz Ensemble Kicks Off the Season with the Works of Jean-Baptiste "Illinois" Jacquet Nov. 3

Oct. 26, 2007

By Marci Janas '91

Wendell Logan directs the OJE in 2005

The Conservatory's acclaimed Oberlin Jazz Ensemble (OJE) will kick off the 2007-08 performance season in style on Saturday, November 3, 2007, at 8 p.m. in Finney Chapel with a program of works by Jean-Baptiste "Illinois" Jacquet. Considered by most musicians to be the greatest tenor saxophonist of the 20th-century, Jacquet (1922-2004) contributed numerous standards to the repertoire, including "Flying Home," "Stompin' at the Savoy," "More Than You Know," and "Three Buckets of Jive," all of which will be performed by the OJE under the direction of Visiting Professor of Jazz Dennis Reynolds.

Politics and jazz collided in January 1993 when Jacquet played "C-Jam Blues" with former President Bill Clinton, an amateur saxophonist, on the White House lawn during Clinton's inaugural ball. Jacquet's lifelong companion and business manager, Carol Scherric, as well as his daughter Pamela, will be in Oberlin to hear the Oberlin Jazz Ensemble perform his works.

All OJE concerts are free and open to the public, and are held in Finney Chapel, located at 90 North Professor St., across from Tappan Square. Finney Chapel is wheelchair accessible, and free parking is available throughout the campus. Upcoming OJE concerts for this season are planned for Saturday, December 1, 2007, Saturday, March 8, 2008, and Saturday, May 10, 2008; all concerts begin at 8 p.m.

The Oberlin Jazz Ensemble was founded by Wendell Logan, Professor of African American Music and Chair of Oberlin's Jazz Studies Department, in 1973. Composed of jazz as well as classical performance majors, the ensemble is a component in a four-year curriculum in jazz studies, leading to a bachelor of music degree with a concentration in performance, composition, or both. The United States Information Agency has invited the ensemble to make an extended tour of major cities in Brazil, and the OJE frequently appears at collegiate festivals throughout the U.S. In 2002, the OJE took the top honors at the 44th Annual Collegiate Jazz Festival, held at the University of Notre Dame.

Visiting Professor of Jazz Dennis Bradley Reynolds is the artistic director of the Jazz Heritage Orchestra. A former lead trumpet player with the Count Basie Band, directed by Frank Foster, he is also a former member of the Lionel Hampton orchestra, and a former lead trumpeter with the Clark Terry Big Band. Mr. Reynolds has performed with such stars as Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Lawrence and Edie Gormé, Rita Moreno, Patti Austin, Roberta Flack, Rosemary Clooney, and Ella Fitzgerald. A resident of Warren, Ohio, he has assembled the group of artists who make up the Jazz Heritage Orchestra not only because they are excellent performers and teachers, but also because of their ability to relate to young people and to serve as role models. Mr. Reynolds is a graduate of the Lamont School of Music.

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