university of missouri st. louis

Bios

Presented by The University of Missouri - St. Louis, Touhill Performing Arts Center, & Jazz St. Louis

 

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Often referred to as an “unsung jazz hero,” platinum recording artist, Lou Marini, Jr. is the seasoned soul and adept multi-instrumentalist, arranger,
composer, educator, and producer credited with inspiring the origins of a fan-following cult across multiple genres of music.

Making a name for himself as a sideman in various high profile groups, any top New York jazz musician will tell you he’s “one of the absolute best
jazz musicians.” The New York based Marini is famed for his chameleon-like adaptability to imagine and perform inventive ideas in jazz, rock,
blues and classical music. Describing Lou’s performances, the New York Times said, “(he’s) the focal point of the group…(who) gives the band
most of its colors and shadings, and provides it with a strongly melodic lead voice.”

Five time Grammy Award winning arranger / composer Bob Belden had this to say
about one of the time-honored contributions from Lou Marini, Jr., “This composition and arrangement reflects Lou’s ability to create exciting,
new music that embraces rock and the most advanced ideas of jazz music.” The statement helps illustrate Marini’s ability to inspire and traverse
multiple music disciplines.

Popular since the early 1970s, Lou Marini, Jr. continues to be one of the most sought-after sidemen and session
musicians on the New York scene. Due in part to his incredible skill and talent of the highest calibre, Marini masters many styles and instruments.
He is accomplished on soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone saxes, piccolo, flute, alto flute, bass flute and clarinet.

The ever-present influence ofLou Marini, Jr. is all around you. Jingles, television, radio and concerts all reflect the irresistible, innovative sounds of
this veteran performer who electrifies audiences internationally. He truly is one of the industry’s most prolific luminaries who demonstrates a tireless
commitment to his craft.

Lou Marini, Jr. is best known as a member of several distinguished bands: Woody Herman Orchestra, Doc Severinson, Blood, Sweat and Tears,
The Band, Levon Helm & the RCO All-Stars, Dr. John, Frank Zappa, Saturday Night Live (SNL) Band, The Blues Brothers, Maureen McGovern,
Lew Soloff Quintet, Blue Beck with Joe Beck, Eric Clapton, Red House, and the Magic City Jazz Orchestra. He has toured four times each with
James Taylor’s Band of Legends and the John Tropea Band. A true blue lover of big bands, Lou has had the honor of performing with some of his
childhood idols such as Thad Jones-Mel Lewis and the Buddy Rich Band, the latter with whom he also arranged.

Is it any wonder Marini’s arrangements and compositions display influences from the work of his heros? Gil Evans, Bob Brookmeyer, Thad Jones,
Don Ellis, along with rock, pop and avant-garde techniques can be heard in his music. His unusual, off-the-wall notions, for example, are featured
in his composition “Hip Pickles,” a tune whose title doubles as the abstract name of his publishing company.

The high profile cultural icon, Blue Lou Marini has recorded
on numerous albums, many of which went platinum. Celebrities with whom his “Blueness,” as Lou is also known, has recorded with include Aretha
Franklin, Tony Bennett, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Aerosmith, Maureen McGovern, Billy Joel, B.B. King, Luther Vandross,
Lou Reed, Brecker Brothers, Dr. John, Donald Fagan, Eddie Palmieri, Jimmy Buffet, Frank Zappa, John Tropea, and Steely Dan. Contrasting,
yet notable icons he has also performed with include Eric Clapton Smokey Robinson, Jose Carreras, Lou Rawls, The Supremes, Dr. John, Four
Tops, Sting, and Tina Turner.

It is Marini’s seven year association as an original SNL band member that led to his role as “Blue Lou” in John Belushi
and Dan Akroyd’s cult classic movie, “The Blues Brothers.” To this day, the remarkable popularity of the Blues Brothers Band is kept alive. Lou
and the other band members tour worldwide, giving live concerts to packed houses and hundreds of thousands screaming fans.

No stranger to film,
Lou Marini enjoys a formidable roster of success in this arena, too. His character as a band member and the saxophone soloist, who performs
with his sax on the counter of a diner as Aretha Franklin sings “Think” in “The Blues Brothers” movie, remains throughout the sequel
“Blue Brothers 2000.” Dubbed ‘Blue Lou’ by Dan Akroyd, he is also well-recognized for his saxophone solos at the open and close of SNL
episodes, and as the golden pharaoh who plays a solo instrumental hit for comedian Steve Martin’s “King Tut” sketch on a 1978 episode

Different film-related projects Marini has lent his talents to are “Nightlife,” hosted by comedian David Brenner (saxophone soloist for Billy
Preston’s band), numerous appearances on the “David Letterman Show,” the “Grammy Awards,” “Tony Awards,” “James Taylor’s Musicare’s
Man of the Year Special,” “Kennedy Center Honors,” the soundtrack of Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Waltz,” “Sesame Street,” countless network
television specials (i.e. Aretha Franklin’s duet special, all-star band for President-Elect Obama on HBO’s ‘We Are One,’ an AIDS special featuring
Dionne Warwick and Elton John). Likewise, Lou’s genius is featured in “The Ref,” “The Wiz,” “Bright Lights Big City,” “Burning Bed,”
“Bye Bye Birdie,” “Turner & Hooch,” “Mixed Nuts,” and most recently a “Family Thing,” starring Robert Duvall and James Earl Jones.

About a decade prior to SNL, Marini’s sound was beginning to form at the University of North Texas (UNT). A member of the famed
One O’Clock Lab Band, Lou flushed out his musical influences in fresh, exciting ways to create a sound that set him apart from his peers.

Today, Blue Lou’s singular, expressive voice achieves virtuosity in his first collaborative recording with Misha Segal titled “The Blue Lou &
Misha Project - Highly Classified.” His third album as a leader, Marini defines a cutting-edge, urban cool jazz vibe that revolutionizes the soundscape
with edgy concepts and cliche-free tones. The celebrated saxophone wizard takes listeners on an ultra-original, sonic adventure showcasing horn
solos. Masterful compositions and arrangements combine with smooth rap rhythms and hints of humor. Overall, this unconventional, yet accessible,
collection trans-ports the listener at warp speed into the future, fusing contemporary jazz, fusion, rock, straight-ahead jazz, rap and hip hop.
Other albums featuring Lou are “Chihuahua Boogie” (2010), “Lou’s Blues” (2001), and “Soul Serenade” (1992). Future releases include a
Lynda Carter album, and a father-son project.

Born May 13, 1945 in Charleston, S.C. and raised in Ohio, making music is in the roots of the Marini family tree. At Fairless High School
where Blue Lou attended, his father Lou Marini, Sr. directed his high school band and composed the alma mater. Each year the school bestows the
Lou Marini Award in honor of his father. In 2010 the Marini’s were honored by the school, when they received the ‘Distinguished Fairless Falcon
Award’ given to Blue Lou and his late father. Marini, Jr. carries on the tradition of education previously started by his father. He has arranged for
Stan Kenton, and been on the faculties of both the Stan Kenton Camps and National Stage Band camps. Currently, he is an active clinician with high
school and university jazz bands, and serves as Musical Director of the Brianza. Blues Festival in Monza, Italy.

Married to his beautiful Spanish bride, Carmen, Blue Lou is a long time resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side where he continues his life-long
pursuit of musical excellence. Known as “Double-Dad” by his granddaughter Alaina, Blue Lou’s son performed with him in Tuscany during the
summer of 2010. Dubbed ‘Louie Tre’ (Italian style), Lou’s son carries on the music roots as a vocalist in the Dallas area.

 


Clay Jenkins' career as a jazz artist has covered a wide range of musical experiences. He attended The University of North Texas
(then named North Texas State University) where he earned his Bachelor's Degree in Music Theory and studied trumpet with John Haynie.

Upon
completion of his degree, Clay went out on the road, playing the jazz trumpet chair with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. He recorded three live albums
with the Kenton Band, Artistry in Symphonic Jazz, A Time for Love, and The Lost Concerts, Vols. I & II, and was also involved with the Stan
Kenton Orchestra in Residence Jazz Camps.

Clay moved to Los Angeles in 1978, where he continued playing in live performances and in studio recording
sessions. He also studied with the renowned trumpet teacher, James Stamp for the next two years. From Los Angeles, he toured with the big bands
of Harry James, Buddy Rich, and finally, the Count Basie Orchestra.

Clay earned his Master's Degree in Jazz Studies from The University of
Southern California in 1993, studying trumpet with Boyde Hood. Clay began teaching at several schools, including The Foundation for the
Junior Blind, The University of Southern California, California State University at Northridge, and The California Institute of the Arts. He also served
as Chairman of the Music Theory Department at the Colburn School of Performing Arts from 1988 through the summer of 2000, and co-authored
the theory textbook being used there and in other schools. His duties also include being on the staff of several Jim Widner Summer Jazz Camps.

Currently,
Clay is an Associate Professor of Jazz Trumpet at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. He also continues to be a very active performing
and recording artist. He has performed and presented clinics all over the United States and Canada, and also abroad in Japan, Italy, Korea,
Germany, Portugal, Russia, and South Africa. He is a charter member of the trumpet section of the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (which has
included trumpet artists Snooky Young, Bobby Bryant, Chuck Findley, Oscar Brashear, Byron Stripling, and Bijon Watson). The C.H.J.O. was the Jazz Orchestra in
Residence at the Hollywood Bowl from 1999-2001.

Clay's solo recordings include: Rings, Give and Gather, Yellow Flowers After, Azure Eyes, Blues
State, and the soon to be released Good Signs on the Jazz Compass label. His ensemble with co-leader Kim Richmond, has released two
recordings: Range, and Look at the Time. Other artists Clay has recorded with include Milt Jackson, Harold Danko, Rich Perry, The
Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, "Trio East," Billy Harper, Lyle Mays, Peter Erskine, Ray Brown, Dr. John, Bob Sheppard, Jim Widner,
Eric Reed, Moacir Santos, Gary Hobbs, Bill Perkins, Joe La Barbera, John La Barbera, Pat La Barbera, Bill Cunliffe, Billy Childs, Steve Houghton,
Lennie Niehaus, Ernestine Anderson, Kurt Elling, Diana Krall, and Miki Coltrane.

 



Multiple Grammy-nominated jazz composer and trombonist Steve Wiest is known world-wide for his fresh cutting edge writing as well as his
 extroverted virtuoso trombone playing. With a zeal for finding fresh ingredients for his muse, Steve is a true multi-genre persona. As a recording
 artist, composer-arranger, science fiction author, cartoonist, and educator Wiest is at home with many different and diverse areas of creative
 endeavor.

His path to recognition began with a four-year stint as trombonist and composer with Maynard Ferguson. During this period Steve appeared on
 two Ferguson projects  (Storm and Live from San Francisco) a video project (The Playboy Jazz Festival) and penned a number of works for
 Maynard including South 21st Shuffle. His YouTube solo on Denis DiBlasio's arrangement of Don't Stop from this era has been described as one
 of the most exciting of its kind on the Internet.

After leaving the Ferguson band in 1985, Wiest went on to complete a master's in jazz studies at The University of North Texas. During his time at
 UNT in the 1980s, Steve wrote for and performed on seven different recordings with Neil Slater's One O'Clock Lab Band.

Upon leaving UNT and spending two years as Assistant Director of Jazz Studies at The University of Texas at Arlington, Wiest began a 17-year
 tenure as Director of Jazz Studies and trombone at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. During these years Steve began a long and
 accomplished career as a clinician-guest artist while becoming a regular with The Doc Severinsen Big Band.

In 2006, Steve released his first recording as a leader; Excalibur: The Steve Wiest Big Bandto critical acclaim. Wiest followed Excalibur up with
 a 2007 Grammy nomination for his arrangement of Besame Mucho on Maynard Ferguson's final CD The One and Only . 2008 saw the release
 of another critically acclaimed project titled: Out of the New; The Steve Wiest Quintet which featured nine jazz re-imaginings of modern pop tunes.

Joining the faculty at The University of North Texas in 2007 first as professor of jazz composition, then as director of the six-time
 Grammy-nominated One O'Clock Lab Band®, Steve has firmly established himself as an important voice in jazz education as well. During his
 first year as director of The One O'Clock, their recording Lab 2009 was Grammy-nominated for Best Large Jazz Ensemble and Wiest's
 original Ice-Nine garnered a nomination for Best Instrumental Composition. After producing and directing six successful CDs for the band and
 touring the US, UK and Thailand with the group, Steve moved to Denver to join the Jazz and Commercial Music Faculty at The University of 
Denver's Lamont School of Music.

Steve Wiest's trombone (also called "Excalibur") was designed exclusively for him by Christan Griego of Edwards Instruments. Wiest also plays
 Griego Mouthpieces, specifically the Griego-Steve Wiest model. Steve's compositions are published via Walrus Music, UNC Jazz Press, and
 Kendor Music.

Wiest's new science fiction novel The Dover Stone is now available on Amazon.com. This is the book that is the programmatic fuel for his new
 project with ArtistShare: Concerto for Folded Space which consists of ten pieces featuring Wiest and The Eclectric Band with guest artists
 Jimmy Pankow, Keith Howland and Jason Scheff of the super group Chicago as well as The Maniacal 4 (plus Jon Gauer) Arlington Jones
 and Bob Mintzer.

Continuing a diverse career as a leader, guest artist, composer, cartoonist, author and educator, Steve Wiest makes his home with his family in
 Denver, CO.


Drummer Montez Coleman, appearances with David Sanborn, Roy Hargrove and the Art Blakey Tribute Band

Others TBA

 

These guest artists will be appearing with the UMSL Jazz Ensemble, directed by Jim Widner

 

Saturday, March 21

The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra

 

Opening set by the UMSL Jazz Ensemble, directed by Jim Widner

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One of the most successful and outspoken proponents of the jazz camp culture is Jim Widner.
– JAZZed Magazine

I was very thrilled to witness the work…by my ol’ buddy Jim Widner whose expertise in the field of jazz education proved invaluable in
putting this masterful CD (Yesterdays & Today) together.
– Clark Terry

Jim Widner  Bassist, Educator, Artistic Director, Yamaha Performing Artist, Producer

Celebrating his 25th year anniversary with the Jim Widner Big Band and his summer jazz camps was a major milestone in Jim’s storied career.
As a result of this experience and background, Jim is starting his 26th year of hosting his own summer jazz camps all across the United States.
A graduate of the University of Missouri, Jim also holds an MA degree from Memphis State University and has done postgraduate work at the
University of North Texas.  Jim has performed at the world famous Lionel Hampton and Montreaux Jazz Festivals. His performance background
includes concert dates with Clark Terry, Marilyn Maye, Lou Marini, Mulgrew Miller, Louie Bellson, Randy Brecker, Bill Watrous, the St. Louis
Symphony Orchestra and appearance before former President Bill Clinton.  In 1999, students at the University of Missouri-Columbia renamed the
music wing of the fine arts residential college, "Widner House," in honor of him. In April of 2006 the title of “Statesman” was conferred upon
him by The Statesmen of Jazz. In 2008 he was a cover story feature in the March issue of JazzEd Magazine and in 2009 he was a recipient of
Downbeat Magazine’s Achievement Award for his work in jazz education. In November of 2011, Jim was inducted into his hometown’s “Wall
Of Honor” in Lebanon, MO.

 Currently Jim is a Professor and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Missouri - St. Louis and is a Yamaha Performing Artist. He is also a
founding member of the Jazz Education Network and served on it's Board of Directors.
The Jim Widner Big Band records on the Chase Music
Group label and their critically acclaimed CD’s include "Yesterdays and Today," "Body and Soul," "Live," "Flying High" and "Out of This World ".
The Band will release it’s newest recording, “The Beat Goes On”, in early 2013.

 

 

Presented by The University of Missouri - St. Louis, Touhill Performing Arts Center, & Jazz St. Louis

 
  For more information: Call 314 516-4235 or email widnerjl@umsl.edu  
 
pedesign - penloe@gmail.com