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Loyola University College of Music presents 36th annual Jazz Ensemble Festival with guest artist Dennis Mackrel, drums

Loyola press release - March 4, 2005

Loyola University New Orleans College of Music presents its 36th annual Jazz Ensemble Festival on Friday and Saturday, March 11-12, 2005. Highlights of the festival include a Friday night performance by the Loyola Faculty Jazz Sextet and a Saturday night performance by the Loyola Jazz Band with drummer Dennis Mackrel as guest artist and clinician.

The Loyola Faculty Jazz Sextet concert is set for Friday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall located in the Music/Communications Complex at the corner of Calhoun Street and St. Charles Avenue. The sextet includes Tony Dagradi, saxophones; John Vidacovich, drums; John Mahoney, trombone; Matt Lemmler, piano; Brian Seeger, guitar; and Jesse Boyd, bass.

The Loyola Jazz Band concert is set for Saturday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall. The band, under the direction of John Mahoney, will feature guest artist Dennis Mackrel as drummer.

Admission for both concerts is $10 for general seating and $5 for students. Tickets and additional information are available through Loyola's ticket box office at (504) 865-3492.

Mackrel is a seasoned musician and clinician, traveling extensively and performing with such ensembles as The Count Basie Orchestra, The Carla Bley Very Large Band, Slide Hampton and the Jazz Masters, The Dizzy Gillespie Alumni Band, The Manhattan Symphony Jazz Orchestra, The Carnegie Hall Classic Jazz Orchestra, The Hank Jones Trio, The Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, The Smithsonian Jazz Orchestra, and The American Jazz Orchestra. In 1990, Mel Lewis chose Mackrel as his successor for the drum chair in The Mel Lewis/Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. He was also a featured soloist in the West Coast premier of Charles Mingus' Epitaph.

Mackrel’s compositions and arrangements have been recorded and performed internationally by ensembles such as The WDR Radio Big Band in Cologne, Germany, The RIAS Radio Big Band in Berlin, Germany, The Klüvers Big Band in Aarhus, Denmark, and most notably The McCoy Tyner Big Band, whose Grammy winning CDs The Turning Point and Journey included four of his arrangements. Some of the other notable musicians Mackrel has performed with include: Monty Alexander, Don Sebesky, John Pizzarelli, Harry Connick Jr., Lionel Hampton, Buck Clayton, Grady Tate, Kevin Mahogany, Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, Nancy Wilson, Chris Connor, Quincy Jones, Clare Fischer and George Shearing.

The Loyola University Jazz Ensemble Festival is open to large or small elementary through junior college level ensembles. A panel of four expert musician/educators will adjudicate the groups offering constructive criticism on performance techniques. Participants in the festival attend workshops by Loyola jazz faculty and guest clinician Dennis Mackrel.

For more information, contact John Mahoney at (504) 865-2064 or via email at mahoney@loyno.edu; or Reid Wick at (504) 865-2074, or via e-mail at wick@loyno.edu. Visit the College of Music on the web at http://music.loyno.edu.