Eastman Jazz sextet headed to Tokyo Jazz Festival

Eastman Jazz sextet headed to Tokyo Jazz Festival

For the first time, the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music Jazz department will have an ensemble travel to Japan to perform at the Annual Tokyo Jazz Festival. The Eastman Jazz Sextet, led by Professor of Jazz, Jeff Campbell, will travel courtesy of sponsorship from the United States embassy in Japan. The Sextet will be featured in three concerts, including: August 26 at Shobi University for the Jazz Festival at the University; September 1 at the Jazz Festival; and September 2 at the Tokyo STATION JAZZ Weekend, which includes a joint concert with the “Jazz Festival Conservatory” (JFC) All Star Big Band, presented by Makoto Ozone.

From left to right: Ryder Eaton, bass; Luke Norris, saxophone; Christian Crawford, trumpet; Sterling Cozza, piano; Chase Ellison, drums; C. J. Ziarniak, saxophone.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to take a group of Eastman jazz students to Japan to perform at the 16th Annual Tokyo Jazz Festival” said Professor Campbell.  “We are grateful to collaborate with jazz great Makoto Ozone and are grateful for his invitation to perform and work with his students.” The Eastman Sextet features students and recent graduates, including: Christian Crawford, trumpet; C.J. Ziarniak, saxophone; Luke Norris, saxophone; Sterling Cozza, piano; Ryder Eaton, bass; and Chase Ellison, drums.

The joint effort between the Eastman ensemble and the JFC All Stars is designed to foster a bond between the groups and enable them to share and exchange musical ideas. The JFC All Star Big Band is comprised of top students from many Japanese conservatories and music schools and was developed by Ozone.  The group is designed to bring awareness to college jazz programs and to increase the students’ collaborative opportunities.

The Eastman School of Music was founded in 1921 by industrialist and philanthropist George Eastman (1854-1932), founder of Eastman Kodak Company. It was the first professional school of the University of Rochester. Mr. Eastman’s dream was that his school would provide a broad education in the liberal arts as well as superb musical training. The current dean is Jamal Rossi, appointed in 2014. Approximately 900 students are enrolled in Eastman’s Collegiate Division including 500 undergraduate and 400 graduate students. Students come from almost every state, and approximately 20 per cent are from other countries. They are guided by more than 95 full-time faculty members. Seven Pulitzer Prize winners have taught at Eastman, as have several Grammy Award winners. Each year, Eastman’s students, faculty members, and guest artists present more than 700 concerts to the Rochester community. For more information on the Eastman School of Music: www.esm.rochester.edu

Rick Kessel, August 2017

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