UNT jazz celebrates 70th anniversary at Arts & Jazz Festival with top ensembles

Friday, April 21, 2017 - 13:06
UNT College of Music student Henry Beal performs on the University of North Texas Showcase Stage at Denton Arts and Jazz Festival. Photo by Gary Payne.
UNT College of Music student Henry Beal performs on the University of North Texas Showcase Stage at Denton Arts and Jazz Festival. Photo by Gary Payne.

DENTON (UNT), Texas – It has been 70 years since the University of North Texas launched the now-acclaimed Jazz Studies program – the first of its kind in the U.S. In honor of this milestone, the College of Music will be releasing Legacy — Neil Slater at North Texas – a four-CD box set – at the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival. Along with hundreds of archival photos spanning the career of Slater, Professor Emeritus and the longest-tenured director of the One O’Clock Lab Band, the box set includes a 160-page booklet containing notes written by dozens of former band members and colleagues.

“This box set is the most significant CD release in the history of the jazz program at North Texas, and that is saying a lot considering the magnitude of the North Texas Jazz record catalog and the accolades the One O’Clock Lab Band has earned over five decades of critically acclaimed recordings,” said Craig Marshall, lab bands manager.

In addition to the Legacy release at the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival, the College of Music will be showcasing their top talent including the Grammy-nominated One O’Clock Lab Band, and other jazz and music ensembles that will perform jazz standards, mariachi, steel drum and a variety of other music. The performances will be on the University of North Texas Showcase Stage April 28 to April 30 (Friday to Sunday).

“The Denton Arts & Jazz Festival is kind of like middle school field day for us," said John Murphy, chair of the Division of Jazz Studies. "After two semesters of formal and informal concerts, classes, rehearsals and lessons, all of which happen indoors, the students get a chance to play on an outdoor stage in a shady part of the festival grounds for a large, enthusiastic audience. It's one of the high points of the year, and it's even more special this year because we're honoring Neil Slater with the Legacy CD set release.”

Lab Band Madness, a fan favorite that features all nine lab bands, begins at 1 p.m. April 29 (Saturday) with the Nine O’Clock Lab Band and ends with the 9 p.m. performance of the One O’Clock Lab Band.

“Neil Slater will be recognized Saturday evening during the One O’Clock Lab Band performance,” Marshall said. “We’re excited to honor his legacy.”

Also performing on Saturday are the award-winning U-Tubes, UNT’s premier jazz trombone ensemble. A full schedule is listed below.

The University of North Texas Showcase Stage will be located between the Senior Center and community pool in Quakertown Park, 321 E. McKinney St., Denton. A map of the festival grounds can be found at http://www.dentonjazzfest.com/mapGrounds.shtml.

For information about the festival, visit the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival site.


UNT’s schedule of performances:

Friday, April 28

5 p.m.  Kishiyama & Dietz Group

6 p.m.  Henry Dickhoff Group

7 p.m.  L5 Electric Guitar Ensemble

8 p.m.  Zebras Contemporary Jazz Ensemble

9 p.m.  Latin Jazz Lab Band


Saturday, April 29

10 a.m. Paul Lees Group

11 a.m. Jaron Lopez Group

12 p.m. U-Tubes Jazz Trombone Ensemble

Lab Band Madness

1 p.m.  Nine O’Clock Lab Band

2 p.m.  Eight O’Clock Lab Band

3 p.m.  Seven O’Clock Lab Band

4 p.m.  Six O’Clock Lab Band

5 p.m.  Five O’Clock Lab Band

6 p.m.  Four O’Clock Lab Band

7 p.m.  Three O’Clock Lab Band

8 p.m.  Two O’Clock Lab Band

9 p.m.  One O’Clock Lab Band


Sunday, April 30

11 a.m.            Jackie Yin Group

11:30 a.m.       Carleigh Reese Group

12 p.m.            Andrew Evangelista Group

12:30 p.m.       Li Liu Group

1 p.m.              West End Vocal Jazz Ensemble

1:30 p.m.         Third Street Vocal Jazz Ensemble

2:10 p.m.         Avenue C Vocal Jazz Ensemble

3 p.m.              UNT Jazz Singers

4 p.m.              Super 400 Electric Guitar Ensemble

5 p.m.              Mariachi Águilas

6 p.m.              UNT Steel Drum Bands

7 p.m.              UNT African Percussion Ensemble

UNT News Service
(940) 565-2108