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March 28, 2011
By Nonie Wainwright
Jazz students from the University of Nevada, Reno have been selected to perform at the Next Generation Jazz Festival sponsored by the Monterey Jazz Festival, April 2, in Monterey, Calif. The Monterey Jazz Festival is the longest-running jazz festival in the world, and each year, top student musicians from across the country and the world are invited to participate in the Next Generation Jazz Festival. This year, the University of Nevada’s top jazz combo group has been selected to perform in the semi-finalist round of the festival.
“This is an enormously high-profile event with international exposure,” group director Peter Epstein said. “It’s a huge honor and will be a great opportunity to showcase the incredible work our students are doing.”
Six University students make up the group: junior Chris Williams, studying trumpet performance with an emphasis in jazz; senior Tristan Selzer, studying piano performance; and four graduate students in the Jazz Studies Program, Joe Barry ( Sacramento State, ‘10), Chris Clark ( University of Oregon, ‘09), Zack Teran (University of Nevada,’10), and Jesus Vega ( Sacramento State, ‘09).
All members of the band partake in composing music individually; however, at the festival only three compositions will be played.
Five out of six band members have been playing together since the fall semester, with Barry and Clark on saxophones, Selzler on piano, Teran on bass, and Vega on drums. Williams, who plays trumpet, joined the group in early January.
“We are looking forward to playing together and competing with the other bands,” Williams said. “I think it’s such a privilege to be a member of this group.”
The three-day event includes ensemble performances by middle and high school students as well as university students. The top performers will win cash awards and be invited to perform at the 54th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, presented by Verizon, September 16 through 18.
“To win and perform at the Monterey Jazz Festival is one of the highest honors we could get,” Barry said.
The group is currently in the process of recording a CD titled, “Time and Place 2011,” which will be available in time for the April 2 competition.