The Reno Jazz Orchestra, in conjunction with the University of Nevada, Reno, will celebrate the music career of Larry Engstrom, an icon of the School’s Program in Jazz and Improvisational Music, and renowned educator, composer, and trumpeter. The concerts will be held at the Good Luck Macbeth Theatre in Reno, Nevada, on Saturday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 21 at 4 p.m.
“We are excited to host this event,” said Chuck Reider, board president of the Reno Jazz Orchestra. “Throughout the night, the performances will salute his lifelong passion for jazz education and countless contributions to our community. You can’t have a very long discussion about Reno jazz without Larry Engstrom’s name coming up.”
Attendees will be treated to a night of celebration and music that will include some of Engstrom's big band arrangements performed by the 17-piece Reno Jazz Orchestra. The program also showcases the University's jazz faculty quintet, The Collective, performing some of Engstrom's original compositions. One of the most creative and distinctive jazz ensembles in the northwestern United States, the band features pianist Adam Benjamin, bassist Hans Halt, drummer Andrew Heglund, saxophonist Peter Epstein, and trumpeter Josh Reed. All are faculty in the Program in Jazz and Improvisational Music at the University of Nevada, Reno.
The Reno Jazz Orchestra’s Jazz Workshop students will open the show.
“I was surprised, humbled, and overwhelmed with gratitude when I learned about this event being planned in my honor,” Engstrom said. “The folks who came up with this idea are way beyond kind and considerate.”
During the concert, the University faculty will announce the newly established Larry Engstrom Endowment for the Advancement of Jazz. This honors the rich tradition of jazz education at the University, which Professor Emeritus Larry Engstrom established. It is furthered today through the Reno Jazz Festival and the Program on Jazz and Improvisational Music. This new Endowment will inspire the next generation of jazz musicians for years to come and ensure that Reno remains home to world-class jazz performance and education.
Engstrom is the former Director of the School of Arts at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he administered the activities of the School’s three departments: Music, Theater/Dance, and Art. Early in Engstrom’s career at the University, he began adding classes such as jazz improvisation, jazz history, and jazz arrangement, all of which he initially taught. His vision, creativity, and drive established the University’s Program on Jazz and Improvisational Music. Today, it is a nationally recognized program.
In 1991, Engstrom took the reins of the Reno Jazz Festival and was instrumental in growing attendance from 60 bands to over 300, establishing the festival as a nationally recognized and celebrated event. In addition, Dr. Engstrom is an extraordinary performer. He has performed in venues across the U.S., served as Principal Trumpet for the Reno Philharmonic, recorded five albums, and performed for more than 20 years in the Reno Jazz Orchestra and the University’s faculty ensemble The Collective.
In keeping with new arts and culture industry best practices, proof of vaccination is required for entry. Those patrons who are not fully vaccinated, including children under the age of 12, must have proof of a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of the performance. Mask wearing is also required when inside the venue.
Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online at the Reno Jazz Orchestra website or by calling 775-372-6160.