Head of the Lakes Jazz Festival

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THANK YOU ALL FOR A GREAT
2018 HEAD OF THE LAKES JAZZ FESTIVAL! 

PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR NEXT YEAR
MARCH 22-23, 2019!

45th Annual Head of the Lakes Jazz Festival
March 16-17, 2018

It is my pleasure to announce that the 45th annual Head of the Lakes Jazz Festival will be held on the UMD campus, Friday and Saturday, March 16th and 17th, 2018. This Festival will be non-competitive in nature, offering positive, learning-based experiences for young jazz ensembles and many outstanding performances.   –Ryan Frane

REGISTER HERE

2018 Information

BOBBY WATSON QUARTET featuring Bobby Watson, Eric Kennedy, Ryan Frane, Josh Skinner | Friday, March 16th, 7:30, Weber Music Hall, Adult Tickets - $16.00, Student Tickets - $6.00

A saxophonist, composer, arranger and educator, Bobby Watson grew up in Kansas City, Kan. He trained formally at the University of Miami, a school with a distinguished and well-respected jazz program. After graduating, he proceeded to earn his "doctorate" – on the bandstand – as musical director of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. The group, created in 1955 by late legendary drummer who died in 1990, showcased a rotating cast of players, many who, like Watson, would go on to have substantial careers as bandleaders in their own right. The Jazz Messengers – frequently referred to as the "University of Blakey" – served as the ultimate "postgraduate school" for ambitious young players.

After completing a four-year-plus Jazz Messengers tenure (1977-1981) that incorporated more than a dozen recordings – the most of any of the great Jazz Messengers, the gifted Watson became a much-sought after musician, working along the way with a potpourri of notable artists – peers, elder statesmen and colleagues all -- including, but not limited to: drummers Max Roach and Louis Hayes, fellow saxophonists George Coleman and a younger Branford Marsalis, celebrated multi-instrumentalist Sam Rivers and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis (who joined the Jazz Messengers at least in part at the suggestion of Watson). In addition to working with a variety of instrumentalists, Watson served in a supporting role for a number of distinguished and stylistically varied vocalists including Joe Williams, Dianne Reeves, Lou Rawls, Betty Carter and Carmen Lundy.

Later, in association with bassist Curtis Lundy and drummer Victor Lewis, Watson launched the first edition of Horizon, an acoustic quintet modeled in many ways after the Jazz Messengers but one with its own distinct slightly more modern twist. Among the groups' other talented members were pianist Ed Simon, trumpeter TereIl Stafford and bassist Essiet Okon Essiet. Clearly, by all critical accounts, Horizon, which still performs together on special occasions, is now considered as one of the preeminent small groups of the mid-1980s to mid-1990s and even into the 2000s. The group recorded several highly acclaimed titles for the Blue Note and Columbia record labels including Post-Motown Bop (Blue Note) and Midwest Shuffle, Live! (Columbia); the latter is a compendium that captured the group in concert at a number of locations in 1993.

In addition to his work with Horizon, Watson also led a nine-piece group known as the High court of Swing – a tribute to the music of Johnny Hodges – as well as the GRAMMY-nominated 16-piece, large ensemble Tailor Made Big Band. The lyrical stylist is also a founding member of the well-respected 29th Street Saxophone Quartet, an all-horn, four-piece ensemble.

Watson's classic 1986 release, Love Remains (Red) has long been recognized by the Penguin Guide to Jazz (Penguin). Having received the publication's highest rating it was then identified in the ready reference book's seventh edition as a part of its "core collection" [i.e. a "must-have"], joining other entries by a number of aforementioned jazz masters as a recording that any jazz aficionado should own.

More recently, Watson issued a series of recordings on the Palmetto label. On the heels of his No. 1 releases, Live & Learn (2005) and Horizon Reassembled (2006), which brought him back together with Lewis, Stafford, Simon and Essiet, the saxophonist issued From the Heart (2008) which unveiled yet another project where he again shares the limelight with bassist Lundy. The release also went to No. 1 on the national jazz airplay chart and remained there for nine weeks.

For more than three decades now Watson has contributed consistently intelligent, sensitive and well-thought out music to the modern-day jazz lexicon. All told, Watson, the immensely talented and now-seasoned veteran, has issued some 30 recordings as a leader and appeared on 100-plus other recordings, performing as either co-leader or in support of other like-minded musicians. Not simply a performer, the saxophonist has recorded more than 100 original compositions including the music for the soundtrack of A Bronx Tale, which marked Robert DeNiro's 1993 directorial debut. Numerous Watson compositions have become classics such as his "Time Will Tell," "In Case You Missed It" and "Wheel within a Wheel," each now oft-recorded titles that are interpreted by his fellow musicians both on the bandstand and on other recordings.

Bobby Watson Website

Jeff Coffin  with UMD Jazz I and the Head of the Lakes Jazz Festival All Stars | Saturday, March 17th, 5:30, Marshall Performing Arts Center, Adult Tickets - $16.00, Student Tickets - $6.00

Jeff Coffin is an internationally recognized saxophonist, bandleader, composer and educator who has been traveling the globe since the late 20th century.

He is a three-time Grammy-winner as a member of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, with whom he played from 1997-2010. In July 2008, Jeff began touring with Dave Matthews Band, and officially joined the group in 2009 following the tragic passing of founding member LeRoi Moore. When not on the road with DMB, Coffin fronts his own group, Jeff Coffin & the Mu'tet, and works around the country playing shows and presenting music clinics to students.

Artists with whom Coffin has shared the stage and recording studio include a "who's who" of musicians, including Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, Dave Matthews Band, Branford Marsalis, Bob Mintzer, DJ Logic, New Orleans Social Club, Maceo Parker, McCoy Tyner, Baaba Maal, Phish, Mike Clark's Prescription Trio, Galactic, Kirk Whalum, My Morning Jacket, Widespread Panic, Chris Thile, Willie Nelson, Chester Thompson, Garth Brooks, Van Morrison, J.D. Souther, Vinnie Colaiuta, The Dixie Chicks, "Rakalam" Bob Moses, Stanton Moore, Brooks & Dunn, Tuvan Throat Singers – the Alash Ensemble & Konger Ol Ondar, George Porter Jr., Umphrey's McGee, Del McCoury, John Scofield, Yonder Mountain String Band, Marc Broussard, Martina McBride, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Wailers and many, many others. 

Along the way, Coffin has absorbed an astounding range of influences. "Whether it be New Orleans Second Line, African, Indian Ragas, Brazilian, folk songs, Gypsy music, Alan Lomax field recordings, jazz, funk, etc," he says, “the spirit and breath of the music is what I take away from the listening and playing. It's what decides for me if I like it or not…I consider it 'Spirit Music.'" Coffin is also known to play two saxes at a time, in a nod to the late great saxophonist Rahsaan Roland Kirk.

As a heavily in-demand Yamaha & D'Addario Performing Artist, Coffin has presented more than 300 solo and Mu'tet music clinics from Farmington, Maine to Perth, Australia to Johannesburg, South Africa to students of all ages to raving reviews. 

Living in Nashville since 1991, Coffin graduated with a music education degree from the University of North Texas in 1990, where he played in the acclaimed One O'Clock Lab Band. He also studied with sax great Joe Lovano on a National Endowment for the Arts grant.

A number of Coffin's compositions have been published as big band arrangements through the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) Jazz Press, and he has presented them in concerts with many ensembles. Education continues to be an important part of what he shares with others, and he is a tireless champion to players of all ages and levels to discover and cultivate their own musical voice.

At the 2000 Grammy Awards, in addition to Bela Fleck & the Flecktones winning a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Recording for the album Outbound, Coffin & Fleck’s tune "Zona Mona," also from Outbound, was nominated for Best Pop Instrumental Composition.

Coffin is also an avid photographer who views photographic composition, musical composition and improvisation as going hand in hand. All of his recent album photography is his own work.

Jeff Coffin Website

The Head of the Lakes Jazz Festival will also include:

  • Performances by UMD Jazz Ensembles
  • 40 minutes of individualized time for your ensemble: Most ensembles perform for about twenty minutes and are then critiqued by two clinicians for another twenty minutes.Jeff CoffinBobby Watson
  • Adjudicators: Including leading jazz educators from colleges across the country to adjudicate and clinic your ensembles and directors. Recent Adjudicators have included: Billy Taylor, Gene Aitken (UNC), Bob Kase (UWSP), Tom Matta (DePaul University), Bob Kleinschmidt (Tiffin University), John Salerno (UWGB), Terry Vermillion (St. Cloud State), C.J. Kocher (USD),  and many others.
  • Non-competitive atmosphere: This positive, learning-oriented approach has become a hallmark of the Head of the Lakes Festival. No trophies or defeats, just jazz music, hard work, and fun!
  • Clinics: Numerous clinics will be given by the guest artists, UMD jazz faculty and by our adjudicators, all of whom are recognized leaders in their fields.
  • Scholarships: The chance for instrumentalists to audition for a scholarship to attend the University of Minnesota Duluth as a music major!!
  • Prizes: Performance certificates and prizes will be awarded to individuals who offer outstanding performances during the day.

Please register for the festival online by the February 15th deadline so that we can hold a spot for your ensemble(s) at this year’s festival. The fee for participants will be $200.00 per ensemble. We will fill performance spots on a first come, first serve basis so get your reservation form in early. Upon receipt of your registration fee, we will contact you regarding payment, group hotel rates and other information.

I look forward to seeing you this year, and to hearing your ensembles perform. If you have any questions regarding the festival, please feel free to contact me at 218.726.6327, or by email at rfrane@d.umn.edu.