Master class with the Levine MD Jazz Band followed by a performance by the University of Michigan Jazz Ensemble.
The University of Michigan Jazz Ensemble, directed by Ellen Rowe, is an integral part of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance’s ensemble program. Repertoire is selected from a range of historically significant composers and arrangers, such as Thad Jones, Sammy Nestico, Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington and Gil Evans as well as more contemporary composers such as Maria Schneider, John Hollenbeck, Christine Jensen, John Clayton and Michael Mossman. They have been featured at the Detroit International Jazz Festival with a variety of guest artist including Geri Allen, Lee Konitz, Kendrick Scott, David Liebman. Jeff “Tain’ Watts and Regina Carter. Other guest artists that have performed with the ensemble include Melissa Aldana, Marshall Gilkes, Jimmy Heath, Hank Jones, Kenny Garrett, Donald Byrd, Robert Hurst, Ingrid Jensen, Terrel Stafford, Sean Jones, Tim Ries and Chris Potter.
The ensemble has been finalists and award winners at the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, University of Northern Colorado Jazz Festival and Elmhurst Jazz Festival. In alternating years the ensemble tours for a week at the end of the school year, making stops at junior high and senior high schools around the country to give workshops and concerts. Recent recordings include “Low-Down” and “Seven-Eleven”. Jazz bassist John Clayton said of “Low-Down”: I love the University of Michigan Jazz Ensemble’s sound, their swing, their ensemble playing and the fun I can hear they are having…Their interpretation of “Splanky” renewed the goose bumps I would get when I played this tune with the Count Basie Orchestra.” Their latest CD, released in 2017, premiered Stephen Rush’s Concerto for Piano and Jazz Ensemble with the composer at the piano.