The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us


100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0073; fax (319) 384-0024

Release: Immediate

Star-studded jazz concert opens Hancher's Silver Anniversary season

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A star-studded jazz concert, featuring saxophonist Joshua Redman, trumpeter Nicholas Payton and bassist Christian McBride, will launch the Silver Anniversary season at the University of Iowa Auditorium at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12.

The concert, which is the first event in the 1997-98 Cantebury Inn and Suites Jazz Series, will spotlight several of the celebrated "young lions" of contemporary jazz. Both Redman and McBride have been past headliners in Hancher, and Redman even treated the Hancher audience to the world premiere of his composition "Cat Battles," which is featured on his most recent CD, "Freedom in the Groove."

The son of veteran saxophonist Dewey Redman, who performed for many years with pianist Keith Jarrett, Joshua Redman abandoned a law career, dropping out of the Yale Law School to dedicate his life to jazz. His meteoric rise to prominence is one of the most striking jazz success stories of the '90s. A series of popular and critically acclaimed CDs -- including "Wish," "Moodswing" and the Village Vanguard live set "Spirit of the Moment" -- have proved to jazz fans that Redman is much more than a flash in the pan.

McBride has toured and recorded with Redman, which is not surprising, because he established himself in his early 20s as one of the most talented and versatile bassists in jazz. In addition to his two CDs as a leader -- "Gettin' To It" and "Number Two Express" -- McBride has appeared on more than 100 recordings with many of the biggest stars in jazz, including not only Redman but also Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea and Betty Carter. He was named Gavin's Jazz Artist of the Year in 1996.

Redman and McBride are joined by their frequent collaborator, drummer Brian Blade, to create the trio that will perform the second half of the Hancher concert. In addition to being a regular member of Redman's group, Blade has become one of the most in-demand sidemen in jazz and beyond, performing and recording with artists ranging from Kenny Garrett to Joni Mitchell.

The first half of the Hancher concert will feature the Nicholas Payton Quintet. A native of New Orleans, the son of a classical pianist and a jazz bassist, Payton is quickly establishing himself as a major force on jazz trumpet.

While he was still a teenager, he attracted the interest of jazz masters including Ellis Marsalis, Elvin Jones and Marcus Roberts.

His first recording as a leader was "From This Moment," released in 1995. On his follow-up, "Gumbo Nouveau," he put a modern spin on many tunes from the New Orleans tradition.

The New Orleans focus has brought comparisons with Louis Armstrong.

Geoffrey Himes of the Washington Post wrote, "Nicholas Payton not only has the looks of Louis Armstrong, but the 22-year-old New Orleans trumpeter also captures his predecessor's fast, focused trumpet sound better than any other young musician."

The late trumpet legend Doc Cheatam gave Payton the ultimate recommendation, telling Down Beat, "He's the greatest of the New Orleans-style trumpeters that I've ever heard. I haven't heard anybody like him since Louis Armstrong."

Movie-goers will recognize Payton from his portrayal of Oran "Hot Lips" page in the Robert Altman film "Kansas City." He can be heard on nine of the 12 songs in the "Kansas City" soundtrack, and his solo on "Lafayette" is one of the film's highlights.

Tickets for the Sept. 12 concert featuring the Nicholas Payton Quintet and the Trio of Joshua Redman, Christian McBride and Brian Blade are $27.50, $25 and $22. UI students and senior citizens qualify for a 20-percent discount, with Zone 3 tickets available to UI students for $10. Tickets for young people 17 and younger are half price.

Tickets are also available at a 20 percent discount as part of the (sponsor) Jazz Series. Other events in the series are Chick Corea and Gary Burton on March 7 and the Chicago Jazz Ensemble on April 1.

The Cantebury Inn and Suites is the corporate sponsor of the Jazz Series, through the University of Iowa Foundation.

Hancher box office hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and 1-3 p.m. Sunday. From the local calling area or outside Iowa, dial (319) 335-1160. Long distance within Iowa and western Illinois is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to (319) 353-2284. Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction.

People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial (319) 335-1158. This number will be answered by box office personnel prepared to offer assistance with handicapped parking, wheelchair access and seating, hearing augmentation and other services. The line is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.