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

'A Great Day in Harlem' features jazz by Iowa-native trumpeter Art Farmer

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium will present "A Great Day in Harlem," featuring jazz by the Art Farmer Quintet at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12 in Hancher Auditorium on the University of Iowa campus.

"A Great Day in Harlem" is an unusual African-American History Month program that combines a documentary film with live music to celebrate the anniversary of an historic photograph.

In 1958 nearly 60 of the greatest musicians in jazz posed for Esquire magazine photographer Art Kane outside a Harlem brownstone. That photograph inspired an Oscar-nominated documentary, "A Great Day in Harlem," which tells how the photograph came about and, by extension, traces the extraordinary confluence of personalities, cultures and musical styles that created jazz.

Included in the film are conversations with and about many of the jazz legends in the photo, plus archival performance footage and rare photographs.

One of the jazz greats in the photo was trumpeter Art Farmer, who was born in 1928 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. After intermission, Farmer will lead his quartet in a musical tribute to Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, Count Basie, Thelonious Monk and other jazz stars depicted in the photograph and the film -- including, of course, Art Farmer.

Farmer cut his musical teeth as a teenager in Los Angeles, playing with the likes of Johnny Otis, Illinois Jacquet, Charlie Parker, Hampton Hawes, Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray and Dizzy Gillespie. He made his first record in 1948 as a sideman with Kansas City jazz fixture

Jay McShann. In the '50s his melodic stylings on trumpet and flugelhorn were featured in the bands of Benny Carter, Lester Young, Charles Mingus, Lionel Hampton, Horace Silver and Gerry Mulligan.

With tenor saxophonist Benny Golson, Farmer co-led the Jazztet, one of the prominent hard-bop bands of the early 1960s. Golson says, "Art Farmer is the foremost instrumental interpreter of the ballad. At any tempo he's able to evince a pervasive melodism."

In the mid-'60s Farmer moved to Europe, where he expanded his reputation for lyrical tone and melodic phrasing. He returned to the United States in the late '70s to record with Art Pepper, Yusef Lateef, Joe Henderson, Cedar Walton and other artists.

Farmer returned to Europe in the 1980s, and he is now a highly respected trumpet teacher in Vienna, Austria. For five decades he has released critically acclaimed recordings as a leader, and he remains the leading (and only) exponent of the flumpet, and cross between the power of the trumpet and the mellowness of the flugelhorn that he had custom-built to suit his personal style.

Corporate sponsor of "A Great Day in Harlem" featuring the Art Farmer Quintet is Eye Surgeons Associates, P.C. through the University of Iowa Foundation, with media support from the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

Tickets are $28, $25 and $22. UI student and senior citizens qualify for a 20-percent discount, with Zone 3 tickets available to UI students for $10. Tickets for audience members 17 and younger are half price.

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.

For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. Learn more about Art Farmer at


NOTE TO EDITORS: The press representative for "A Great Day in Harlem" is IMG at 212-772-8900.