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Release: June 12, 2001

(NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: JUISE is pronounced "juice")

UI summer jazz ensemble will play free concert June 21

JUISE, a summer jazz ensemble comprised of local jazz professionals, educators and select students from the University of Iowa School of Music, will present the first of two free public concerts at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 21 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Now in its third summer season, JUISE, which stands for Jazz at the University of Iowa Summer Ensemble, was formerly known as the Summer Festival Jazz Ensemble.

The concert will feature New York City free-lance jazz trumpeter John Carlson. The program will include music by Duke Ellington; pianist/composer Carla Bley, a guest at the School of Music in March who will return to Iowa City for the Iowa City Jazz Festival; and John Rapson, the UI director of jazz studies who is also a member of JUISE.

In addition to Rapson, other members of JUISE include band directors from both Iowa City high schools, current and former UI faculty, and other professional musicians who are well known locally. The members of the group by section are:

-- Trumpets Brent Sandy, a UI and Cornell College faculty member and local professional player with the Orquesta de Jazz y Salsa Alto Maiz; Bill Bergen, a professional player from Des Moines; Bill Pringle, band director at City High School in Iowa City; and John Cord, a UI jazz student from Newhall;

-- Trombones Rich Medd, a band director at Iowa City West High School and a local professional player with the Orquesta de Jazz y Salsa Alto Maiz; Rapson; Chuck Mead, a local professional player and member of the Quad City Symphony; and Bryan Hardester, an incoming doctoral student at the UI and a graduate of the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music;

-- Saxophones Chris Merz, a local professional player and new jazz faculty member at the University of Northern Iowa; Rodney Pierson, a UI alumnus and local professional player who teaches through West Music in Coralville; Bob Thompson, a local professional player with the Orquesta de Jazz y Salsa Alto Maiz; Luke Ziegenhorn, a UI jazz student from Muscatine; and Jane Williams, a recent UI graduate with a master's degree in saxophone performance; and

-- Rhythm section players Steve Grismore ,guitar, a faculty member at the UI and Augustana College and a local professional player with the Orquesta de Jazz y Salsa Alto Maiz; Brad Townsend, bass, a UI jazz student; and Jim Dreier, drums, a faculty member at the UI and Augustana College and a local professional player with the Orquesta de Jazz y Salsa Alto Maiz.

The complete program of the concert will comprise:

-- Tadd Dameron's "Cool Breeze," written for the Billy Eckstine Orchestra. An unsung hero of jazz history, Dameron helped introduce the innovations of bebop to the big band and was a precursor of "Cool Jazz" in the 1950s;

-- three pieces by Ellington: "Such Sweet Thunder," the opener for a suite of the same title that Ellington wrote as a tribute to William Shakespeare; "Bula," an exotic ballad; and "Diminuendo and Crescendo In Blue," performed at Newport Jazz Festival in 1956 that revived Ellington's popularity;

-- two Rapson originals, which were recently recorded by the UI Johnson County Landmark jazz band on an album titled "Daydreams from the Prairie": Tulip Jive Dance," based on soca and calypso rhythms, and "Paradox," a slower song with lush harmonies; and

-- four pieces by Carla Bley: "Fast Lane," a humorous nod to John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" that includes car horns and traffic jams that interrupt the musical flow; and three spirited songs from the popular album "The Carla Big Band Goes to Church," which were played in Clapp Recital Hall during Bley's March visit to the UI -- "One Way," "Who Will Rescue You?" and "Major."

An extraordinarily versatile musician, Bley has performed in a variety of jazz styles and settings. Her written compositions range from big-band jazz charts to chamber music that straddles the divide between jazz and contemporary concert music, to solo piano pieces for classical pianist Ursula Oppens, to the fusion opera "Escalator Over the Hill." Her music has been performed by pianist Keith Jarrett, vibes virtuoso Gary Burton, bassist Charlie Haden, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Houston Symphony, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, and countless jazz musicians around the world.

John Carlson is a freelance artist from Brooklyn who plays in many jazz formats and has been featured on many albums. He currently plays in the Machito Latin Jazz Orchestra and has appeared on recordings with the Charlie Kolhase Quintet and The Either/Orchestra. He recently performed in Iowa City in March of 2000 with pianist David Berkman. He is on campus during the week of June 17-22 as a guest artist and clinician with the UI Summer Jazz Camp.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts.

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