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Release: March 9, 2001

Bass player John Leitham will be at UI March 26-27

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- John Leitham, a left-handed bass player who played for Mel Torme and with the band of famed "Tonight Show" trumpeter Doc Severinsen, will present a concert and a master class at the University of Iowa March 26-27.

The concert, with guitarist Steve Grismore from the UI School of Music jazz faculty, will be at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 26 in Harper Hall of the Voxman Music Building. The master class will be the next day, Tuesday, March 27, in Room 1020 of the Voxman Music Building. Both events will be free and open to the public.

Diana Gannett, who teaches bass at the UI and who invited Leitham to visit the UI, said: "This is John's first visit to the campus and I’m eager to meet him and hear him play in person. His frequent appearances with symphony orchestras have left a trail of rave reviews among my friends in the orchestras. His left-handed technique is also something that is rarely seen."

Leitham’s performances with a remarkable number of jazz and pop artists have earned wide critical acclaim. Bill Kohlhaase wrote in the Los Angeles Times, "As an improviser, Leitham has few peers," and Lillian Arganian wrote in "No Name Jazz," "Mark him as one of the finest jazz musicians in the world today."

Leitham’s 10 years with Mel Torme brought him to the forefront of the jazz world. In those years he recorded 10 CDs, played eight performances in Carnegie Hall and seven performances at the Hollywood Bowl, made numerous television appearances, and performed with almost every major symphony in North America.

Leitham has also performed with many other artists, including Gerry Mulligan, Sweets Edison, Joe Pass, Cleo Laine, Louis Bellson, Bill Watrous, George Van Eps, Peggy Lee, k.d. lang and many others. He has also been a member of the Tonight Show All-Stars, the Woody Herman Thundering Herd, the Benny Carter Quintet and other ensembles.

His CDs "Leitham Up," "The Southpaw," "Lefty Leaps In" and "Live!" have received world-wide airplay and rave reviews in Jazz Now, the Penguin Guide to Jazz, All Music Guide to Jazz, Jazz Journal and Jazz Times.

Leitham plays Paesold String Bass exclusively. His appearance at the UI is supported in part by Boosey and Hawkes, Inc. Information on Leitham and a complete discography are available on the world wide web, at <>.

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts. For information on UI arts events, visit on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at <>. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact <>.