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University of Iowa News Release

Dec. 23, 2003

Skorton, Jazz Flutist Torres Take Stage At Bowl Reception

University of Iowa President David Skorton will appear on stage alongside Latin Grammy-winning jazz flutist Nestor Torres (left) at a welcome reception on Monday, Dec. 29 for travelers on the University of Iowa Alumni Association's Outback Bowl tour to Florida.

Skorton, a jazz aficionado and former professional musician, will also interview Torres for the jazz radio show, "As Night Falls," that he co-hosts every week on the UI radio station, KSUI. The charismatic and gifted Torres has been captivating jazz fans around the world for more than 15 years with his smooth, romantic and catchy mix of Latin, jazz and pop sounds.

"As a Floridian, it excites me to be part of welcoming Iowans to our warm state for the Outback Bowl," says Torres. "I look forward to making music with David Skorton, who I understand really has chops and is the real sax playing president."

Said Skorton, "This is a dream come true - and an honor - for me to play alongside a jazz musician of the caliber of Nestor Torres. I feel privileged and delighted to share this experience with alumni and friends of the University of Iowa."

UI Alumni Association president Vince Nelson said, "This is a wonderful opportunity to bring together the incredible musical talents of Nestor Torres and President Skorton's passion for Latin jazz and to share them with our travelers. This very special event in Saint Petersburg, which will give our alumni and friends yet another reason to remember this bowl trip, has been made possible by the generous support of friends of the UIAA working in partnership with us."

Almost 800 alumni and other Hawkeye fans are traveling to the bowl game with the UI Alumni Association, which has organized trips to bowl games and other sporting events for many years. The welcome reception with star guests Skorton and Torres will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Dec. 29 at the Esplanade on the grounds of the Renaissance Vinoy Hotel, a landmark hotel in Saint Petersburg, Fla., that has been named to the National Register of Historic Places.

Travelers on the UIAA bowl tour who will be staying at the Renaissance Vinoy as well as other hotels in Tampa and the surrounding area will be able to enjoy various events arranged by the alumni association. On Jan. 1, New Year's Day, when the Iowa Hawkeyes take on the Florida Gators, some 1,500 people are expected to attend a UIAA-organized pre-game tailgate in the parking lot of the Hillsborough Community College just across from the Raymond James Stadium.

A Hawkeye Huddle and game watch on Tuesday, Dec. 30, at the Tampa Bay Convention Center is also likely to prove popular with Iowa fans. Co-sponsored by the UIAA and the National I-Club, the huddle is free, open to the public, and includes appearances by Herky, the Iowa cheerleaders and the Hawkeye Marching Band. Merchandise from the Iowa Hawk Shop will also be available. Fans will be able to watch Iowa's basketball game against Eastern Illinois. Last year's pre-game Huddle at the Orange Bowl in Miami set a record when about 20,000 fans joined in the football fun.

Other special tour highlights include a luncheon yacht cruise and a tour of Tampa. Travelers with the UIAA's bowl tour could choose between a deluxe, four-night trip and a no-frills three-night package. A land-only option was also available, but those who chose to travel with the UIAA will fly to Florida on specially chartered planes departing from Des Moines and Cedar Rapids.

For further information about the UI Alumni Association bowl tour, visit

STORY SOURCE: University News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

CONTACTS: Media: George McCrory, 319-384-0012,; Program: Chris Bavolack, UI Alumni Association, 319-335-3294