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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 23, 2004

Heartland Jazz Trio Performs Feb. 8 At UI

The Heartland Jazz Trio -- a new group that combines University of Iowa music faculty member James Dreier on drums with established jazz artists Reggie Thomas on piano and Anthony Cox on bass -- will present a free concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8 in Harper Hall of the UI Voxman Music Building.

Dreier said, "Our trio is comprised of three musicians now living in the Midwest -- Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota. We came together to form a dynamic musical entity that both celebrates the jazz-trio tradition and seeks to venture from it.

"Our sets will feature jazz standards and originals from all members."

Cox has been described as "A fine bassist, versatile enough to work in any style effectively." Writing in All Music Guide, Ron Wynn added, "He has recorded in various groups, (and) recently issued his own recording. Cox does not identify with 'young lion' hard bop movement, nor is he part of instrumental pop or fusion set. Rather he shifts between inspired straight jazz and more ambitious rock-tinged pieces."

Cox has performed and recorded with Joe Lovano, John Scofield, Geri Allan, Jack Walrath and many other prominent jazz musicians. He has been active as an educator, both in the United States and abroad. He received a bachelor's degree from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minn. and currently lives in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

Thomas has performed with several nationally known jazz artists including Karrin Allison, Eddie Daniels, Sonny Fortune, Al Grey, Slide Hampton, Eddie Harris, Jimmy Heath, Oliver Lake, Jackie McLean, David "Fathead" Newman, Nicholas Payton and Clark Terry. His recording credits include "Blues for RC" and "Time Through the Ages" with saxophonist Ahmaad Alaadeen; "Yellow Flowers After" and "Azure Eyes" with trumpeter Clay Jenkins; "Ballads" with saxophonist Kim Richmond; "Creepin' with Clark" with trumpeters Mike Vax and Clark Terry; and his own release "Fade to Blue".

Thomas holds a bachelor's degree in music education from Western Illinois University and a master's from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville where he is now an associate professor of music.

Dreier teaches in the jazz studies area of the UI School of Music, where he coaches small jazz groups, directs the Afro-Cuban Drum Ensemble, assists with the large-format jazz bands, and teaches drumset and world percussion. As a member of the Orchesta Alto Maiz he has performed throughout the Midwest and in Europe. He has studied percussion and drumming in Brazil and Cuba and written articles for the professional journal Percussive Notes.

He has performed with jazz notables including George Garzone, Phil Wilson, Jimmy Mosher, John Carlson, Tim Haggens, Steve Swallow, Carla Bley, Bobby Shew, Victor Mendoza and Willie Pickens. He has released five CDs with the Orquesta Alto Maiz. Other recording credits include "Odds and Ends," and "Lost Art Cafe" with his jazz group Odd Bar Trio; John Rapson's "Water and Blood, The Billy Higgens' Improvisations" on the 9 Winds label; and "Before My Life" with Tim O'dell on Southport Records.

Dreier holds a bachelor's degree from Berklee College of Music in Boston and a master's degree in music theory from the UI.

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

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072,