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University of Iowa News Release

March 16, 2005

(Photos: David Skorton, left; Al Jarreau, right)

Jarreau, Skorton Talk Jazz At April 6 Alumni Event In Los Angeles

The University of Iowa Alumni Association and the UI Foundation are presenting a special evening April 6 at the Conga Room in Los Angeles featuring jazz great Al Jarreau and David J. Skorton, president of the University of Iowa.

Skorton will visit with Jarreau about the UI, their shared love of jazz and the unexpected, yet rewarding, directions in which their career paths have led. This event is part of an award-winning ongoing series, Iowa Stories, celebrating the UI in Los Angeles.

The event is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 6, at The Conga Room, 5364 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles. The program begins at 8 p.m., preceded by a reception at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but reservations are needed by March 28. The Iowa Stories event is intended for UI alumni, but the public is also invited to attend. To RSVP, visit UI Alumni Association website at or call 1-800-IOWALUM.

For this special night, Skorton and Jarreau return to their West Coast musical roots. President Skorton grew up in Los Angeles surrounded by Latin music, an environment that nurtured his musical interest and talents. A faculty member and practicing physician at the UI since 1980, Skorton was appointed the UI's 19th president on March 1, 2003. He still manages to carve out time in his hectic schedule for music, hosting a weekly program, "As Night Falls-Latin Jazz," on KSUI-FM, the university's public radio station.

Jarreau's international music career also took off on the West Coast, although he has been singing since the age of four, harmonizing with his brothers and performing solo at local events in his hometown of Milwaukee. After graduating from the UI in 1964 with a master's degree in education and vocational rehabilitation, Jarreau moved to San Francisco, where he worked as a rehabilitation counselor and performed part-time as a singer. Deciding to devote all his energies to music, he relocated to Los Angeles and performed in such famed nightspots as Dino's, the Troubador, the Bitter End West and the Bla Bla Café.

In 1975, Warner Bros. Records signed him to a recording contract, and his debut album, "We Got By," was released to unanimous acclaim. Jarreau received a German Grammy for Best New International Soloist, the first of many such accolades. In 1977, the year of his first world tour, Jarreau won his first American Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance. Over the years, four more Grammy Awards followed, making Jarreau one of the few artists to have won in the three categories of jazz, pop and R&B.

His albums include "Look to the Rainbow," "All Fly Home," "This Time," "High Crime," "Al Jarreau Live in London," "Heart's Horizon," "Heaven and Earth," "Tenderness" and "Tomorrow Today." His most recent CD is the 2005 Grammy-nominated "Accentuate the Positive." In 2001, Jarreau earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Jarreau remains devoted to his alma mater. In 2001, Jarreau returned to Iowa City for a sold-out performance at Hancher Auditorium, at which time he publicly expressed his deep regard and affection for the UI. In June 2002, he demonstrated his commitment to the UI by contributing his considerable talents to the public kickoff event for the UI Foundation's "Good. Better. Best. Iowa." campaign. A taped interview with Jarreau was featured during the campaign program, which was produced by the UI Foundation, as well as a student dance performance to Jarreau's "Tomorrow Today."

President Skorton will also present Jarreau with his 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award from the UI Alumni Association. Each year since 1963, the University of Iowa Alumni Association has presented this high honor to graduates and friends of the university.

"No matter how far his career has taken him from his Midwestern roots, Al Jarreau has remained a staunch supporter and an ambassador for the University of Iowa. He is truly one of the university's most distinguished alumni," said Vince Nelson, president of the UI Alumni Association.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: George McCrory, 319-384-0012, Program: Susan Griffith, UI Alumni Association, 319-335-3294,