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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 14, 2005

Jazz Educator Ed Sarath Returns To Iowa City For Oct. 27 Concert With JCL

Jazz flugelhorn player Ed Sarath -- a University of Iowa alumnus, chair of jazz and contemporary improvisation studies at the University of Michigan and an Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor in the UI School of Music -- will be the featured guest artist for a concert by the UI Johnson County Landmark jazz band, at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

The concert, under the direction of John Rapson, will be free and open to the public.

In addition to performing at the concert, Sarath will work with students in the jazz studies area at the UI. He will also present two free public lectures during his visit to the UI campus:

-- 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, in Room S401 of the Tippie School of Business in the Pappajohn Business Building: "Improvisation, Negotiation, and Organizational Creativity"; and

-- 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, in Harper Hall of the UI Voxman Music Building: "Improvisation, Creativity, and Consciousness."

A major ensemble in the UI School of Music jazz program, Johnson County Landmark (JCL) is a repertory ensemble devoted to the performance of original compositions by jazz masters. JCL has the standard big-band instrumentation, with full sections of reed, brass and rhythm instruments. It is made up largely of students in the UI School of Music majoring in performance or in the jazz area.

The program for the Oct. 27 concert will include two pieces by Rapson, as well as Sarath's three-movement "Suite for Jazz Orchestra" and several of his shorter works.

Sarath is in demand nationally and internationally as a performer, composer, teacher, writer, recording artist, and guest speaker and seminar leader on the topic of creativity and consciousness as it applies across disciplines. In addition to his musical performances and workshops, he has done presentations at Harvard Business School and Brown University, among others.

While at the UI, Sarath founded the Iowa City Jazz Orchestra, which recorded the album "Fifth Fall" with many of Sarath's compositions.

Sarath has performed and presented master classes throughout the United States, Brazil and Europe, including appearances at the Montreux, London, North Sea, Paris, Antibes, Orleans, Le Mans, Jyvaskyla (Finland) and Detroit jazz festivals. Schools at which he has appeared include the Eastman School of Music, the Royal Academy of Music in London, the Paris Conservatory, the Tatui Conservatory in Brazil, University of Colorado, University of North Carolina.

He has performed and recorded frequently with the French-based ensemble Cache Cache, winners of the 1992 Radio France Jazz Competition. Other ensembles he has worked with include the Brazilian ensemble Interchanges; British composer Graham Collier and his London-based Jazz Ensemble; Dutch saxophonist Willem Helbreker; sound-painter Walter Thompson's multi-media orchestra in New York City; and John Wubbenhorst's Facing East, which features South Indian kanjira player Ganesh Komar.

Sarath has released several CDs as leader accompanied by internationally recognized artists. His most recent CD is "New Beginnings," which features the London Jazz Orchestra performing his large ensemble compositions.

His prior CD release "Timescape" features his nine-member ensemble of the same name. Karl Berger, pioneer in contemporary improvised music is guest soloist on the disc. Cadence Magazine described the disc as a blend of "all sorts of influence, from Jazz and Western classical, to Middle Eastern and Indian music. But this is no trendy World Music fusion," adding, "...the integration of the various musical strains (do not) dilute the jazz element".

His writings on the cognitive and aesthetic aspects of improvised music, and on educational reform, appear in various scholarly publications, and he has several books in progress. He served on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Schools of Jazz, and he currently serves as U.S. coordinator for that organization. He has received fellowship grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, in both jazz composition and performance, and from the American Council of Learned Societies.

More information on Sarath can be found on his Web page,

JCL has been performing at the UI since the 1960s. The group has traveled to jazz festivals in the United States and Europe, picking up awards on both sides of the Atlantic. In 1991, JCL was selected the best band in its class at the 25th annual Wichita Jazz Festival. In recent years, the group has collaborated with leading jazz artists, including their concerts in 2001 with Carla Bley and Steve Swallow.

The group's recording, "A Mingus Among Us," was described as "over 70 minutes of sweet, sophisticated jazz classics" in ICON magazine, and River Cities Reader commented that "JCL, the top big band for the University of Iowa School of Music, captures the power of Mingus' music wonderfully."

Rapson joined the faculty of the UI School of Music as director of jazz studies in August 1993. A recording artist for the Sound Aspects and Nine Winds labels, he is a composer and trombonist whose work mixes ethnic and experimental elements with more conventional jazz forms. His recent experimental jazz recording "Dances and Orations" has been hailed as "one of the most vital CDs to come around in a long time" in Jazziz and as "a conceptual and musical triumph" by Josef Woodard in the Independent. The CD scored 10 out of 10 for artistic merit in Grammophone magazine's "Good CD Guide" for jazz recordings, which also called it "beautiful and unique."

Previous albums under Rapson's direction are "Bing" for Sound Aspects, and "Buwah" and "Deeba dah bwee" for Nine Winds. He has also recorded "A Mingus Among Us" and "Been There, Done That" with Johnson County Landmark.

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

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

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

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