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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 1, 2008

Premiere will be included Feb. 10 on UI concert with guest artist Guzman

Maurita Murphy Mead (photo, left), clarinet professor at the University of Iowa School of Music, and the UI Latin Jazz Ensemble will provide a showcase for guest artist Juan Tony Guzmán on a free public concert at 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10, in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.

Guzmán (photo, right), who is currently director of the jazz program and associate professor of music education at Luther College in Decorah, is a conductor, composer, arranger, and music educator from the Dominican Republic. Guzman will perform both percussion and guitar on the Feb. 10 concert.

The program will include works by Michael Eckert, a faculty member in music theory and composition in the UI School of Music, including the first performance of his "Three Pieces in Brazilian Style."

The concert will open with a set by the Latin Jazz Ensemble (LJE) and director James Dreier, with Guzmán joining the percussion section. They will play "Muito Normal" by Aecio Flavio; "Lamento No Morro" by Tom Jobim, as arranged by Dreier; and "Home Cookin'" by Hilton Ruiz.

The next set will feature Mead with pianist Diego Arango, a UI graduate student from Colombia who is the pianist of the LJE. They will present two works by Eckert, "Three Choros" and the first performance of "Three Pieces in Brazilian Style."

The final portion of the program will be a group of choros performed by Mead with Guzmán on guitar. Derived from a Portuguese word meaning "to cry," the word "choro" is used in Brazil to refer to instrumental ensemble music, often in a dance style.

The genre appeared at the end of the 19th century as European dances performed in a melancholy or nostalgic style. It reached its apex in the 1940s, and today is considered almost a classical style of Brazilian music. Many choros feature virtuoso improvisation of instrumental variations by one or more soloists, often in a manner that is similar to American jazz.

In the past 10 years Mead has expanded on her classical training to perform both jazz and various forms of Latin music, particularly music from Brazil. She has traveled to Brazil several times, including a tour with the Iowa Woodwind Quintet, and spent time in study of the Brazilian choros.

Mead and Guzmán will play several choros by composers who are well known in Brazil, including Pixinguinha, considered one of the most important contributors to the choro tradition; Benedito Lacerda; and Jacob do Bandolim, whose stage name means "Mandolin Jacob."

Guzmán has conducted choirs, concert bands, jazz bands and orchestras in several countries during the past 29 years. He served as consultant for the design and implementation of the nationwide music education curriculum in the Dominican Republic. He has written many arrangements of Caribbean and Latin American music.

He received an undergraduate degree from Luther College, and both a master's degree and a doctorate in music education from Florida State University. He also holds a degree in electromechanical engineering from the Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra in Santiago, Dominican Republic. See:

Mead has been the artist performer and teacher of clarinet at the UI School of Music since 1983. She has performed by invitation at International Clarinet Association conferences, the Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, the National Clarinet Symposium of Brazil and the College Band Directors National Association conference. She has been principal clarinet of several Midwestern orchestras, including the Cedar Rapids Symphony. For more information, see

Dreier is a drumset, Latin percussion and jazz educator, clinician and performer. He teaches in the jazz area at the UI School of Music, where he co-leads the UI Afro-Cuban Drum and Dance Ensemble and directs the Latin Jazz Ensemble. For more information, see or

Michael Eckert has been on the composition faculty of the UI School of Music since 1985. His awards for composition include the Bearns Prize from Columbia University, a Charles E. Ives Scholarship from the National Institute of Arts and Letters, an NEA fellowship and the Music Teachers National Association Distinguished Composer of the Year Award. For more information, see

The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. You may visit the UI School of Music Web site at

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail, go to, click the link "Join or leave the list (or change settings)" and follow the instructions.

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

MEDIA CONTACTS: Maurita Murphy Mead,; James Dreier,; Peter Alexander, Arts Center Relations, 319-384-0072 (office) 319-541-2846, (cell),