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News Release

Saxophonist David Sanchez to inaugurate Summer Jazz @ Moravian (formerly July Jazz Getaway)

Lehigh Valley Open Jam and ensembles concert also part of “Summer Jazz @ Moravian” program

David Sanchez

Bethlehem, Pa., June 19, 2008—Latin Grammy Award winner David Sánchez will perform in Foy Concert Hall with the Moravian College Big Band and the jazz faculty of Moravian College on Thursday, July 17 at 7:30 p.m. Sánchez will also present a workshop at the College on Friday, July 18, at 11 a.m.  His appearance is part of  “Summer Jazz @ Moravian” (replacing July Jazz Getaway), which includes a summer jazz camp for high school and college students as well as a series of public performances. The college has expanded its jazz camp offerings to two weeks; session one runs from July 7 to 11 and session two runs from July 14 to 18.

Sánchez is being hailed as “the most profound young tenor saxophonist working today.” He continues to push the frontiers of mainstream jazz to incorporate a compelling and rich array of Latin and Afro-Caribbean influences, while remaining true to the tenets of the jazz genre. In a review, world-renown jazz critic Howard Reich saluted the young bandleader saying, “Technically, tonally and creatively, he seems to have it all.” His most recent recording for Columbia, Coral, earned the saxophonist his fourth Grammy nomination and won a Latin Grammy after being voted “Best Instrumental Album” of 2005 by the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Sánchez composes and arranges for a number of ensemble configurations—instrumental and with vocals—including sextet, quartet, trio and duo (saxophone and piano). He was named a 2005 grant recipient of Chamber Music America’s “New Works: Creation and Presentation Program,” from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Sánchez has also proven to be a compelling presence with student musicians and continues to be in demand for workshops and master classes throughout the world.  In recent years, his academic pursuits have included visiting professorships at the Peabody Conservatory, the Conservatory of Puerto Rico and at Indiana University’s School of Music.

In the spirit of July Jazz Getaway, Summer Jazz @ Moravian will  feature a number of public events including the Lehigh Valley Open Jam Session which will be held on Wednesday, July 16 at 7:30 p.m. All area musicians are invited to bring their instruments and join in the action on stage. The jam session is free and open to the public.

In addition, The Summer Jazz @ Moravian Ensembles Concerts will be held on Friday, July 11 and Friday, July 18 at 7:00 p.m. The concerts feature the talents of the jazz camp participants in a variety of ensembles. Admission is free.

The jazz camp is open to students of all levels, instruments and voice, who are entering grades 8-12 in the fall of 2008 and college students.  The camp offers challenging and rewarding opportunities for musical growth for a range of students— from seasoned performers to those with little or no experience. Campers will learn about performance practices of the art form of Jazz; become familiarized with the music theory and historical elements relevant to jazz performance, and enhance their jazz performance capabilities.

Admission for  David Sanchez with the Moravian College Big Band and the Summer Jazz @ Moravian faculty are $20 general admission, $15 for senior citizens and $10 for students and children 12 and under. Advance tickets may be purchased online through the Lehigh Valley Arts Box Office at www.lvartsboxoffice.org. Admission to the workshop with David Sanchez and Summer Jazz @ Moravian participants is free of charge. For more information on the concerts, call 610-861-1650, email, music@moravian.edu or visit www.summerjazz.moravian.edu.

The Summer Jazz Camp is directed by Neil Wetzel, assistant professor music and director of jazz studies at Moravian College.  Wetzel directs the College's BIG Band and oversees the jazz combo program. Wetzel plays in groups including The Eric Mintel Quartet. As founder and music director of Moravian College's summer music camp, July Jazz Getaway, Neil has worked and played with many jazz greats including: Clark Terry, Ellis Marsalis, Al Grey, Stanley Turrentine, and Bobby Watson.

The camp faculty includes:

  • Tony Gairo, saxophone, a composer, performer, and educator of jazz, the saxophones, flute, and clarinet, jazz composition, arranging, theory, and analysis. Voted the 2004 Jazz Musician of the Year—Lehigh Valley (Pa.) by Pulseweekly magazine, he is the leader of the Tony Gairo-Gary Rissmiller Jazz Orchestra, a 16-piece modern jazz Big Band.  
  • Alan Gaumer, has been the jazz trumpet Artist/Lecturer at Moravian College since 1994 and served as Fusion ensemble director in 1998-99, 2003-04 and 2005-06. He has performed with a long list of well known jazz personalities including: Randy Brecker, Phil Woods, Al Cohn, George Young, Bob Dorough, Tom Harrell, Bill Watrous, Urbie Green, Kim Parker, Vic Jurris, Charles Fambrough, Bill Washer, John Swanna, David Leonhardt, Steve Gilmore, Bill Goodwin, Bobby Routch, Tom Schuman of Spyro Gyra and others.
  • Lou Lanza is a jazz vocalist and a Philadelphia native who thrives on the cultural and musical heritage of that city. Lanza has music in his genes - an opera singer grandfather, a classical violinist father, and a pianist, organist & music teaching mother.  He was listed among the top 500 jazz vocalists of all time in The Jazz Singers by critic/author Scott Yanow.
  • Gary  Rissmiller has been playing drums for more than twenty-five years. He has opened for Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway, Joe Henderson, andSpyro Gyra. He performs regularly with his own combos, The Skip Wilkins/Will Allen Quartet, The Nick Driscoll Quartet, The Alan Gaumer Quintet, among others.
  • Paul Rostock has been on the faculty at Moravian since 1991 as an instructor of double bass and bass guitar. He has directed jazz ensembles and teaches jazz history and improvisation practicum. Paul is also one of the directors for the popular July Jazz Getaway and accompanies the guest artists who appear annually at the camp. Some of the popular artists he has performed with include Frank Sinatra, Olivia Newton John, Maureen McGovern, Perry Como, Joel Grey, Sandy Duncan, John Davidson, and Steve Allen. 
  • Dave Roth is a versatile musician who performs in a wide variety of both classical and jazz settings. His jazz performances have included collaborations with Paul Warburton, Tony Marino, Steve Gilmore, Larry McKenna, Paul Rostock, Glenn Davis, Rich Chiaraluce, Gary Rissmiller, andPeter Smyser. Dave's commercial performances have included keyboard work for Michael Amante and Regis Philbin, and he has given many other live performances on radio and television shows.

For more information on the youth jazz camp, call 610-861-1650, email, music@moravian.edu or visit www.summerjazz.moravian.edu.

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.