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Moravian College Music Institute to hold 14th Annual July Jazz Getaway

"The best—and strangest sign—that a jazz renaissance is indeed underway."(The New York Times)

Bethlehem, Pa., June 12, 2006 – The Moravian College Music Institute will hold the 14th Annual July Jazz Getaway week from Sunday, July 9 to Saturday, July 15 at the Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus. The fantasy camp provides a memorable experience for amateur jazz musicians who flock to Moravian from across the region to come learn and jam with some of the biggest names in jazz. T. S. Monk, son of jazz great Thelonious Monk, will be the featured guest artist at this year’s July Jazz Getaway. Monk is a noted jazz drummer, composer, and bandleader as well as founder of Thelonious Records and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

July Jazz Getaway (JJG) was conceived in 1993 as a simple idea: a place where adult amateur jazz musicians could get away from their daily routines to get together to play lots of jazz in a fantasy camp, vacation atmosphere, with no pressures and where the emphasis is on having fun. During the week, musicians explore a range of jazz genres: Swing, Bebop, Fusion, Traditional (Dixieland), Rock, Latin, and more. Every day their schedule encompasses playing in small groups, big bands, and even daily jam sessions.

Led by Neil Wetzel, director of jazz studies at Moravian College, and other JJG faculty members, participants have a full week of playing and listening to jazz. Clinics and concerts with guest artists are also a part of the week's activities. Past artists have included Ellis Marsalis, Clark Terry, Terell Stafford, Bobby Watson, Wycliffe Gordon, and Bobby Sanabria.

Monk will perform with the July Jazz Getaway Faculty and the Moravian College Big Band on Thursday, July 13 at 7:30pm in Foy Concert Hall. A master class with Monk will be held on Friday, July 14 in Foy Concert Hall at 10:30am

The July Jazz Getaway week events that are open to the public include the following:

The Moravian College Faculty Kick-Off Jazz Concert will be held on Sunday, July 9 at 7:30 p.m. The ensemble features Neil Wetzel on saxophone, Bill Washer on guitar, Steve Gilmore on bass, and Gary Rissmiller on drums. General admission is $12; $6 for senior citizens, students, and children 12 and under.

The Lehigh Valley Open Jam Session will be held on Wednesday, July 12 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.

T.S. Monk with the July Jazz Getaway Faculty and the Moravian College Big Band will perform in concert on Thursday, July 13 at 7:30 p.m. General admission is $20; $15 senior citizens: $10 students and children 12 and under.

A Master class with T.S Monk will be held on Friday, July 14 at 10:30 a.m. He will review and critique July Jazz Getaway players techniques and offer suggestions and tips. The workshop provides insight into the style and techniques that made Monk a jazz great. All seats are $5.

The July Jazz Getaway Ensembles Concert will be held on Saturday, July 15 at 7:30 p.m. The concert features the talents of the camp participants along with the Moravian College Big Band. Admission is free.

JJG participants have traveled from several states across the country and represent various occupations. Among them were: college professor, scientist, mail carrier and advertising executive. What brought them together was their love of jazz. As Jelly Roll Morton once said, “Good music never gets old.”

Events are held in the Moravian College Foy Concert Hall at Main and Church streets in historic downtown Bethlehem. For more information on the July Jazz Getaway and concert schedule, contact the Moravian College Music Institute at (610) 861-1650 or jjg@moravian.edu. Visit the July Jazz Getaway on the web at http://www.julyjazzgetaway.org

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.