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News Release

July Jazz Getaway to feature bassist Rufus Reid

Now in its 12th year, the week-long fantasy camp a big hit with jazz players

(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) —The Moravian College Music Institute will hold the 12th annual July Jazz Getaway week from Sunday, July 11, to Saturday, July 17. This year’s July Jazz Getaway features guest artist Rufus Reid, a bassist who will perform in concert with his ensemble and the Moravian College BIG Band on Thursday, July 15, at 7:30 p.m. in Foy Concert Hall. A master class with Rufus Reid will be conducted on Friday, July 16, at 10:30 a.m.

Reid’s performance and master class are part of the July Jazz Getaway (JJG), a weeklong summer jazz vacation camp at Moravian College. The Getaway is designed for non-professional adult musicians. The program offers daily jazz, big band, ensemble, and jam session playing with a faculty of professional musicians.

Rufus Reid is one of today's premiere bassists on the international jazz scene with an outstanding reputation for his work in the jazz education arena. He traveled and recorded extensively with Eddie Harris, Nancy Wilson, Thad Jones & Mel Lewis, Dexter Gordon, Jack DeJohnette, Stan Getz, and J. J. Johnson, and many other jazz musicians.

Over the past three years, Reid has been a participant in the BMI Jazz Composer's Workshop which has empowered him to move more deeply into the composing arena. He won the Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Award for his composition, “Skies Over Emilia.” His composition, “Whims of the Blue Bird” is the result of this award's commission. This has led to further commissions. He is writing for string orchestra, jazz ensembles large and small, and double bass ensemble pieces.

An “electronic press kit” for Rufus Reid that includes a complete biography and color and black and whites photos is available at: www.rufusreid.com.

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 11 at 7:30 p.m. The ensemble features Neil Wetzel on saxophone, Dave Roth on piano, Paul Rostock 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 14 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.

    The Rufus Reid Jazz Ensemble and the Moravian College Big Band will perform in concert on Thursday, July 15 at 7:30 p.m.. General admission is $15; $10 senior citizens: $5 students and children 12 and under.

    A Master class with Rufus Reid will be held on Friday, July 16 at 10:30 a.m. He will review and critique July Jazz Getaway players techniques offering suggestions and tips. The workshop provides insight into the style and techniques that made Newman a jazz great. All seats are $5.

    The July Jazz Getaway Ensembles Concert will be held on Saturday, July 17 at 7:30 p.m. The concert features the talents of the camp participants along with the Moravian College BIG Band. Admission is free.

Events are held in Moravian College’s 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 www.julyjazzgetaway.org.

July Jazz Getaway (JJG) was conceived in 1993 as a simple idea: a place where adult amateur jazz musicians could get away from their usual daily lives and get together to play lots of jazz in a fantasy camp, vacation atmosphere, with no pressure 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, Bobby Sanabria, and David “Fathead” Newman.

JJG participants have come from several states across the country and had 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.”