Moravian Partners to Host World-famous Saxophonist Phil Woods
The Moravian College Music Department has partnered with the Pennsylvania Jazz Collective (PJC), an area nonprofit arts organization, to present the collective’s second annual Jazz Series, featuring Grammy Award-winning jazz alto saxophonist Phil Woods.
The collaborative three-day event, held at the College Wednesday, Nov. 20, through Friday, Nov. 22, will include free concerts for school children, free clinics and two major concerts.
“We are ecstatic to have Phil Woods on campus, who is probably best known for his solo work on Billy Joel’s mega-hit, “Just the Way You Are,” said Neil Wetzel, associate professor of music at Moravian. “What people might not know about are his numerous Grammy nominations and actual awards, and that he has played with everyone from Tony Bennett and Benny Goodman to Billy Joel and Steely Dan. He has dozens of albums as a leader and featured performer.”
On Wednesday, Nov. 20, the Moravian Faculty Jazz Quintet will present an assembly program for area school students, grades 4 – 8, at 10:30 a.m. at Foy Hall. The following day, Thursday, Nov. 21, the College will host free saxophone clinics in Peter Hall. The clinics will feature Nelson Hill, Tony Gairo, Tom Hamilton and Wetzel. There will also be a special afternoon workshop with Woods. For more information or to register for the clinics and workshop, contact Rose Panik at 610-861-1650. All events are held on Moravian’s Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus.
Several composers have been commissioned to write new selections honoring Woods, which will be premiered at an open, public concert on Nov. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in Foy Hall. Among the PJC artists featured at this concert will be Skip Wilkins, Paul Rostock, Gary Rissmiller, Chris Heslop and Alan Gaumer. General admission is $15, and $10 for students and senior citizens.
The final concert, also held at Foy Hall, on Friday, Nov. 22, will feature Woods with the Moravian College BIG Band, under the direction of Wetzel, and the Jazz Combo I, led by Gairo. General admission tickets are $10 and students/seniors are $5.
During his career, which spans almost 70 years, Woods has won multiple Grammys, been a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Fellowship winner (2007), Kennedy Center Living Legends in Jazz Award recipient (2007), awarded the Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters (France, 1989), and a perennial winner of “best jazz alto saxophonist” in multiple jazz publications. He has recorded scores of albums and as performed and recorded with Quincy Jones, Lena Horne, Bill Evans, Clark Terry and Dizzy Gillespie, among others.
Support for this series includes grants from Moravian College Arts & Lectures, Lehigh Valley Arts Council Project Stream, Just Born, Moravian College Music Department, Yamaha Corp. & Nazareth Music Co. and others. WDIY supports this series as a media sponsor.
According to PJC Executive Board President Wayne Maura, the 2014 jazz series’ featured instrument will be the piano. In 2012, the series’ inaugural year, the trumpet was highlighted.
For more information, visit www.pajazzcollective.org.
Above photo courtesy of Phil Woods' website.
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