Sunday, April 23, 2006

UK Wind Ensemble & Osland Sax Quartet Play Mintzer

The University of Kentucky Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. John Cody Birdwell, joined with Professor Miles Osland's Saxophone Quartet for the world premier of Bob Mintzer's "Rhythm of the Americas" today at the Singletary Center for the Performing Arts. in addition, four Mintzer saxophone quartet pieces were played by UK sax students prior to the concert and at intermission. Saxophone master and composer Bob Mintzer was in the audience for the event.

Bob Mintzer and Me

I enjoyed meeting and talking with Mintzer. He signed my "Incredible Journey" cd (Bob Mintzer Big Band, 1984 DMP CD-451), one of the first all digital recordings I owned. Miles commented in his opening remarks to the audience on seeing me with the cd and how much he personally has enjoyed that disc through the years. He said that listening to Mintzer's music is like an incredible journey.

Mintzer leads his own big band, jazz quartet, and is a 15 year member of Yellowjackets. He has played with Buddy Rich, Thad Jones, Mel Lewis, Art Blakey, Sam Jones, Jaco Pastorius, GRP Big Band, Mike Manieri, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, and the New York Philharmonic. He has recorded with James Taylor, Queen, Steve Winwood, Aretha Franklin, and many others. He has been nominated for thirteen Grammy awards for his solo work, big band recordings, and work with the Yellowjackets. Homage to Count Basie won the Grammy in the best large ensemble category for the 44th Annual Grammy Awards, 2001. Bob's big band arrangements have become standard repertoire for big bands all over the world.

It's always nice to see lots of friends at concerts I attend. I saw Harold Sherman, Dick Domeck, Wayne & Shirley Miller, Mike, Audrey, and many others. Shane, a sax student I teach, and Melody went with me. We all enjoyed it very much. It was great talking with Osland Saxophone Quartet members Lisa Osland, Larry Nelson, Doug Drewek, and Miles.

Shirley and Wayne

I can't wait to hear the phenomenal Mintzer play tomorrow night with DOJO at Comedy Off Broadway. Little Kim, Monkey, Shirley, Wild Wayne and I all plan to be there. We are going to be sitting at the front table.


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