Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552
ahayes@semo.edu

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JAZZ LEGEND CLARK TERRY TO PERFORM AT APRIL 25 JAZZ FESTIVAL

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 4, 2003 - A performance by jazz trumpet legend Clark Terry will highlight the Fifth Annual Phi Mu Alpha/Clark Terry Jazz Festival April 25 at Southeast Missouri State University.

The annual jazz festival will feature junior and senior high school jazz bands and combos in competition from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Academic Auditorium, the Baptist Student Union chapel and the Newman Center chapel.

Headlining the festival will be a performance by Clark Terry with the Studio Jazz Ensemble at 7 p.m. in Academic Auditorium. The concert will feature Terry's music.

"The guy's a living legend," said Barry Bernhardt, director of bands at Southeast Missouri State. "You won't find a better ambassador and teacher in the jazz world than Clark Terry. We're just really fortunate to have an affiliation with him."

The brothers of Iota Psi chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the men's professional music fraternity, honored Terry in 2001 by naming the jazz festival in this honor. The festival is being sponsored by the University, its Jazz Program and the Men of the Iota Psi Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Terry has headlined the festival. In 2000, he performed during winter commencement exercises at Southeast and was presented with an honorary doctoral degree from Southeast. Terry performed again in January 2001 with the Studio Jazz Ensemble at a Pre-Inaugural Celebration for then Governor-Elect Bob Holden in Jefferson City.

The honorary degree he received at Southeast in 2000 is his 11th such honor. He received an honorary degree in 2000 from Webster University in St. Louis. The first honorary degree Terry received was presented to him by The University of New Hampshire while Dale Nitzschke, former Southeast president, was serving as president of that institution. Terry also has received honorary degrees from Berklee College of Music, Westmar University, Rowan College of New Jersey, Hamilton College, Elmhurst College, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory of Music and University of South Carolina. Additionally, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia made him the first jazz artist to be honored with its highest award for distinguished service to music. The U.S. State Department selected Terry and his band for tours to the Middle East and Africa as American Ambassadors of Goodwill. He also has been inducted into the prestigious Kansas City Jazz Hall of Fame and the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

Terry began his career in St. Louis during the '20s and '30s while playing for a local bar. After developing his technique with the Navy All Star Jazz Band during World War II, Terry's musical star rose rapidly with successful stints in the bands of Charlie Barnet, Charlie Ventura, Eddie Vinson, and then, in 1948, with the great Count Basie. Along the way, in addition to his outstanding musical contributions to these bands, Terry was exerting a positive influence on younger musicians such as Miles Davis and Quincy Jones, both of whom credit Terry as a formidable influence during the early stages of their careers.

In 1951, Terry was asked to join Duke Ellington's orchestra, where he stayed for eight years as a featured soloist. Terry also was a pioneer of the flugelhorn in jazz, a standout with the NBC Tonight Show Band and one of the first black musicians to be employed regularly by a studio. As advisory to the International Association of Jazz Educators and much sought after as a clinician, Terry is often referred to as "America's #1 Jazz Educator." He also is the noted author of Let's Talk Trumpet: From Legit to Jazz, Interpretation of the Jazz Language and Clark Terry's System of Circular Breathing for Woodwind and Brass Instruments.

Terry, one of contemporary music's great innovators, also is justly celebrated for his great technical virtuosity, swinging lyricism and impeccable good taste. Combining these with the gifts of a great dramatist, Terry is a master storyteller.

The latter part of his career has found him traveling around the world to play concerts, clubs and festivals. Terry's achievements have earned him a spot in the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Hall of Fame. He also has performed on the VH-1 show "Divas Live with Aretha Franklin" and on the "Tonight Show" with Jay Leno in a performance with the Steve Tyrell Big Band.

Tickets for the evening concert will range from $5 to $20. Tickets will be available at the door or may be purchased in advance by calling the Southeast Department of Music at (573) 651-2141.

For more information, contact Barry Bernhardt, director of University Bands, at (573) 651-2334 or e-mail bbernhardt@semo.edu.

 

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