MARQUETTE – Steve Turre, a trombonist/seashellist and longtime Saturday Night Live band member, will be the featured performer and clinician at the 9th Annual Northern Michigan University Jazz Festival.
Turre will play with the NMU Jazz Band in a concert scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 22, in Kaufman Auditorium. He will also give a free clinic at 3:30 that afternoon in Reynolds Recital Hall in C.B. Hedgcock. The public is invited to attend both events.
Concert tickets are $1 for NMU students, $3 for other students, and $7 for the general public. They can be purchased at all NMU ticket outlets or online at www.nmu.edu/tickets.
Turre has consistently won both the readers’ and critics’ polls in JazzTimes, Downbeat and Jazziz for Best Trombone and for Best Miscellaneous Instrument (seashells). His musical career took off in 1972 when Ray Charles hired him to go on tour; the following year, he joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. He has played with a diverse list of musicians including Dizzy Gillespie, J. J. Johnson, Herbie Hancock, Tito Puente and Van Morrison. Turre has made numerous recordings and led several of his own ensembles.
"I saw Steve perform at a concert in January," said Mark Flaherty, NMU music professor and jazz band director. "He's a fantastic musician – whether he's playing jazz on the trombone or Latin tunes on conch shells. He will be a great asset to the festival. It's always fun for the band to play with a guest artist of his caliber and both NMU and high school students will have an opportunity to learn from one of the best during his clinic. "
Flaherty said an estimated 250 high school students from the Upper Peninsula and lower Michigan will attend the festival. It kicks off Thursday, April 21, with an 8 p.m. concert featuring the "NMU Faculty and Friends Combo." It is comprised of festival clinicians and adjudicators including NMU faculty members Flaherty, Stephen Grugin, James A. Strain and Steve Leuthold; jazz trumpeter Kelly Rossum of Minneapolis; bass and guitar player Dave Ziegner of Marquette; bassist Tom Bronken; vocalist Kirsten Gustafson; and Mike Irish, director of jazz studies at Michigan Tech University.
Clinics will be held on Friday as will performances by high school jazz bands. Different groups will be featured every 45 minutes from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Reynolds Recital Hall. The public is welcome to sit in and listen.For more information on the NMU Jazz Festival, call 227-1032.