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NIU Latin Jazz Ensemble presents ‘Latin Jazz Weekend Party’ with Christopher Washburne

March 16, 2011
Christopher Washburne

Christopher Washburne

NIU’s Latin Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of associate music professor Greg Beyer, will host New York City-based Columbia University ethnomusicologist, trombonist and bandleader Christopher Washburne and his ensemble, S.Y.O.T.O.S., for April’s Latin Jazz Weekend Party.

Mark your calendars for an incredible series of events from Thursday, April 7, through Sunday, April 10, that are sure to get audiences up on their feet and dancing.

All events are free and open to the public, and the concert hall is accessible to all. For more information, contact Beyer at (815) 753-7981 or via e-mail at [email protected].

Thursday, April 7

Washburne will arrive on campus and give a 5 p.m. preview performance of his intelligent, hard-hitting brand of salsa-jazz with the NIU Latin Jazz Ensemble at the NIU Art Museum in Altgeld Hall. This performance coincides with the opening of “Music to my Eyes,” an exhibition organized by NIU students in the Museum Studies Exhibition Interpretation class.

At 7:30 p.m., Washburne will be at the NIU Center for Latino and Latin American Studies to give a talk on his recently released book, “Sounding Salsa.” Washburne has an incredible wealth of experience of over two decades of performance with some of New York City’s finest bandleaders, people who have become practically household names: Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Ray Barretto, Pete “El Conde” Rodriguez and Hector Lavoe.

Friday, April 8

Washburne will be the featured guest soloist, playing many of his own compositions, with the NIU Latin Jazz Ensemble at 8 p.m. in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall.

The rhythmic power of this student ensemble is a force to be reckoned with. To see the NIU Latin Jazz Ensemble in action is to witness the unstoppable power of African-influenced dance rhythms. Its energy, combined with Washburne’s skill, compositions and experience, is going to produce an incredible and memorable concert.



Saturday, April 9

Members of S.Y.O.T.O.S. will arrive on campus to join Washburne and select members of the NIU Latin Jazz Ensemble at 7 p.m. in the Boutell Memorial Concert Hall.

For more than 10 years, Washburne has led S.Y.O.T.O.S. in performances all over New York City. Until recently, they were a regular Sunday night feature at the music nightclub, Smoke. The group also performs regular outreach programs through Carnegie Hall.

S.Y.O.T.O.S. has released five recordings over the past 13 years and has reached an impressive level of critical acclaim for its music and engaging performances.

Sunday, April 10

Instrumental master classes will be held at 10 a.m. throughout the NIU School of Music building. At 11 a.m., all the members of S.Y.O.T.O.S. will convene for a joint master class.

Finally, the Latin Jazz Ensemble and S.Y.O.T.O.S. will share the Boutell stage at 3 p.m. to perform a set on the annual NIU World Music Concert, hosted by School of Music faculty member Jui-Ching Wang.