Guest Artists Set to Appear at SWOSU Jazz Festival


Saxophonist Michael Cox, trumpet player Tom Williams, trombonist Robert Chambers, saxophonist and keyboard player David Hanson, bassist Lynn Seaton, drummer Drori Mondlak and vocalist Delores King Williams are the featured performers at this weekend’s Southwestern Oklahoma State University Jazz Festival on the Weatherford campus.

The main concerts are planned Friday, February 11, at 1 and 8 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center on the SWOSU campus. Ticket prices are $5 for students and $12.50 for general admission. Tickets are available at the door as well as from the SWOSU Music Department by calling 580.774.3708.

Saxophonist Dr. Michael Cox is an associate professor at Capital University Conservatory of Music in Columbus, Ohio, where he teaches saxophone, improvisation, jazz styles & analysis, and directs saxophone quartets and jazz combos. In addition to teaching full-time, Cox has averaged 125-150 appearances per year as a performer, studio musician, adjudicator and clinician.

He has won awards and grants from Downbeat magazine, IAJE, the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1996 he was declared the Open Division award winner at the Evansville International Jazz Saxophone Competition by a panel of judges including Denis DiBlasio, Jamey Aebersold and Jerry Coker.

Cox is a native of Lawton, where he graduated from Eisenhower High School and Cameron University.

A native of Baltimore, Tom Williams has led a sparkling and varied career since he began studying trumpet and drums as a child. After matriculating at Towson State University, Tom joined the renowned Duke Ellington Orchestra, under the direction of Mercer Ellington, with whom he played the national tour of the Broadway smash "Sophisticated Ladies.” In 1987 he enlisted in the US Army Band and became a featured soloist in the Jazz Ambassadors and the Army Blues.

In 1991 Tom was the second place winner in the first Louis Armstrong International Trumpet Competition sponsored by the Thelonious Monk Institute. He has appeared at numerous jazz festivals and venues throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States.

Trombonist Dr. Robert Chambers is a native of El Reno. He is 1974 graduate of SWOSU and received his master’s degree the following year and in 1986 received the Doctor of Musical Arts in trombone from the University of Oklahoma. He is currently professor of music at SWOSU where he teaches trombone, euphonium, guitar and is the conductor of the University Orchestra.

Chambers was formerly principal trombonist with the Lawton Philharmonic, has played lead trombone with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, the Al Good Orchestra and has been lead trombonist with the Moonlight Serenade Dance Band the past 20 years.

David Hanson, saxophonist and keyboard player, is a native of Weatherford. He received his Bachelor of Music in Saxophone performance from SWOSU in 1976 and his Master of Music in composition from Arizona State University in 1980. From 1980 to 1984 he taught jazz improvisation, arranging, and theory at the University of Northern Colorado. In 1983 Hanson received the prestigious Duke Ellington Scholarship Award from the Eastman School of Music, and more recently, he was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Composition Grant for an original studio orchestra work, Traveler's Tale, which was performed by the Denver Symphony. Presently he is working in Denver as a composer, arranger, and performer and is also teaching at the University of Denver.

Bassist Lynn Seaton, was born in Tulsa and began studying classical guitar at age seven, switching to string bass at age nine. While studying music at the University of Oklahoma, he began working clubs around the state.

In 1980, Seaton relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio, and was awarded a Jazz Studies Fellowship in the summer of 1981 from the National Endowment for the Arts to study with Rufus Reid. He played with Woody Herman and the Young Thundering Herd and the Count Basie Orchestra. During this time he moved to New York City where he resided from 1986 to 1998. After his two-year engagement with the Basie Band, he did an extended tour with Tony Bennett and a six-month tour with George Shearing. He also toured with the Monty Alexander Trio and the Jeff Hamilton Trio.

Seaton is currently teaching at the University of North Texas while working and recording with many jazz artists and leading his own trio.

Drummer Drori Mondlak was born in Mexico City where he began his involvement in music, studying classical piano at six years of age. He continued his studies four more years, at which time, he and his family moved to London and then on to New York City. That is where, at sixteen years of age, his love of the drums started and has continued to flourish.

He left New York City to attend Bard College in upstate New York as a music major and traveled to the city to study drums with Sonny Igoe, Charlie Persip and Joe Morello. He also studied music at Mannes College.

Now living in New York City, he has toured, performed and/or recorded with many great musicians internationally and in the United States. He has appeared at international jazz festivals, including: Montreux, Bern, Copenhagen, Newport, JVC and Mexico City. He has also performed for Jazzmobile, Shea Center for the Performing Arts, Princeton Jazz Festival, SS Norway Floating Jazz Festival, The Jazz Cruise, MOMA Jazz series and the Kennedy Center.

He currently freelances in New York, performing and recording with small and large ensembles. He leads his own group, DRORI MONDLAK & Straight Circle, and is a permanent member of the Cary DeNigris Trio and KLARO!

Vocalist Delores King Williams is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and began her vocal studies there at The Peabody Conservatory of Music. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and served 10 years in the United States Army as a featured vocalist with the Jazz Ambassadors and Army Chorale.

Performance highlights include: international appearances at the North Sea, Montreux, and Vienne jazz festivals; a five-city tour of India; performances at the White House; featured performances with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra; featured performances with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra; and an Australian tour of “Porgy and Bess” with the Washington Opera Company.

Currently, Williams is a member of the political satire group, “The Capitol Steps” which plays to packed houses in Washington D.C. and venues across the country.