All-Star Jazz Quartet to Kick off SWOSU Jazz Festival
All-Star Jazz Quartet to Kick off SWOSU Jazz Festival

All-Star Jazz Quartet to Kick off SWOSU Jazz Festival

The 50th annual SWOSU Jazz Festival will kick off on Thursday, February 6, with the All-Star Jazz Quartet at 7 p.m. in the Ed & Winnie Ola Berrong Recital Hall.

The concert will offer an up-front view of some of the country’s best jazz musicians, including SWOSU graduate pianist Dave Hanson, guitarist Fred Hamilton, bassist Bob Bowman and percussionist Ed Soph.

Hanson is an arranger, composer, pianist and professor teaching at the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver. His compositions and collaborations—including “You’re It” and “Jazz Muses” with Al Hood and the H2 Big Band—and “It Could Happen” with Rene Marie have garnered him multiple top hits on the Jazz Week radio chart. Hanson, Al, and the H2 Big Band have also worked more recently with Take 6, Nnenna Freelon, Kirk Whalum and Darius Rucker.

Hamilton is professor emeritus at the University of North Texas, having taught jazz guitar, jazz bass, rhythm section masterclass, and undergraduate/graduate jazz improvisation for more than 30 years. He has performed recently with Bill Frisell, The Brecker Brothers, Paul Wertico, James Moody and John Abercrombie and is the former arranger and guitarist of the NORAD Band near Colorado Springs.

Bowman has been member of multiple Grammy award-winning and nominated ensembles, including the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra and the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabakin Big Band. Bowman has also worked with Frank Mantooth, Dan Haerle, Freddie Hubbard and Bud Shank and today works with Kansas City band Intertring and Bowdog.

Soph, graduate of the University of North Texas, has had an illustrious career playing with Stan Kenton, Bill Watrous, Clark Terry and others. He is a recipient of lifetime achievement awards from the Yamaha Corporation and the Percussive Arts Society and has been recognized as a “LeJEND in Jazz Education” by the Jazz Education Network. He recently retired from a 30-year professorship at the University of North Texas and is now an active artist clinician for several groups.

The Thursday concert kicks off a busy two-day SWOSU Jazz Festival that will feature concerts on Friday and 1 and 8 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center. Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band of California will headline the 8 p.m. concert on Friday. Tickets to all the concerts are available on stubwire.com. For more information about the festival, please visit swosujazz.com.