Tag Archives: Jazz At The G

Sign-up ending soon for Day of Service 2015

Day of Service:

Reminder: The last day to sign up for Day of Service 2015 is Thursday, Sept. 10.

Join a growing Georgia Regents University tradition by lending a helping hand to our CSRA community.

Kristin Gordon, volunteer coordinator for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta, Inc., said GRU volunteer help last year was an invaluable service.

“Last year, GRU helped us do our spring cleaning inside and outside of the house including the yard and all the leaves that came with it,” she said. “Maintaining the house is very important but hard to do when we are trying to take care of the families staying with us at the same time.”

Now, with an even larger facility, the RMHC (and many other local groups) need our help more than ever.

“GRU group giving their time and helping hands lifted a huge weight off our shoulders and brought ease to our minds,” said Gordon. “This year we are very excited to have your help again, especially because the new Ronald McDonald House is much larger and there is a lot more ground to cover!”

But if the chance to lend a hand wasn’t incentive enough, those who participate in Day of Service activities and present their Day of Service volunteer wristbands will be admitted free to the GRU musical event of the season:

Jazz at the G:

GPB Augusta, in cooperation with Georgia Regents University Department of Music, Garden City Jazz, The Greater Augusta Arts Council, NBC26TV and The Maxwell Theatre, is launching the second year of Jazz At The G, a series of jazz concerts held on GRU’s Summerville Campus.

The first concert of the season is and outdoor event at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, at the D. Douglas Barnard Jr. Amphitheatre. Wycliffe Gordon, The Mike Frost Band featuring Lauren Meccia, and The Travis Shaw Trio are scheduled to perform. Additionally, a contingent from the GRU Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Rob Foster, is scheduled to perform.

Jazz trombonist Gordon rarely performs with the group of versatile musicians that will join him on stage for this performance. With more players and instruments on stage, this ensemble allows him to ‘stretch out’ and bring a new energy and improvisation to the presentation,” said GPB-Augusta Station Manager Drew Dawson. “It is Wycliffe Gordon cutting loose and having fun with some incredibly talented musicians, while bringing the audience along for the ride.”

Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs and picnic baskets for the grass-covered terraces of the Barnard Amphitheatre. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be moved indoors to the ballroom in the Jaguar Student Activity Center.

Additional Jazz At The G concerts are scheduled through Spring 2016 at both the Barnard Amphitheatre and Maxwell Theatre.

Admission to is $10 for the general public; $5 for active military, students with a school ID, children under 13, and GRU faculty and staff with a JAG Card; and free for GRU students with a valid JAG Card. A portion of the proceeds fund scholarships for GRU music students. Tickets are available at the Maxwell Theatre box office and online at gru.edu/maxwelltheatre.

“We are excited to bring a second season of Jazz At The G to fans of this truly American art form,” Dawson said. “Our goal is to make the campus a welcoming destination for local jazz aficionados while providing expanded opportunities for GRU music students to showcase their talents and share the stage with local, regional and nationally known jazz greats.  And there’s really no better venue than the Barnard Amphitheater. It’s an emerald jewel in the heart of Summerville. Our hope is that by continuing this series of concerts, our neighbors in Summerville and our friends across the CSRA will discover another opportunity to enjoy the creative output of artists in this area.”

There is no charge to park on GRU’s Summerville campus for this event.  The campus is designated as a tobacco-free and alcohol-free zone. For more information, see gru.edu/maxwelltheatre or #JazzAtTheG on Twitter.

Eager to help?

Ready to jam?

Then don’t delay! Sign up for Day of Service 2015 today.

“You gotta be at Jazz at the G”

At GRU, we’re a multi-talented bunch.

We’re okay golfers, for one. Sometimes, our professors and our researchers receive national – even international – attention, both for their knowledge and their opinions. Occasionally, we even dabble in saving lives.

But if there’s one thing we know how to do, it’s jam.

Don’t believe us? We’ll prove it.

To celebrate Day of Service volunteers, Saturday, Sept. 12 also marks the return of “Jazz at the G” – GRU’s one-of-a-kind Jazz extravaganza. This year, things kick off at 6 p.m. at the D. Douglas Barnard Jr. Amphitheatre on the Summerville Campus, an outdoor setting that’s sure to be cool even in the Georgia heat.

Last year’s season wrap-up was a world class show, but this season promises to be even better.

WycliffeHeadlining Jazz at the G season two is none other than Wycliffe Gordon, who is beginning his 2nd year as “Artist in Residence” at GRU’s department of music.

In the words of GRU’s own Drew Dawson, Station Manager of GPB-Augusta, “with a group of wildly talented musicians, Wycliffe Gordon is going to stretch out, ignoring musical boundaries to bring  a new kind of energy and improvisation to the presentation. This is Wycliffe Gordon cutting loose, having fun  and bringing the audience along for the ride.”

FemaleArtistIn addition to what’s sure to be an out-of-this-world performance by Gordon, attendees of the Jazz at the G season two kick-off concert can also expect stellar performances from both The Mike Frost Band and guest vocalist/jazz saxophonist Lauren Meccia, as well as the introspective and ever-intriguing Travis Shadow Trio.

GRUEnsemble“Jazz at the G” also includes a performance by a contingent of student musicians from The GRU Jazz Ensemble, led by Dr. Rob Foster.

Tickets are now on sale at the Maxwell Theatre Box Office. Admission is $10 for the general public, $5 for children, students and active military and absolutely free for GRU students, faculty and staff with a valid JagCard.

Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs and picnic baskets, as seating is located on the grass covered terraces of the amphitheater. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to the Jaguar Student Activities Center Ballroom, located adjacent to original venue.

There is no charge to park on GRU’s Summerville Campus for this event. Also, as a reminder, the campus is a designated tobacco-and-alcohol free zone.

“We are excited to bring a second season of ‘Jazz At The G’ to fans of this  truly American art form on GRU’s Summerville Campus,” said Dawson.  “Our goal is to make the campus a welcoming destination for local jazz aficionados while providing expanded opportunities for GRU Music students to showcase their talents and share the stage with local, regional and nationally known jazz greats.”

Eager to stay in the loop? Use the #JazzAtTheG hashtag to stay up to date with all future Jazz at the G happenings.

Still not sold on our jamming credentials? Then trust some words of wisdom from Gordon himself.

“You gotta be at ‘Jazz at the G.’”

Drummer Dion Parson brings a taste of the Caribbean to Jazz at the G on April 16

New Information: Joining the GRU Jazz Ensemble for this concert will be Wycliffe Gordon, Dr. John Wojcik, Dr. Martin Jones, Dr. Rob Foster, Matt Henderson, and Dr. Howard Rosen, a retired gastroenterologist  and current student

When Grammy Award-winning drummer Dion Parson takes the Maxwell Theatre stage with the GRU Jazz Ensemble for the semester’s final Jazz at the G concert at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 16, audience members will experience jazz with a distinctly Caribbean flavor.

“It’s more in the rhythm of what I bring,” Parson said from his native St. Thomas. “We’re going to be improvising, and we’re going to be swinging, just with a couple of different rhythms.”

Parson and his group, the 21st Century Band, are recognized for their mixture of traditional jazz harmonies fused with Caribbean rhythms, a style known as the “New Sound of the Caribbean,” and though Parson will be appearing solo, he’ll nevertheless be sharing that sound with the GRU Jazz Ensemble. In return, the ensemble will offer him a couple of island-flavored tunes of their own, courtesy of artist-in-residence Wycliffe Gordon, who’s known Parson since the two met in the McDonalds All-American High School Band in 1984.

cd
Dion Parson and 21st Century Band’s new CD will be available in June

“I came up playing trombone,” Parson said. “I always joke that when I heard Wycliffe playing trombone, I switched to drums.”

Parson was picked to perform after a conversation between Gordon and 90.7FM GPB-Augusta Station Manager Drew Dawson.

“We talked about wanting to take Jazz at the G beyond just local artists coming in to perform and actually bringing in people who might never have been in the market before,” Dawson said. “It’s just another contribution Wycliffe is making to the university community by using his extensive contacts in the music business to call in people who would otherwise be out of reach and might not consider performing in this area, never mind arriving a day early to share their knowledge and skills with aspiring musicians.”

Parson will conduct a Master Class at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15, in room C1 of the Fine Arts Center on the Summerville Campus. The class is free and open to the general public.

“This is the first time we’ve tried this in connection with the Jazz at the G,” Dawson said. “It’s something Wycliffe has been a driving part of in terms of making that educational component an important part of what we’re doing here.”

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in music education and then a master’s in jazz performance from Rutgers, Parson moved to New York City, where he’s made a name for himself with the quality of his work as well as versatility. Not only does he play traditional jazz and Caribbean jazz, he’s also spent time on Broadway playing with the musical “The Color Purple.”

In fact, he’s going to work that versatility into his Master Class.

“One of the things I’m going to talk about in my workshop is bridging the gap between a jazz musician and playing Caribbean music and other styles of music,” he said. “Versatility is the key, and I’m happy for the many musical experiences I’ve been able to share with all these wonderful musicians out there.”

Tickets are $5 for the general public and free for GRU faculty, staff, and students with a valid JagCard.

For additional information:

The Jazz Spot

The Maxwell Theatre

#JazzAtTheG

Wycliffe Gordon and his International All-Stars shine bright at Jazz at the G

Music has a way of transporting you somewhere magical. Good music – really good live music – keeps you anchored in a moment you hope will never pass.

That’s the kind of evening the sold-out crowd experienced from Wycliffe Gordon and his International All-Stars at Saturday’s Jazz at the G concert.

These are the guys Gordon plays with when he’s on the road, and you could tell. While you expect individual virtuosity from world-class artists like these, the way they responded to each other – their tightness as a band – took that virtuosity and expanded it to almost unheard-of proportions.

And then there was Gordon, a singular talent that dazzled on trombone, trumpet, Firebird, and didgeridoo.

The fact that this group of performers had never performed in Augusta before made the night even more special.

For a photo gallery of the concert, click here.

 

 

Jazz at the G moved to JSAC Ballroom due to possible inclement weather

The concert is now scheduled for the ballroom in The Jaguar Student Activity Center on the Summerville Campus. Tickets are $5 for GRU students, $10 for faculty, staff, and active duty military, and $15 for the general public. They may be purchased online at the Maxwell Theatre website or in person at the Maxwell Theatre box office.

That means you’ll want to get your tickets now, because when jazz great Wycliffe Gordon enters the JSAC Ballroom at 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, it will be the first time the trombonist has brought his band, dubbed the International All-Stars, to his hometown.

According to Drew Dawson, Station Manager of WACG, that makes the can’t-miss performance even more notable.

“I know it sounds like hype, but I’ve heard some of the recordings these guys have done, and it’s literally beyond imagination what this group of musicians can do,” he said. “This is going to be one of those concerts where you’ll be talking about what happened long after the curtain call.

Gordon, who was voted “Best in Trombone” by the Downbeat Critics Poll three years running as well as the Jazz Journalists Association “Trombonist of the Year” in 2013, is a major figure in the jazz world, though occasionally taken for granted by the city he calls home.

“You know the old saying about a prophet never being respected in his hometown,” Dawson said. “Well, this is going to be a chance for Augusta to see exactly what they have in Wycliffe Gordon. It’s going to be a phenomenal, phenomenal experience.”

Not only can Augusta take pride in producing such an acclaimed trombonist, it can feel honored by the fact he has chosen to take an active role in the community. In September of last year, Gordon became the Artist-in-Residence in Jazz Studies at Georgia Regents University.

“Having him on the team here is certainly a feather in the university’s cap, but I think it also says something about Wycliffe’s commitment to his hometown,” Dawson said. “He travels the world and has been everywhere and played with everyone, but it speaks volumes that he’d accept a position here at the new university and share his gifts and talents and his insights with the students here.”

For Gordon, this concert is a chance to give back even more by exposing GRU and the CSRA to the artistry of his unique quintet. His International All-Star band is a handpicked group he says conveys a message beyond their first-rate musicality.

“Louis Armstrong had an all-star band like this,” Gordon said. “He had people from all over, not just musicians from a single race, and it represented what Louis Armstrong stood for. When you looked at his band, he wanted you to see the face of what was basically in his heart.”

In fact, Gordon recently gave a keynote speech at the University of Iowa medical school, calling music the great unifier.

Saturday’s concert will be as varied as his band, which has players from Japan, Israel, the U.S., and Australia.

“We’re going to give a performance that doesn’t have a specific theme,” he said. “It’ll be pretty much everything from early traditional jazz to now – and beyond.”

Dawson said he considers this concert to be a chance for GRU to further establish itself as a major player in the local arts community.

“The university has been extremely supportive, both in terms of buying into the concept of Jazz at the G and certainly in terms of the financial support that’s necessary to launch a project like this,” Dawson said. “Doing events that contribute to the arts and culture of the area and putting on events that invite the general public to come to our beautiful campus is very, very important to the decision makers of the university.”

Though previous Jazz at the G concerts have been free or donation-based, this will be a ticketed event.

Tickets are $5 for GRU students, $10 for faculty, staff, and active duty military, and $15 for the general public. They may be purchased online at the Maxwell Theatre website or in person at the Maxwell Theatre box office.

#JazzAtTheG

“Jazz At The G” concert series continues

“Jazz at the G,” a series of jazz concerts presented by GPB Augusta, in cooperation with  the Georgia Regents University Music Department, Garden City Jazz, The Greater Augusta Arts Council, and the Maxwell Theatre,  is planning its second concert Saturday, Nov. 8.

The concert, featuring  quietSTORM, with Tutu D’Vyne, Nice ‘N Easy Jazz, and The GRU Jazz Ensemble, will begin at 6 p.m. at the D. Douglas Barnard Jr. Amphitheatre on GRU’s Summerville Campus.

Admission is free, but a $5 donation will be accepted. A portion of the proceeds will go to fund music scholarships for students in Wycliffe Gordon’s Jazz Studies Program at GRU.

Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs, and picnic baskets. In the event of inclement weather, the concert will be moved to University Hall, room 170.

The third installment of the concert series is planned for Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in Maxwell Theatre on GRU’s Summerville Campus. It will feature the GRU Jazz Ensemble in full concert.  Admission is $5 and free for GRU students, faculty, and staff with a valid JagCard.

The GRU Jazz Ensemble is a college course for credit as well as a music ensemble. Under the direction of Jazz Studies Director Rob Foster, the ensemble provides students with performance experience in a big band and/or combo setting. Wycliffe Gordon, jazz icon and GRU Music Department’s Artist-in-Residence, is working with the Jazz Ensemble as well as teaching other courses.

“These well-organized and well-attended events are an important part of the way our university is contributing to Augusta’s cultural tapestry,” GRU President Ricardo Azziz wrote in a recent post to his blog “Sculpting in Clay.” “The Jazz at the G concert series is a wonderful example of what can happen when community partners collaborate to enrich campus and the surrounding community.”

Additional “Jazz At The G” concerts are being scheduled through spring 2015 at both the D. Douglas Barnard Jr. Amphitheatre and Maxwell Theatre.  There is no charge to park on GRU’s Summerville Campus for these events.  The campus is designated as a tobacco-free and alcohol-free zone.

Crowd enjoys Jazz at the G

Jazz filled the night air on the Summerville Campus as local musicians played for the crowd at the D. Douglas Barnard Jr. Amphitheatre on Sept. 6.

The JAMP Masters, The Tandem, and Joel Cruz, performing with Karen Gordon, were all on hand to perform.

Additional performances are scheduled through spring 2015 at the amphitheatre and at the university’s Maxwell Theatre. A portion of the proceeds from the series will fund music scholarships for students in Wycliffe Gordon’s Jazz Studies Program at GRU.

“It is a perfect time to expand the reach of this truly American art form,” said GPB-Augusta Station Manager Drew Dawson. “With jazz icon and Augusta native Wycliffe Gordon on faculty with the GRU Department of Music this year, we hope to not only make the campus more welcoming to local jazz aficionados, but also to provide opportunities for GRU music students to showcase their talents and share the stage with locally, regionally, and nationally known jazz artists.”

Free jazz concert will be held Saturday

Come out and see The JAMP Masters, The Tandem, and Joel Cruz, performing with Karen Gordon, at the “Jazz At The G” concert at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, at the D. Douglas Barnard Jr. Amphitheatre, on GRU’s Summerville Campus. Admission is free, and attendees are encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs, and picnic baskets.

Georgia Public Broadcasting in Augusta will present the concert as part of a six-part series, in conjunction with the Georgia Regents University Department of Music, Garden City Jazz, and The Greater Augusta Arts Council.

Additional performances are scheduled through Spring 2015 at the amphitheatre and at the university’s Maxwell Theatre. A portion of the proceeds from the series will fund music scholarships for students in Wycliffe Gordon’s Jazz Studies Program at GRU.

“It is a perfect time to expand the reach of this truly American art form,” said GPB-Augusta Station Manager Drew Dawson. “With jazz icon and Augusta native Wycliffe Gordon on faculty with the GRU Department of Music this year, we hope to not only make the campus more welcoming to local jazz aficionados, but also to provide opportunities for GRU music students to showcase their talents and share the stage with locally, regionally, and nationally known jazz artists.”

“The amphitheatre is a jewel in the heart of Summerville,” said GRU spokesperson Christen Carter. “It is our hope that, by hosting this series of concerts, our neighbors in Summerville and our friends across the CSRA will discover another opportunity to enjoy the creative passion of artists in the area.”

Free event parking is available on GRU’s Summerville Campus, which is designated a tobacco- and alcohol-free zone.