News release
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Contact: Christina Chapple
Date: 2/4/05
 
Ted RosenthalClick on image for publication quality photo 

Left, Bill Evans Festival guest artist Ted Rosenthal
BILL EVANS FEST HONORS SOUTHEASTERN ALUMNUS
      HAMMOND -- Southeastern Louisiana University will honor one of its most renowned alumni, the late Grammy Award winning jazz pianist Bill Evans, at the fourth annual Bill Evans Jazz Festival, Feb. 21-24.
       The four-day tribute to the 1950 Southeastern graduate will showcase the Ted Rosenthal Trio, faculty and student jazz ensembles, and a lecture by Evans expert Win Hinkle, said David Evenson, head of the Department of Music and Dramatic Arts.
       All festival events are free and will take place in Southeastern’s Pottle Music Building Auditorium.
        “This festival represents a microcosm of Bill Evans' achievements,” said festival organizer Richard Schwartz, director of jazz studies at Southeastern. “It highlights two of Evans' most notable qualities -- his drive to explore new musical frontiers and his gentle manner of sharing jazz with others.”
      Evans, who graduated from Southeastern with honors in 1950, recorded more than 70 albums, won seven Grammy Awards and earned an international following. Throughout his life, he fondly remembered his college years, calling his time at Southeastern the happiest period of his life. He returned to campus for a concert 30 years after his graduation, shortly before his death in 1980. Southeastern named Evans its first “Alumnus of the Year” in 1969. 
       As this year’s headliner, jazz pianist Ted Rosenthal will be joined by drummer Eliot Zigmund, who recorded with Evans, and bass player Sean Smith for a 7:30 p.m. concert on Feb. 24 at the Pottle Music Building Auditorium.
       “I am honored to be playing at the Bill Evans Jazz Festival,” Rosenthal said. “I think it's a great thing that the festival exists, and I'm very happy to be saluting Bill's legacy and influence on jazz piano.” 
       Rosenthal, whose has included many of Evans’ compositions on his own recordings, 
said he first encountered the jazz legend at the age of 12 at Yale University.
       “I heard Bill give a master class for John Mehegan’s jazz class in 1979,” he said. “It was great to hear him play and talk about music.” Rosenthal said he also remembers being given a transcription of Evans’ “Turn Out the Stars” by his piano teachers. 
       “It was really beyond me,” Rosenthal said, “but I learned it by studying the recording.” 
Festival events, which are all free and are scheduled for the Pottle Music Building Auditorium, include: 
       Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m., Southeastern One O’Clock Big Band. Glen Hemberger, Southeastern’s director of bands, will conduct Phil Woods’ “Goodbye Mr. Evans” with Schwartz as saxophone soloist. The band’s performance of Leonard Bernstein's "Prelude, Fugue and Riffs” will showcase Southeastern faculty member Andrew Seigel, clarinet.
       Feb. 22, 2 p.m., guest lecture. Win Hinkle, publisher of “Letter From Evans,” will present a lecture, “Do Transcriptions Really Tell The Bill Evans Story?” Hinkle said he plans “to compare commercially available notated transcriptions with the actual recordings and attempt to determine what can and cannot be captured by traditional music notation.” He will use selections such as "My Foolish Heart," "On a Clear Day" and "Autumn Leaves." 
       Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m., Southeastern Jazz Combos. Southeastern faculty and students performers will include Schwartz, alto saxophone; Nick Volz, trumpet; Henry Jones, piano; Dave Carbonara, bass; and Kevin Estoque, drums.
       Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m., Faculty and Guests Jazz Quintet. Schwartz will be joined in concert by fellow Southeastern faculty member Hank Mackie, guitar, and University of Southern Mississippi guests John Palensky, bass, and John Wooton, drums.
       Feb. 24, 2 p.m., High School Big Band Workshop with Ted Rosenthal. Rosenthal will critique performances by invited jazz big bands from Mandeville High School and Northshore High School and will talk about his philosophy of jazz. 
       Feb. 24, 4 p.m., Jazz Master Classes with Southeastern faculty. Southeastern music faculty will offer instruction on instrumental technique to the young musicians from Mandeville and Northshore high schools. Students from other high schools interested in participating should contact Schwartz at 985-549-5938 or Richard.Schwartz@selu.edu.
      For additional information on the Bill Evans Jazz Festival, contact Schwartz or the Department of Music and Dramatic Arts, 985-549-2184.