For Immediate Release
August 20, 2014
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Brockport, NY – City Newspaper has been impressed with their “solid, swinging rhythms.” Audiences have been entranced by their soulful, bluesy musicianship. The Eastman Jazz Quartet will perform in concert as part of the Fine Arts Series at The College at Brockport on Friday, September 12, 2014, at 7:30 pm in the Tower Fine Arts Center Mainstage, 180 Holley Street, on the Brockport campus. Tickets are $16/General, $11/Seniors, Alumni, Faculty and Staff, and $8.50/Students. They are available online at fineartstix.brockport.edu, by phone at (585) 395-2787, or at the Tower Fine Arts Center box office.
The quartet, which has been performing together since 2000, consists of four members of the faculty at the Eastman School of Music: Jeff Campbell, bass; Harold Danko, piano, Clay Jenkins, trumpet; and Rich Thompson, drums. While each is a musician in their own right, together “the players have all the power,” according to campusvinyl.com.
Jenkins, who comes from a musical family – his father was a jazz musician, and his mother taught piano – was intrigued by jazz at the age of 12, when he switched from playing piano (his mother started him at “around age 8, if I recall”) to trumpet. He was classically trained as long as he could tolerate it, playing recitals and all that involves, but “was not as good a classical player” as he wishes. When he discovered “good jazz,” he discovered a “certain integrity within a musician’s work; a clarity of depth… some element of the blues.” He still looks for those traits not only in his and other’s performances, but in what he writes.
With all four members of the quartet also being composers, audiences at the Brockport concert will be hearing a clutch full of original compositions interspersed with some jazz standards that receive the Eastman touch.
-end- (Individual biographies follow)
Jeff Campbell has carved out an impressive career as bass player of extraordinary artistry, fluent in both the jazz and classical idioms. As a jazz bassist, he maintains an active schedule performing with Gene Bertoncini, Rich Perry, Trio East, Harold Jones, and the Eastman Jazz Quartet, and appeared on the late Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz program on National Public Radio. In high demand across the globe, he has performed at such prestigious European musical events as the Nice, Montreux, North Sea, Riga, and Parnu Jazz Festivals and has also appeared in the former Soviet Union and the Baltic Republics. His first CD, West End Avenue, with John Hollenbeck and John Wojceichowski, features a combination of original compositions and jazz standards. Additionally, Campbell is a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra bass section. His summers are occupied with the Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Door County, WI, where he serves as program director, and the Eastman Summer Jazz Studies and Bass Day, of which he is co-director.
In addition to a busy performing schedule, Jeff maintains an active career as a jazz educator with a keen interest in bass playing of the past, present, and future. A full-time professor at Eastman since 1997, his teaching duties include jazz bass, jazz history, jazz theory and aural skills, and small group performance. He is a regular contributor to the Double Bassist magazine, and is the jazz editor of Bass World, the official publication of the International Society of Bassists. His book on the famous Duke Ellington-Jimmy Blanton duets (in preparation for publication) provides bassists with an opportunity to study the bass playing of the great Blanton.
Campbell holds degrees in double bass performance and music education from Brigham Young University (BM) and the Eastman School of Music (MM, DMA).
Harold Danko is well-recognized from long term associations with impressive jazz legends including Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Lee Konitz and Woody Herman, in performances at major jazz venues throughout the world as well as on recordings, television and video. During the last two decades he has become increasingly known as a band leader, composer, and solo pianist, and is well documented in those capacities on more than 30 CDs on the SteepleChase and SunnySide labels.
As a leader he has been featured at the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, Lincoln Center’s “Meet the Artist” series, Washington (DC) Performing Arts Society series at the Kennedy Center, and numerous jazz festivals both in the US and abroad. Throughout the 1990’s he performed with and composed for his quartet with Rich Perry (tenor saxophone), Scott Colley (bass) and Jeff Hirshfield (drums), and in 1995 received an NEA Fellowship to perform his own works in a series of concerts in New York City. More recently he has led a trio with Hirshfield and Michael Formanek or Jay Anderson (bass) in addition to adapting many of his compositions for solo piano performance. During the fall of 2011 he taught and performed in Taiwan, Italy, and Switzerland, in addition to work on two new recording projects. His latest CD, released in 2012, is Unriched.
Danko has been on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music. Prior to his appointment at Eastman he served on the faculties of the Manhattan School of Music, the New School/Mannes, Hartt College, and other institutions. Beginning his piano studies at the age of five, Danko became serious about pursuing a career in jazz at the age of 15 when he began studying with Gene Rush in Youngstown, OH. After graduation from Youngstown State University and a stint in the US Army band, he landed the piano chair in Woody Herman’s Thundering Herd, which launched his career as a much sought after jazz musician. He also developed a reputation as a respected jazz educator in New York City and throughout the world.
In addition to his own educational video, Jazz Keyboard Techniques, available only in Brazil, he can be seen and heard on video performances with Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, and Lee Konitz. Danko’s featured column, “Solo Piano”, appeared in Keyboard Magazine for more than five years, and his keyboard improvisation method, the Illustrated Keyboard Series, is a widely used reference work. Harold Danko has won ASCAP awards yearly since the early 1980s for the value of his catalog of original compositions. ***
Clay Jenkins' career as a jazz artist has covered a wide range of musical experiences. He attended The University of North Texas (then named North Texas State University) where he earned his bachelor's degree in music theory and studied trumpet with John Haynie.
Upon completion of his degree, Jenkins went out on the road, playing the jazz trumpet chair with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. He recorded three live albums with the Kenton: Artistry in Symphonic Jazz, A Time for Love, and The Lost Concerts, Vols. I & II, and was also involved with the Kenton orchestra in residence jazz camps.
When he moved to Los Angeles in 1978, Jenkins continued playing in live performances and in studio recording sessions. He also studied with the renowned trumpet teacher, James Stamp, for the next two years. From Los Angeles, he toured with the big bands of Harry James, Buddy Rich, and finally, the Count Basie Orchestra.
Jenkins earned his master's degree in jazz studies from the University of Southern California in 1993, studying trumpet with Boyde Hood. He began teaching at several schools, including The Foundation for the Junior Blind, the University of Southern California, California State University at Northridge, and the California Institute of the Arts. He also served as chairman of the music theory department at the Colburn School of Performing Arts from 1988 through the summer of 2000, and co-authored the theory textbook being used there and in other schools.
Currently, Jenkins is an associate professor of jazz trumpet at the Eastman School of Music. He also continues to be a very active performing and recording artist. He has performed and presented clinics all over the United States and Canada, as well as in Japan, Italy, Korea, Germany, Portugal, Russia, and South Africa. He is a charter member of the trumpet section of the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. The CHJO was the Jazz Orchestra-in-Residence at the Hollywood Bowl from 1999-2001.
His solo recordings include Rings, Give and Gather, Yellow Flowers After, Azure Eyes, Blues State, and Good Signs on the Jazz Compass label. His ensemble, with co-leader Kim Richmond, has released two recordings: Range and Look at the Time. He has collaborated on other recordings with many of the jazz world’s finest musicians.
Rich Thompson is an associate professor of jazz studies and contemporary media at the Eastman School of Music, where he also directs the Eastman Jazz Lab Band, and is a member of the Eastman Jazz Trio/Quartet with Harold Danko, Clay Jenkins and Jeff Campbell.
Thompson received a bachelor’s degree in music education and in percussion from the University of Oklahoma, and a master’s degree in jazz studies and contemporary media (performance) from the Eastman School of Music. While on tour with the Count Basie Orchestra, he was asked to join the Eastman faculty, which he did in the fall of 1996. His association with the Rochester Philharmonic began in the fall of 1994 and continued through January of 2005. Under the direction of pops conductor Jeff Tyzik, Rich has been a featured soloist with the RPO, as well as with many major orchestras in the United States and Canada. He has also toured with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra.
Rich “freelances” out of Rochester and New York City. His discography is extensive and can be accessed at www.richthompson.net.
He appeared with the Count Basie Orchestra at President Clinton’s Inaugural Ball in January 1997, while touring with that ensemble, which included making an in-concert video with the band in New York City’s well-known jazz venue, Birdland. He was featured on Tito Puente’s 1996 CD release Jazzin, a collaboration between the Puente band’s latin rhythm section and the Basie Orchestra. Of his performance with the Basie outfit, the Boston Herald said “Mr. Thompson was the powerhouse drummer who drove the Basie sound!” Rich was one of 15 semifinalists in the Thelonious Monk International Drum Competition in October 1992. During the past 10 years he has played numerous times with the late pianist Marian McPartland, guitarist Gene Bertoncini, trumpet legend Dizzy Gillespie, guitar legend Joe Pass, and trumpet/flugelhorn great Clark Terry.
Thompson has recorded numerous times with renowned pianist Bill Dobbins, and as a co-leader with James Williams. He has also recorded and performed with singer Bobby McFerrin and with the Eastman Jazz Trio (featuring Harold Danko and Jeff Campbell). Most recently, Thompson can be heard with Trio East. This piano-less trio’s recording Stop-Start has been reviewed extensively and is featured on iTunes music as well as in CD format. The trio also recently released another CD, Generations.
Thompson has written four drum set text books, which are widely used by students and teachers, and his drum set transcriptions have been featured in Down Beat magazine.
When not playing or teaching at Eastman, Thompson has given master classes and concerts at numerous colleges in the US, and internationally, and was featured for 16 years as an artist-in-residence at the Birch Creek Music Center in Egg Harbor, WI. For nearly two decades, he has served as the chairperson for drum set solo selection for the New York State NYSSMA Manual.
The College at Brockport, State University of New York
350 New Campus Drive * Brockport, New York 14420-2931
(585) 395-2754 * FAX (585) 395-2723 * www.brockport.edu