News Release

2007 Bill Evans Festival February 26-28

Contact: Constance Woods


Bill Dobbins







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     HAMMOND -- Southeastern Louisiana University’s annual Bill Evans Jazz Festival will feature performances by jazz great Bill Dobbins, Southeastern alumni, and students, Feb. 26-28.

     The festival, now it its sixth year, is a tribute to the late jazz icon and Southeastern alumnus Bill 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, Evans 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. 

     "All festival events are free and will take place in Southeastern’s Pottle Music Building Auditorium," said festival coordinator Richard Schwartz, a member of the Department of Music and Dramatic Arts faculty.

     The Bill Evans Festival schedule includes:

     Feb. 26, 7:30 p.m., Southeastern Alumni Jazz Ensemble. A total of 20 Southeastern alumni will return to campus for this special performance. The performers are trumpeter Dominick Messina, Justin Albritton, and Lacey Blackledge; saxophonists Ray Danna, Ed Veatch, Michael Sambola, John Lyons, and Reggie Sanders; trombonists Brennan Arceneaux, Bob Priez, Darryl Jacob, David McGovern, Edward Bush, Eugene Lipscomb, and Don Gros; guitarists Jay Griggs and Ethan Leaming; bass guitarists Brad Burris and John Braud; and drummer Shawn Manguno.

     Feb. 27, 7:30 p.m., Southeastern Jazz Combo. The popular student ensemble will perform a variety of jazz standards, such as "Honeysuckle Rose," "Little Waltz," "Love For Sale," "Fly Me to the Moon," "Out of Nowhere," and "Cherokee."

     Feb. 28, 7:30 p.m., Bill Dobbins and Friends. Dobbins is a member of the faculty of the prestigious Eastman School of Music, where he teaches courses in jazz composing and arranging, gives applied lessons to jazz writing majors, and directs the Eastman Jazz Ensemble and the Eastman Studio Orchestra.

     As a pianist he has performed with classical orchestras and chamber ensembles under the direction of Pierre Boulez, Lukas Foss, and Louis Lane, and has performed and recorded with such jazz artists as Clark Terry, Al Cohn, Red Mitchell, Phil Woods, Bill Goodwin, Dave Liebman, Kevin Mahogany, Paquito D'Rivera, Peter Erskine, and John Goldsby.

     Dobbins was a prizewinner in the 1972 International Gaudeamus Competition for interpreters of contemporary music, and has been the recipient of several jazz composition grants from the Ohio Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

     The Arts and Lecture Committee, Department of Music, and the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences are providing funding for this year’s festival.

     For additional information on the Bill Evans Jazz Festival, contact Schwartz or the Department of Music and Dramatic Arts, 985-549-2184.

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