Newswise — University of Illinois at Chicago students and others will have an opportunity to hear, “America’s original music – jazz,” during a series of free concerts held on the campus this spring, sponsored by a nationally known jazz teacher and publisher.

Jamey Aebersold, a jazz saxophonist who began publishing the “Play-A-Long” instructional series in 1967 and runs workshops at colleges nationally, is teaming up with officials at the UIC School of Theatre and Music to sponsor the monthly series this semester.

The aim of the series is to display the talent of local musicians and highlight jazz music on the campus, said UIC clinical assistant professor Zvonimir Tot, who helped organize the series.

“We are grateful to Mr. Aebersold for his generous support and look forward to presenting the finest Chicago jazz musicians in a concert setting at UIC. The series will provide an opportunity for UIC students and the public to experience outstanding jazz musicians in an intimate setting,” said Tot, a jazz guitarist, composer and arranger.

Aebersold said he decided to sponsor the four-concert series, which will run monthly between January and April, after having previously lectured about music and jazz on the UIC campus. He worked with Tot to set up the free series so that it would be accessible to the broadest audience.

“Jazz has been my life and I try to spread the music to people who may not otherwise go to a jazz concert,” said Aebersold. “I hope they will have a unique experience with improvisation/jazz and that it may help them appreciate this fantastic art form.”

The concerts will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Room L285 of the Education, Theatre, Music, and Social Work Building, 1044 W. Harrison St., on the following dates:

  • On Jan. 24, the Victor Garcia Quartet will perform. Garcia, who is on the UIC music faculty, is a renowned trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist and founding member of the Chicago Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble.
  • Feb. 21, Howard Levy and Chris Siebold will perform. Levy, considered by many as the world’s foremost virtuoso on diatonic harmonica, will perform with Siebold, a guitar virtuoso who played in the band on National Public Radio’s show “A Prairie Home Companion” for several years.
  • March 21 will feature the Eric Schneider Quartet. Schneider is one of the leading saxophonists on the Chicago jazz scene, as well as an alumnus of Earl Hines’ and Duke Ellington’s bands.
  • April 18 will mark the final concert with the Greg Ward Quartet. Ward, a saxophonist and composer, has performed with the International Contemporary Ensemble, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Jazz Institute of Chicago.

For more information, please contact Zvonimir Tot at [email protected].

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