Lee Konitz & Roy Haynes Quartet Headline 2008 Reno Jazz Festival

The best jazz musicians in the world travel to the University of Nevada, Reno each spring to perform and teach at the Reno Jazz Festival. This year, legendary saxophonist Lee Konitz and acclaimed Roy Haynes Quartet share their talent and expertise with the festival's more than 10,000 attendees.

In addition to evening concerts by guest artists, the Reno Jazz Festival offers daytime competitions, workshops and clinics by scores of professional jazz artists and adjudicators for more than 9,000 young jazz musicians from throughout the West. The three-day festival culminates in a showcase concert and awards ceremony to honor the best and brightest young standouts.

Lee Konitz and the University's own faculty ensemble, The Collective, will perform Thursday, April 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Nightingale Concert Hall. Roy Haynes Quartet performs Friday, April 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lawlor Events Center Arena. The Festival Showcase Concert and Awards Ceremony will be held Saturday, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. in Lawlor Events Center Arena.

Over the course of a remarkable career, veteran saxophonist Lee Konitz has developed a uniquely resilient and lyrical tone, an understated and emotionally complex style, and an unparalleled reputation as an improviser. One of the most influential alto sax players in the early development of modern jazz, Konitz has an elegant solo style and has appeared on hundreds of recordings including Miles Davis' Birth of the Cool.

The legendary sax player has released dozens of CDs as a leader and has also performed and recorded with a diverse collection of jazz luminaries including Jim Hall, Lennie Tristano, Ray Nance, Joe Henderson, Elvin Jones, Jimmy Giuffre, Charlie Haden, Bob Brookmeyer, Randy Brecker, Paul Bley, Brad Mehldau and many others.

At the Reno Jazz Festival, Konitz will perform with one of the most creative and versatile ensembles in the region, the University's own faculty ensemble, The Collective -- Dr. Larry Engstrom (trumpet), Peter Epstein (alto saxophone), Dr. David Ake (piano), Hans Halt (bass), and Dr. Andrew Heglund (drums). The Collective performs extensively and draws from a rich musical background. Members have performed with such jazz giants as Charlie Haden, Ravi Coltrane, Cedar Walton, Joe Pass, Tommy Flanagan, Bobby Hutcherson, Peter Erskine, Robin Eubanks and more.

Called “an eight ball in the side pocket" by Thelonious Monk and “the father of modern drumming" by Pat Metheny, legendary drummer Roy Haynes has been the pulse of jazz percussion for more than five decades, altering the direction of jazz improvisation with his mercurial, intelligent, joyous drumming. Joined by Jaleel Shaw on saxophone, John Sullivan on bass, and Martin Bejerano on piano in the Roy Haynes Quartet, the influential and innovative drummer continues to forge new paths in jazz with his “hard swing" style.

Over the years, Haynes has played with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Sarah Vaughan, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny and many others, lending his unflagging energy and marvelous invention to thousands of performances and recordings. With the Roy Haynes Quartet, the inimitable performer continues to free the borders of jazz.

The Reno Jazz Festival will culminate in a final showcase concert and awards ceremony, featuring performances by the winners of the 2008 RJF All-Star Performers competition, and encore performances from some of the highest-rated groups and soloists in the festival. During the showcase performances, awards will be given in recognition of individuals and groups who place in the top five of each category (top eight for middle school bands).

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